Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By Melanie Moxon
#1697535
I wasn’t sure whether this wanted to be in General Aviation or Student Pilots, if it is in the wrong place mods please move :)

This question is purely hypothetical as I don’t have the finances to take either route at the moment, however, hear me out. I currently have 160 hours fixed wing time, nearly 70 of those happily spent bumbling around in the Slingsby T67M Firefly that I am a shareholder of. I have been thinking for a while now about a change in career as I am stagnating at work as the opportunities for progression are minimal, we have lost several good engineers to other sites and some have left the company because of this.

As I said I have been thinking about a career change and commercial aviation seems as good a way as any to do that so I have been thinking about a couple of routes to go down, the first, Route 1 is the most obvious; continue flying fixed wing and build up my hours, do my Aerobatics sign off as planned and do my IR(R) with a school that will enable it to be used as part of the competency based route to a IR and of course get that 300nm cross country in. Then do the ATPL TK exams (seems a sensible route to go down rather than doing the CPL and IR TK exams separate), then do the CPL and full IR.

Route 2 is to start from scratch and go for a CPL(H), this route is hideously expensive, it’s from scratch so nothing really to expand on with this route.

All ATPL exams in both cases would be distance learning. Having reviewed the requirements I see no reason why I can’t get a class 1 medical (though I would get one before forking out for any CPL oriented training).

Now for a moment imagine that I have all the money I need sat in my bank account ready to hand over to an appropriate flying school for either route the million dollar question is which route will have the better job prospects?

Bear in mind that I have no interest in flying big jets at all, I’d be looking at wanting to fly smaller twins (say up to Islander size) or preferably single turbines (e.g. PC-12’s, C208’s). I have no real preference with helicopters, though I appreciate some roles (e.g. SAR) may likely prefer ex-military pilots. I guess the which route has the better chance of finding a job. Or genuinely am I better off stagnating for the next 30 years to retirement in my current job and just carry on flying on a weekend for fun.
Last edited by Melanie Moxon on Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By G-BLEW
#1697539
Melanie, are you anywhere near Manchester? If so, why not pop along to our Pilot Careers Live event on July 6th?

It's a huge subject with lots of variables, I'll be there and would be happy to talk through the various options. If you can't make Manchester, let me know and we can talk on the phone.

Ian
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By diverdriver
#1697554
It can be done while in full time employment, I have done so and I know others who have. In my case I chose not to go in to aviation full time but have had lots of interesting times being an FI and also flying Islanders and C208s for parachute dropping. Spare income then went on various aerobatic activities, when time permitted.
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#1697584
G-BLEW wrote:Melanie, are you anywhere near Manchester? If so, why not pop along to our Pilot Careers Live event on July 6th?

It's a huge subject with lots of variables, I'll be there and would be happy to talk through the various options. If you can't make Manchester, let me know and we can talk on the phone.

Ian


I don’t live near but I could travel (3 hour drive) I will check my diary

Thanks for the offer if I can't make PCL I will take you up on that.

Ben K wrote:Why not follow your (ex) colleagues to other sites, and use all that money to keep on flying for fun?


If I had the money, I need t o figure that part out :?

I could I suppose but I rather like the area I live in and if I were to relocate away from all it and of course my family and virtually all of my friends it would have to be for something that I truly and utterly wanted to do rather than more of the same with a bit of progression if that makes sense? Unless I could go into commercial aviation flying the company shuttle of course…there’s a thought.

diverdriver wrote:It can be done while in full time employment, I have done so and I know others who have. In my case I chose not to go in to aviation full time but have had lots of interesting times being an FI and also flying Islanders and C208s for parachute dropping. Spare income then went on various aerobatic activities, when time permitted.


Interesting option and something I hadn’t considered and might be worth looking at, though it might mean moving unless one of the local airfields needed an FI.
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By Bathman
#1697585
To be honest I wouldn't bother going to Flyer Live as I really don't think it caters for you needs. In fact I find the whole escapade a bit embarrassing and is purely a vehicle to sell unknowledgeable parents expensive fATPL/IR courses.

May I suggest you chat to a few people locally? I’m sure someone in your group we be able to point you in the right direction. If not speak to some of the local PPL and CPL schools and ask what they think is the best route for you.

Personally I think CBIR training in your own aircraft would be a good start.

And at the moment every school needs an FI.
Last edited by Bathman on Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By Ben K
#1697588
diverdriver wrote:It can be done while in full time employment, I have done so and I know others who have. In my case I chose not to go in to aviation full time but have had lots of interesting times being an FI and also flying Islanders and C208s for parachute dropping. Spare income then went on various aerobatic activities, when time permitted.


