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AIM HIGHER. PILOT TRAINING WITH AN EDGE. Becoming an airline pilot is an intense & exhilarating process, and there are different routes to the flight deck, to realising your dream. We offer both Integrated and Modular courses, both result in achieving your ‘frozen’ ATPL, the qualification you need to become an airline pilot. At Leading Edge Aviation, we offer more than just the technical training. We have a fleet of Diamond DA40 & DA42 aircraft, a DA42 Simulator and an Airbus A320 FTD-1 Simulator, along with a suite of advanced learning spaces with first-class facilities and Instructors. We also focus on developing our students’ soft skills, with employment preparation coaching and a wellbeing programme that supports our students throughout their training and onwards journeys. So, whichever route you choose, you’ll receive the most advanced theoretical knowledge and technical training, in our friendly & supportive academy, where our students always come first.

You’ve got this. The runway awaits.

Visit or call us on

01865 546300 to find out more @beleadingedge #beleadingedge

For theFor best train with theresults, best results, trainthe with the best people – Bristol Groundschool. best people – Bristol Groundschool. Jamie Dickson, easyJet First Officer Jamie Dickson, easyJet First Officer

World-renowned ATPL tuition. World-renowned ATPL tuition. Flying is about freedom. YourYour ATPL studies cancan be too. Flying is about freedom. ATPL studies be too. Our industry-leading tuition for fixed wing andand helicopter pilots Our industry-leading tuition for fixed wing helicopter pilots is now available online. WithWith access to pioneering resources andand is now available online. access to pioneering resources expert instructors. expert instructors. ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

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■ Study Study where and and when you you like –like part or full-time where when – part or full-time ■ Professional, Professional, experienced instructors experienced instructors ■ Daily Daily live webinars and and overover 200 200 hours of pre-recorded webinars live webinars hours of pre-recorded webinars ■ Extensive question mock exams Extensive question bankbank and and mock exams Live online revision classes Live■ online revision classes ■ Course fees payable by instalments Course fees payable by instalments ■ On-site examination centre On-site EASAEASA examination centre

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Welcome to our new VIRTUAL event! Well, it’s a very different world we now find ourselves, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Aviation has been dramatically affected – and continues to be so – but as Boeing points out in its recent Pilots and Technicians Outlook (see p11), the fundamental demand for air travel will return. Aviation has taken big hits before. On 11 September 2001, the terrorist attack on New York’s World Trade Centre involving airliners, changed security at airports forever – but the industry came back. The SARS pandemic of 2002-03 was nothing like the size of the current emergency but it affected 26 countries – and the industry came back. Likewise, the worldwide financial crash of 2008-09 slowed aviation’s growth – but not for long. The point is that aviation will return to being the world’s most effective method of travel. There will be changes, but pilots, cabin crew, support staff, technicians and many more throughout this great industry will be needed as travel for personal reasons, holidays and business bounces back. With this unusual backdrop, we have taken Pilot Careers Live into a new realm as a virtual event. The exhibitors – mostly Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) – have a virtual hall where you can find out about their courses and facilities, and book a one-to-one online chat. Running right through the two days of Pilot Careers Live Virtual will be live and interactive online video sessions, with seminars, panel discussions, interviews and Q&A opportunities. Plenty of chances to find out the information you need. And once the event is over, all this material will still be available ‘On Demand’ to anyone who has registered for the event. That last point is important, you do need to register – it’s free – to watch the live sessions and chat to exhibitors. If you haven’t done so already click here. Now, more than ever, it’s vital to understand what training for a career as a professional pilot entails. Whether you want to fly for an airline, fly helicopters, or any other type of commercial operation, you need to know what training is required and what options are available. You can do that at Pilot Careers Live Virtual.

Pilot Career News


Darran Ward Exhibition Manager

Paul Yates Exhibition Manager



Step-by-step guide to Pilot Careers Live Virtual 1

It’s all online, with live streaming on Friday 6 November and Saturday 7 November from 10am to 5pm.


