Learning to Fly

Member for

14 years 4 months

Posts: 1,064

Another career option for a confused 14 year old with no idea what he's going to do when he leaves school.

Would anyone be able to tell me how I would go about learning to fly, I'm pretty sure its not cheap, but is there anyway I could learn - cheaply, i.e. scholarships or something - i'm pretty sure i'm not the richest of folk on this forum, but flying is definately something I'm interested in along with dozens of other things,

one thing I know will pop up is "go to Air Corps (Air Cadets)", well any advice other than that appreciated because it isnt my cup of tea,

wozza

Original post

Member for

15 years 9 months

Posts: 313

ATC

Wozza,

Your position is shared by many (myself included!)

The BALPA website is very useful.

My best advice would be to work very hard and do your absolute best! Get good grades and this will allow you the most flexibility... I've purchased a textbook to try to improve my maths. (I feel quite guilty writing this at school on a laptop in a science lab whilst I should be typing up my physics coursework! :p )

I acknowledge that you have said the ATC is not your cup of tea but I cannot stress enough just how many opportunities there are available to you! I fully understand that you may feel reluctant to join as I was too but going down on one night just to see what it's like can't do any harm - You wont be forced into anything you don't want to do.

I saw it a challenge for myself – after all there are many in the process of becoming a pilot. It looks very impressive on a CV as it shows you will have first class teamwork skills (and leadership skills if you get promoted) and also a high level of self discipline and responsibility. Most importantly though it’s great fun and you meet loads of new people and make plenty of friends.

Yes, there is discipline but I can assure you that it is not the harsh, authoritarian environment that some people think it is! That's just a stereotype and remember if it was bad people just wouldn't go - It's a voluntary organisation.

I've been there just over a year now and have been both gliding and powered flying (AEF) in Grob Tutor 115s many times. It is completely free and you are taught by the very best instructors, who IMO display excellent skills and an incredibly high level of ability. It's no surprise when you consider the majority of them have decades of flying experience both in the RAF and in civil airliners. They're always very friendly and willing to help or explain anything to you. My last instructor was a retired BA 747 Captain who taught me some very useful skills.

My aim is get an ATC Flying Scholarship. This is funded mostly by the RAF, and does NOT mean you are committed to joining the RAF. I think this is the most realistic option because as you know flying is so expensive and anything that will help to reduce the cost of it is obviously a huge benefit. I've applied for a Gliding Scholarship (completely free) as this should be done before a Flying Scholarship.

The vast majority of pilots I've spoken to were in the ATC and this launched their career and helped them to get it firmly ‘on track'. It does appear that it's the 'norm' for most pilots to have been in the ATC.

I hope you do not feel as if I've missed the point by talking about the ATC after you specifically said that you were not interested but I honestly believe joining it is the best way forward for you, as it will allow you to make progress and give your career a 'kick start'!

I hope this will help you :) Good Luck!

Regards,

Joe

Profile picture for user cloud_9

Member for

14 years 4 months

Posts: 2,343

Would anyone be able to tell me how I would go about learning to fly, I'm pretty sure its not cheap, but is there anyway I could learn - cheaply, i.e. scholarships or something - i'm pretty sure i'm not the richest of folk on this forum, but flying is definately something I'm interested in along with dozens of other things.

If you really want to get into commerical flying, I suggest you take the advice that has already been given (see below!):

My best advice would be to work very hard and do your absolute best! Get good grades and this will allow you the most flexibility...

With decent A-Levels, you can get onto a course that is being run at the university I am studying at, have posted a link to some details below, and have a contact number of the head lecturer of that particular course who might be able to advise you in order to find out what your best options are!

http://www.bcuc.ac.uk/main.asp?page=129

Hope it helps mate, PM if you want any further info and contact number!

Profile picture for user Hugh Jarse

Member for

15 years

Posts: 192

BY767 raises some good points but I disagree with the comment that most pilots are ex ATC. I am not and don't know anyone else who was. Many are ex forces, not only RAF but Army and Navy too.

The flying scholarship is a very good idea. It ill get you a PPL as a start and give you a good indication of whether you want to do it for real and if you have the aptitude. When I started you didn't have to be an ATC member to get the scholarship. It is very competitive though. The Royal Air League used to offer a scholarship too.

