Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

#1770362
Helloo flying people

I'm Ciarian, 24 yr old guy who currently works on large generator engines......recently the lockdown has got me thinking about my life, the things I want to do, my career, etc. I've always had a keen interest in flying and often play flight sim games on PC and console and I've always wanted to be a fighter pilot, unfortunately, my eyesight does not allow that but another route to making a career flying is becoming an airline pilot!

Now my research the past few months has lead me to the realization that an Integrated course is far too expensive for me and pretty much impossible. I don't have a house or 100k+ to secure any sort of loan against...Nor can I afford to give up work for 2 years. However, my job now pays a decent wage and I think I could manage a modular route. I don't mind spending longer working towards a goal and even if I gave up halfway I've gained some pretty cool skills

Also during my googling, I've found many pages detailing modular routes but some mention courses and ratings that others do not. My question for you guys is what would be a definitive path/timeline to a frozen ATPL modular style (course ratings etc). ATPL Theory for me would have to be done at distance learning to allow me to maintain full-time work. Any recommendations for flight schools to do said courses would be great (i live in a small town near Leicester).

thank you in advance for the help
#1770404
Um, I hate to tell you this but it would be a very brave soul who would do what you are considering just at the moment....
If you dream of flying, far better to work hard in your existing career and fly for fun - investigate that and you will find it's not as expensive as you might think.
#1770500
Yes. There's likely to be a huge downturn in the requirement for airline pilots over the next couple of years. Most of those that I know are not working and don't know how secure their jobs are. Think laterally and look for something else to do in aviation that might be tweaked to give you some flying as well........
Aircraft engineers can do post-maintenance test flights - if they are suitably qualified and experienced. Companies designing and building new (small) aircraft are out there. The pay for these things may not be as good as you can get elsewhere but happiness has a value as well.
Get "out there", online if necessary and "meet" people in the business. Most jobs come by word of mouth and personal recommendation in "odd" fields and being in the right place, at the right time, in the eyeline of somebody who is looking to employ is always going to be the "best" way to get this sort of role.
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#1770568
lobstaboy wrote:Um, I hate to tell you this but it would be a very brave soul who would do what you are considering just at the moment....
If you dream of flying, far better to work hard in your existing career and fly for fun - investigate that and you will find it's not as expensive as you might think.



I was gonna do that anyway but this would be something that I would spend years doing not just try bash it all out in 4/5. Slow gradual build.
#1770581
I trained via the modular route and am now a 737 FO (furloughed).

I followed this route: PPL, Night Rating, ATPL theory & hour building, CPL, IR & MEP Class Rating, MCC & JOC. I worked full time during my training until I got to the IR where I was lucky enough to pool my leave and take some unpaid leave to give me 2 months off work. As soon as I finished, I was straight back in the old job earning money while applying for flying jobs.

The job market was reasonable when I qualified in 2015 but it still took me 15 months to get a job offer. In that time I passed the Flight Instructor course, and got a Class Rating on the Cessna 208 and flew skydivers. As others have mentioned, the job market is non-existent at the moment but there are more jobs in aviation than being an airline pilot.

I suggest your first step is to take a trial lesson at an airfield close by, Leicestershire Aero Club may be a good start.

Good luck - keep asking as many questions as you need to :thumleft:
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#1770600
Arrow Flyer wrote:I trained via the modular route and am now a 737 FO (furloughed).

I followed this route: PPL, Night Rating, ATPL theory & hour building, CPL, IR & MEP Class Rating, MCC & JOC. I worked full time during my training until I got to the IR where I was lucky enough to pool my leave and take some unpaid leave to give me 2 months off work. As soon as I finished, I was straight back in the old job earning money while applying for flying jobs.

The job market was reasonable when I qualified in 2015 but it still took me 15 months to get a job offer. In that time I passed the Flight Instructor course, and got a Class Rating on the Cessna 208 and flew skydivers. As others have mentioned, the job market is non-existent at the moment but there are more jobs in aviation than being an airline pilot.

I suggest your first step is to take a trial lesson at an airfield close by, Leicestershire Aero Club may be a good start.

Good luck - keep asking as many questions as you need to :thumleft:


Thabk ylu for your help :D
#1770610
Arrow Flyer wrote:I trained via the modular route and am now a 737 FO (furloughed).

I followed this route: PPL, Night Rating, ATPL theory & hour building, CPL, IR & MEP Class Rating, MCC & JOC. I worked full time during my training until I got to the IR where I was lucky enough to pool my leave and take some unpaid leave to give me 2 months off work. As soon as I finished, I was straight back in the old job earning money while applying for flying jobs.

The job market was reasonable when I qualified in 2015 but it still took me 15 months to get a job offer. In that time I passed the Flight Instructor course, and got a Class Rating on the Cessna 208 and flew skydivers. As others have mentioned, the job market is non-existent at the moment but there are more jobs in aviation than being an airline pilot.

I suggest your first step is to take a trial lesson at an airfield close by, Leicestershire Aero Club may be a good start.

Good luck - keep asking as many questions as you need to :thumleft:



I think by the time i have all the rating and stuff needed things should have picked up again xD
#1770619
You are only 24 years old.

Take it slowly, have some fun along the way and even if it is 10 years until the market is screaming for pilots again (and realise that it could never actually happen), you will have made contacts, had some amazing experiences and met some fabulous people.

