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HeliTorque :: View topic - how long will I be paying off my loan?
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HeliTorque Forum Index » Wannabes

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flingingwings
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sort of sitting on the fence with this one Smile

However, I've never been asked (other than in social conversation) where I did my PPL, my CPL or my FI ratings.

Historically I've only ever been asked by one potential employer with whom (which Instructor) I completed my MEIR.

My current employer didn't ask about where I'd been trained prior to offering me employment.

The main advantage to learning and flying within the UK is the 'contacts' you can create. Personal recommendation fills many vacancies. In a similar vein adverse comments can do the opposite. Certain individuals whom are highly regarded by 'The Industry' are the Instructors you'd want for the pivotal courses - IR and FI. By the time you have an IR no employer will be concerned about where you did your ppl or cpl.

If you're looking to work as an FI (and then a CAT CPL) with a certain company, the rapport you could cultivate if you have trained with them also is obvious. That said Schools cannot employ every pilot they train. There are no guarantees in this 'game'
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I was more thinking of it as being an issue in getting that first job. But it's also the concept that bugs me, "I'll not support the industry but I'll expect it to give me a gig".
/Rant mode off. (beer mode on)

Speaking of pivotal instructors, I put a brief on the board one day, an instructor from another school happened to be in doing something or other, his comment was, "That's a Mike Green brief that is". Very Happy
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My main issue is with the CAA rather than the industry... however why should I pay more for a product?

I have made many contacts in the UK and US and I did my training in the US, but flown in both countries.

I have also done many things in the US that would never be possible in the UK simply due to the cost or regs - eg when did you last land a R22 at LHR? I've been into LAX in one on several occasions.

I've never been denied an airspace transit in the US - common for UK flying as a non commercial flight. Even during PPL training when I remember making a real mess of the RT.

What about the cost of just staying current if you fly more than one type in the UK?

Unless you have lots of money or someone else is paying the options of work in the UK are pretty much limited to FI as every most (I know not all) things need a twin rting or IR which of course in JAA land has to be done on a twin...

I'll admit that it isn't quite as easy for ab inito training in the US since 9/11 but the FAA have a far more 'can do' attitude than the CAA. And doesn't charge you large sumsof money to jump through their hoops.

Suppose I turn up at an interview with the same hours, experience and ratings as someone else - the only difference is I trained in the US and s/he trained in the UK but I also come recommended from a contact in the industry who are you going to employ?

As an evil aside - your bio shows you're an unemployed CFI raffski...

W.
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raffski
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't see why you felt the need to get personal, and it does seem to be an increasing trend here too. But, your problem. I was commenting in general, and have no idea who you are or what your background is.

I'll update my profile just to keep you straight.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe you need to 'see' the smilies? Only directed at you as you made the comments and then only MY feelings and experiences. The reason for mentioning the bio was because you came across in your posts as being employed in the industry.

I was interested to know what decision YOU would make given the scenario I specified, based on your feelings and views. What about if you trained in England, would you expect the same treatment in Ireland? Where does it stop?

I am entitled to my opionions/feelings just like you are yours - the differences between views are what evokes discussions and hopefully stop 'newbies' being 'co-ersed' (sp?) to training in a particular place.

Slightly different but when hiring crew I don't care where they trained but that they have the right qualifications/experience and are competent at the job they are being employed for.

W.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome novice. I've said this before on other threads, but I have to agree with raffski, go to a school where you're likely to get work. Not just instructional work but AOC (commercial work) too. Not all training organisations have an AOC and what chance do you have of getting commercial work if your school doesn't have one?

There's also the point made above about "spreading" yourself around the industry doing bits of training everywhere. I don't agree that it helps your chances of finding work - if you ran a helicopter school which flight instructor is likely to get the work? The one who has been there from day one and done all their training from PPL to CPL and FI or the one who walked in 6 weeks ago to do his instructor rating? You have to be smart about it. You only get to do spend the money once (and thank goodness for that!) so you need to spend it in an establishment that is likely to get you up the food chain and give opportunities (don't just go for the cheapest deal - think about your future).