There is no cheap way of learning to fly these days. The CAA stopped that by introducing the structured course. This virtually closed the self improver (destroyer) route as it once was. I think the way I learnt was the cheapest at the time. I got my PPL in Florida and then bought a Cessna 172 so only had to pay an instructor on top of the running costs of the aircraft. Once I had my CPL I was then able to offer sight seeing flights around the local area and I used to also fly people to watch the shuttle launches. Once I had my hours ( I got 700 over there) I sold the aircraft and actually got the same money as we bought it for. This meant my hours were very cheap but I still had to convert to a UK licence which was very expensive in itself.

If you do win the lottery I would recommend going to one of the major UK flying schools, in particular Oxford, as they have a very good reputation with the airlines and will often work with them when type ratings are being offered.

The good news is we are just coming into a period of famine for pilots with not enough trained people around. This means that the goalposts are going to be moved in your direction in the near future. You may be lucky and by the time you are of age, they are offering full scholarships again as they did in the late 80's. Good luck!

Member for

15 years 9 months

Posts: 313

Cloud 9, Thanks for posting that info on your course.

HJ, Most of the pilot's I've spoken to were in the ATC but of course I know there are many that weren't.

The way I look at it is learning to fly will never be cheap but there are ways to reduce the cost of it.

Rgds,

Joe

Profile picture for user Hugh Jarse

Member for

15 years

Posts: 192

BY767 - It may be worth bearing in mind that I speak to professional pilots almost every day so feel my experience may be a little more valid judging by your profile. I am trying to provide a balanced opinion and to indicate that it isn't as common as you imply to join the ATC. Please respect that.

Wozza - Another option is the university air squadron should you opt to do a degree course. Not all unis offer the UAS but it may well be an option.

Profile picture for user Flying-forever

Member for

14 years 1 month

Posts: 159

Well, as said by by767 i bet most people here wolud like to take up a career in the air if i can't be an airline pilot then i'd probly try to get a job being a flight attendant.
in 'exampa's link it said to get sponsored by an airline but how?

Profile picture for user DME

Member for

15 years 6 months

Posts: 862

Wozza, the only tip I can give you is get your PPL at the earliest stage, i.e. 17. and work quickly on it, right up to when you get in that right hand seat. If you do it young, you can pay the loans off, you won't always have that doubt, that I do, about not getting a job at 25 and having to pay it back until your 33 and trying to train for something else due to airlines not recruiting.

For me, I feel too old to study for my ATPL, I've not even looked at Module one in the past few months.

All the best. Flying is not hard, but the studying is.

Member for

13 years 11 months

Posts: 108

Hi there I am new to this forum, so hi everyone! I am 15 yrs old and i am seriously looking into a career in aviation. I have had two trial flights and now i have decided after much thinking i want to persue this and start my PPL.

I live near Harrogate about 20 mins from Leeds Bradford, I would ideally like to start learing to fly next year possibly during my A-levels. Does anybody know how far I can be trained at Multiflight at Leeds? Also if anywhere in yorkshire there is a facility that would be able train me up to a passernger a/c rating?

I am looking at part/self fuding this over a period of several years, as that means I can start learing virtually straight away. Does anybody have any tips that i could utilise as I do not really want to wait 3+ years to do an intergrated course as this does mean i cannot spread the cost over a long period of time.

Cheers any help would be much appreciated
Charlie

Member for

15 years 9 months

Posts: 313

BY767 - It may be worth bearing in mind that I speak to professional pilots almost every day so feel my experience may be a little more valid judging by your profile. I am trying to provide a balanced opinion and to indicate that it isn't as common as you imply to join the ATC. Please respect that.

Wozza - Another option is the university air squadron should you opt to do a degree course. Not all unis offer the UAS but it may well be an option.

Hugh Jarse,

I acknowledge that you have years and years more experience than I do, and that you talk to professional pilots on a daily basis. I completely respect that, and was not at all disagreeing with you so I'm a little confused in regard to your latest post which, seemed to me to be a little... cold, I suppose :confused:

Please do not think I am trying to be self-important or claiming to know it all, as I'll be the first to admit that I don't and that there's a lot I've still to learn!

Perhaps a minor misinterpretation - apologies from me if I sounded a bit arrogant or disrespectful towards you. As I mentioned earlier, I have a great deal of respect for guys like you with plenty of first hand experience. :)

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Anyway back on topic and I've heard about these University Air Squadrons. The nearest to me is BUAS (Bristol Uni Air Sqn) stationed at RAF Colerne. That's where 3AEF are and where I do my ATC flying. I don't know much about them though. How do they work and how do you get accepted on them?

Charlieflies, Welcome to the forum :)

Regards,

Joe