Dan’s interest in flight training started in an unusual place – a car boot sale. There he stumbled across a copy of ‘flight sim’ a computer game which focuses on aircraft simulation, and he became hooked. Just as well, because before that chance encounter, he’d always wanted to become a virologist…
We are now back and well recovered from one of the industry's biggest pilot training events - Pilot Careers Live.
This November's event was spread over two days and we spoke to more students than ever before about commercial pilot training.
The event's seminar programme offered a great insight into what pilot training involves, such gaining your class 1 medical, what APS/MCC means and advice from airlines and first officers in the industry.
Researching the best pilot school can be very daunting. You know you want to be a pilot but is it best to study part-time or full time? Where will you find the funds and what school has the best reputation, student satisfaction and success record?
The Pilot Careers Live event is held at the Sofitel, Heathrow Terminal 5, in November and April each year and this one promises to be better than ever as it is extended over two days!
Hundreds of prospective pilots attend the event in a bid to get expert advice from airlines, industry professionals and Europe's most prominent flight schools.
Friends of FTA get a special rate on their tickets - you need only quote FTA18 when you place your order online: http://bit.ly/2DYXYNU
Have you ever been curious about what skills and abilities are required to become a flight instructor? Perhaps you've never given it a second thought, our suggestion is that you should.
Have you ever considered training to become a flight instructor but not known where to start?
This guide aims to help you understand the training required to become a flight instructor, including the opportunity for development, the hours and salary you can expect to earn.
We continually follow market forecasts for the commercial pilot industry and one of the major suppliers of such analysis is Boeing.
Air travel is becoming an even bigger part of people's lives and Boeing confirms that the in-service fleet will double by 2037. Their outlook proves a valuable tool to prepare for the growth long into the future. It should also be a source of motivation and support for those interested in the career prospects for those training to become a pilot.
So, with this in mind, what does the 2018 report predict for the next 20 years? Here are some of the highlights...
"THIS YEAR, WE AGAIN FORECAST A GROWING DEMAND FOR NEW JETLINERS, AS AIRLINES AND OTHER OPERATORS LOOK TO RENEW AND GROW THEIR FLEET TO SERVE MORE PASSENGERS AND CARRY MORE CARGO... THIS SECTOR ALSO INCLUDES THE TRAINING OF PILOTS AND TECHNICIANS TO OPERATE THE AIRPLANES AND THE EMERGING FIELD OF DATA ANALYTICS TO FURTHER ENHANCE OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY."
Vice President | Commercial Marketing | The Boeing Company
How will the market growth affect recruiting airlines?
"The pilot labour supply has continued to tighten amid strong global air traffic growth, leading to challenges for the industry in recruiting and retaining qualified pilots and flight instructors. Pilot provisioning services can fill temporary shortfalls in staffing, while crew planning and scheduling tools can assist in ensuring an adequate number of flight crew are available at the right time and location.Regional markets that have relied heavily on recruiting pilots from outside their home location are increasingly seeking to recruit, train, and develop locally sourced pilots through increased investments in educational outreach and ab initio programs (full pilot training including ground school). Rising training costs coupled with a tight labour market will spur changes to how pilots are trained and retained."
Europe in focus
European air traffic continued its strong run in 2017, with network airlines carrying 5.3 percent more passenger traffic than in 2016 and the largest low-cost carriers (LCC) in Europe reporting an increase in short-haul passenger traffic of 13.2 percent. These strong traffic increases came in the face of GDP growth in Europe of only 2.8 percent, suggesting that European aviation is not entirely dependent on GDP to generate traffic growth.
We sat down for 5 minutes with Tom, a flight instructor for FTA. He explains what he enjoys about teaching others to fly and his journey to get where he is now.
Why did you train to become a pilot?
When I was 19 and a student I started to work as a secretary in an aviation company. Within months of working there, I grew a passion for aviation and fell in love with the idea of being a pilot. I started in flight operations and became exposed to pilots, hearing their stories and how they explained things.
Despite my growing interest, I knew the cost and felt like it was impossible for me, something that was entirely out of my reach.
No turning back
I saved every penny I could and eventually saved up enough money to complete my Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL). For me, it made sense to start by only focusing on that aspect of the training. I told myself that the PPL was financially a lower risk than enrolling straight onto an integrated course. It gave me time to save just enough money and was an excellent place to start my training. I felt that if I succeed at this stage, it will give me the knowledge and confidence to decide whether I could progress on to the more advanced training required of airline pilots.
The problem was there would never be any turning back after experiencing what it was like to fly – I instantly became addicted. I knew that I would never be happy if I didn’t now follow my dream.
Finding the right flight school
I researched all the pilot training, and my boss who is also a mentor to me said to go to the states and train over there. It was a UK certified flight school but based in Florida, and you gained an EU licence at the end of your training. It was only possible with thanks to funds from my parents and a personal loan. After I had completed my commercial training, I had to find somewhere to complete my IR (in the US you cannot do your instrument rating).
I looked around Europe and the UK and first looked at a few, large flight schools based in the South of England and their prices were well out of reach. I was also very disappointed by their customer service. Through further research, I discovered FTA and everything felt happy. I got a response within hours and had all the answers to my questions. Stuart (the Admissions Officer at the time) was friendly and helpful.