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Subjects for A Level to be a pilot and what is required

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    Hey everyone, I'm 16 years old in Y11 doing my exams at the moment. When I leave school, I plan to do Maths, Physics, Computing and Geography in College.

    Currently my GCSE grades should come out with 2 A*, 4A and 6B. My strengths would be in Geography, Maths and Computing and I plan to do Aeronautical Engineering in University. Now after Uni, I want to work as a Pilot but I heard there's specific training required and unless you get a scholarship, it will cost over £90k. I just want to know what training is required and how would I be able to get into it. Also what subjects should I do in A level for wanting to be a pilot?

    Thanks in advance.
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    Maths and Physics are a must, of course you've already chosen them. Geography, not so much a must, but if it's something you enjoy, sure. I just recommend that out of your choices, that's the one you drop at A2. Try and get into an apprenticeship or work experience at some point with an airline, I know a buddy of mine has gotten work experience with Lufthansa, one of the worlds largest airlines, over summer.. This would be a good place to start. Don't know if you live anywhere near a BAE base (such as Warton), but this would also be a good place to look into for experience.

    Apart from that, for the time being it's about studying hard. You could always go and do a degree at Uni in Avionics, here is a list of courses at uni's.

    I'm no expert, but that's what I'd do.

    Edit: Here is one course at Liverpool (Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies), It's a 4 year degree that would probably be good for you. But remember, you're going to need ridiculously good grades if you actually want to be a pilot, it's a very competitive world (isn't everywhere :/ )
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    (Original post by TheBritishBloke)
    Maths and Physics are a must, of course you've already chosen them. Geography, not so much a must, but if it's something you enjoy, sure. I just recommend that out of your choices, that's the one you drop at A2. Try and get into an apprenticeship or work experience at some point with an airline, I know a buddy of mine has gotten work experience with Lufthansa, one of the worlds largest airlines, over summer.. This would be a good place to start. Don't know if you live anywhere near a BAE base (such as Warton), but this would also be a good place to look into for experience.

    Apart from that, for the time being it's about studying hard. You could always go and do a degree at Uni in Avionics, here is a list of courses at uni's.

    I'm no expert, but that's what I'd do.

    Edit: Here is one course at Liverpool (Aerospace Engineering with Pilot Studies), It's a 4 year degree that would probably be good for you. But remember, you're going to need ridiculously good grades if you actually want to be a pilot, it's a very competitive world (isn't everywhere :/ )
    Physics is not a must, I don't think. My friend who wants to be a pilot, gave up Physics after AS.

    OP, my friend doesn't actually need A Levels to become a pilot, he has received an unconditional offer from Oxford Aviation Academy, and could have started at the end of AS. You do have to go through training, so I'd look into it now and see what it involves if you wanted to go straight into it rather than finishing your A levels, and then doing a degree.
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    Hey, I'm currently learning to fly privately

    There are no educational requirements although you will essentially need good A levels in Maths and Physics....Further maths can be helpful as can another science

    Check out the BALPA website
    http://www.balpa.org/Become-A-Pilot.aspx

    or feel free to pm me!
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    I would love to learn to fly privately but thats expensive. Hm.. thanks for those links, wouldn't of thought about apprenticeships with airlines and engineering companies. But I've sort of diverted my aim to the RAF, as you recieve free training and it seems pretty good working in the RAF. It'll probably be more competitive, but if I get declined. I'll look again at aircraft engineering. Thanks alot for the advice anyways, been really helpful.
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    (Original post by anthonyla65)
    I would love to learn to fly privately but thats expensive. Hm.. thanks for those links, wouldn't of thought about apprenticeships with airlines and engineering companies. But I've sort of diverted my aim to the RAF, as you recieve free training and it seems pretty good working in the RAF. It'll probably be more competitive, but if I get declined. I'll look again at aircraft engineering. Thanks alot for the advice anyways, been really helpful.
    aye the RAF is also a good route...but it requires 14 years service with a salary of around 25k...so think it through before you start training
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    RAF is very very competitive and not taking on any new recruits at the moment. If you want to be an airline pilot they will see it and will not accept you.

    The airline industry is a mess, but a small upturn may be on the horizon. There are two main ways to gain your fATPL, which is the license you need to fly an airliner. These are integrated like Oxford Aviation that has been mentioned above, the other route is modular which would be somewhere like Bournemouth flight centre of Stapleford. Many airlines prefer integrated cadets when looking for the first job. Once you have that first job and want to move on your training becomes almost irrelevant. Some airlines like Ryanair don't give a t*ss about where you trained. You must remember that bottom line is that flight schools are a business and they are there to make money, therefore will try and do a hard sell.

    an ATPL license requires you to sit 14 ground school exams. GCSE level maths is the highest that will be expected. Trig is crucial, make sure you can write out sides and angles without thought and having to re-arrange. The six times table is also very useful in flying. Maths and Physics A-Levels are recommended but certaintly aren't essential. They may create a good understanding for you when it comes to the ATPL ground school. If you apply to an airline cadet scheme. Maths and Physics A-levels will be expected. However, if you do not enjoy them there it little point in taking them.

