HELP! - Considering Pilot Training - Ideas?

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Leon77ie
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HELP! - Considering Pilot Training - Ideas?

Post by Leon77ie » Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:17 pm

Hey Everybody,

I am new to this forum and am posting this to kindly request thoughts and opinions on whether or not to undergo pilot training. My background is as follows:

I quallified from University of Limerick in 1998 with an honours degree in aeronautical engineering. Immediately after graduating I began working with (the then named) TEAM Aer Lingus which is now SR Technics in Dublin Airport. I spent 5 years working in the engineering department as a development engineer in the airframe systems group, working on Airbus and Boeing aircraft. Since 2003 I have been working for a small software company in Clare. We design and sell a comprehensive system for tracking and handling maintenance records on helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. I have been doing customer support, product testing, assisting in development, customer training and some consultancy work for all levels of aircraft operation (flight schools, MRO's, charter companies and scheduled operators). This job has now run it's course for me and I am considering my next move.

I have often considered undertaking pilot training, but have never had the opportunity to pursue it further due to work and personal commitments. I am now 30, soon to be 31 and feel that if I don't consider the possibility now, I may regret it later on.

I have been looking particularly at the pilot training college in Waterford. If I were to start a course for a CPL next year then I would be 32 or 33 when I would be qualified with a CPL (all going well). My questions are as follows:

1. At the age of 32/33, what would my career prospects look like, realistically? Basically, am I too old to have the same career prospects as someone who would start this in their early 20's?
2. If I were ever to achieve captaincy, how long would this take after graduating, and would I ever have good chances for working on long-haul routes?
3. Has anyone else undergone pilot training at a similar age, and how have you progressed after qualifying and how have you been received in the business?
4. What are the possibilities that I would have to relocate outside of Ireland in order to have better work opportunities? I currently live in the west of Ireland, near Shannon.

I would really appreciate people's thoughts and ideas on this. It is something I would love to consider as I feel it is a lifestyle and career I would really enjoy. But I would like to have as much information as possible under my belt to consider a move like this. Thanks in advance.

All the best,

Noel.

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Post by Wanderlei » Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:07 pm

1/ You would certainly not be too old at 32 to begin training, in fact its very common for people to start in their 30's, same career prospects as a 22 yr old.

2/depends what airline you work for, e.g at ryanair you can be elligible for command after 3 years, whereas british airways takes over 10 years. if long haul was what you wanted, you could definately work towards it.

3/ i cant really comment, i started training at 23, but i know lots of 30 somethings at the same stage of training as me

4/ at the moment the likes of ryanair, aer lingus and aer arann are hiring, unless you go to certain flying schools youre unlikely to get straight into aer lingus, but if youre willing to fund your own type rating you shouldnt have too much difficulty gtting into ryanair and aer arann - so at the moment you would have a good chance of staying in ireland, however its hard to predict if this will be the case a few years from now.

hope that helps

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Thanks

Post by Leon77ie » Thu Oct 11, 2007 2:28 pm

Thanks Wanderlei,

That's great help. Just wanted to get my facts right before I go chasing the medical cert and book an assessment and aptitude test.

Best regards,

Noel

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Post by buzz » Thu Oct 11, 2007 5:49 pm

Have you checked out PPRuNe? If not, do so now. There is plenty of info there, positive and negative. Most questions can be answered in the wannabees section.

As for the rest, I would echo wanderlei's comments.

32 is not too old. If anything it's the perfect time. You are young enough to find the work straightforward enough and old enough, not to be too starry eyed. You also have a precious advantage that younger guys don't have. You have a career to fall back on, if the job situation is slow for you when you qualify.

As for command, well worry about that when you are flying for an airline.
I think it's about seven years for Aer Lingus, if it's still around, the way things are going.

Lots and lots of people have started training in their thirties. Some have even started in their forties and got to fly jets. It's not an issue. The problem you will have is that unless you are particularly bright. The actual learning process is slower, so you may have problems with studying and the flying because you are not longer 17 years old and will find it a little harder to grasp things. However it can be overcome.

You may end up having to go abroad for work. If you get into Ryanair, you could be based anywhere in Europe, No choice given. Although they have a base in Shannon. Ryanair are easily the worst company to fly for, a quick perusal of PPRuNe will demonstrate that. They also expect you to pay for your own type training.