Register for access (it’s free!). You must register and log-in to see much of the content. Click here to register

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Once the form is completed and sent, you’ll receive an email confirming log-in details

Log-in and start to explore Pilot Careers Live Virtual. There’s lots to see including live presentations, exhibition hall and video on demand.


Click Watch Live to join in the live stream sessions where you can ask questions and make comments using the chat function


Click Schedule to see the two-day schedule of live presentations, interviews, videos, panels and Q&A.



Click Exhibitors to wander around our virtual exhibition hall to see what the leading Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) have to offer in terms of courses, facilities and locations. You can book a video chat with them too (it’s all free).


Shortly after each live streaming session, a video of the event will be available in the On Demand page – there are some there already from previous Pilot Careers News interviews. These videos will form a complete library of Pilot Careers Live Virtual and be available after the event to anyone who has registered.


Enjoy Pilot Careers Live Virtual, join in whenever you can, ask all the awkward questions you like, then go and have a cup of tea while you consider all the information and advice you’ve received.


Take action – decide the right training for you, book it and start your journey to become a professional pilot!


Friday, 6 November 1000 Dealing With The Covid crisis – Panel Discussion 1040 UK CAA: To 2021 and Beyond 1100 Q&A 1120 Future Shape of the Airline Industry 1140 L3Harris 1150 Take Control of Your Training 1230 Multi-Pilot Licence (MPL) 1250 Q&A 1310 The Selection Process 1350 ATPL Theory/Groundschool 1430 Upset Recovery Training (UPRT) 1450 APS/MCC 1530 Leading Edge 1540 The Training Journey: Personal Stories 1620 Q&A 1635 Day One Review Note Topics & times may vary on the day as this is live broadcasting



Saturday, 7 November 1000 Aviation & Sustainability 1020 CAE Pilot Outlook 1030 Choosing your training route 1110 What you need to know as a parent 1140 Q&A 1200 Gliding 1220 Preparing for study overseas 1240 Class One Medicals 1300 Bristol Groundschool 1310 Female Pilots 1340 First impressions count 1400 Q&A 1420 Drone Pilots 1440 Rotary 1500 Flight Calibration Pilots 1520 Q&A 1540 Pilot and Cadet welfare 1620 You’ve finished training, what now? 1700 Staying connected with the industry 1740 Q&A 1755 Final Wrap!

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Pilot Career News Flight simulator maker Entrol has launched a new FNPT II simulator based on the Airbus Helicopters H125, previously known as the AS350, one of the world’s best-selling helicopters.

Eight new Flight Training Devices (FTDs) from L3 Harris Technologies have been ordered by BAA Training for training centres across Europe and Asia. They are a combination of A320, 737 MAX and 737 NG aircraft. All will be certified to EASA Level 2. Flight training company CAE has become carbon neutral. “This is a bold achievement and we hope that CAE’s commitment in the fight against climate change will inspire other companies to take tangible actions,” said Marc Parent, President and Chief Executive Officer at CAE. Alsim, the French flight simulator manufacturer has launched a convertible simulator, the AL40/42. It combines two popular Diamond aircraft, DA40 & DA42, in one device, offering flexibility to flight schools. The device reproduces the Diamond specific interior cockpits and flight decks including Garmin G1000 NXi avionics.

The quick response by Greece to the Covid pandemic means pilot training for international cadets is steaming ahead, with Egnatia Aviation taking full advantage. Egnatia is training 350 cadets a year at its two bases at Kavala and Kozani where flying takes place 325 days a year.

‘Fundamentals for air traffic remain strong’ – Boeing forecasts future pilot jobs Boeing is painting an optimistic picture for aviation once it starts to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the latest edition of its respected Boeing Pilot and Technician Outlook covering 2020 to 2039. The American aircraft manufacturer forecasts that 763,000 new civil aviation pilots, 739,000 new maintenance technicians and 903,000 new cabin crew members will be needed to fly and maintain the global fleet over the next 20 years. The forecast is inclusive of commercial aviation, business aviation and civil helicopter industries and assumes air traffic recovers to 2019 levels within the next few years. “While the current industry downturn, driven by Covid-19, has resulted in a temporary oversupply of qualified personnel, the long-term need remains robust,” says the Outlook. “In recent decades, aviation has experienced external forces that have affected demand, such as 9/11, SARS and the Great Financial Crisis. Recovery has generally followed several years later, as the

