Results are out! Find what you need...fast. Get quick advice or join the chat
Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free to post

Want to be commercial pilot, which a levels?

Announcements Posted on
Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    This has been my dream job forever, i know eventually ill have to find some sort of scholarship and invest a lot of money which i dont have. I also know that i need maths and physics at a level, i have also chosen psychology as i thought it may be intresting, however im stuck on what to chose for my last option, either history or politics, or both if i dont take psychology. I dont know any other tips about getting into this career would be really appreciated. Thanks
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Court1129)
    This has been my dream job forever, i know eventually ill have to find some sort of scholarship and invest a lot of money which i dont have.
    If you can't finance it privately, your other main option would be to join the airforce and serve for a few years in exchange for the training.
    • 9 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ttx)
    If you can't finance it privately, your other main option would be to join the airforce and serve for a few years in exchange for the training.
    Yeah, right, like that will work! :eek3: You won't get through all the selection tests to even see an RAF aircraft if that is your motivation, to say nothing of the 12 year minimum 'few years' you'll have to serve.

    OP, do a search, there have been several threads that have provided some decent information on civilian flying, once they have got past the 'or join the air force' comments.
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    i cannot join the forces as a pilot i am slightly under the eyesight requirements
    • 1 follower
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    as long as you can land a plane on water, they'll accept you, hell i'll pay for your training. No need for A levels
    • Thread Starter
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    history or politics?
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Court1129)
    i cannot join the forces as a pilot i am slightly under the eyesight requirements
    I assume you've checked already but if not you might want to make sure your eyesight is good enough to pass the CAA requirements for commercial pilots:

    http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/49/SRG_MED...InitialVisStds[2189].pdf
    • 2 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    A levels frankly don't matter a jot. What airlines want to see is an ATPL with MCC and type rating, and 2000+hrs in your logbook right now!

    You don't join by wandering out of school and going along to an airline with your A level certificates. Generally, you'll need to self fund your training; either by doing it off your own back, or paying for one of the integrated schemes like the CTC Wings course which trains you up to a certain level in return for about £60 000. Some are accredited with airlines, some aren't, none guarantee a job.

    It's a very expensive route into a career, and not one I'd recommend right now, being that so many airlines have folded recently there are a lot of very experienced pilots out there looking for jobs, and there's not enough for them..!

    The Pilot Jobs Network will give you a good idea of the minimum requirements most airlines are currently looking for. As an example, British Airways are currently only recruiting direct-entry qualified pilots, BMI want a type rating (a qualification to fly a particular type of aircraft), you need 2500 flying hours to join Monarch, and even Easyjet couldn't take on all of their cadets last year.

    Pass some good A levels and take a couple of flying lessons, but I would have a serious backup plan. At best, you'll need a bonded loan for about £60 000 for one of the self-sponsored schemes.
    • 0 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Court1129)
    This has been my dream job forever, i know eventually ill have to find some sort of scholarship and invest a lot of money which i dont have. I also know that i need maths and physics at a level, i have also chosen psychology as i thought it may be intresting, however im stuck on what to chose for my last option, either history or politics, or both if i dont take psychology. I dont know any other tips about getting into this career would be really appreciated. Thanks
    Late reply I know but still!

    Maths and physics are pretty much the obvious ones to take, I'd suggest you just take subjects you'd enjoy though.
    I didnt do very well on my A-levels But still things are going well, I've found a job at the airport and I can afford to finish my license now at the rate of one lesson a week. Private license by end of the year, theory and hour building next year.
    Are you flying at the moment?
    • 0 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ttx)
    If you can't finance it privately, your other main option would be to join the airforce and serve for a few years in exchange for the training.
    I was expecting this answer somewhere during the thread, however I did not think that the outrageous "go into the forces for free training" idea that people tell wannabee commercial pilots would be introduced in the second post!
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by GeorgEGNT)
    I was expecting this answer somewhere during the thread, however I did not think that the outrageous "go into the forces for free training" idea that people tell wannabee commercial pilots would be introduced in the second post!
    Just because you had a philosophical objection to the idea, it doesn't mean the option shouldn't be presented to the OP for consideration. Nor did I say the option was "free" or "easy".
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ttx)
    If you can't finance it privately, your other main option would be to join the airforce and serve for a few years in exchange for the training.
    It is wrong and misleading - a few years would be 12 minimum and you'd not be trained to be a civil / commercial pilot when you left. You would be a military pilot - a different beast.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ProStacker)
    It is wrong and misleading - a few years would be 12 minimum and you'd not be trained to be a civil / commercial pilot when you left. You would be a military pilot - a different beast.
    I'll bet you a tsr sub that I can find you some RAF pilots who have had to commit for less than 12 years.

    And yes you're right you can't switch straight from one to the other, nevertheless the conversion course is much shorter and cheaper.
    • 4 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    I'd see you that bet - seeing as the minimum time they can sign up for is 12 years - so they have to commit to that to get in. If someone manages to wangle a route out in less than that would be very irregular.