Sarah
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the advice, unless i sneak into grandma's room with a pillow this career path seems to be narrowing! I'm travelling for the next year which will give me a chance to think about. I will have to keep a close eye on the market and time it well.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK - time to get personal with Sarah.. Wink Smile

What if student A spends all his money with your school, right through to FI but only manages to scrape through his checkrides and writtens and then I also apply for the same but having trained abroad but equally qualified and an ace at the controls ( I can dream!) who would you employ?

Would you feel obliged to employ your ex-student because he has paid you £lots?

W.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ill throw out the noob comment here Smile

If you both passed your exams with same qualifications ( ie FI ) etc... and the company is happy with both of your flying, then its going to come down to personality.

If they know someone better then I guess they are going to have the foot in the door more, so to say
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PW and Noisegeek I believe you are both right.

NG the known quantity over the unknown is always an easier choice.

Some schools will always choose the homegrown guy no matter how good or bad he is, so they can say they do. If they gave a toss about their students quality of training perhaps they should pick the best guy on the day but thats not a great marketing tool is it 'Train here and we'll pick the guy who was trained by XYZ even though we don't know him' could be seen to send a message to some prospective students.

I've trained at least two people for whom golf was a good option without mentioning any names one continued on to CPL(H) and then I believe stopped flying, they took years to pass the CPL writtens, couldn't nav outside a 5 mile radius of base and during their CPL training one of the students on the course asked me if I'd ever flown with him as from the back seat it looked like he had no idea what he was doing. A sad case I am afraid of the school wanting the money and looking like it was going to deliver on its promise of work after qualification.

As for the train at an AOC argument whilst I suppose it may hold some water from a potential work availabilty point of view, if you are perpetuating the 250hr CPL/ FI waterfall, what are the ab initio CPL students getting from it ? Perhaps less I guess until they get to the CPL portion of their training.

I can think of a couple of places that only offer PPL training and yet have experienced, knowledgeable and committed instructors, take AH Helicopters at Dunkeswell (H500's place) for one. The obvious counter argument is that he can't give you commercial work, but you must weigh that up against the cost of perhaps coming out the other end as a better piilot

I can also think of a least one AOC / Training School that I cannot believe has approval, perhaps a simple proof of getting approval for anything if you throw enough money at it and are good at paperwork.

Whilst it's the schools that hold the approvals, it's the pilots that make the training work or not. Look at FI training for a start, there are a couple of names that come up regularly that move around the schools these are the people who ultimately make the difference as to whether quality training is delivered or not.

Equally the worst place I have ever seen train pilots, based on quality was a big name with all the approvals and having flown on type rating training and testing with some of their instructors (as their FI or FE, i am not an FIC or FIE), there was a worrying lack of knowledge from all bar one of them and he was the most junior, luckilly the two other incumbents have since retired or gone elsewhere on the planet.

Whilst sitting in the pub one evening I asked the question to some students of a now defunct training school where I used to work (see below abotu getting a job) how they all expected to get the jobs they had been promised as it would have required an almost four fold expansion of the school from a student numbers perspective, funny enough the penny dropped for a couple of them.

I think it is more realistic to expect FI work from the school where you complete your FI training on the basis of a successful FI course, rather than at the end of a whole package of training.

Perhaps a quick canvas to see what happens in the real world, hands up everyone who is or has worked as an FI and had you flown anywhere else beforehand, how did you get your FI job or jobs.

I'll go first:
When i was full time FIing I was at the opposite end of the country to where I trained and was offered a job on the basis of rating and availability, no flight test, no nothing.

There will always be two different but valid points of view about low hours pilots conducting flight training, if they don't do it how do they get a foot on the ladder to build any experiene, and on the other hand what are they bringing other than enthusiasm to the training environment. Is it wrong for schools to try and push themselves over others who seem to offer less but in reality perhaps offer more.

Here's an interesting thought are self fulfilling FI schools like ponzi schemes ? Meant tongue in cheek but if they don't care about quality what else are they doing ?