fundamentals driving passenger and air traffic demand remain strong.” The Outlooks points out that prior to the pandemic, commercial aviation was experiencing a shortfall of qualified pilots and technicians. The current ‘oversupply’ gives aviation operator, such as airlines, the chance to build a ‘pipeline’ of people. “As commercial traffic demand returns in upcoming years, aspiring aviators will have the opportunity to fill open positions created by a combination of personnel retirements and fleet growth,” says the Outlook. “Prior to the downturn, many airlines had begun utilising cadet programmes to recruit, develop and train aspiring pilots. It generally takes two or more years for an aspiring pilot to achieve a commercial pilot licence. Aspiring aviators who begin their training today will be well positioned to take advantage of new job opportunities as the industry recovers.” In Europe, the Outlook forecasts a total of 147,000 pilot jobs over the next 20 years, the third biggest number. Asia-Pacific (248,000) and North America (208,000) are the top two.


Feature Airline Careers

How to become an airline pilot There are many reasons why people train as professional pilots, as well as numerous things to consider. Rebecca Kwo reports


hy train as a professional pilot? If you’re reading this, you may already have the answer – to fulfil a deeply rooted ambition. This is enough for many. However, for those who require more reasons, it is worth considering the following. Varied rosters make for an exciting, if demanding, lifestyle. You will visit large numbers of different places, see the world from a different perspective, and meet a wide range of people who feel as passionately about the job as you do, which makes for a unique and special workplace.


Before committing to the enormous challenge of training as a pilot, consider what your end goals are and tailor your journey accordingly. This guide is largely aimed at those considering airline flying, but some stages are applicable to other types of commercial flying.


What’s the future prospect? Back in 2019, and even at the start of 2020, we were all talking about Boeing’s predictions of 800,000+ pilot positions needing to be filled over the next 20 years. Life was good, airlines were hiring, and it seemed to many that the

bonanza would go on forever. Covid-19 had other ideas, and one year later the airline industry is facing one of its toughest winters ever outside of a world war. This year’s Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook has, unsurprisingly, revised its estimates downwards, although it is still predicting the need for 763,000 pilots worldwide over the next 20 years (the full report can be downloaded and read here). Boeing’s view of pilot numbers in Europe is that they’ll drop by 1,000 to 147,000 over the next 20 years. So what does that mean for you if you haven’t started your training? The disruption to the industry is obvious,

Airline Careers Feature

“Aviation-related degrees are becoming more common, particularly since they may allow student pilots to access government student loans, potentially to amounts up to £40,000”

and anyone looking for a First Officer airline job today is going to struggle to land that first position. If you have yet to start training, then you are effectively trying to figure out what the airline world will look like in something like two to five years, depending on your training route, and that’s pretty much impossible to do with any degree of certainty. Any prudent planning will, as ever, mean having a Plan B that you can bring into play – temporarily if necessary. It is worth bearing in mind that the aviation industry has weathered previous storms: 9/11, SARS and the global financial crash of 2008 being just three examples. This one is bigger, but aviation will recover, as yet we just don’t know when or how quickly. Pilots will continue to leave, continue to retire, some of those currently furloughed or out of a job may never return and yes, one day, airlines will be hiring again. But now more than ever it is essential to do your research thoroughly before making your plans.


What do I need before I start? Do your research. As you’ll quickly realise the path to the flightdeck is long and complicated, with many route options and no standard narrative. If you’re too young to begin training, consider getting involved with the Air Training Corps or Combined Cadet Force – and if you’re planning on going to university, consider joining the University Air Squadron. All of these experiences will help you to decide if a pilot career is for you, as well as setting you in good stead once you get to the selection stage and when competing for airline jobs. ATO selection doesn’t require a degree, however, one may still be of

