How do you become an Airline Pilot in the UK ?! Watch

pizzapino
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Hi guys,

I am a French student and I've been offered a place by the University of Bristol, the University of Bath, the University of Sheffield, the University of Surrey. for an Meng Aeronautical engineering course. And I was which uni to firm ?

Also, I have a few questions concerning the job of civil pilot in the UK.
- How do you become a pilot after having a degree in Aerospace engineering ?
- Is it expensive ?
- Which schools prepare best for this job ? Have links with airline companies... ?

Thank you very much for your help !
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Pendulum
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(Original post by pizzapino)
Hi guys,

I am a French student and I've been offered a place by the University of Bristol, the University of Bath, the University of Sheffield, the University of Surrey. for an Meng Aeronautical engineering course. And I was which uni to firm ?

Also, I have a few questions concerning the job of civil pilot in the UK.
- How do you become a pilot after having a degree in Aerospace engineering ?
- Is it expensive ?
- Which schools prepare best for this job ? Have links with airline companies... ?

Thank you very much for your help !
You can become a Pilot after obtaining your ATPL although you will still need to train for airline specific craft when you join an airline, you don't need a degree to train for a pilot. ATPL costs in the region of £70000 in the UK, so yes it's expensive. Costs are cheaper abroad though.

A lot of new pilots get jobs with Easyjet, Ryanair & other budget airlines on six month contracts, this is because they pay significantly less and it's more a first step in your flight career than a permanent job. Salaries are around £35k for a newly qualified first officer but this isn't actually indicative of what you will earn as it varies wildly on the season. Captains of long haul flights at BA for example can earn in excess of £200k in the end.

http://www.oaa.com/index.php

If being a pilot is 100% what you want to do, you're wasting your time going to university really.
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pizzapino
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(Original post by Pendulum)
You can become a Pilot after obtaining your ATPL although you will still need to train for airline specific craft when you join an airline, you don't need a degree to train for a pilot. ATPL costs in the region of £70000 in the UK, so yes it's expensive. Costs are cheaper abroad though.

A lot of new pilots get jobs with Easyjet, Ryanair & other budget airlines on six month contracts, this is because they pay significantly less and it's more a first step in your flight career than a permanent job. Salaries are around £35k for a newly qualified first officer but this isn't actually indicative of what you will earn as it varies wildly on the season. Captains of long haul flights at BA for example can earn in excess of £200k in the end.

http://www.oaa.com/index.php

If being a pilot is 100% what you want to do, you're wasting your time going to university really.
I understand, but do you have state schools in the UK which may prepare to the job of pilot ?
And also, once you've obtained the ATPL, what are your chances to get a job at a prestigious company ? I've heard that competition was tough and many pilots are unemployed... Is it worth taking the risk or is it better to secure a good salary while being an aeronautical engineer, then focus on obtaining the ATPL ?

Thanks !
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Drewski
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(Original post by pizzapino)
1-I understand, but do you have state schools in the UK which may prepare to the job of pilot ?
2-And also, once you've obtained the ATPL, what are your chances to get a job at a prestigious company ? 3-I've heard that competition was tough and many pilots are unemployed... Is it worth taking the risk or is it better to secure a good salary while being an aeronautical engineer, then focus on obtaining the ATPL ?

Thanks !
1- No. There are schools and organisations out there like Oxford or CTC which will take you on - if you're good enough - train you up and get you your licenses without the outlay of the £70-80,000, but the ctach is when they 'place' you with a company at the end of training [and there's no guarantee of that in the first place] you have to take that job, whether it be for Ryanair, Easyjet, BMI Baby, etc...
2- Slim at best. Like you say, there are lots of unemployed pilots out there, the majority of them with licenses, type-ratings and experience you don't/won't have. Getting a job at one of the big airlines isn't impossible, but it is very unlikely.
3- That's very much up to you. But if you want to be a professional pilot, do you really think you'd enjoy being sat in an office doing maths and not much else for 4/5yrs?
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airdoc
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It IS worth going to uni as you'll have a fall-back option if things go pear-shaped in the look for airline jobs!
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dotty_but_good
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(Original post by pizzapino)
Hi guys,

I am a French student and I've been offered a place by the University of Bristol, the University of Bath, the University of Sheffield, the University of Surrey. for an Meng Aeronautical engineering course. And I was which uni to firm ?

Also, I have a few questions concerning the job of civil pilot in the UK.
- How do you become a pilot after having a degree in Aerospace engineering ?
- Is it expensive ?
- Which schools prepare best for this job ? Have links with airline companies... ?