PW
As to the overseas argument thats another two edged sword, the systems are different with good and bad about each (FAA and JAA), but local knowledge does matter. I guess its a matter of how quick can 'Ace' be expected to pick up what he needs to know to deliver quality training to your customers. The other guy should be out of the equation in my eyes unless he can be brought up to speed.

All said from the comfort of an office chair, having not flown since December !

Gary
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does drug running in Mexico or Columbia offer any free hours?
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

novice wrote:
Does drug running in Mexico or Columbia offer any free hours?


Usually years rather than hours... at the pleasure of Uncle Sam who throws in a nice room, 3 square meals and an orange 'uniform' Smile

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PilotWolf wrote:
novice wrote:
Does drug running in Mexico or Columbia offer any free hours?


Usually years rather than hours... at the pleasure of Uncle Sam who throws in a nice room, 3 square meals and an orange 'uniform' Smile

W.


At least it will give you time to learn the theory!!!!
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gary et al...

I was not having a dig the RTF's and FTO's that don't have an AOC (I appreciate there are some superb and experienced instructors out there doing their thing - I don't blame them for not having an AOC with the ridiculous CAA charges!!), I was just implying that once qualified it's a good way to get light charter work and improve your chances of moving up the ladder. Of course the CPL/FI is going to get a better chance of getting the charter work as he/she is around pretty much all the time to grab the ad-hoc stuff that comes in, however the new CPLs tend to get the pleasure flying and the 15 minute tours on a weekend - we don't deprive them of the opportunity as the work is shared out practically. The idea is to give people a chance to make their "break" and if this was not such a rarity there wouldn't be so many low-houred CPL's hitting a dead end in their careers. We had one guy do this for a year or so (no FI rating) and he went straight onto a police job with 700 hours. What's wrong with helping the newbies get a foot in the door? It's the same with the new FI's. They start with the trial lessons and basic PPL training (after all they have to start somewhere), a bit like an apprenticeship where you learn from the more experienced in the company and one day become one of those experienced pilots.

I can't speak for every training establishment but apart from the responsibility to turn a student into a safe and competent pilot, why would you give the them any less than the best possible training when you are looking at them at a potential candidate for a job at the end of their hard work? It's also very much about the person, as noisegeek suggested - some people are just not suited to take on the role, but these characteristics generally start showing up early on - same with the flying ability.

Pilotwolf - candidates I have seen take on the FI course generally do not scrape through (in my experience). The FIC instructors are highly qualified and experienced guys and the course is so intense it tends to sort them out - remember they have to pass a pre-course assessment before they start training and if they don't make the grade the FIC would certainly not put them through. Even if they did struggle on the course, they need to pass the flight test (and we normally use Fred so they're not going to get through unless they are up to scratch). I have nothing against FAA pilots coming to JAR land (I've done several conversions and I can't say there are not generally issues (differences), but usually nothing that can't be sorted out) however it's not just about the ability to fly a helicopter, it's about experience, local knowledge, integrity, personality etc. Not saying we wouldn't give you a job if you came along but it's common knowledge that most schools like to train their own so they can build a relationship with that person, get to trust them and mould them as they adapt to the environment they are training and then working in.

As for ponzi schemes, sounds like you are describing something like the whole Silver State disaster. There is a BIG difference. I'm talking about quality training to meet a requirement to supply pilots to the industry. Yes the new students "feed" the instructors, but there is no shortage of students coming through and the more experienced guys do end up working in the industry, sometimes more quickly than they expect. The proof is in the pudding (and my colleagues and I are the pudding!).

Sarah
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2010 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sarah,

As a natural born cynic I am curious.................

Quote:
however the new CPLs tend to get the pleasure flying and the 15 minute tours on a weekend


Are your talking about basic 190hr CPL holders or the newly qualified CPL/FI holder?

Out of a total staff of X, how many that work regularly with you are 185 hr CPL holders? Or were hired as such?

Quote:
The idea is to give people a chance to make their "break" and if this was not such a rarity there wouldn't be so many low-houred CPL's hitting a dead end in their careers.