benefit and for some airlines it is looked on favourably. Having a degree means that you’re going into the profession slightly older, with a bit more experience behind you, and if, for any reason, you’re no longer able to pursue a flying career, you can use the skills gained while working for your degree to look for alternative work. Aviation-related degrees are becoming more common, particularly since they may allow student pilots to access government student loans, potentially to amounts up to £40,000. If considering full-time training, remember it is a professional course, and the typical ‘university partying’ will not be on offer. Visit one of the Pilot Careers Live Virtual events – they’re all virtual at the moment – visit flight schools, talk to as many people in the industry as you can and interrogate marketing. Your training provider will be one of the key choices in your flying journey. Before committing, visit the school and meet the current instructors and students. Will it provide the kind of experience you want? Are the resources reliable? Is the training recognisable and acceptable to the kind of employer you’re looking at going to? Remember, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. All training providers would recommend taking a trial flying lesson before you start. This should be a memorable experience to ensure you both enjoy it, and have some basic suitability for operating an aircraft. Obtain a Class 1 Medical. This will be a ‘no go’ if you are unable to pass. This is a thorough medical exam, however, not as strict as some would imagine. Wearing glasses isn’t an issue as long as it falls between a wide band of correctability. All medicals must be carried out by a UK

CAA-approved Aeromedical Centre (AeMC) and will take up to four hours. It looks at your medical history, eyesight, general physical check, hearing, heart rhythm, lung function and also includes blood and urine tests. Medical fitness will become a bedrock of your flying career and your profession relies on you passing annual tests, increasing in frequency as you age. Maintain a healthy lifestyle and have a back-up career plan should you lose your medical. Acronyms Become familiar with acronyms, as you will discover they play a huge part in the aviation dialect!


What licence do I need? To get into the right-hand seat of a commercial airliner, you will need an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) or a Multi-Pilot Licence (MPL). For smaller operations, you may only need a Commercial Pilot’s Licence with a Multi-Engine Instrument Rating. An Airline Transport Pilot Licence is at first ‘frozen’, and allows you to act as a co-pilot on commercial operations. At 1,500 hours, it becomes ‘unfrozen’ and legally you may operate an aircraft as commander, although in practice this will become subject to an airline giving you a rank of Captain. A Multi-Pilot Licence offers the same, although is restricted insofar as the training is tailored towards a specific airline, and you may not use the MPL at any airline other than the one it is affiliated with – there is no ‘generic’ MPL. At 1,500 hours it becomes an unfrozen ATPL. For other commercial flying jobs, such as instructing, surveying, or parachute dropping, only a CPL may be


Feature Airline Careers needed. It is worth considering that there is a wide range of aviation careers beyond flying airliners, which is itself a unique lifestyle. At selection your motivation will be challenged, so proving you have researched the career field thoroughly will be advantageous.



Making a choice: integrated or modular? Deciding whether you want an integrated or modular style of training is a personal choice. An integrated course has the advantage of typically being faster than a modular course as it is full-time and requires less hours and should provide high consistency of training, which is good for learning skills rapidly. Courses are normally residential, typically have phases of training at foreign bases, and you will be with your peers for a large amount of time, which should give its own support group. Historically the integrated course has

been favoured by airlines, but increasingly this bias is lessening as the airlines shift to new emphases in selection. A modular course has no fixed timeline and can be tailored around the candidate, and course prices typically end up cheaper than integrated courses. Both courses require discipline and focus but the modular course requires more organisational skills on the part of the trainee to schedule the various elements of the course. The 14 ATPL exams on a modular course are also typically done remotely and at home, requiring enormous discipline and organisation. Some full-time residential courses are available to modular students for groundschool.


How much will it cost and how do I fund it? Courses to the point of licence issue will typically cost between £60k and £100k, plus living costs. Scholarships are available for some elements of modular training, such as ground school and a Private Pilot Licence (PPL). Very few airline schemes will fund the cost of training for those accepted onto their schemes. Typically, airline ‘schemes’ will consist of a ‘sponsored’ ATPL or MPL, with the sponsorship taking the form of

(Photo © Martijn Kort)