Thank you very much for your help !
Most commercial airline pilots in this country were originally RAF I was under the impression that it was quite hard to get into that business in any other way.
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Drewski
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(Original post by dotty_but_good)
Most commercial airline pilots in this country were originally RAF I was under the impression that it was quite hard to get into that business in any other way.
No.

While there are a large number of ex-Forces airline pilots out there, it's by no means a majority and is definitely the worst way of going about getting into it. There are numerous training schools out there, they are by far the better way.

Besides, OP is a French citizen, he wouldn't get into the RAF.
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Alimbo95
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And also, you have to consider the aspect of your motivation to join the forces. If you are wanting to be an airline pilot, military training is the best, but it is a very rigorous selection process when they will find it fairly easy to pick out the candidates who lack determination to join up. Also, you will have to stay with the RAF for at least 12 years. Do you really want to be doing that when you ultimately want to be an airline pilot?
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Drewski
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(Original post by Alimbo95)
And also, you have to consider the aspect of your motivation to join the forces. If you are wanting to be an airline pilot, military training is the best, but it is a very rigorous selection process when they will find it fairly easy to pick out the candidates who lack determination to join up. Also, you will have to stay with the RAF for at least 12 years. Do you really want to be doing that when you ultimately want to be an airline pilot?
Common myth.
Actually, in terms of the actual flying, it isn't. Military flying and civilian flying is done quite differently. It's more of a finesse difference, but each style is finely honed and not all that transferable. The advantage ex-Mil pilots have is their ability to cope with all manner of things.
Former military pilots going into the airlines have to complete many extra licenses before they can be employed to ferry people.
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Alimbo95
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(Original post by Drewski)
Common myth.
Actually, in terms of the actual flying, it isn't. Military flying and civilian flying is done quite differently. It's more of a finesse difference, but each style is finely honed and not all that transferable. The advantage ex-Mil pilots have is their ability to cope with all manner of things.
Former military pilots going into the airlines have to complete many extra licenses before they can be employed to ferry people.
Yh I know that, but I was just saying that military flying training is seen as the best sort of training out there because, as you said, they are trained to cope with everything, thus making them more employable when going into employment in civvy street.
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Drewski
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(Original post by Alimbo95)
Yh I know that, but I was just saying that military flying training is seen as the best sort of training out there because, as you said, they are trained to cope with everything, thus making them more employable when going into employment in civvy street.
I'll agree with that, but to say "If you are wanting to be an airline pilot, military training is the best" is a fallacy. If you want to be an airline pilot, ailine training is the best, so go do airline pilot training. It is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a career choice.

If anybody has ambition to solely be an airline pilot, stay away from the military.
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Alimbo95
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(Original post by Drewski)
I'll agree with that, but to say "If you are wanting to be an airline pilot, military training is the best" is a fallacy. If you want to be an airline pilot, ailine training is the best, so go do airline pilot training. It is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a career choice.

If anybody has ambition to solely be an airline pilot, stay away from the military.
Sorry about that. I didn't actually mean that to be an airline pilot, RAF is your best bet.
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Theconomist
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its a career without much future potential... consider that pilots might not exists in a few years
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Drewski
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(Original post by Theconomist)
its a career without much future potential... consider that pilots might not exists in a few years
Not in the airline world. It'll be decades before the general public trust fully automated a/c with no on board pilots to fly them to places. And besides, even military drones used presently are flown by pilots, even if they're sat in offices behind a computer.
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dsinghdahiya257
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Is the Airline training course intensive and difficult on the theory side?
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pug
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1- No. There are schools and organisations out there like Oxford or CTC which will take you on - if you're good enough - train you up and get you your licenses without the outlay of the £70-80,000, but the ctach is when they 'place' you with a company at the end of training [and there's no guarantee of that in the first place] you have to take that job, whether it be for Ryanair, Easyjet, BMI Baby, etc...
Sorry to be pedantic but that is not true. Any training route you go down, be it modular (build your ratings up bit by bit) or intergrated (ab-initio) requires a significant financial outlay.

All of the intergrated training providers require the course to be paid in full before you commence training. The new Easyjet 'cadet' scheme with OAA requires just that, at a cost of £100,000 :eek:

I will try to explain the new 'cadet' scheme in simple terms.

Easyjet and OAA are currently in the process of recruiting 30 cadets/lemmings to be taken onto the new Multi Pilots Licence scheme. This is similar to the fATPL you would usually get, but allows Easyjet to tailor the training to suit their operating procedures and aircraft type (type rating included in price hence £100,000). Upon successful completion of the training you will be offered a contract with Parc (an agency), hours are not guaranteed, so earning potential could be effected, as are the employee rights as being a contract pilot you wont really have any. Unlike the arrangement with CTC (temporary contract), you are not free to leave easyjet before you complete your 2000 hours with them if you want to find another job. You could be shipped from pillar to post with regarding bases. To sum it up, they have you by the balls.