I wouldn't neccessarily put you off training with PTC in Waterford or any of the three Irish schools. However none of them offer an integrated course and in all probability, never will.
I think your best bet is to go integrated with Oxford or FTE in Spain or similar. It is more expensive but the stark reality is that it would give you a head start with airlines. They deny it but the figures speak for themselves. Most of their recruits come from integrated courses these days. That is not to say, modular pilots are not considered, they are. It's just reality.

You mention, lifestyle and career. Read PPRuNe and you will see that the lifestyle is not what it was and the career can be quite shaky at times. The money is good but not that good and Micheal O'Leary is doing his best to make it worse. That is confirmed by my airline pilot friends. Have no illusions. The reality is that in career terms, you would be better off staying where you are and getting a PPL if you like to fly. But if you are fool, like me and the rest of us and really, really want to fly. Then go for it.

I warn you though. I know several people who went through the whole process, got their licence and ratings, spent all the money and still gave it up in bitterness and rancour.

Then again for most it's a dream come true that does turn into a routine job, enjoyable but routine.

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modular

Post by airbus » Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:30 pm

Before you depress us all buzz :cry: i would like to ask the question of why do intergrated trained pilots get first preference by airlines cos at the end of the day all pilots are trained to the full extent when they are fully trained up.

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Post by Michael Jackson » Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:11 am

airbus, it is a known fact that intergrated students are more likely to pass a type rating course then a modular student.
Intergrated students are looked upon of being a higher standard!!!
But from what ive seen, if you want ryanair or aer arann for example go modular but if its your dream to work for BA or aerlingus go Intergrated!
SHAMOON

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Post by Wanderlei » Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:42 pm

If you go down the modular route, it is unlikely you will get into aer lingus and ba. I really think aer lingus only employ a token tiny amount of modular students in order to avoid controversy - and most of them probably have 'contacts'.

HOWEVER!!

It's not all doom and gloom for modulars - a couple of years at 'smaller' airlines or perhaps some flight instructing i.e hour building towards an unfrozen atpl - and doors to the bigger airlines open for you.

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Post by ted » Wed Oct 17, 2007 9:09 am

it is a known fact that intergrated students are more likely to pass a type rating course then a modular student.


Not sure where you got that fact from and dont agree with it at all. Any modular student I have met have never failed a type rating course.

if you want ryanair or aer arann for example go modular but if its your dream to work for BA or aerlingus go Intergrated!


This too is not a fact. Lots of modular students get into BA or Aer Lingus, the difference is, its just not the first job they get. Many of the people who got into Aer Lingus this year where originally from other airlines and were modular.

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Post by buzz » Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:58 pm

I sat in on the Aer Lingus presentation at the recent Flyer show. KOC took them to task for favouring integrated over modular pilots. Captain O'Curry denied this claiming that the majority of their applicants were from integrated schools which in turn was reflected in the numbers recruited.

I would not accuse him of lying, however given the methods of selection which he outlined. I have to say an integrated pilot will have a major advantage. He said they reviewed the training records of the applicant looking for things like consistent progress during training, passing flight tests first time, not having to repeat exams.

You can instantly see there that the modular student will lose out. If you spend a year at an integrated school. There will be a consistent record of achievement or otherwise. A modular pilot, might get his PPL in one school, CPL in another, etc. All spread over a longer time scale. Less info to work on. More opportunity for doubt.

The other thing to remember is that Aer Lingus are fairly new to recruiting other than by sponsoring cadets. On top of this most of their senior pilots were sponsored cadets often from the very schools which produce most of the integrated pilots. The old 'Alma Mater'. I would be highly surprised if there wasn't some bias there.

It's what they're comfortable with. New pilots who spent a year or so training at a school whose standards Aer Lingus is fully aware of. An old boys network of sorts. Kind of like the way some non aviation companies like to choose their staff from certain kinds of schools and colleges. The local comprehensive boys are just not quite good enough. I would even go as far to say that Aer Lingus might even have a similar attitude.

Ryanair recruiters on the other hand, are from all over, military, Iona, NFC. They'll take anyone. They don't care: 'Are you qualified? Do you have the money to pay for it? You're in.


Ted is correct, modular pilots will get in to the likes Aer Lingus but more often than not it will be as experienced and already type rated pilots.