How do I get these licences? You need to decide what licence you are going to get before you start training, as it affects how you will train. Two key types of training are available, integrated and modular. Regarding the ATPL, integrated and modular routes follow the same syllabus of exams and practical flying, although the modular route requires more hours. The modular route can be done on a timeline tailored to the cadet, separate elements of the course can be interspersed with jobs or other life demands. The integrated route requires fewer minimum hours as it is based on a full-time, ‘zero-to-hero’ model of training that is often residential and can be completed within one to two years. The MPL is only available for airline-affiliated courses, and you will need to pass selection for an airline’s own MPL scheme before being accepted. Only integrated-style training is

available for MPL schemes. These tend to be very competitive, with the numbers of applicants outstripping the number of places available, so multiple tries at selection may be required. There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to both licences. As mentioned, a MPL is restricted for use at a single airline before 1,500 hours are obtained, so if you were to lose your job before that time you would be in a very tough position. An ATPL is less competitive to get onto, although typically all integrated courses require selection. Deciding which route is best for you will be a key part of your research.


Feature Airline Careers

“Pay module-by-module, rather than all up-front” Pay module-by-module, rather than all up-front. Even integrated courses offer a pre-designated schedule to draw down payments in instalments over the period of your training. Does your chosen ATO offer a payment protection programme? These guarantee to refund a percentage of your fees, should you fail to reach the required standard.


What does pilot selection look like? Selection will be a part of your pilot training career, either before or after training. It will examine your interpersonal and technical skills, personality and motivation for the career. Your skills will be tested typically through aptitude tests, measuring your reactions, hand-eye coordination and other ref lexes relevant to f lying an aeroplane. Maths tests also normally feature, to measure your ability to perform mental

arithmetic quickly and accurately. Personality tests are becoming more widespread and popular. It is possible to prepare to some degree, becoming familiar with the format of the tests. Schools will be able to offer guidance. Your personal skills are measured through interview and group exercises to assess leadership and teamwork, key skills that will impact how you work within an airline crew. An interview will examine your strengths and weaknesses, and achievements and challenges you have come across in your life so far. You will be examined on your motivation for the job, and knowledge of the industry.


What does training consist of? The training itself is split into specific sections, which typically run as follows: ATPL ground exams You’ll need to pass 14 exams, covering such subjects as navigation, f light-planning, aviation

(Photo © Martijn Kort)

provisional job offers upon completion of training, whilst requiring the cadet to shoulder the cost of training. Fewer bank loans are available than they have been in the past, and it is still a popular choice for trainees to get private loans from the bank of mum and dad… The total cost of your pilot journey will also include the cost of Type Rating, which is an aircraft-specific course, only undertaken upon securing an airline job. The cost of these will range from around £15k to £40k, and each employer will have a different ‘deal’. Typical arrangements are that a pilot is bonded for the cost of the type rating, a bond that diminishes with services or disappears after a length of time. Others will require the trainee to pay upfront. Professional flight training is one of the most expensive investments you’ll ever make. Whichever route you choose, make sure that your investment is secure by taking these steps: Research your chosen Approved Training Organisation (ATO). How long has it been trading? Does it have any history of financial problems? What links does it have with major airlines? Most ATOs operate on a strong financial footing, but sadly it isn’t unknown for an ATO to go under, sometimes taking their students’ money with them.



Feature Airline Careers majority of professional pilots.


How do I get an airline job afterwards? If you have not been selected for an airline, upon graduating you will be looking for opportunities. Some schools will have dedicated career services who will help you prepare CVs and for interviews and sim assessments, and may have dedicated ‘pools’ from which certain airlines recruit. Proactiveness is always required on the part of the graduate and if there is a prolonged period between graduation and getting a job, you may need to undergo refresher training to keep an Instrument Rating current, e.g., which will be an additional cost.


How will my career progress as a pilot? After completing Type Rating, you will begin line training, which is operating commercial f lights with a training captain. After passing this phase, you will be a qualified First Officer, and from there will begin working towards the rest of your career, which usually involves becoming a Captain and moving to the left-hand seat on the f light deck. A wide range of other opportunities are

available as part of your career, such as training and management. Short haul f lying and long haul f lying offer different lifestyles and rates of career progression.