Low houred basic CPL or low houred CPL/FI?

The single biggest failing within this industry (training issues is a whole new thread) is the lack of a structured progression for new/inexperienced pilots. For the steps being taken your employer is one of the decent operators. Adding balance, for every place like yours there are two or three that 'talk the same talk' and fail to deliver. I'm not suggesting every new guy should go learn with 'you' (Helicentre) (I've met your boss twice, but never completed any training with 'you') but simple economics dictate that any school cannot employ 100% of the people they train or find jobs elsewhere for them.

How many of your current staff have trained fully from start to finish with Helicentre?

Roughly how many FI courses did 'you' run last year and how many of the successful candidates were employed by 'you' immediately after course completion?

Quote:
We had one guy do this for a year or so (no FI rating) and he went straight onto a police job with 700 hours.


I worry this may be a 'naughty' post Crying or Very sad Was this guy a self funded ab-initio? Was he a 185 hr CPL that walked straight in to a job? Or did Helicentre employ him with his basic CPL, BUT with roughly 600 hrs (and some specialised experience), based upon what I would guess was an Ex Mil pilot who'd attained a civvie CPL and then who worked with 'you' for a year and then went to a Police role? I'm guessing the Police ASU would still have insisted upon a twin rating, plus some hours, and a significant amount of night flying. I'd be thrilled if I was mistaken, but the twin and night experience isnt something readily available to a new or 700 hr CPL. My point, and I'm trying to be purely objective, is how many relevant twins hours do you have? (You being more qualified on paper than the CPL only you describe)

Your enthusiasm and loyalty is commendable but cash strapped mid dream/plan pilots deserve accuracy IMHO

Quote:
why would you give them any less than the best possible training when you are looking at them as a potential candidate for a job at the end of their hard work?


Are you suggesting that every FIC provider only trains people with a view to employing them? Flight schools are businesses. They train people in order to make money. On that basis some will cut corners in order to get the money as quickly as possible, and we can all think of some of those places Cool

Quote:
I'm talking about quality training to meet a requirement to supply pilots to the industry. Yes the new students "feed" the instructors, but there is no shortage of students coming through and the more experienced guys do end up working in the industry, sometimes more quickly than they expect


Big generalisation. I can see what you're trying to imply. But plenty of places with and without an AOC offer quality training. Conversely some from either camp don't. A new FI does learn from his students. No problem with that as many new FIs are far more enthusiastic and committed to the training than some of their more experienced peers. Thats something a student has to work out for themselves when they meet and fly with a fresh (as opposed to new in the sense of qualifiying) FI. There may well be plenty of students. But there isn't much of a requirement for pilots inexperienced or otherwise Crying or Very sad If there was Vee wouldn't be writing software Rolling Eyes

For the benefit of those deciding how much money to borrow etc etc could you clarify
Quote:
the more experienced guys do end up working in the industry


FI'ing is within the industry. So I'm wondering what you're classing as 'more experienced' and 'industry'.

I'm really not looking to start a war of words and the Industry does need to devise a suitable way for the inexperienced to gain that experience, and to provide a transition for self funders to move on from FI'ing and simple AOC work to other roles. It isn't simply a flying hours issue/game. But its a big problem that at present students throw money at, and the Industry seem to ignore. A good start would be standardising course content and delivery. So that as near as possible two students trained in two different places should have a similar level of knowledge and understanding, both able to fly to a similar level. Their person skills being the main difference. Its a long chat Vee and I have had many times, and with no easy to implement solution - because the Industry aren't too worried Crying or Very sad

So long as there are students training schools arent worried. Add in some charters and the AOC holders will be happy too. All you then need is for suitably qualified and experienced pilots to outstrip demand. And thats currently what we have. Crisis management is the 'buzz' phrase that springs to mind Sad

It needs addressing at an Industry level, but it aint gonna happen yet.

Not a rant. Not meant to be personal. Purely a generalisation using your examples. I'd rather the situation was different too. It would be so much better in the long run - Who will fill the experience void when the experienced have gone if 'we' carry on like this?????????????????
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