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ATR at home base or A320 abroad...

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ATR at home base or A320 abroad...

Old 22nd Aug 2018, 14:00
  #1 (permalink)  
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ATR at home base or A320 abroad...

Dear ppruners,

I have myself a predicament, not a bad one to have but a predicament none the less....
My background, plus 1500hrs, been flying since 2011, single, no kids etc. I'm in my early 30s

I've been offered an FO position at my home base on an ATR with a small but reputable airline in the EU. With my experience I could be offered command as soon as 18 months. I can expect about 750 hours per year.

I've also been offered an FO position on an A320 with a LCC carrier but I would have to relocate to Eastern Europe. This is also a reputable company, based out of the EU. Time for command for the A320 job is about 5 years and I will fly close to max duty per year. This company has over 100 aircraft...

Both companies offer bonds, with decent refund at the end, both bonds are there about 4 years. So I see them as about even in this respect.

My problem: I've already lived abroad for many years and I would love to be at home. I've never had an airline job, just piston and corporate. Logic tells me to take the A320 job as it will give me far more opportunities in the future. I've burned a couple of years flying at low hour corporate gigs and feel like my career progression will be further stunted by taking an ATR job when I have a jet one right in front of me.

On the other hand, I would love to fly the ATR first and foremost, I feel like it would be a really fun aircraft and more challenging than the bus. I also really like the company, I've heard good things about the environment there and if/when I make command I'd be on decent money, and of course I'd be at my home. My worry is I may regret this a few years down the line if things start to slow down, I could get stuck in the turbo prop league. Or if the company goes down the shitter I'd be out of a job with an ATR type vs an A320 type, the company has been doing well and is projected to do well. But it clearly has tighter margins than a company with 100 plus aircraft.

Also, if I do move onto a jet later won't I just be a couple years behind myself for the rest of my career by joining the jet league later on??

I've all but made up my mind, but would love to hear anyone's experience or opinion on the matter.....

Thanks all
hugmie is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 10:06
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You already answered your question: ATR.

I've been in similar situation, never regretted.
maximus610 is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 10:31
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a) Quality of life is very important. Living in a bedsit/flat by yourself away from your family and friends in a “foreign” country just to climb up the aviation ladder is a big ask. (I once did it for a year, although not in Eastern Europe).

b) You are young, free and single. Now is the ideal time to live abroad - especially to gain an A320 rating. With that, (half) the world is your oyster.

c) If the company is who I think it is, are they not basing some aircraft in the UK now?, in which case there may be a possibility for you to move to a UK base with them? Or at least have some night stops in the UK.

d) Sadly, a turboprop rating does not seem to count for much. It should do. I flew turboprops for three years before getting onto jets, and I know that turboprop flying is much more challenging and difficult than modern jets. (But more fun, when you are in the mood).

e) If you want to actually FLY, go for the turboprop. The Airbus is not the same flying experience.

Good luck !
Uplinker is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 11:05
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Iím always shocked when I read these things, honestly.

Young, single, early 30s. And you turn down an opportunity because you want to be HOME.
In my mind it begs the question, why did you become a pilot in the first place? Was it not to travel the world, meet new people, enjoy new experiences and cultures?

I must be from another era indeed.
bringbackthe80s is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 11:50
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750 hrs a year on the ATR is way too much, the norm is 450-600/year. As an ATR FO I'd advise you to take the a320; it's a better investment for your future. I would also imagine it would be a way better piece of equipment to work on.

Good luck
KongFlyer is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 11:54
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Quality of life is much more important than chasing the rabbit.

https://airfactsjournal.com/2018/08/chasing-the-rabbit/
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Old 23rd Aug 2018, 12:01
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I always try to remember what an old instructor said to me.

At the end,an aircraft is an aircraft never care about which type you fly, take care about quality of life that is much more important.

Said that, I would personally go for ATR much more fun
liftman is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 16:02
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Originally Posted by bringbackthe80s View Post
Iím always shocked when I read these things, honestly.

Young, single, early 30s. And you turn down an opportunity because you want to be HOME.
In my mind it begs the question, why did you become a pilot in the first place? Was it not to travel the world, meet new people, enjoy new experiences and cultures?