    My personal opinion is that uni courses combined with pilot training are a waste of time and money. Just get the training. The shiny blue CAA license book will look the same regardless of how you get it.

    One thing I know for certain is that it will be very difficult to get your first job. Small turboprop operators like Loganair, Eastern Airways and Flybe are good places. Ryanair also take on new pilots.

    It is an expensive business, integrated courses like Oxford and CTC are grossly overpriced for what they give you. Many airlines will also expect you to pay for your Type Rating which enables you to fly a specific type of aircraft. For example, you may be typed on the A320 family for easyJet or 737NG for Ryanair. Once you have that first job you are in a good position to move jobs to more 'career' airlines once you have hours and experience. Many British pilots emigrate to Dubai to persue a career with Emirates. Some will hope to go from easyJet to BA as they operate the same type of aircraft. Some guys will go to Virgin aswell.

    The key is that first job, it can be very hard to get. If you cannot immediatly get a job the most important thing is to keep current. An instructors rating is a good idea. An 2 years old CPL/MEIR license is of no use to an airline as you may have forgotten the 'art' of basic flying.

    Best of luck to whatever you choose to do.
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    (Original post by stevop21)
    My personal opinion is that uni courses combined with pilot training are a waste of time and money. Just get the training. The shiny blue CAA license book will look the same regardless of how you get it.
    Hm.. any ideas how much would it cost to get the license privately without the university course? I would love to do it that way, but I wouldn't be able to afford lets say £50k worth of training. But if intergrated university flying course is the only option, I'm willing to try and take the risk. As for the academic side I would say I shouldn't have much of a problem, I enjoy maths and physics and I'm did fairly well in the exams. So I see, the key after training would be the first job. Thanks for the good advice.

    As for the RAF, I'm still abit weary about that. But I'd think if I do decide to be a RAF pilot, I'll stay at the RAF and won't intend to switch to commercial airlines. The only thing I'm weary about the RAF is that the RAF family life is abit unstable, great if I'm single in my opinion but would be very hard to manage if I was married. And the pay stagnates at £30k~ right?

    So in front of me now by Year 13 I'll have 2 choices:
    Go university and gain a ATPL through the course and try to find a job after.
    Or
    Go university doing Aircraft Engineering course whilst at the University Air Squadron and the join the RAF after.

    I'm abit weary about the first option, as if I finish the course and is unable to find a job. I would be in a screwed up situation. Whereas on the 2nd action, I'd have an Aircraft Engineering Degree to "fallback" on.

    Also whats the industry like at the moment? I heard the RAF is getting more cuts every year, so it'll be even harder. What about the Commercial Side? It seems like its getting bigger since more people are travelling by air every year. Like as you noted, emirates is an fast emerging airline which would need alot of pilots.
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    You can pretty much rule out the RAF, you have to really want it to get in, which you don't. As you say there are more and more cuts. I don't know much about the RAF.

    Privatley funded license: modular you are looking at around 45k and integrated around 90k. First job is definitly the hardest to get.

    A backup plan is crucial, which you have identified. Never try to do 2 things at once. Do your engineering degree and focus on that, then try to get a job in engineering (I have absoloutly no idea how that works BTW)

    That's a very subjective question. I am no expert, but I would say I can see a small glimmer at the end of the tunnel of recession! Emirates is fast expanding but they will only ever take experienced flight crew. Circa 3000 hours jet time.

    I would really recommend that you head over to www.pprune.org Please use the search function and check all forums first before posting your questions. There is so much info around and they don't like people who don't use it lol. I have the same username at pprune as here so you can find me if you wish.
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    (Original post by stevop21)
    You can pretty much rule out the RAF, you have to really want it to get in, which you don't. As you say there are more and more cuts. I don't know much about the RAF.

    A backup plan is crucial, which you have identified. Never try to do 2 things at once. Do your engineering degree and focus on that, then try to get a job in engineering (I have absoloutly no idea how that works BTW)
    What about if I wanted to become an Engineer for the RAF? Would that be any different? I'm looking at the Royal Navy aswell, they have jobs for pilots and engineers too. Would I have to really really want it to get in? Or is it different because its less competitive than becoming a pilot? Also is the Royal Navy as competitive as the RAF? As I've never seen the Royal Navy advertising like the RAF for new recruits. I want to try and get sponsorship from the RAF or Royal Navy so I'll be guaranteed a job after university. Thanks for the advice anyways.
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    Pretty much agree with most of what Stevop21 says, and pprune.org is a must, just make sure you make full use of the search function on there (you dont seem to have done that on here!!).

