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A few questions about becoming a commercial pilot Watch

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    Hey, i was wondering whether anyone could answer a few questions i had about becoming a commercial pilot (I.E: for Boeing). It's always been a deep passion and desire but i've always been told it's too competitive and costs too much money.


    1. What kind of degree do you need? I'm going to university to study a MEng in Chemical Engineering - while i know from research an aviation degree may be best , i'm not sure i want to take this risk in case i can't get into being a commercial pilot.

    2. What does it take to have a 'first class medical certificate'? I have hay fever and i am slightly short sighted - does this mean i am out already?

    3. How competitive really is it? i know money is the main issue (although - I am thinking of becoming an instructor to cover some of my 1000 hours!), but will i be up against oxbridge students with 5000 hours experience, am i only likely to end up with a job at a tiny airline for the rest of my life?


    Thanks!
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    (Original post by FuLLuPMepOrtION)
    Hey, i was wondering whether anyone could answer a few questions i had about becoming a commercial pilot (I.E: for Boeing). It's always been a deep passion and desire but i've always been told it's too competitive and costs too much money.


    1. What kind of degree do you need? I'm going to university to study a MEng in Chemical Engineering - while i know from research an aviation degree may be best , i'm not sure i want to take this risk in case i can't get into being a commercial pilot.

    2. What does it take to have a 'first class medical certificate'? I have hay fever and i am slightly short sighted - does this mean i am out already?

    3. How competitive really is it? i know money is the main issue (although - I am thinking of becoming an instructor to cover some of my 1000 hours!), but will i be up against oxbridge students with 5000 hours experience, am i only likely to end up with a job at a tiny airline for the rest of my life?


    Thanks!
    Hi FuLLuPMepOrtION,

    If you have a look in the Property, Construction, Transport and Logistics section you'll find many threads on becoming an airline pilot that will answer your questions

    As an aside, you don't actually fly FOR Boeing as a commercial pilot, you just fly the aircraft that they or another aircraft manufacturer such as Airbus or Bombardier have built. You would fly for an airline such as British Airways or Ryanair who own the aforementioned aircraft.
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    Thanks, checked it out but it didn't help me directly
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    (Original post by FuLLuPMepOrtION)
    Thanks, checked it out but it didn't help me directly
    Which question in particular could you not find the answer for?
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    (Original post by FuLLuPMepOrtION)
    Hey, i was wondering whether anyone could answer a few questions i had about becoming a commercial pilot (I.E: for Boeing). It's always been a deep passion and desire but i've always been told it's too competitive and costs too much money.


    1. What kind of degree do you need? I'm going to university to study a MEng in Chemical Engineering - while i know from research an aviation degree may be best , i'm not sure i want to take this risk in case i can't get into being a commercial pilot.

    2. What does it take to have a 'first class medical certificate'? I have hay fever and i am slightly short sighted - does this mean i am out already?

    3. How competitive really is it? i know money is the main issue (although - I am thinking of becoming an instructor to cover some of my 1000 hours!), but will i be up against oxbridge students with 5000 hours experience, am i only likely to end up with a job at a tiny airline for the rest of my life?


    Thanks!
    1. No degree required in Europe. The United States' legacy carriers generally want a 4-year undergraduate degree.


    2. Neither medical condition should present a problem in obtaining a Class 1 medical certificate. The standards are detailed in Commission Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011 of 3rd Nov. 2011. See http://easa.europa.eu/regulations/re...-structure.php

    3. Competition is, and always has been, strong. Job opportunities are far and few between. The industry has changed enormously in the past decade and integrated training programmes are now mature enough to deliver cadets straight to the right hand seat of an airliner without the candidate amassing any commercial/instructional flying experience. Candidates being trained by OAA (CAE) are NOT "Oxbridge students" and they do NOT have 5000 hours' experience. The whole point of the integrated training route is to put a candidate with very few hours' flying into an airliner where he can successfully operate as a first officer.

    PPRuNe's Professional Pilot Training section contains all the answers you will need.

    You can expect to pay between £50,000 and £100,000+. There are airlines such as Cathay Pacific who run a Cadet Pilot Programme which accepts undergraduate degree holders who have never been trained in flying. Cathay finances, via a bond, the training required.
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    (Original post by Studentdk)
    PPRuNe's Professional Pilot Training section contains all the answers you will need.
    Be careful with this- if you post a thread that is posted often they will bite your head off (Telling you to search the forum before posting!!)
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    You are right about that. Some of the users on that forum do tend to be a bit off-putting. Try to see it from their point of view though, they read all these questions from young wannabe pilots who (in their eyes) haven't bothered enough to find answers to questions before posting.
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    (Original post by FuLLuPMepOrtION)
    Hey, i was wondering whether anyone could answer a few questions i had about becoming a commercial pilot (I.E: for Boeing). It's always been a deep passion and desire but i've always been told it's too competitive and costs too much money.


    1. What kind of degree do you need? I'm going to university to study a MEng in Chemical Engineering - while i know from research an aviation degree may be best , i'm not sure i want to take this risk in case i can't get into being a commercial pilot.

