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Women Pilots

(11 Posts)
Flyingmother Thu 08-Sep-11 23:35:51

Hi all,

Long time lurker but first post - apologies if it's in the wrong place.

I would be keen to get some views / opinions. I am a air hostess, have been for 20 years. My daughter is 17, thinking about careers etc, and has been saying she would like to be a pilot - possibly something to do with a slightly glamorous view of the flying world from trips with us as a young girl.

In my job I have come across a few women pilots, but frankly not many. What do people think? I am asking some of the pilots at work, but not sure how truthful they are being. Is this a good career for a young woman?

Many Thanks,


trixymalixy Thu 08-Sep-11 23:44:45

It's a good career for anyone, it's well paid and prestigious and consequently difficult to get into.

The only thing I will say is that it will bot be a particularly family friendly career as pilots obviously don't work 9-5 and can be away for nights at a time.

cat64 Fri 09-Sep-11 00:02:10

Message withdrawn

Grevling Fri 09-Sep-11 00:36:17

Its a good career but very expensive to get into. I've a few friends that are pilots - including one newly qualified so this is from his experience.

You're looking at £90k (easily!) to train via the CTC route doing an integrated course. But a lot less if she does all the modules herself and doesn't rely on an integrated training school. But still looking at £50k or so to train via that route.

The reason for this is now there are hardly any airlines that are taking on fATPL (frozen) pilots and those that do are having to pay for the line training (£30k) which used to be paid for by the airlines but no longer is.

Having said that there are rumors of BA taking on and paying for that soon, but only rumors so far.

As for being well paid it used to be but as time goes on its getting less and less so. Its simple economics - there are more people that want to do the job than pilots are needed. I know my above friend gets £24k a year as a new pilot to one of the budget carriers. Fully qualified as a co-pilot he'll get £42k. It is possible to get to the £100k a year mark when your a captain on long haul with years of experience and handling training but the real glamour days of the 70s are gone IMO.

Now that may sound defeatist but its not she's at the right time to start training to become a pilot and if she does it herself it can be done without a horrendous amount of cost.

The best plan I'd tell her to do is take another job and start working something in the airline industry and use that to fun her way through the test. My mum worked with someone who did this, took him 6 years be he paid for it while working as a data entry clerk!

Bearcat Fri 09-Sep-11 22:52:23

DS's ex girlfriend has almost finished her pilot training at Oxford Aviation Academy. The cost was 80,000, a loan which she will have to pay back over 10 years.
Her cohort have been told that BA will not be taking on any newly qualified pilots until they have 500 flying hours.
This means she will now have to find another £30,000 to do type training (think its called that) where you pay to learn how to fly the 'type' of aircraft you will be flying.
Hell of a debt to start a career with, but it was her dream and she's almost there!

meditrina Fri 09-Sep-11 22:55:09

I agree with the other posters that it's a good career for anyone.

It's highly competitive to get into. Has she considered joining the Air Cadets?

RickGhastley Wed 14-Sep-11 20:33:25

BA have just announced the Future Pilot Programme where they will act as guarantors for the loan to pay for pilot training. So new recruits will have to pay back the cost of training but hopefully at a low interest rate and direct from salary (always easier to stomach!)

I used to recruit pilots and I have to say that it is so hard to combine work and family life. BA do offer part time work once you have a certain number of flying hours and you can "bid" for certain types of work but you are still away from home overnights at least (shorthaul) and for up to 12 days (longhaul). You also work very long days - 3 sectors a day on shorthaul is usual.

I know that the "low cost carriers" are not so family friendly and do not offer so much choice of work type.

Ladypunk Thu 15-Sep-11 13:13:31

I think it's great she wants to do this - I once knew a woman who was actually turned down to be an air hostess, and so learned to be a pilot instead. I think she just wanted to be in the air!

She ended up doing really well, and became a private pilot for The Rolling Stones!

I think that's very cool. smile

Indaba Mon 19-Sep-11 22:24:20

No Ladypunk....thats not cool, its beyond cool grin

serin Sun 25-Sep-11 11:34:15

Would she consider joining the RAF?

My cousin is a pilot in the US (she is a girl) and works for commercial airlines? Is it cheaper for her to train over there?

Given that uni fees are so expensive now, the pilot route might not be that much more.....

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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