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Opinions On Pay For Training  
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3170 posts, RR: 9
Posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3296 times:


On another industry fourm that I am a member of there is always the hotly contested topic of pilots paying for their training by going to places like Gulfstream Academy, or Delta Academy where you give them $30,000 and in return they give you your ratings, and a couple hundred hours of 121 experience, or a guaranteed interview (i.e.:not a guaranteed job).

I've voiced my opposition to this a number of times. I've paid for my education, and paid for my ratings, but I refuse to pay somebody so that I can work for them. I think it causes all of us to make less, and the companies to make more. Unfortunately, there are plenty of people out there that are willing to do this just to say they fly a jet so I don't see it ending in the near future. Pilots are the only group that I know of that is doing things like this. I think this is different than paying for your education, or ratings like pilot certificates, an A&P or even something like an EMT license.

So what do you distinguished members of this fourm think? I'd especially like to hear from our more experienced members who are pilots themselves.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCaboclo From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3283 times:

Good ol' capitalism: supply and demand, anything's for sale to those who want it bad enough. The way I see it is, those who worry about pay in the airline industry are missing the point; PFT aside, there is no segment of the industry which really pays us what we're worth. Therefore, the best approach to being a pilot is to do it because you love it and heck with the money. We all know that the supply of pilots in the US far exceeds the demand; therefore, those who love it enough are going to do whatever it takes. Those who do not love flying that much and constantly worry about the money are, regrettably, SOL. Capitalism is what it is, both good and bad. If you're not making enough money at the airline, then take all that effort and dedication that you used to become a pilot and apply it to some other field in this great Land of Opportunity, and soon you'll be able fly around in the company jet.

Also, the guy who dropped $30K at the pilot factory gets the same pay from the regional as the guy who instructed for a thousand hours, therefore, PFT by itself is not driving down the pay.

Personally, I've bought time on two occasion: before 9/11 when everyone with a pulse was getting a job, I was in the top of the pool at my favorite airline. Then 9/11 hit, everything got postponed, and I bought 40 hours at a check hauler to make sure I stayed at the top of the pool. More recently, I lost my medical and didn't fly for a year, and no one would hire me, even with an ATP and considerable experience. So I bought another 50 hours hauling checks just to get current and employable again. I've seen ads for european pilots to "self-sponsor" their 747 type and get a guaranteed job. (Job, not interview) Unfortunately, I'm not european, otherwise I'd apply for a whole bunch of credit cards and be flying the queen of the skies right now, with no apologies.

Moral of the story is, you're right, life isn't fair. If plan A isn't working for you, try Plan B, and good luck.

Freight dogs have more fun
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31875 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 3285 times:

Out here.Pilots & AMEs on Attending training are required to Sign a Bond covering 3yrs/xyz Amt on a reducing basis.
Its to make sure that the Candidate does not quit for another Airline following acquiring his Qualification.As the Co has spent for his training.
For Pilots they also need to provide a sum & Bank Gaurentee.With AMEs its only a Bond.

Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineLongbowPilot From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 577 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3277 times:
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I mean c'mon it is all in what you want. If you want to fly in the airline and they have an Academy, it is like the military. You go to that academy, get the education and you get a job. Going to these academies paying for them to teach you everything will ensure you are qualified and ready to get a job in 121. I mean how much have you paid?

User currently offlineA3204eva From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1060 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3273 times:

We are beginning to see a pilot shortage and in a few years time, training will be a lot cheaper and there will be more sponsorship. Although you have to pay an x amount of money to get your ratings so you can fly an airliner, if you can get a job you start earning back some of it. Quite a lot of airlines will have their own training facilities to type rate so that saves on the cost.

"They have lady pilots......... they're not that good, but they have 'em"
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3261 times:

Interesting difference about the military: They'll decide what your job is when you graduate. If you go to a pilot school, you're only going to become a pilot, one way or another, first try or hundredth, or until the money runs out.

More proof that anyone with some cash can become a pilot. At least it's harder to get a PPL than a driver's license...

Position and hold
User currently offlineTheSorcerer From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2005, 1048 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 22 hours ago) and read 3243 times:

Quoting Pilotpip (Thread starter):

The GB Airways pilot I was talking to had to pay £59,000 for his training, he took out a career development loan.

The Sorcerer

ALITALIA,All Landings In Torino, All Luggage In Athens ;)
User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 20 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

I am a private pilot with the obvious dream of flying for a living. I feel I got my ASEL ticket a bit late in life (and too far into a different career) to really pursue that dream, but from what I have seen on this end of the industry so far, those types of academies are the way to go. And should I find myself separated from my family in ten years, you bet I would sign up and live as cheaply as I could, flying my butt off!
Honestly, not even the regionals will bother to look at your resume' twice unless it says 1200 hours and lots of multi-time. How are you going to get that time??? Sure as an instructor (working in a busy marketplace) you can rack up a few-hundred hours a year, but most of that will be single engine private training! And who has the time or money to just hop in a twin and go X-country IFR twice a week? If you are in a bona fide education program you can justifiably finance the expense, you will get meaningful training and experience, and you will have the opportunity to learn from folks who are doing the job... not just another wannabe.

User currently offlineStoicescu From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 17 hours ago) and read 3175 times:

I am working on my PPL and for me the way to do it is the nice conventional way where you take your ratings at your own pace. And to build hours I'll be an instructor. That's the best way for me maybe because I'm very young also and I'm not that pressed by time. But if you are in your 30s and you plan to get a regional job the best way to do is to go to those huge academies.