Where can I go for the next steps? Join us at Pilot Careers Live events, held throughout the year in the UK and other locations in Europe. Meet leading ATOs first hand, future employers, and universities offering relevant aviation degrees. They will be happy to answer your questions about professional pilot training and careers. There are also presentations from major airlines and trainers. To find out more details and information visit PCLV, click here. For more information about a broader range of professional pilot careers (including alternatives to airline flying), and available scholarships then check out FlyingStart here. You should also check out: Take a look at the PCN website (click here) – where you’ll find plenty of articles on training types and funding, plus interviews with people talking about their own training journeys.

(Photo © Martijn Kort)

law and human factors. Full-time packages on either modular or integrated courses will take six to nine months on average, with a busy classroom and independent study schedule. Flight training Practical flight training can be split into further sections, and takes place across single and multiengine piston aircraft. Much of the early sections of flying training require good weather, so ATOs will likely send you abroad to complete sections. Night Rating Consisting of both solo and instructional f lights. Commercial Pilot Licence The CPL is a basic requirement to be allowed to f ly for financial reward. This is a major stepping stone. You need a minimum of 150 hours of f light time to get this far, f lying complex aircraft with retractable undercarriage and variable-pitch propellers. Multi-engine Rating Learning to f ly a twin-engine aircraft, and what happens when one engine fails. Instrument Rating Flying solely with reference to the aeroplane’s instruments. This is the essential set of skills allowing a pilot through cloud and other inclement weather, and forms the base of airline f lying. Multi-Crew Co-operation Learning to work as a team, a requisite for the





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Start YOUR CAREER with RYANAIR. Europe’s No.1 Airline! • 83 bases across 19 countries • Best roster in the business; stable 5 on 4 off pattern • No planned overnights and roster published 4 weeks in advance • Fastest route to command upgrade • • • •

– 3 to 4 years after Cadet course! Fleet to grow from 455 to 585 by 2024 34 year unblemished safety record Job security – become part of one of the most successful airlines in the world Unrivalled career progression – new aircraft and bases create opportunities for promotion to Captain, LTC, TRE, Base Captain

Ryanair, Europe’s No 1 Airline, has partnered with Cork-based international flight school, Atlantic Flight Training Academy (AFTA), to train and recruit new pilots for a mentorship programme. Successful ab-initio applicants will undertake an extensive 16-month training program that involves 220 hours flight time at Cork International Airport. Trainees will receive ongoing one-on-one mentoring from a Ryanair pilot. Ryanair standard operating procedures, culture and operational philosophy will be taught to the student from day one of flight training. On successful completion of the programme and a final Ryanair assessment, the new pilots will be offered a place on a B737 Type Rating course with Europe’s largest airline. The programme has 3 x additional GATEWAYS to facilitate more experienced pilots.

GATEWAY 1 This is for PPL holders with 100hrs P1 who have also completed all ATPL theoretical exams. Apply to AFTA and pass initial assessment to be placed on the mentored programme. Candidates who successfully pass all elements of Gateway 1 and a final Ryanair assessment, will be put forward for a Ryanair Type Rating.

GATEWAY 2 CPL, ME/IR and ATPL theory holders can take an AFTA assessment. Successful applicants will be put forward for a Ryanair mentored APS/MCC where Ryanair procedures will be used throughout. Candidates who successfully pass the APS MCC and a final Ryanair assessment, will be put forward for a Ryanair Type Rating.

GATEWAY 3 Qualified pilots will be offered a career path with Ryanair and AFTA. Following successful assessment with AFTA & Ryanair, individuals will be offered a full-time position with AFTA as an instructor for 2 x years following which they will be fast tracked with Ryanair on a 737 Type Rating. Applicants that choose this career path will continue to follow Ryanair’s instructor career path with the airline and can expect to become Ryanair SFI’s & training Captains once qualification criteria are met.

Take your first steps towards Ryanair with AFTA - Apply Now For An Assessment Whether you have no flying experience or you have some flying experience.

Schedule a pre-course assessment at AFTA. Email:

Building 4500, Airport Business Park, Cork Airport, Co. Cork T12 NX7D. T +353 21 488 8737.