Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1807600
Some sensible input above IMHO.

I think that anyone spending money on commercial flying training at the moment, needs to think very carefully indeed. Even spending money on instructor ratings could require some realistic thought; new PPLs could be few and far between if the economy does collapse the way some believe it will. Getting a fATPL via the now typical 18 month integrated route is surely not very sensible, for all the reasons stated above.

I can see the sense in gaining a PPL, getting some experience, adding a night rating, an instrument rating of some sort, doing it in the style of the old self-improver route and just enjoying the journey slowly. That way you can be ready to react when things pick up. They will, but there is a lot of surplus to soak up judging by the various friends in hold pools, in part time working or with no job at all.

Aviation is hard. It always has been.

On the flip side, it is filled with the most amazing experiences. The views, the destinations, the cultures (though this becomes less so with modern LOCO operations), it kinda makes it all worthwhile. Until you can't pay the mortgage and need something else to fall back on. The advice to go and get some solid training and experience in another field before trying aviation has never been more appropriate.

As someone who relies on instructing and examining to help pay for my toys, I am not going to get excited about the next year or two. When it does bounce back, it will be a very different industry IMHO and I have to say I am fortunate to be in the GA side and not the airline side of the industry. However, fully aware that ALL parts of aviation are creaking currently.

Prospective pilots...?

Don't overpay for training.
Much like @Flintstone says, resist paying for type ratings; if only everyone stuck together it wouldn't happen. Bonding is fair and personally I have also honoured both of those I have done.
Do what you think is right, so long as you have thought long and hard about it. Tenacity pays dividends, but job markets are tough normally, let alone now or in the short term future.
Be in it for the long term.
#1807608
I think the integrity shown by BALPA is commendable. :thumleft: Were one of my children considering hocking themselves to the eyeballs, as an outsider, I'd pay for my offspring's membership to this organisation that appears to show an old-fashioned morality to it's members, rather than milking them dry in the name of "good business"
Stampe liked this
#1807616
I wonder how many will simply leave the industry, unable to weather the next couple of years? I already know of some who have taken early retirement, mostly old timers on 'A' scale salaries so no real hardship, but there will be others who cannot afford to maintain their ratings.

There will be a reduction in numbers, of that I'm sure, but unfortunately not to the point where supply and demand will see a return of sponshorship. If anything the airlines will be less inclined to shell out and the backlog of pay-to-flyers will be beating a path to their doors having failed to have learned the lessons of their predecessors.
johnm, AndyR liked this
#1807749
Aerotech Flyer wrote:Be interested to hear from Ian or someone virtually attending the careers two day event whether the current situation is being tackled head on or swept under the virtual carpet?


Lots to unpick here.

We ran a virtual event yesterday - you can still register to view the video output www.pilotcareeerslive.com - it will have a wider audience (YouTube) soon.

We had …

3,500 registered guests
6,400 viewers
34 presentations and 61 presenters

The timing of the BALPA press release and video, and The Guardian article was not a coincidence.

As you can probably imagine there was a broad spectrum of opinions and advice, some saying train now, others saying don't train now.

There is no guaranteed right answer, there is no answer that is right for every individual.

With these events, which we have run throughout Europe (prior to Covid) for over 20 years, we try to provide information and data to people so that they can take a balanced and informed decision. As has been pointed out above, not everyone manages to make the right decision, and often people only gather the information and data that supports their already made up mind.

The fundamental problem is that it takes a minimum of two years to train a pilot, usually a bit longer. If someone chooses the modular rather than integrated route, that time can be five years or longer. It's not so much about when you start your training as about when you finish, and that means predicting airline recovery in a period of two to five years, and that's pretty much impossible. Remember, those who have recently graduated, and those who will graduate in the next 12 months started their training when the industry was booming.

It should be obvious, but the current situation is no guarantee of future outcomes. If someone is planning a 30 - 40 year commercial flying career, Covid won't be the only event with the potential to disrupt your life. A flying career is perhaps more like a roller coaster track than a railway line!

So what about the MPL? Sadly, many people are confusing the benefits of the MPL with the recent commercial treatment. The MPL has proven to be a very successful way of training people to fly airliners., but the MPL 'brand' took a very serious body blow recently.

Given that the initial licence is limited to not only a type but an airline* it is perhaps unfair that the student has to shoulder all of the financial risk. That has not always been the case, but as Flintstone pointed out, people signed the contracts. Buying professional flight training is a HUGE financial commitment, purchasers absolutely should do their research and their due diligence. In ALL cases, people should not pay for all of their training upfront.

*While the MPL presents a challenge, I understand that the UK CAA is looking at individual MPL cases to see how they can be helped, In some cases I understand that people will be able to convert to another airline on completion of an operational conversion course, others who are not so far along the MPL pathway will have to look at other options. Some ATOs have handles this in better ways than others.