I must be from another era indeed.
Well I've already done the living and working abroad thing for the last 9 years, so home is more of a novelty now! But you do make a valid point!
hugmie is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 17:21
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It took me the best part of a decade to get a job close to home. I flew turboprops and jets in all corners of the globe. It was fantastic for a year or two, but nothing beats a home life. I lived and breathed aviation. Now, 12 years in and flying an A320 for a big airline all that matters to me is my time off. Itís a job. A great job, but at the end of the day just a job. Spend time with those you care about and prioritise them. A flight deck is just a flight deck, and the shiny jet feeling wears off after a month or so.
EMB-145LR is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 17:26
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Originally Posted by EMB-145LR View Post
It took me the best part of a decade to get a job close to home. I flew turboprops and jets in all corners of the globe. It was fantastic for a year or two, but nothing beats a home life. I lived and breathed aviation. Now, 12 years in and flying an A320 for a big airline all that matters to me is my time off. Itís a job. A great job, but at the end of the day just a job. Spend time with those you care about and prioritise them. A flight deck is just a flight deck, and the shiny jet feeling wears off after a month or so.
Lol, shiny jet feeling!
Thanks for your insight!
hugmie is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 17:26
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I guess it's nice to say "it's just a job" when the finances are in order. I'd wager to say that for the new pilots, chasing the rabbit or the financial aspect would be more important as there are debts to pay and goals to tick off, yes? With a healthy bank balance and significant hours of experience opening up good employment options, I guess priorities can then shift to quality of life.
Nurse2Pilot is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 17:35
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Great article Bananna Joe, thanks for sharing!
hugmie is offline  
Old 23rd Aug 2018, 20:43
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Hmm on balance I would suggest going for the Bus. Once youíve got an A320 command then you can go anywhere you like. Iíd suck up a few years in Eastern Europe to get further up the ladder while you still have no ties. The (im)perfect storm could be you settle down at your home base, the industry contracts and youíre now a family man with a less than stellar ticket to take to the next gig. Itís all a bit Ďwhat if what ifí but itís worth some thought.
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Old 24th Aug 2018, 03:35
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Lifestyle. Pay. Aircraft type. In order of priority.
Dan Winterland is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2018, 09:00
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Hugmie, you need to clear up some space so I can reply to your PM.
KongFlyer is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2018, 10:29
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It seems to me that you clearly like the idea of living home, but at the same time you still have some “energy” to do an experience abroad to progress you career.
My only question would be: is that A320 rating EVER going to get you home?
If jet life means living away indefinitely I’d go for the ATR probably, otherwise a few years experience abroad might be worth the effort to get you back home in a better (professional) position, albeit a few years in the future.

Ricky
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Old 24th Aug 2018, 12:05
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Originally Posted by Nurse2Pilot View Post
I guess it's nice to say "it's just a job" when the finances are in order. I'd wager to say that for the new pilots, chasing the rabbit or the financial aspect would be more important as there are debts to pay and goals to tick off, yes? With a healthy bank balance and significant hours of experience opening up good employment options, I guess priorities can then shift to quality of life.
You're making quite a lot of baseless assumptions there. A shame to be so bitter when weíre all offering PERSONAL experiences and opinions. Iíd have done anything to get home earlier in my career, including taking a significant pay cut or moving on to a smaller aircraft even though Iíd have struggled financially to do so.

Incidentally, I didnít realise you had access to my bank account to make yet more baseless comments about the personal situation of a stranger. If youíre just starting out in this industry, youíre going to struggle with that attitude.
EMB-145LR is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2018, 12:11
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I'm not making anything, I'm asking. Might be best to learn the difference before accusing someone of being bitter. I'd appreciate it if you don't project your feelings on my posts. Thanks!
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Old 24th Aug 2018, 12:27
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Originally Posted by Nurse2Pilot View Post
I'm not making anything, I'm asking. Might be best to learn the difference before accusing someone of being bitter. I'd appreciate it if you don't project your feelings on my posts. Thanks!
Iím very happy with my lot and not at all bitter, thanks. A major factor in that was my personal choice to try and prioritise life outside of work. I love what I do for a living, but blindly prioritising it above all else didnít make me happy. Thus, if I found myself in the original posterís position I would take the ATR job, but thatís very much personal preference.

I take exception to the assumptions you made in your post. Having worked extremely hard in the early part of my career has led me to where I am today, and affords me the life experience to share what I learnt. Doesnít mean itís right for everyone, but I certainly donít sit in a gold plated castle offering my opinions to the Ďlittle peopleí at the beginning of their careers.

To the OP; my turboprop flying was by far and away the most fun and rewarding in my career. The Airbus is a pleasant working environment, but the Ďfuní factor isnít the same. Youíre a pilot on one and an operator on the other. If you can afford to, and you want to, Iíd take the ATR job and enjoy life with those you love.
EMB-145LR is offline  
Old 24th Aug 2018, 12:51
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Good to know you're happy with your lot, but might want to review your thought processes that leads you to calling someone bitter based on one post they make.

12 years in the industry and flying an A320 for a big airline is very different from the OP with 1500+ hours (2-3 years flying commercially?) and I would wager to say your financial health is very, very different from the OP. Feel free to show your bank balance if you feel the need to do so to disprove me. You said you worked extremely hard in the early part of your career; isn't the OP exactly at that point in his career? Could you really "prioritise life outside work" with a huge debt + type rating bond hanging over your head?
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