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Flexicrew details?

Old 25th Feb 2013, 15:47
  #41 (permalink)  
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In addition to what BoeingProp said consider how you are going to save for a deposit for a house seeing as the 100% mortgage is a thing of history nowadays, and how having such large loans may impact your credit rating, and therefore your ability to borrow for a mortgage or anything else that you might think you need (or just 'want'). If you don't believe me then go and talk to your parent's bank manager or an Independent Financial Advisor.

If you want to go to university then add about 50k to your planned borrowing.

If you really want to be a pilot think hard about it. It is a good job, but is a really tough career. If you really want to be a pilot do a good degree, join the UAS, fly a lot, get a great job away from aviation, consider getting a PPL, and flying a Pitts doing aeros at the weekend.

If you want to be a heavy machinery operator learn to drive an HGV and a JCB. You will not do quite so many early morning, and late nights, and you won't have stupid amounts of money crippling you for half your working life, and you can go and do loop-the-loops at the weekend. If you really want to be a pilot operating an A320 is not where it's at, chucking a light aerobatic aeroplane around the skies is.

If you are still committed to becoming a pilot in commercial aviation then get in touch with The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators GAPAN - The Guild of Air Pilots & Air Navigators next year and try for a scholarship for a PPL. This is about the last organisation, apart from the military, who will give a fully funded course. As such it is very competitive, but if you get the course your CV will have a bit of gloss on it that will help you to get started.

Good luck with what ever you decide.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 16:36
  #42 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Bugginton
I think when I said regional I might have used the wrong term. Perhaps I should have simply said props. Anyway, when I said different, I meant that when you say pilot, I think EasyJet or BA, flying Boeings or Airbuses.
Regional flying doesn't necessarily mean props. You might want to be careful with your view that 'being a pilot' means Airbus or Boeing for Easy or BA, it is slightly narrow-minded and may cause offence whether it was intended or not. You haven't mentioned business aviation. Some hi-tech equipment being flown in that sector but not 'bus or Boeing.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 17:11
  #43 (permalink)  
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And we earn twice as much!
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 17:58
  #44 (permalink)  
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SSSH, PP, we don't want these 18 year old rentapilot wannabees with 150 hours and daddy's money coming over to our side of the industry, the locos can keep them for as long as it lasts.

All it takes for this scam to end is a big hole in the Essex countryside. Sad though that through their own fault an FA with us makes more a day than these guys do in a week of 12 sectors a day.

Last edited by cldrvr; 25th Feb 2013 at 18:00.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 18:15
  #45 (permalink)  
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As to the OP, if you have 150k to piss away on a hobby with a measly salary and no prospect of finding a second job after eJ gets rid of you for the next muppet in line, why don't you use that 150k and start a business instead.

We see hundreds of CV's of youngsters who after having completed their few hundred hours with the likes of eJ can't get another job for love or money, plenty in the industry won't touch you with a barge pole.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 19:05
  #46 (permalink)  
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Dear Boggington,

In our company, which shall remain nameless, we operate with flexicrew for quite a few years now and at my base about 80% of the F/Os are flexi. I immediately realise when I fly with a "normal" F/O because he / she won't moan all day about his / her financial situation and is at work with 100% brain capacity. It is really nice for a change not to listen to endless whinging about one's dire situation with sub zero perspective for change. It happened, and I am not joking, that the purser of the following crew asked us if we had any crew sandwiches left for "her" poor flexi F/O because: "you know how lousy their pay is".
If you consider a career in aviation (yes, I had the same dream 27 years ago) use the Flexi / CTC way as the very last and extremely desperate resort. Cattle mustering in the outback of Australia in an old Super Cub is heaven compared to that!
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 21:42
  #47 (permalink)  
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cldrvr: "we don't want these 18 year old rentapilot wannabees with 150 hours and daddy's money coming over to our side of the industry".


Mungo: Good point. I have no doubt that I'm being narrow minded, but I hadn't thought of the business jet side of things. How would one even go about getting into the business jet part? I've received the FlightGlobal jobs email for ages and never seen anything about business jets in there.

Does sound more interesting than EasyJet, no matter what.

Purple pitot: What kind of salary range are we talking about here?

Obviously I can't reply to everyone here - I would be here forever, but just wanted to say thank you for helping someone so naive All of the advice has definitely given me something to think about over the next few days, and my time surfing around on PPRuNe has shown me that the industry really is screwed up.