    2. What does it take to have a 'first class medical certificate'? I have hay fever and i am slightly short sighted - does this mean i am out already?

    3. How competitive really is it? i know money is the main issue (although - I am thinking of becoming an instructor to cover some of my 1000 hours!), but will i be up against oxbridge students with 5000 hours experience, am i only likely to end up with a job at a tiny airline for the rest of my life?


    Thanks!
    Know this has been inactive for a while but I'm applying to OAA and the BAFPP scheme later this year so thought if help you out a little.

    1. No degree is needed for a self sponsored scheme in the UK. In fact you don't even need a levels! Your best bet is looking at the websites of the three main academies, Oxford Aviation Academy (OAA), CTC Bournemouth and FTE Jerez is also another FTO worth having a look at. Some sponsored schemes such as the BAFPP and Flybe schemes require a levels at I think around BBC to be considered, but sponsorships are massively competitive nowadays (around 75/3000 applicants!!)

    2. A class 1 medical is, in essence, an all over examination just to ensure you're not going to K.O at the controls of a 100 million dollar aircraft! Hayfever won't affect you and shirt sighted vision shouldn't be a problem. I've just completed my Private Pilots License (although not required for Academies) and my instructor is short sighted and had a lazy left eye!! You can check up about the medical for specifics on the CAA website, oh and they're conducted at Gatwick so have fun with the trek down there!

    3. Yes the market is competitive but by no means is it that bad. I'm 17, if I consider you are around the same age (ish!) then once we finish training (around 3 years from now for me), there will be a great demand for pilots around the world and the airlines will be employing, luckily for us! Also on the Oxbridge note, the aviation industry is based more on your talent as a pilot and commanding skills (needed for a competent captain) rather than what grades you achieved In a levels and if you have a degree in astrophysics! Most pilots start at small airlines anyway, easyjet and Ryanair, although arguably not small airlines anymore, are great for hour building on short haul fleet, flying various sectors daily. Also progression to captain within short haul airlines is much faster than long haul flag carriers, such as BA or Emirates. Once your hours are built up enough then longer haul and larger airlines will become interested as you have sufficient experience!

    If there was one thing to take from this and what I'd recommend is at least have a couple of trial lessons at your local airfield in a Cessna just to see if you really have the flying bug! Other than that good luck and maybe we'll see each other on the flight deck one day!


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    Pilot_Wood, whilst I cannot fault most of your advice I feel I must take exception to...

    if I consider you are around the same age (ish!) then once we finish training (around 3 years from now for me), there will be a great demand for pilots around the world and the airlines will be employing, luckily for us!
    This is the subject of much debate elsewhere, and it is questionable whether there ever has been a genuine 'pilot shortage' in the sence of low-houred fATPL holders. Future growth, it would appear, is going to be largely focussed upon the Middle and Far East, so for anyone wanting to become an airline pilot with low hours then a move away from Europe may have to be considered. Training choices, however, must not be made upon a possible 'pilot shortage', as the debt one may incur through following a particular training route may prove to be unservicable should a flying job not be forthcoming immediately after training. Remember also that some outlets were predicting pilot shortages for 2011/12/13 not so long ago.

    Of course there are now some excellent mentored schemes becoming more prevalent in the UK. The BA FPP is obviously up there, easyJet also running some excellent schemes this year and occasionally Monarch too, however all expect the budding cadet to stump up a significant 'security bond' of £84,000 (for BA) upwards. Only BA will offer the option of acting as guarantor on your behalf, the others require you to either pay in cash (not an option for many I'm sure), or secure a loan on a UK property. These are all highly competitive too, and understandably so.

    I went for the BA FPP 2013 stream, and though others on here who went through the process may have a different experience, I found that many of the applicants at the assessment I attended were at least in their mid 20's, and many in their late 30's! I seem to remember that most had degrees too. There were a couple of 18 year olds, but I would be interested to know what the average age of the lucky 89 is.. It would appear to me, having heard from people involved in the process, that BA were very much after those 'soft skills' which are often honed through many years of full time employment and maturity, but that they also like to take people from all different ages and backgrounds.

    Good luck.
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    Chaps I hate to break it to you but it is unlikely that there will ever be a pilot shortage and I'm pretty sure there has never been one.

    It's a job that lots of people want to do.
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    I read on pprune that the shortage of pilots is of pilots with thousands of hours on their licence. There is an incredibly high amount of low hour commercial pilots which makes it very difficult to get a job in the first place.
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    Runningaround, I would even question whether there is a shortage of jet experienced captains and first officers, particularly in Europe.

    I certainly would think very hard about going down certain training routes without being 'tagged' at the very least. As I said in my previous post, there are some excellent mentored schemes appearing at the moment.... Failing that it would be prudent to get a job in an airline and train part time with minimal debt.

    Flight training costs alot, requires significant motivation and commitment, but the airlines certainly won't be climbing over each other to offer you a job at the end..
 
 
 
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