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Air corps pilot possibilities?

  • 28-07-2014 11:02am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 164 ✭✭


    My main goal is to become a Commercial Pilot, but raising the funds for training is the main issue. I could get a college degree and get a job and save up, but 10 years could've passed by the time I get the money (likely more than 10 by the time I get a job in the industry)
    Is there a backdoor into the profession? I emailed the Air Corps asking what kind of pilots license is obtained if there's any possible way to get into commercial flying from it, but their answer wasn't helpful at all and didnt even answer my question ( I think they misunderstood).
    Can anyone here answer my question?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,072 ✭✭✭Xios


    My main goal is to become a Commercial Pilot, but raising the funds for training is the main issue. I could get a college degree and get a job and save up, but 10 years could've passed by the time I get the money (likely more than 10 by the time I get a job in the industry)
    Is there a backdoor into the profession? I emailed the Air Corps asking what kind of pilots license is obtained if there's any possible way to get into commercial flying from it, but their answer wasn't helpful at all and didnt even answer my question ( I think they misunderstood).
    Can anyone here answer my question?

    As someone who wants to be in the Air Corp for a career, I think that you've much better routes to take outside the air corp. The Air Corp is a very round-a-bout way to get the training you want, also you'll be commiting a substantial part of your life to training in the military.

    I'd suggest exploring paths down Cadetships in the main airlines, or working 2 jobs to afford lessons each week until you've got your CPL. Explore options to get training abroad, like Australia, US, Mainland EU. All would be easier than the Cadets.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,263 ✭✭✭youtheman


    I'm surprised you got any response at all. Basically, you 'let slip' to one potential employer that you wanted to join them with the sole aim of jumping ship to an competing employer. What about loyalty, 'giving something back' etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 164 ✭✭Tesco TripleChicken


    youtheman wrote: »
    I'm surprised you got any response at all. Basically, you 'let slip' to one potential employer that you wanted to join them with the sole aim of jumping ship to an competing employer. What about loyalty, 'giving something back' etc.

    What? You're implying that the Air Corps are competing with the likes of Aer Lingus?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,263 ✭✭✭youtheman


    What? You're implying that the Air Corps are competing with the likes of Aer Lingus?

    Why do you think they make the pilots 'sign on' for 10 year ?.


  • Registered Users Posts: 164 ✭✭Tesco TripleChicken


    youtheman wrote: »
    Why do you think they make the pilots 'sign on' for 10 year ?.

    Wasn't aware of that


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,333 ✭✭✭Negative_G


    My main goal is to become a Commercial Pilot, but raising the funds for training is the main issue. I could get a college degree and get a job and save up, but 10 years could've passed by the time I get the money (likely more than 10 by the time I get a job in the industry)
    Is there a backdoor into the profession? I emailed the Air Corps asking what kind of pilots license is obtained if there's any possible way to get into commercial flying from it, but their answer wasn't helpful at all and didnt even answer my question ( I think they misunderstood).
    Can anyone here answer my question?

    You've recently stated that you also want to do an ATC course. You've also questioned the logic of having to pay back the cost of training if you don't commit to the seven years.

    Judging by your post history I'm going to assume you're just finished second level and trying to map your future.

    Here is some advice. There is no such thing as a free lunch. You cannot expect to get highly trained within a specific field without some sort of payback to those who invested the time, money and resources into your training.

    Anyone who has wanted to be a pilot has encountered the financing issue. There are several ways to enter the aviation industry and there are numerous threads on the Aviation & Aircraft forum.

    To answer your question, Air Corps Cadets obtain a CPL during the ground school phase of training. On commissioning the obligation is a minimum of 12 years, not 10.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭tac foley


    On the news this evening, a new pilot training academy will open shortly where aspirants who want to fly commercial airplanes train for two years, at a cost of around £100,000.

    Seems pretty reasonable to me, bearing in mind how much the military put into training you to fly a fast jet or helicopter. Mind you, in order to learn to fly the chopper, you have to first learn to fly fixed wing.

    tac


  • Registered Users Posts: 164 ✭✭Tesco TripleChicken


    tac foley wrote: »
    On the news this evening, a new pilot training academy will open shortly where aspirants who want to fly commercial airplanes train for two years, at a cost of around £100,000.

    Seems pretty reasonable to me, bearing in mind how much the military put into training you to fly a fast jet or helicopter. Mind you, in order to learn to fly the chopper, you have to first learn to fly fixed wing.

    tac

    100k is quite high. The cheapest I've seen is around €60-70k, and a modular course would be even cheaper


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,396 ✭✭✭Frosty McSnowballs


    youtheman wrote: »
    Why do you think they make the pilots 'sign on' for 10 year ?.

    I think it's 12 years. But yeah, a good few Air Corps pilots go on to fly commercially.