With regard to CTC offering training with no up front payment. I assume you mean the CTC Wings scheme.

Firstly you DO require money up front, many source this in a loan from BBVA (AFAIK the only bank still willing to provide such loans) but do not be fooled by this. You require security on a property to the tune of the full loan plus 40% equity. Repayments of this loan are over £1000 a month (after the 18 month payment holiday), and these must be met or said property will be taken by the bank :eek:

You are right that there is no guarantee for a job (with the exception of these god awful 'cadet' schemes), and the job market is saturated despite what the training providers might tell you. It currently costs £30,000 for a type rating with Ryanair, and they are still particularly picky with their selection process at the moment, so it most certainly is not an easy way in.

Hopefully in a few years things might revert to how they were. That being those few being selected to go through the Intergrated route and into the RHS of a jet, the rest doing the training as they go and earning their hours by being flying instructors etc.

One thing is for sure, the bean counters are enjoying the fact that lemmings are currently a source of revenue, and the T&C's of these airlines are no better when you get in.

I wouldn't touch the industry with a barge poll right now.
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CoffeAddict
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haha, british pilots are such babes!
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Aphotic Cosmos
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Why would you want to be an airline pilot? Really, the hours are often (not always) terrible, you have to put a huge amount of capital or collateral on the table to even get into the industry, it's an employer's market as there's far too many qualified pilots out there for them all to have jobs, wages are generally not amazing, and you rarely ever get to see the places you're going to, especially with short haul flights where it's unheard of these days. I did seriously look into it for a few months when it was looking like I wasn't going to get into uni, and it's just not worth it at all at the moment.

Seriously, I think you would be a bit barmy to want to become a pilot right now.
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Alimbo95
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(Original post by Aphotic Cosmos)
Why would you want to be an airline pilot? Really, the hours are often (not always) terrible, you have to put a huge amount of capital or collateral on the table to even get into the industry, it's an employer's market as there's far too many qualified pilots out there for them all to have jobs, wages are generally not amazing, and you rarely ever get to see the places you're going to, especially with short haul flights where it's unheard of these days. I did seriously look into it for a few months when it was looking like I wasn't going to get into uni, and it's just not worth it at all at the moment.

Seriously, I think you would be a bit barmy to want to become a pilot right now.
That is very true. I am starting my flying training when I finish university (so in around 5/6 years time), but if I was thinking about entering the industry at this moment of economical stress, my best advice would be to go modular. I would build up my hours with an FTI, and just take my time. That way, when jobs start opening up again and the airline industry is back on track, I would be in a comfortable position to apply to airlines, with not so much finance to worry about. Modular will be just as good when the airline industry is booming; it's only now in the recession that the major operators are only accepting integrated grads.
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pug
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Why would you want to be an airline pilot? Really, the hours are often (not always) terrible, you have to put a huge amount of capital or collateral on the table to even get into the industry, it's an employer's market as there's far too many qualified pilots out there for them all to have jobs, wages are generally not amazing, and you rarely ever get to see the places you're going to, especially with short haul flights where it's unheard of these days. I did seriously look into it for a few months when it was looking like I wasn't going to get into uni, and it's just not worth it at all at the moment.

Seriously, I think you would be a bit barmy to want to become a pilot right now.
Depends how much you want to fly really. I would hope most people enter the industry because they have a passion for aviation. Any one with sufficient collateral and a bit of intelligence (questionable at the moment), and a class 1 medical, can get on an intergrated course. The modular route certainly demands more from the student. Self discipline being just one pre-requisit.

The problem is that people see an fATPL as a ticket to the RHS, but for the vast majority of people they are not. Going intergrated used to mean there would be a good chance of a job at the end for the right candidate. People must remember that these intergrated schools are businesses, and thus they will market their product and 'sell the dream', hence the over exaggerated employment statistics amongst other things. Now is just not the time to train that way, unless you want to risk financial ruin that is, or have a spare £80-100,000 laying around.

The way I see it, go modular, perhaps just make your way to CPL level and get an FI rating and get experience that way. You could even do it part time for a few years. When the time comes, and the airlines are taking more people on again, you would have the hours built up and could then progress onto the ATPL exams and ME/IR MCC etc. I know people who have done it that way, enjoyed what they were doing, and now have ended up in respectable airlines with reasonable terms and conditions.

The industry is not for those who want a ticket straight into the RHS of a jet, the airlines that run these expensive schemes know how people get sucked in by 'the glamour' of the job, hence how they get away with running them and giving little back in return. Not even job security.

Such a shame the way the industry is going, I just wonder what it might take for things to make a u-turn? Not another Buffalo disaster I hope!!
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