Finally, a while ago I wrote a short piece about training in troubled times. It's available here
Aerotech Flyer liked this
#1807751
PS For another view of the BALPA statement, have a look at [url=https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/andy-oshea-refutes-balpas-unnecessarily-negative-andy-o-shea-fraes/?trackingId=x5WCLDfIhP%2BVXiLfBrE10g%3D%3D]Linked in piece, written by Andy O'Shea who was Ryanair's head of training for many many years (now retired).

PPS The info about Ryanair selling Type Ratings at above market rates may have been true, but a couple of years ago they dropped the cost fo £5k I think, way below market rates

PPPS I have a great deal of sympathy with @Flintstone's view that TRs should not be paid for by the pilot. Ironically, I think the practice is probably more rife in the bizjet world than it is in the airline world.

Ian
#1807759
G-BLEW wrote:
So what about the MPL? Sadly, many people are confusing the benefits of the MPL with the recent commercial treatment. The MPL has proven to be a very successful way of training people to fly airliners., but the MPL 'brand' took a very serious body blow recently.

Given that the initial licence is limited to not only a type but an airline* it is perhaps unfair that the student has to shoulder all of the financial risk. That has not always been the case, but as Flintstone pointed out, people signed the contracts. Buying professional flight training is a HUGE financial commitment, purchasers absolutely should do their research and their due diligence.

I think there has been a certain amount of bad faith in both the industry and the authority. A bunch of frozen ATPL graduates had their PPLs deleted because the CAA said that the company doing the training was not authorised to grant/test/whatever the PPL. But they were authorised for the higher licence? Wherever the fault lay, it was not with the students - who now have to spend more money to get “back” the licence they used during training...........
Stampe, BoeingBoy liked this
#1807844
G-BLEW wrote:PPPS I have a great deal of sympathy with @Flintstone's view that TRs should not be paid for by the pilot. Ironically, I think the practice is probably more rife in the bizjet world than it is in the airline world.

Ian


Its the opposite in the biz jet world and very much frowned upon, those who do decide to pay for their own initial type ratings very rarely get a position they were hoping for.
BobM liked this
#1807857
Surprising candid and - without doubt - a fair assessment of the short to medium term outlook.
Yes - a number of pilots are retiring early & some will throw in the towel .. but the pool of the remaining unemployed ( or partially employed) experienced aviators who still want to fly is vast and will take a huge amount of time to 'mop up' -
The industry will recover slowly & lets be honest - we'd take 80% capacity in a shot as an aim for 2 years time. But even at that rate there would still be a huge number of qualified commercial pilots in the UK looking for work...( Let alone any recently qualified newbies..)
This situation is much graver than previous air industry recessions and its pointless making comparisons with those times...
#1807861
Lockhaven wrote:Its the opposite in the biz jet world and very much frowned upon, those who do decide to pay for their own initial type ratings very rarely get a position they were hoping for.


That's good to know, but different to what I have been told, particularly for first biz jet job pilots.

Ian
#1807891
G-BLEW wrote:
Lockhaven wrote:Its the opposite in the biz jet world and very much frowned upon, those who do decide to pay for their own initial type ratings very rarely get a position they were hoping for.


That's good to know, but different to what I have been told, particularly for first biz jet job pilots.

Ian


OK, so it’s not a jet, but try getting a PC12 job without a type rating in your pocket. Same side of the industry, albeit not with quite such wealthy clients. However, the biz jet pilots I know have had theirs paid and bonded.
G-BLEW liked this
#1807907
AndyR wrote:
G-BLEW wrote:
Lockhaven wrote:Its the opposite in the biz jet world and very much frowned upon, those who do decide to pay for their own initial type ratings very rarely get a position they were hoping for.


That's good to know, but different to what I have been told, particularly for first biz jet job pilots.

Ian


OK, so it’s not a jet, but try getting a PC12 job without a type rating in your pocket. Same side of the industry, albeit not with quite such wealthy clients. However, the biz jet pilots I know have had theirs paid and bonded.


Can’t speak for the PC12 part of the industry, however last year I had an interview with a corporate turboprop operator as I was looking for a lifestyle change and they were fully prepared to pay for my rating with a small bond.

As for the biz jet side I have flown all shorts of them for the last 30 years and never paid for a type rating myself, occasionally just been bonded, usually over a two year period which is fine and works both ways for me and the employer.

In the end I decided not to take the turboprop position and stayed with the operation I had been with for the pervious 5 years, then this year I saw a biz jet position advertised that offered a better lifestyle, got the job on a new type with no bond and the employer paid for everything based on trust, which goes a very long way in our side of the industry.
G-BLEW, AndyR liked this
#1807912
G-BLEW wrote:Out of interest, is that similar for those entering the biz jet world for the first time?

Ian


For the right person yes, its not all about hours and experience in this side of aviation, its about being a team player, thinking on your feet and being able to help yourself rather than sitting back and letting others do everything for you.