  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭NewSigGuy


    tac foley wrote: »
    Mind you, in order to learn to fly the chopper, you have to first learn to fly fixed wing.
    tac

    Not true, you can start flight training on a Heli from day 1 Zero Hours.. 100K seams to be the figure for a fully integrated frozen ATPL course with one of the reputable flight schools.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,263 ✭✭✭youtheman


    NewSigGuy wrote: »
    Not true, you can start flight training on a Heli from day 1 Zero Hours.. 100K seams to be the figure for a fully integrated frozen ATPL course with one of the reputable flight schools.

    He meant in the Air Corps.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,504 ✭✭✭tac foley


    youtheman wrote: »
    He meant in the Air Corps.

    I did.

    The OP was asking about the Air Corps so I answered him as a per sequitor.

    He then talked about the civilian route, and I mentioned the new flying school here in UK that estimated the general civil aviation full-license cost at £100k.

    So how much do the equivalent schools in the RoI charge?

    tac


  • Registered Users Posts: 179 ✭✭NewSigGuy


    youtheman wrote: »
    He meant in the Air Corps.

    Point Taken. If you go for a AC Cadetship with the sole intention of pursuing a career as an Airline Pilot you will be a very unhappy bunny for 12 Years.

    I also think that if the Selection Board think this is your motivation then you will most likely not be selected. That is not because they begrudge your choice, just that they will think you will have a serious problem completing a Cadetship that you are not motivated for, and your motivation does not match the requirements to become a Pilot Officer.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    A friend of mine flies the Triple-7 for Eti Had - you could follow the route he did -

    .....got a job and worked every hour he could get his hands on and saved like crazy and took out a loan (guaranteed by his parents)

    ....went to the US and did his PPL (with me!), then his CPL then his ATPL (along with all the associated ratings)- the weather is better there, and there are loads of opportunities to build hours.

    ....stayed in the States and flew everything he was allowed fly - ferry flights, road traffic reporters, sightseeing flights in Florida even some bush flying in Alaska - anything to build hours and earn money for jet ratings.

    ....from there he progressed to flying for charter airlines in the US

    ....and from there to flying for a large international shipping company

    ....before getting a job as a first officer with Eti Had - he's now a senior captain with them.

    The Air Corps take on only a handful of cadets each year, there's no way they'd take someone who they even half-think already has a foot out the door.

    Also, there are very few, if any airlines, who train their own pilots any more - BA might still do a bit (I think Aer Lingus were talking of re-starting their programme) - but competition for places on those few programmes will be ruthless.

    If you have zero hours and want to get to ATPL (Frozen) level - it will take about 200 hours flight time, 12 to 14 months and about €90k.

    Your first step should be to go get your medical to make sure there's no reason you can't fly commercially.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    I think it's 12 years. But yeah, a good few Air Corps pilots go on to fly commercially.

    I think it might be a bit like the skippers in the Navy - you reach a stage in your career where you realise that future assignments will involve more and more time piloting / commanding a desk rather than flying (or at sea in the case of the boat drivers) so people move on because they're not ready to give up on what they enjoy.
    NewSigGuy wrote: »
    Not true, you can start flight training on a Heli from day 1 Zero Hours.. 100K seams to be the figure for a fully integrated frozen ATPL course with one of the reputable flight schools.

    You'd be mad as a civilian to qualify as a commerical heli pilot - you're always going to be competing for jobs against ex-military pilots who will have more hours on more types in more challenging conditions than a wholly civilian pilot could ever hope to run up.

    For example to get on the books with CHC you need minimum...

    750 hours total time RW
    ATPL(h) theory complete
    CPL with IR
    Class 1 medical
    350 hours on medium or heavy ME aircraft

    To go in as a direct entry skipper (on the SuperPuma or AW139) servicing offshore facilities you need
    3000 hours total time
    1500 hours PIC
    1200 hours PIC Multi-Engine
    300 hours offshore
    100 hours PIC on either the AS332 or EC225


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 472 ✭✭folbotcar


    Is there a backdoor into the profession? I emailed the Air Corps asking what kind of pilots license is obtained if there's any possible way to get into commercial flying from it, but their answer wasn't helpful at all and didnt even answer my question ( I think they misunderstood).
    Can anyone here answer my question?
    I'm sorry to say I laughed at this. I apologise because you obviously misunderstand how it works and of course you are doing the right thing by asking questions. Of course they misunderstood, they're not a training school for the airlines. The military is a career in itself and they seek people who want a military career and who are capable of being good officers and leaders. But they do realise that most will leave eventually and go on to other things be it SAR or airlines or something else.

    But it's not a backdoor to an airline job.

    But you got it dead right here:
    My main goal is to become a Commercial Pilot, but raising the funds for training is the main issue. I could get a college degree and get a job and save up, but 10 years could've passed by the time I get the money (likely more than 10 by the time I get a job in the industry)
    That's how you do it. That's the back door into an airline job if you don't get a cadetship. Ten years isn't bad considering. It took me more than ten years to get my first paid flying job. I know when you're young it sounds like a long time, half your current life or more. But I'm afraid that unless you have the money upfront that's the timescale.

    Read Jawgap's post again about his 777 friend. That sort of dedication is often what's required. But he was actually lucky because most people don't get to work in the States and there is a much smaller range of starter jobs over here. Actually I would love to have that career progression. It sounded like a lot of fun. Getting that first paid job is the really difficult part and many fall at that first fence.