Don't not do it though. If you want to fly, then just do it.

Plenty of people told me that I was stupid to pursue a commercial flying career, when I finally decided to take the plunge, which was when I was 43 years old. I had held a PPL for several years, flown a lot and decided that I would regret going to my grave without trying. It just so happened that was 2008, when we had a big financial crash.

OK, so it took me until Christmas 2012 to get that first full time job offer as a pilot, but I got it. This game is all about tenacity.

However, I would not recommend starting that late in life for the airline world. I did end up with a couple of offers. I didn't take them. I am glad I didn't as they both went bust. Things have changed since I did my training and if you want to go to the airlines for sure, then follow that route religiously. Nothing is safe though, as has just been proved. There are some young guys out there now with huge debts and no job.

To quote Flyingfemme: "The pay for these things may not be as good as you can get elsewhere but happiness has a value as well."
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#1770734
Thank you everyone for the advice ill take it all on board as i go forward. I'm definitely going to do it and start the process as soon as i can. It will probably take a few years due to costs and everything. I'll deffo regret not at least trying. I'm lucky enough that my current job had provided me with a skill set that I can always fall back on so ill always have that in my pocket if needed :D
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#1773017
ciarian wrote:Helloo flying people

I'm Ciarian, 24 yr old guy who currently works on large generator engines......recently the lockdown has got me thinking about my life, the things I want to do, my career, etc. I've always had a keen interest in flying and often play flight sim games on PC and console and I've always wanted to be a fighter pilot, unfortunately, my eyesight does not allow that but another route to making a career flying is becoming an airline pilot!

Now my research the past few months has lead me to the realization that an Integrated course is far too expensive for me and pretty much impossible. I don't have a house or 100k+ to secure any sort of loan against...Nor can I afford to give up work for 2 years. However, my job now pays a decent wage and I think I could manage a modular route. I don't mind spending longer working towards a goal and even if I gave up halfway I've gained some pretty cool skills

Also during my googling, I've found many pages detailing modular routes but some mention courses and ratings that others do not. My question for you guys is what would be a definitive path/timeline to a frozen ATPL modular style (course ratings etc). ATPL Theory for me would have to be done at distance learning to allow me to maintain full-time work. Any recommendations for flight schools to do said courses would be great (i live in a small town near Leicester).

thank you in advance for the help


I'd recheck that, From the RAF's website:
"Whatever role you’re applying for, your spectacle or contact lens correction must not be greater than -7 dioptres or +8 dioptres in any meridian. If you have impaired colour perception (colour blindness) it won’t prevent you from joining the RAF, but it may limit what roles you can choose."

I am sure that the Fleet Air Arm has similar requirements.

Check out Plane Old Ben's videos on YouTube, he does a great job of detailing what goes into distance learning and getting all the bits needed for your ATPL.

As others have said, you are brave for wanting to do this now! I'd get your PPL (FYI 3-Axis microlight hours now count) and go from there, you say you live near Leicester, well there are several nearby airports including Leicester Airport (EGBG), just east of Stoughton, I think their flight school gets a good rep.

Whatever you decide to do, have fun and good luck :thumleft:
#1773049
Melanie Moxon wrote:I'd recheck that, From the RAF's website:
"Whatever role you’re applying for, your spectacle or contact lens correction must not be greater than -7 dioptres or +8 dioptres in any meridian. If you have impaired colour perception (colour blindness) it won’t prevent you from joining the RAF, but it may limit what roles you can choose."


Not sure of you point...but the OP mentioned "fighter pilot" as opposed to joining the RAF in a ground role... Im pretty sure the eyesight requirements are higher than -7/+8 correction for initial flight crew training...

Regards, SD..
Melanie Moxon liked this
#1773064
skydriller wrote:
Melanie Moxon wrote:I'd recheck that, From the RAF's website:
"Whatever role you’re applying for, your spectacle or contact lens correction must not be greater than -7 dioptres or +8 dioptres in any meridian. If you have impaired colour perception (colour blindness) it won’t prevent you from joining the RAF, but it may limit what roles you can choose."


Not sure of you point...but the OP mentioned "fighter pilot" as opposed to joining the RAF in a ground role... Im pretty sure the eyesight requirements are higher than -7/+8 correction for initial flight crew training...

Regards, SD..


Honestly there are so many conflicting things on the internet from seemingly legitimate sources that it is incredibly hard to pin down. I have also seen 6/12 correctable to 6/6 and 20/70 correctable to 20/20, the RAF's own recruitment page simply says "Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew." which is rather unhelpful.

Apologies, that data also came from here:
https://www.flying-start.org/military-f ... air-force/

This link gives the Navy requirements in some detail:
http://c69011.r11.cf3.rackcdn.com/eccb6 ... 08-0x0.pdf

+/-6.0 for all non chaplain roles.

If the OP really wants that he should as C.W. Lemoine would say "make em tell you no".
#1773385
Melanie Moxon wrote: I'd get your PPL (FYI 3-Axis microlight hours now count)...


No - there are multiple threads referencing this at the moment. Microlight hours will not count towards the issue of an SEP PPL. The recent changes only allow 3-axis microlight hours to count towards revalidation of an existing SEP/TMG rating
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