Also agree that there is no difference between modular and integrated pilots when it comes to passing type ratings. I suspect that little myth has been spread by certain school recruiters in order to lure would be students into the fold. :lol:

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Post by Bob » Fri Oct 19, 2007 11:23 pm

I can't remember her name but I asked the HR Representative from Aer Lingus at the Flyer Show, whether or not it mattered, if you'd completed an integrated course over a modular. She basically said that they did preference the structured approach of the integrated course but however there was odd cases of modular students getting through.

I would not accuse him of lying, however given the methods of selection which he outlined. I have to say an integrated pilot will have a major advantage. He said they reviewed the training records of the applicant looking for things like consistent progress during training, passing flight tests first time, not having to repeat exams.


So, does anyone have the inside information on what's thought of an applicant who's completed all their flight training with the same modular school ie. gone to the States or even PTC's course? I've thought of flying in the future, but just can't see the economics in paying near twice as much for the same license.

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Post by buzz » Sat Oct 20, 2007 4:27 pm

My experience and that of friends who are airline pilots is that it hardly matters to any airline except Aer Lingus and maybe the likes of BA.

If you have the usual, CPL/ME/IR MCC and frozen ATPL. You WILL get an interview from one or other airline. After that it's up to you to perform in the sim and at the interview itself.

Remember the airlines are full of modular trained pilots already. Only the likes of Aer Lingus still cling onto the old ways. But even they will have to change eventually.

Really it's quite simple, if you can afford to go integrated, do so by all means. It will give you a slight advantage with certain airlines. Go modular otherwise. The irony of it is this. You can do a modular course as pretty much as if it was integrated. PTC's modular course is integrated in everything but name. Even with the NFC you can pretty much polish off the lot in a year with periods of swanning about in Florida building hours.

You'll probably still end up in Ryanair like everyone else anyway :wink:

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plz explain

Post by libertyxl2flyer » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:25 pm

guys

this sounds realy stupid what is the difference between a modular and an intergrated course i am 16 have my ppl just waiting until i turn 17 to hold the licence and am looking at where and when to do my atpls so if you could explain the difference between the intergrated and modular course's thanks alot :oops:
n550xl make left traffic report midfield downwind cleard for takeoff runway 08

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Re: plz explain

Post by StephenM » Tue Nov 13, 2007 7:58 pm

libertyxl2flyer wrote:guys

this sounds realy stupid what is the difference between a modular and an intergrated course i am 16 have my ppl just waiting until i turn 17 to hold the licence and am looking at where and when to do my atpls so if you could explain the difference between the intergrated and modular course's thanks alot :oops:


I'm guessing that Modular is you do each part individually. And integrated being doing everything in the one course.

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Post by buzz » Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:00 pm

That's it basically. Integrated courses mean going away to a school for a year or so. It starts with ground school and exams, followed by flight training, PPL first working your way through the ratings until you hopefully finish with a JAA CPL/IR Multi, MCC and about 150 to 200 hours. Great, but expect a minimum outlay of 100k Euro. All the flying is included.

Modular, obviously means modules just like it sounds. You start with the PPL. As soon as you complete that you go rent an aircraft and fly until you have the minimum requirements to start training for a CPL. Then you take the CPL module. Do the CPL flight test. This is then followed by the IR and multi modules. Meanwhile you either study for the ATPL ground exams by distance learning or go to a school.

The point of the modular method is that you can do the PPL in one FTO, the CPL in another and all rest wherever you choose. It can be spread over a longer period of time for financial reasons. It is cheaper than integrated. The only criteria is that all the tests must be done under one country's rules.

Which is better? Neither. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Everybody passes exactly the same flight tests and exams. There is no difference. There are those that argue that the integrated schools provide better training. They don't, it's just more consistent. People think the aptitude tests they often ask potential students to do is for the benefit of the student. It isn't, it's for the school. It would cost them money to train slow learners. The real criteria for selection is money. Can you afford it?

Arguably the modular trained pilot is better because he has to be self motivated and a self starter and often gets more 'real world' experience. That isn't to say integrated students are not self motivated. No one is going to hold your hand or call you into their office to know why you didn't fly for a week. It's entirely up to you.

Given the choice ie money. I would go integrated because I think it's easier and quicker. I did it the hard way.

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