This, and as above, right now FIs are in high demand
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By BoeingBoy
#1697597
Hi Melanie,

Having retired from the airlines five years ago I would not recommend anyone go near the profession unless you are determined to be treated badly and abuse your health for the next thirty plus years. The good times have gone, and so have the salaries and pensions. There are many other professions that offer much better lifestyle and job satisfaction. That said, if you have to fly.....you have to fly!

Frankly integrated courses are really only for those in their early twenties who the airlines can cream the best of and mould them into their chosen corporate model. The older you are the less likely you are to get first pickings at the best (relative term) airlines.

I'm glad you realise that there are other forms of flying and if you can manage a modular course at your own pace and expense then there are opportunities that bring far more satisfaction than main stream jets, although sadly, as has been said, they rarely pay well and at times can be arduous.

Instructing is poorly paid but rewarding if you enjoy teaching.
Corporate is hard to get into and tends to be a 24/7 chauffeur's job unless you're lucky to find a good employer.
Survey work is interesting but arduous in hours and effort.
Smaller airlines operating turbo props offer good experience in both weather and handling but can be hard work. That said, the hours are usually a lot more sociable than jet operators.

With a lot of movement in the recruitment world air taxi and charity flying abroad is now more open but again, it's not a long term life style for most.

Bottom line is that unless you are determined to spend your life flying, spend what you can on enjoying it as a hobby and do something else to afford it.

Whatever you choose go with your heart, but keep your eyes open and your wallet close to your chest.

Good Luck.
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By Bill McCarthy
#1697682
Scrub round all of that - join the military (I’m biased - the RN) and get paid while you learn - you have a bit of an advantage with your existing license.
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By TheFarmer
#1697700
Mel, me old mucker,

Become a self employed plumber/plasterer, and with the profits buy a TB20 and a house in France. Fly to it every fortnight for a three day break, lie back on your Gucci sun lounger in your leopard-skin thong*, and watch all the magenta-tinged commercial button-pressers go back and forth at FL31 earning their money just before they drive back home from the airport looking miserable as sin.

Don’t do it.

* Other prints are available.
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By PeteM
#1697722
I suspect some of the answer may be in the question. Why do you feel your career is stagnating? Why are promotion prospects so poor? Much of this may come from dissatisfaction with what you are doing or being in very specialised area with a single employer.

So lack of ambition or a lack of desire to move - how will a career change help either of those? You will be competing against people who 'will fly for food' or even less payment. The sort of roles you are talking about are largely filled by part timers - they can out compete most folk. Nearly all will require relocation which you do not seem too keen on - so how will that work?

Either you fly reasonably well paid for an airline and want and accept all that entails, or you progress in whatever your existing career is and burn the money on what you want to do. Whatever you currently do appears to support a reasonable mount of flying so perhaps it is not so bad? Or it just needs a bit more push?

These are not judgements - simply questions - the answer to which you probably know.
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By lobstaboy
#1697727
TheFarmer wrote:Mel, me old mucker,

Become a self employed plumber/plasterer, and with the profits buy a TB20 and a house in France. Fly to it every fortnight for a three day break, lie back on your Gucci sun lounger in your leopard-skin thong*, and watch all the magenta-tinged commercial button-pressers go back and forth at FL31 earning their money just before they drive back home from the airport looking miserable as sin.

Don’t do it.

* Other prints are available.


Almost the perfect post from The Farmer. I'd have given it a like, only he meant FL310.

Careers are funny things. Job satisfaction comes from what you actually do on a day to day basis, not what the job title is or what skills you are using.
I mean things like interaction with colleagues and customers. Physical environment. Variety. Opportunity to learn. Managing others.
You can work in a way that suits your personality in many different careers - knowing what your personality is like is the key.

I enjoy earning money by instructing others in the art of flying. But I could never have done it daily for years trying to earn a living.

It's a mistake to make a career (or to start a business) doing something that you love - it ruins it for you.
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By TheFarmer
#1697728
I meet people week in, week out, who are disgruntled with their careers.

Same old story.

1. Go down a career route.
2. Get a bit specialised
3. Get promoted.
4. Earn a bigger salary
5. Buys a bigger house
6. Get promoted
7. Buy bigger house
8. Book into local public school for Arabella and Tarq’
9. Wake up one morning to do the 0511 train from [enter name of posh suburban train station here] and realise that life has one trapped.
10. Consider a career change and realise it can’t be afforded.
11. Spend ‘X’ time being miserable until the horns of the bull get grabbed and something is done about it.

The trick from what I can see is to avoid item 5, 7 and 8.

Avoid 11 at all costs. I’ve seen it rip the soul out of men.

It’s really not that difficult to change direction in life, but it needs some balls.
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