    It depends whether you class the 12 years with probable regular tours to nasty places where you get shot at as shorter and cheaper - including the possibility that you'd not be on multi engined. Yes - there are 'bridging' routes - but I'd not say it was a shorter or cheaper option any way you look at it.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    From Hansard:

    RAF: Training

    Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much it costs to train a Royal Air Force (RAF) pilot on (a) fixed and (b) rotary wing aircrafts; what commitment to further service in the RAF is required by applicants for training; what the criteria and application procedures are; how many applicants there were for such training in each of the last three years; and how many were successful. [177376]

    Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Royal Air Force pilots continue to train throughout their careers and new entrants are not considered to have joined the trained strength until they have completed a course at an Operational Conversion Unit (OCU); on starting with an OCU, they incur an obligation to incur a minimum of six years further service following completion of their
    OCU tour. For the purposes of the information requested, the end of training has been defined as the point when a pilot moves to an OCU. At this point pilots have learnt to fly and are transferred to front-line aircraft types.
    • 9 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    The obligation incurred ie 6 years post CR is the amortisation of training - try and get out before that and you will be facing a very large bill. Can't see many training pipelines at the moment where you can get to CR in less than 3 years, so it looks like 9 years and face a large bill or stick it out for the full 12.
    • 0 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ttx)
    Just because you had a philosophical objection to the idea, it doesn't mean the option shouldn't be presented to the OP for consideration. Nor did I say the option was "free" or "easy".
    Most of the time people say, join the RAF then fly commercially afterwards are implying the "get your training for free". I assumed you meant this too saying as you started your post with "if you cant afford to fund it privatley"

    Commercial and military pilots have very different lifestyles and careers there is one of the other. Just because they are both flying aircraft doesnt mean they are the same. If you don't want to be a military pilot then don't apply. You wont even get passed the interview because you won't ooze the passion for the air force that thousands of other more suitable applicants will have. If you want to fly commercially, in my books the air force is NOT an option at all.
    • 0 followers
    Online

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by ProStacker)
    It is wrong and misleading - a few years would be 12 minimum and you'd not be trained to be a civil / commercial pilot when you left. You would be a military pilot - a different beast.
    Why do us two always have to spend time in the "I want to be a commercial pilot" threads explaining to people why the RAF is not an option? :p: There was one a week or two ago too. I wish people would learn.
    You will be looked upon a lot higher by an airline if you've bust a gut for 4 years working and saving your arse off flying whenever you can to gain your fATPL rather than just talking the RAF route and coming out early. First question will be why you joined the RAF and why you left so early.
    • 9 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by GeorgEGNT)
    You will be looked upon a lot higher by an airline if you've bust a gut for 4 years working and saving your arse off flying whenever you can to gain your fATPL rather than just talking the RAF route and coming out early. First question will be why you joined the RAF and why you left so early.
    I'll bow to Wzz's closer experience on this, but I'm afraid it is very much not the case as I have heard it told. There is no way an airline will value the experience of someone who has built hours flying parachutists, PPLs etc over a pilot with 4,000 hours of rigorously trained and continuously assessed military experience, who has hundreds of hours in US, European etc airspace etc. There can occasionally be differences of managerial style in the nilitary to civil transition, but no more than the civvie whose personality doesn't fit even after they've clocked up the hours.

    The fact is that they are just very different and you won't get through even the earliest stages of military training unless you heart and soul is in it, let alone 9-12 years of the military environment, just to get onto an airbus. Having said that, if after 12 years you decide the military environment isn't for you, then you are in a good (but not always immediate) position to transfer to commercial flying.
    • 0 followers
    Offline

    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Wzz)
    A levels frankly don't matter a jot. What airlines want to see is an ATPL with MCC and type rating, and 2000+hrs in your logbook right now!
    I'd echo this - my friend took A-levels that interested him, and they've had nothing whatsoever to do with his career as a pilot. He simply worked part time to pay his way through light aircraft training, took out loans to fund qualifications (even going to study out in Florida - the cheaper aeroplane fuel alone made this more economical) and is now building up his air time nicely as a teacher.

    Becoming a commercial pilot (or captain) is a very long term goal so focus more on the pure love of flying. The financial burdens are particularly daunting but a self-funded route is possible with a great deal of planning.

    Good luck!

Reply

Submit reply

Register

Thanks for posting! You just need to create an account in order to submit the post
  1. this can't be left blank
    that username has been taken, please choose another Forgotten your password?
  2. this can't be left blank
    this email is already registered. Forgotten your password?
  3. this can't be left blank

    6 characters or longer with both numbers and letters is safer

  4. this can't be left empty
    your full birthday is required
  1. By joining you agree to our Ts and Cs, privacy policy and site rules

  2. Slide to join now Processing…

Updated: April 17, 2009
New on TSR

Submitting your UCAS application

How long did it take for yours to be processed?

Article updates
Reputation gems:
You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.