User currently offlineCO2BGR From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 558 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 14 hours ago) and read 3157 times:

There is a huge difference in paying for your training (for your ratings) at an academy like skymates or ATP, and buying your job (PFJ) like Gulfstream (GIA) does. GIA degrades the industry and the profession of being a pilot. You have to pay them to fly their 1900 thay they use to make money. They effectivly only have 1 person on payroll for that flight and 20 seats to sell, 1 that is guaranteed revenue. They should be paying you because you are required for them to make money. plus when you leave Gulfstream you only have 400 hours or so and are not qualified to be employed by any other regional, even fellow 1900 operators like Colgan and CommutAir, say nothing about a jet regional or a freight job. Your ATP rating to be a captain requires 500 hrs PIC of which you would have 100 or so, therefore if you got hired by a regional somehow you can't upgrade until you fly PIC for another 400 hours which you have to pay for because GIA doesnt give you a CFI. And to add to this, because your resume says Gulfstream, most pilots percieve this almost as bad as SCABing, and your name will be tarnished in their eyes. Remember fellow pilots interview and hhire pilots, and they have many people that are competing for your position. Even good ole WN uses the shady practice of Buying your 737 type rating in order to be employed by them. One reason that I will never fly for them

DCA does not give you any 121 time, but it does have a guaranted interviw with a DCI carrier, which can be as brief as thanks for coming out we are not hireing, see ya.

My inteded track is to CFI until I have 1200 hours and can be hired by a 135 freight company that flies twin turboprops such as ameriflight or Air Cargo Carriers, get 1000 hours in those and use my source to interview at Continental.

It is just a false belief that you need 1000 hrs jet PIC to be hired at a major carrier. In the last class at Alaska 6 out of the 15 had no jet time. Both WN and CO have hired prop guys. Plus before the RJ nobody going to the majors had jet time.

Plus GIA is run by a bunch of SCABS, who are the last people on earth that I would give any money to.

There are too many self indulgent weiners in this town with too much bloody money" Randal Raines- Gone in 60 Seconds
User currently offlineShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 13 hours ago) and read 3150 times:

One common misconception about programs such as Gulfstream's is that if you hand them a check, you have the job. Before you fly the line, you must past the part 121 checkride. No pass = no fly. The other points brought up by CO2BGR in reply 9 are valid issues that warrant careful thought. But for real perspective, seek out former students of such programs, and see what they have to say.

Nobody in thier right mind would discount the value in being a CFI. Often the best way to learn a skill is to teach that skill to others. But teaching isn't for everyone. I'm sure some of us can come up with a few CFIs from out past that coundn't teach a ball to be round.

And you don't have to be a CFI for years on end to get that dream jet job either. One of my former CFIs instructed for less than a year and is now an FO for Trans States. Another just got hired as a Learjet FO for a local medivac outfit. Niether of them "flew thier butts off." I don't have exact figures, but I doubt either of them had more than 1000TT.

User currently offlineFlyMIA From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7582 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 13 hours ago) and read 3140 times:

Quoting 727EMflyer (Reply 7):
Honestly, not even the regionals will bother to look at your resume' twice unless it says 1200 hours and lots of multi-time

Well if you go to ATP academy which is not really Paying for a job it is paying for your ratings. Express Jet has hired guys with as alittle as 750tt with 150 Multi from ATP. If you know some people in the airlines you can really get in with less hours. Not less than 750tt thats around the mims for a major regional with connections. But true many dont have a shot at a job with out alteast 1200tt.
At ATP you pay for your ratings and they give you interviews. Sure your somewhat paying for the interviews but the airlines know what kind of training process ATP uses and know that the pilots which come out passing are going to be good pilots.

"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineFutureUALpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2641 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 12 hours ago) and read 3140 times:

Quoting CO2BGR (Reply 9):
It is just a false belief that you need 1000 hrs jet PIC to be hired at a major carrier. In the last class at Alaska 6 out of the 15 had no jet time. Both WN and CO have hired prop guys. Plus before the RJ nobody going to the majors had jet time.

What about the turbojet/turboprop req? Ive seen this on many airline websites, saying something like 2000hrs TT, 500pic of a turboprop/jet and 500sic, etc. How did those new hires get around this? I too have looked at the academies if the military does not pan out as a way to help boost my career, because cost be damned, I will be an airline pilot.

Life is better when you surf.
User currently offlineFlyMIA From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7582 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 11 hours ago) and read 3125 times:

Quoting CO2BGR (Reply 9):

It is just a false belief that you need 1000 hrs jet PIC to be hired at a major carrier. In the last class at Alaska 6 out of the 15 had no jet time. Both WN and CO have hired prop guys. Plus before the RJ nobody going to the majors had jet time.

That is correct but most major require atleast 1000PIC Turbine time. Turbine time is what airlines really look for. Jet, Turbo Prop what ever as long as it is a turbine engine the time is like gold.

Remember Quality of hours not quanity.

"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offline411A From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1826 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 11 hours ago) and read 3124 times:

Nothing wrong with turboprop hours.
I have trained many pilots directly into the RHS of an L1011 with much less than turboprop experience.
290 hours/commercial/instrument/multiengine ratings.
Training consisted of specific aircraft ground school followed by 36 hours sim, then base check.
This was followed by at least 200 hours of line training, before being line qualified.
At the end, a quite reasonable First Officer is produced.
The airline of course requires a training bond, usually extending five years, or so.
And so they should.
Can't have guys running off just after being line qualified, now can we?
Besides, I'm paid the big bucks to train these guys, and the bucks have to come from somewhere, so the new First Officer is nominated.
So far I have heard no complaints from any of 'em.

User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 10 hours ago) and read 3127 times:

Quoting FlyMIA (Reply 13):
That is correct but most major require atleast 1000PIC Turbine time

No they don't. Most require some amount of turbine time, but not turbine PIC time.

It's not like gold either. Once you get an interview, your time means exactly dick.

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