Last edited by Buggington; 26th Feb 2013 at 16:51.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 23:00
  #48 (permalink)  
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Buggington. Unfortunately you were born in the wrong timeframe to become a well paid professional in the aviation industry. The sector is in the poo with no sign of any real recovery. There are thousands and thousands of pilots who trained before you who are out of work. I've bleated this so many times before, but if you want to fly, go to university get a good degree and earn a killing in some different industry. Then buy a share in a Pitts and then enjoy life. DO NOT hope to become a professional pilot. You have a 1% success rate. DO NOT listen to the flight schools, they only want your money. There is no career at the moment and you have a 99% chance of just blowing £100000. Anyone who tells you different is lying to you.

And just to qualify, i am not a wannabe, I have been a professional pilot with a full time job on several Boeing types for a good number of years now. I got lucky. You probably won't.

Finally, if you do decide to still go down the flying route, be honest to yourself and be fair to your sponsors. Let your parents read this thread.

Last edited by gorter; 25th Feb 2013 at 23:04.
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Old 25th Feb 2013, 23:45
  #49 (permalink)  
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Buggington; first forget about the biz jet jobs, a low experienced wannabe has NO CHANCE for that, unless he has very well connections / family!

But you are naive in your attitude, you think that thinks will be golden very fast, it will not be golden for a long long time, if ever again!

That is the first fact you need to come to terms with, the jobs DOES NOT pay anything close to what you can imagine, even when you have experience!

Sure for some, who have been in the business for long time, but these golden times have come and gone!

However I have to admit, I do know of many guys who got jobs last year (2012) - so some of the negativeness is not completely true.
The odds of getting a good career, probably 10%!

I would for sure look into BA and RAF as primary options, if not made this, take a long hard wait and think, because we are talking about some serious amount of money! 100.000! Is not small change!

But of course many todays "youth" can not fathom these kind of amounts - thats why first you should try and live one year without mummy and daddy, just to see how the real life is, so you do learn the value of money, and how hard it is to come by!

It is easy to spend when you have it, but when you don't, and you risk loosing it all, well you can not understand what this will mean, because you are feeling comfort that mummy and daddy will fit the bill for you!

I know one guy who joined EZY on one of these SCAMS, and he told me he was sent around like cattle, from place to place, he hardly NEVER stayed at his base!
People will tell you, DON'T DO IT, and you will STILL DO IT, and in 18 -24 months you will be crying and complaining why there are no well paid jobs for you! In 36 - 48 months the banks will approach your parents to re-possess their house, unless they pay your debts!

You will look desperately for a job, but by now your licences/ratings have expired, you do not have 3000 - 4000 needed to keep them valid! So the only job you can apply for his minimum wage jobs!
This is a very plausible scenario!

And of course, you will not listen or believe anybody giving advice on these forums, but just go ahead and do it anyway, because everybody here are dumb, and not as smart and special as you are! Hmmmm Good luck!
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 06:35
  #50 (permalink)  
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First let me say WELL DONE and i really mean that. You have gone to the flight schools and sought a second opinion. Yes you have little knowledge about the industry but you have sought to get a balanced view. A very responsible course of action. As has been said sit down and have a think. Read through the flight school stuff and these forums with the folks and decide what you want to do. It all comes down to a risk analysis.

BRAN Benefit of the option you choose, Risk of the option you choose, an analysis of other options and what if you do nothing for the moment?

I have been in your shoes although I was older and had a previous career. Would I stump up 100K today. NO. Would I join the RAF or apply to BA for a few years? Yes.

The choice is yours, good luck in whatever you decide is right for both you and your family
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 06:52
  #51 (permalink)  
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BALPA | How To Become A Pilot


If you have not already read this pamphlet made by BALPA, it might be a good idea do do it now.

Realize that getting a job after the "flexicrew" scam is completed is slim, and that luck, not skill will be the deciding factor in whether you are among the very few that will get a decent job.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 15:19
  #52 (permalink)  
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I'm not here to offer any sort of informed opinion on the aviation industry, as I am a wannabe myself. I just want to say that Buggington is far from naive, especially for a 17 year old.

He has done far more research into becoming a pilot than nearly anyone who I've met at open days, flight schools and even CTC interview days. He clearly has his head screwed on and should be commended for that, not patronised. He has come to the right place to get info and is carrying out due diligence.