    Hm.. any ideas how much would it cost to get the license privately without the university course?
    Not sure really what you are getting at here. There are no university courses that will take you all the way up to fATPL level. There are some which include the ATPL ground exams, but all of the flying would be at added expense. I would be wary doing a degree specific to flying, perhaps a more vocational course (like engineering) would be better to consider as it gives you a solid backup. Why not even try to get involved in the university air squadron if you choose to go to uni? You would at least get a bit of free flying experience to solo level I believe.

    There are no formal education requirements to get into most airlines. The sponsored courses would likely to be the only ones asking for good GCSE and A-Level results, but they are as rare as rocking horse droppings. Some 'cadet' schemes may also ask for A-Levels (though not necessarily Maths and Physics if you are better at other subjects!!), though I can only think of the FlyBE cadet scheme which would be worth doing at the moment if you had access to the security required for the loan, the Easyjet one is pretty pants...

    If you want to go in the forces in an engineering role, Im no expert but it is likely to still be competitive, though pretty much every decent job out there is competitive to get into at the moment!! If you went that route you could always train to fATPL standard once you leave the RAF/RN, you would have tons of life experience and a fairly regimented career history to offer the airlines!

    I wouldn't narrow your choices down to just being a pilot at your age though!
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    (Original post by pug)
    If you want to go in the forces in an engineering role, Im no expert but it is likely to still be competitive, though pretty much every decent job out there is competitive to get into at the moment!! If you went that route you could always train to fATPL standard once you leave the RAF/RN, you would have tons of life experience and a fairly regimented career history to offer the airlines!

    I wouldn't narrow your choices down to just being a pilot at your age though!
    Thank you soo soo much! I haven't thought about the options enough I guess. Going into the RN/RAF for Engineering then training for fATPL actually sounds like a great idea since I could have saved up some money from working in the forces. But then again, I could stay at the RN/RAF all my working life right? I don't HAVE to leave after my service years do I? I suppose if working in the forces gave me a decent stable income, there would be no reason to leave. But afterall I'm only 16, theres probably chances that I might not be accepted into the forces anyways, but hey I like to have a dream/idea to aim for. Thanks again for the ideas.

    EDIT: Sorry about not using the search fuction, I looked at a few threads about joining the RAF but they didn't have the answers that I was looking for.
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    There are some good stickys on the Pprune forum, and if you do your research and have some more specific questions there will be people on there with years of experience who will be prepared to help you.. I have little knowledge of the RAF/RN ways of recruiting or the years of service for an engineer.

    Good luck in whatever route you decide to go down, just be careful if you ever look at doing commercial pilot training. The cost of it alone should mean you should do massive amounts of research. Unfortunately people get sucked in by the glossy brochures from the bigger (and costlier) flying schools, and people should look more into the alternatives before going down that route!
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    Integrated courses are grossly overpriced, I don't know much about engineering or the RAF so I'm unable to give any useful information about that.

    Plenty of research is the key, there are many ways in, some being easier than others, some being quicker. Ultimatly you have to play them all against each other and see which way works best for your personal needs.

    Once again, the very best of luck.
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    My friends older brother is now in his last year of training. YES he is becoming a pilot.
    For A levels you will need.
    Not Maths!!
    You will need - Further Maths, Statistics, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics.

    You will need to do 5 A levels in order to stand out from the crowd. You can do 4 A levels over 2 years and you have to spend an extra 3rd year in the college/sixth form to study 5th A level.
    Statistics - should be the easiest in comparison to other subjects, but it helps as it is demanded by pilots for human knowledge.
    Standard offer - A* A* A B
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    (Original post by sherry123)
    My friends older brother is now in his last year of training. YES he is becoming a pilot.
    For A levels you will need.
    Not Maths!!
    You will need - Further Maths, Statistics, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics.

    You will need to do 5 A levels in order to stand out from the crowd. You can do 4 A levels over 2 years and you have to spend an extra 3rd year in the college/sixth form to study 5th A level.
    Statistics - should be the easiest in comparison to other subjects, but it helps as it is demanded by pilots for human knowledge.
    Standard offer - A* A* A B
    everything in this post is 100% false
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    (Original post by Ilyas)
    everything in this post is 100% false
    certainly is....
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    You might want to take a look through some of the threads here - http://www.pprune.org/
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    Re-anthonyla65 you need to do Physics ang Maths.
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    (Original post by Wannapilot)
    Re-anthonyla65 you need to do Physics ang Maths.
    This thread is dead and has been for a while! Incidentally you don't NEED Physics and Maths at all
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