    What amazes me is that I've seen pilots turn down starter jobs because the pay is low, the hours are long and they're not prepared to move to where the job is. Then there's others who blow it completely. I knew one guy who struggled to get any job but when he did get a tentative offer he was already talking about the next job to the chief pilot! Guess how long he lasted?

    I'd say apply for a cadetship in the Air Corps by all means and anything else that's going but be prepared for a long run to become a working pilot not just an airline pilot.

    I happen to think this is a good time to start training to be a pilot in Ireland. There is a possibility, just a possibility that there might be starter jobs in this country soon for those prepared to take them. Fingers crossed on that.

    Keep asking questions to, there are no stupid questions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 164 ✭✭Tesco TripleChicken


    folbotcar wrote: »
    I'm sorry to say I laughed at this. I apologise because you obviously misunderstand how it works and of course you are doing the right thing by asking questions. Of course they misunderstood, they're not a training school for the airlines. The military is a career in itself and they seek people who want a military career and who are capable of being good officers and leaders. But they do realise that most will leave eventually and go on to other things be it SAR or airlines or something else.

    But it's not a backdoor to an airline job.

    But you got it dead right here: That's how you do it. That's the back door into an airline job if you don't get a cadetship. Ten years isn't bad considering. It took me more than ten years to get my first paid flying job. I know when you're young it sounds like a long time, half your current life or more. But I'm afraid that unless you have the money upfront that's the timescale.

    Read Jawgap's post again about his 777 friend. That sort of dedication is often what's required. But he was actually lucky because most people don't get to work in the States and there is a much smaller range of starter jobs over here. Actually I would love to have that career progression. It sounded like a lot of fun. Getting that first paid job is the really difficult part and many fall at that first fence.

    What amazes me is that I've seen pilots turn down starter jobs because the pay is low, the hours are long and they're not prepared to move to where the job is. Then there's others who blow it completely. I knew one guy who struggled to get any job but when he did get a tentative offer he was already talking about the next job to the chief pilot! Guess how long he lasted?

    I'd say apply for a cadetship in the Air Corps by all means and anything else that's going but be prepared for a long run to become a working pilot not just an airline pilot.

    I happen to think this is a good time to start training to be a pilot in Ireland. There is a possibility, just a possibility that there might be starter jobs in this country soon for those prepared to take them. Fingers crossed on that.

    Keep asking questions to, there are no stupid questions.

    Assuming I was to get my ATPL and all the training and that (after getting degree + job + saving), would the airlines care what I got my degree in? I'm currently hoping to study physics but now Im just thinking of trying to switch to a degree (might not even be able to) which will have the most job opportunities by the time I graduate (computers/engineering). DCU also have an airline management course, would a degree affect job opportunities as a pilot?
    Also, if it takes me about 10+ years, is it not a bit late to start at the age of 30?
    I have also read there is very few pilot jobs available, how true is this? Seems like a huge waste to have saved up and paid for training, only to be unemployed.
    I understand what everyone's saying about the Air Corps not wanting people to join with the intention of leaving, so I don't think I'd be interested in staying there for 10+ years either.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 472 ✭✭folbotcar


    No you seem to be going the right way about it. I don't know if the degree matters over much but if it's in French Literature it might not be so attractive as computers/engineering. I think mainly what they look for is record of competence and excellence.

    If you're doing a course do something you're good at and something that pays well at the end of it. This makes you a low risk for banks when it comes to lending money but also you can begin to save heavily.

    When I say ten years I mean ten years to getting the airline job. Get your degree done, get working, get saving, get your PPL and hopefully you'll have all CPL by your mid to late twenties. This also has the side effect of making more attractive when it comes to cadetships.

    You need to be very single minded about it.

    As for pilot jobs unless the famous pilot shortage arrives, don't hold your breath. There's always jobs but it's a mystery to some why certain pilots always seem to find it easy to get them. I know personally at least six pilots who went from club flying into paid flying and some into the airlines in the last year and a half. None went into Ryanair. They all had something in common. It's hard to define but usually they were successful people in other fields before they got the flying job plus they're good pilots and good company.

    I know other now sitting at home wondering where they went wrong. Having flown with one or two of them................

    So far you've the right idea. Keep at it remembering there's no guarantees.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,297 ✭✭✭✭Jawgap


    To be honest, from my understanding a degree or lack thereof wouldn't make a blind bit of difference - either you can drive the bus or you can't, and you demonstrate your abilities by flying, passing the various tests along the way and getting the ratings you need.

    The mate I referenced earlier had a decent leaving cert, then got a job (where we ended up working with each other) - he lived at home and saved like crazy.

    I'm not sure how a degree makes you any more attractive to an airline - but it would definitely help if you were inclined towards the air corps.

    If it was me, I'd get a job and work my nads off for two years to build a fund up and then do my training in blocks.

    Maybe it would be worth your while posting a few questions in Aviation & Aircraft?


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