My only advice would be to take things slow and enjoy your life a bit first. You may always regret not living life to the full and seeing the world when you're young. 100k is enough to mean that you won't be enjoying life for quite a long period of time, you will be living to pay bills and that ain't fun. If Uni isn't your thing, don't sweat it, get a factory job, these are well paid and will help you to finance your training whilst allowing you to enjoy your teens and travel a bit. These experiences will help you mature as a person and stand to you in interviews.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 17:10
  #53 (permalink)  
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G.S. Willy: Thanks - I've got "So you want to be a pilot" from GAPAN. I've gotta say, if by this point I haven't worked out that the Flexicrew thing is bad and that I probably wouldn't get a job, I shouldn't be a pilot.

Just out of interest, how long has Flexicrew been around? Is it just since the downturn of 2007/8?

Bex & Nabanoba: Thanks for the support there I've been talking to my parents, and they seem to be in less of a rush than me. They're also following this thread, and are also slightly shocked at what they've read. It's a stark contrast to anything OAA or CTC have said. Hopefully, given my current college and work situation I should be able to defer any decision until about December, so there's a lot of time to think about things and doing research.

Truck: I looked into the RAF, but unfortunately I have four eyes (glasses), so that's out. Also, I don't think I'm special. I realise I am not particularly lucky (try me with a coin toss - odds are I'll lose. My sister always wins. Go figure.) or smart. I have paid attention to what's on this thread. I would have to be a complete and utter idiot to totally ignore what's written on here.

Gorter: As I've already mentioned, my parents are also following this thread, and know the same amount as me now. It might not be much, but it's more than I knew this time last week. It sucks that I was born this late, but there's nothing much I can do. Time travel perhaps?

That said, if time travel existed, we probably wouldn't need pilots after all.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 17:25
  #54 (permalink)  
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I have been flying for over 35 years and don't regret it as a career choice, I get to meet some fabulous people, seen most of the world and still enjoy the actual flying.

I have been through all the downturns and seen all the changes in our industry, some for the better, some for the worse.

Flying itself is fabulous, and I am lucky that our side of the industry still enjoys good T&C's, ours have gotten better over the years, while the airline side has gone down.

This downturn in the terms and conditions was in part caused by the crisis in 08, but it has accelerated by the inflow of P2F candidates, now the airlines are very comfortable in using that scam to help their bottom line.

This does not mean that it is the only route into aviation, it has however to many with a bit of money the appearance of the easiest and quickest.

Taken aside the fact that you will end up with a huge debt that will take you 15-20 years to pay back, on a salary that has been significantly reduced, you also run the very high risk that after your first stint as flexi crew you become unemployable.

There are still so many other ways into aviation beside the CTC scheme and the likes, however it has become more and more of a struggle to make it as a career choice.

Going what many here call Modular is far cheaper and carries a far smaller risk of ending up as a failure. The US route is still available to get experience as a flight instructor, as is working at a club here in the UK, then move into Turboprops or regional airliners and work your way up to the airlines, you may actually find along the way that the airlines are not for you, it wasn't a career path I ever contemplated.

Keep asking around, just don't go jumping in at the deep end right away.

Last edited by cldrvr; 26th Feb 2013 at 17:26.
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Old 26th Feb 2013, 22:55
  #55 (permalink)  
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I would say at your age, Bug, listen to the advice of cldrvr!

You will not regret it, believe me! Go modular, take your time, FIC, maybe even go and instruct in US or UK, there are jobs available this route, it might take time, but the secret is not what you know, it is who you know!

Going CTC / OAA, today unless the BA program is hopeless!

In 1992, when I was intending to go commercial, I also wore glasses, I was outside my CAA's requirement, +/- 3, and my only option was to go to US and gain experience, and hope they would give me medical based on this!
15 years later, the requirements had changed, now they are +/- 5, and I was suddenly within requirements, and I got my class 1 medical, it just shows, patience does work!

I got my first aviation job last year, at the age of 43, so it does work!

The money you will spend with CTC, will not give you any guarantees of anything, it is very likely that you will still need to pay for a TR at a later stage, so that amount you expect will rise, and unless your parents have unlimited funds, so will your needs.
With CTC / OAA expect at least to spend 120.000 - 150.000 - incl. TR, living expenses and maintaining your licence!

Modular you will by unlucky if you spend half of the 120.000, probably close to 40.000, than FIC - working getting experience / contacts - and if lucky you might not even need to pay for your TR!

At your age, why the heck is your main ambition to get into Airbus or Boeing first, when you arrive there, flying will be much less fun than it will be if you follow this route as suggested!

The thing, you can also work during the time you train, so your debts will be much less!
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 10:19
  #56 (permalink)  

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Just as another anecdote, with the demise of bmibaby last year, (the failure of an airline is not an unfamiliar story these days), experienced pilots in the LHS, with 10000+ hours, aged 50+, are now back in the RHS doing the job you aspire to do aged 19(?) having finished your ATPL training.

That is career progression for you in this industry.

So plan for a possible 30 years climbing the ladder only to find yourself back at the bottom of it again at least once when you calculate the NPV of your future earnings to see if it justifies your chosen career path.

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Old 27th Feb 2013, 10:42
  #57 (permalink)  
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SR71 has a very valid point. If by misfortune you find yourself redundant at some point in your career it can be almost impossible to get back into the industry. P2F has created this ridiculous system where a experienced pilot can get dumped out of the system and then is unable to get a job because some airlines want cadets to sit in the RHS touching nothing for six months before the next lot come in. This could easily be you. Friends of mine have 500 hrs on type but now can't go in as a cadet but don't have enough hours for the small number of DEP positions.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 12:11
  #58 (permalink)  
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Absolutely agree. Only been flying commercially a few years despite chasing the dream for a decade. All that frustration and pain before finding a paid flying job... I now realise, it had it's purpose in life whilst allowing me to develop skills I may need one day when my airline employer goes to dust.

Proper career's are protected by fair-minded senior staff with backbone, sometimes industry regulators and very often lobby groups. They guarantee those with experience; the most to lose and the least to gain from unemployment, the right to further employability. This is, therefore, no longer a career in my eyes and I long for a part time opportunity where I can satisfy the aviation bug in me whilst being in the comfort of knowing that my second source of income will never let me down.
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Old 27th Feb 2013, 22:26
  #59 (permalink)  
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if you think I'm naive, try going to the CTC and OAA open days. The naivety of the current cadets there is quite amazing - one of the guys I spoke to couldn't even give me a typical starting salary
I don't think there is a typical starting salary anymore!

Back in 2005, my first year salary as a 200h cadet FO on Boeing was 29K basic plus flight pay and pension, in full time permanent employment. Year 2 became 39K basic, Year 3 - 41K. Change of operator and as SFO, basic increased to 52K plus decent pension contributions, etc. My P60s floated between 62-70K.

Since 2011 I've been laid off twice (both airlines still exist, they just like to save bucks). The best deal going for me in the UK at the moment is 27 weeks temporary summer contract work worth 26K gross (I'm lucky to get this position). Out of this has to come many costs... accountant fees, national insurance for employer(!) and employee, commuting, temporary digs. No pension, no job security. No choice left but to follow in the footsteps of many of my previous co-workers and leave the UK - or leave the industry.

And then we read on here EZY will take on 400+ pilots next year, sorry - Flexicrew cadets each earning 6,000 over 6 months. Well you can be rostered 1,000 duty hours over those months, so I would say 6 an hour is a typical Jet FO starting pay here in the UK right now.
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Old 1st Mar 2013, 15:25
  #60 (permalink)  
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As an ex flexi pilot all I can say is avoid it like the plague! Seriously do not consider it, do not try and rationalise it, justify it, reason with it or convince yourself its a way to get in. Just say NO! I can give you cold hard numbers on just how much I got working for ezy and how much I physically had to pay. It isn't nice reading and I can assure you a lot of other guys can say the same.

You're 17. Do what I was doing at 17 and enjoy yourself, drink the white lightning in the park and chase the skirt. Do this while you have no responsibility or 100k loans to repay. We all understand the enthusiasm but theres no need to waste your youth chasing white elephants. I was 26 when I first jumped in a da20 and 29 when I strapped an airbus to my ass. It may have been a long wait but I appreciated every minute of training, something my younger colleagues didn't. Work, save and hope for the industry to recover and pray flexi crew can become a thing of the past. 17 year olds jumping at the chance to be a flexi pilot will not do you any long term favours.

I would suggest against uni nowadays as thats just as expensive. But thats just my own opinion.

Good luck and don't rush!

Edited for crap grammar.

Last edited by Sprinkles; 3rd Mar 2013 at 08:21.
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