Answers to common questions can be found here.
Frequently asked questions about our airline assessment and airline interview courses.
Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for visiting our Frequently Asked Questions page. Flight Deck Wingman understands just how varied a pilot’s background and experience can be. To help you, we have constructed a list of some of the most frequently asked questions by pilots new to the industry, or perhaps considering a change in direction of their aviation career. If any of you have any new questions, then Flight Deck Wingman would be delighted to answer them for you! Please contact us directly, or better still why not post a question on the Fight Deck Wingman Facebook page, where you can also find links to current jobs and other useful information. Train to Prepare. Prepare to Succeed. Get Yourself a Wingman!
Inexperienced and Aspiring Pilots
Becoming a pilot is a huge investment, both mentally and financially. The best advice Flight Deck Wingman can give you, is to research very carefully what it means to be a pilot in this day and age. You will find a wealth of information and debate on the internet, and it might also be worth looking at the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA), or other similar airline associations to get an impression of what they think the industry is like.
Check out this link: http://youtu.be/DyZxahxMD2Q
Try to speak to as many pilots as you can in different companies, and ask them for their honest and frank opinion on what they feel about the company they work for, and the industry in general. You might be surprised to hear that many pilots these days would not recommend it as a profession for their children. If after doing all that you decide that it really is for you, then it’s time to start the hard work. The topic is unfortunately too large to cover in this frequently asked questions section, but plenty of information is out there, and at Flight Deck Wingman we will always do our best to answer any general queries or questions you might have about the industry. We all started somewhere! Get in touch with us today.
Well that is certainly the public perception! It is true to say that being a pilot can pay for a good lifestyle and provide for the future. However, this very much depends on the company and the contract that you are employed on. You would be amazed how salaries and associated benefits can vary between companies-sometimes things are not quite as they seem! You must also remember that if you are starting out as a new pilot, you will probably have very large debts to repay from your training costs (often around 100,000 pounds). Check out this link which gives some indication of salaries and terms within some airlines.
Good news! The general market is definitely on the up at the moment. The recovery in the economy, plus lower oil prices and an increased global demand for air travel, mean that there has probably never been a better time to get your foot through the airline door. Cadet schemes still exist through companies such as the L3 Academy and CAE Oxford, but as always research all of these companies carefully, and how they intend to find you work at the end of your training. Keep an eye out on the Flight Deck Wingman Facebook page, our linkedin page and our instagram page where the latest job offers and recruitment taking place will be posted. Please “like” and “share” the page with your friends! Flight Deck Wingman is always available to answer general questions, please feel free to contact us any time.
It is an unfortunate scenario, but any sponsorship programmes are usually heavily oversubscribed. For those of you considering paying for your own licences, then this is not a decision to be taken lightly. You may spend tens of thousands of pounds chasing your dream, only to find that there is no job at the end of it. Also be wary of completing flying training in countries that will not give you an EASA ATPL such as the United States. This may appear like a cheaper way to pay for your flying, but you will only end up having to convert it through more flying in different airspace and weather conditions when you get back to an EASA state. This can often prove to be a false economy. Some traditional avenues such as flying instructing once you have gained your commercial pilots licence seem less popular these days, with everybody expecting to go straight into the big airline job. Don’t discount these options though, they will give you an invaluable toolset when you do you have the experience requirements for a larger airline job, and they keep you in current flying practice while you wait. Flight Deck Wingman is here to support all of you, whether it’s through a general query, or to give you the very best chance of securing sponsorship deal. Contact us today to see how your wingman can help!
Being a flying instructor used to be a well trodden path for aspiring airline pilots. These days with cadetship programmes like the generation easyJet MPL and other sponsorship programmes, the chances of getting an airline job from the beginning are much higher, but the flying instructor route should never be discounted. If you haven’t managed to find your dream airline job yet, then what better way to keep your skills honed and earn some money at the same time. You will also be meeting plenty of other pilots with which to network and gain knowledge and experience. Flight Deck Wingman has helped such pilots. Some have been instructing or flying tow planes for gliding clubs for example, and through assistance from Flight Deck Wingman, we have successfully got them to the assessment stage of airline recruitment drives. Contact us today and let’s get started!
Many pilots have found themselves in this position at some point or another, whether it’s at the start of their aviation career, or perhaps things have taken a downturn and they found themselves out of a flying job. Flight Deck Wingman understands that this can be a very frustrating time for many aspiring airline pilots, but there are things that you can do to improve your chances of getting that flying job when the market conditions improve, or your experience level dictates that you can apply to an airline. We have met plenty of pilots that were once cabin crew, or aircraft dispatchers for example. These types of roles are so closely linked to that of being an airline pilot, that not only will they improve your general knowledge of the aviation industry when you come to get your first flying job, but they show real motivation and a passion for the profession when it comes to an interview, or completing an application form etc. Not only that, but you are likely to meet pilots in your day-to-day role, and that’s a great way to network. Check out some airlines career pages for roles e.g. Jet2.com, TUI, British Airways etc…
When a recruitment window opens, the airline will usually be heavily oversubscribed with applications. If you don’t meet the experience requirements, then the chances are you won’t even be able to apply, as most applications are submitted electronically these days and they will be very specific when asking about your flying experience. Whatever you do, don’t lie! Sometimes you might be very close to meeting their experience requirements. If this is the case, then it may be worth contacting the airline recruitment department directly if you have the means to do so. Networking is also one of the most valuable tools in this industry when it comes to gaining that first job, so try to network when the opportunity arises. Sites like linkedin are a great place to network! Do not despair though, your time will come! Stay motivated, and make sure you keep your ATPL valid.
Every airline will require you to apply for a Criminal Records Check (CRC) also known as a Disclosure Baring Service Certificate (DBSC). If you have a previous or current criminal conviction, then you can seek more information on whether this might be an issue for your application here.
What Type of Work is for Me?
Working in the private jet sector is very different to working for a major airline. There are plenty of benefits to this type of work. You may get to fly for some very interesting people, and the salaries are usually good, with a good chance of fast progression to command. Your flying days will never be the same, and you will perhaps get to take part in some interesting things outside of work with your clients. Pilots that enjoy this kind of work often like to work autonomously, free from the ties that come with working for a larger airline. This can be hugely rewarding and very enjoyable, but it does bring its own unique set of challenges. You will most likely be responsible for not only flying the aircraft, but ensuring that hotels are booked for your clients, that the flight plans have been filed correctly, and that the transport arrangements and engineering support are available wherever the aircraft goes. You should also bear in mind that job security might not be as good as that of a larger airline. If the owner decides to get rid of the aircraft, then it is likely that you will also have to seek employment with another private jet operator. Some business jet operators like NetJets function in a similar way to large airlines however, so it’s worth doing your research!
This is a very difficult one to answer, and it really comes down to personal choice and what is available in terms of the job market. Many companies still run seniority based systems, where time to command is purely based on your number – the more senior you are, the more likely you are to get a command. Other companies like Jet2.com don’t operate a seniority system for command, and will award commands on merit once you have the minimum amount of experience that they require for their insurers. Job security and lifestyle are usually the most important factors for most pilots, but of course everybody has their own individual motives and ambitions.
How can Flight Deck Wingman help?
It would be pointless if Flight Deck Wingman were to provide a generic CV for every pilot applying to join an airline, or apply to a cadetship program. Everybody has individual strengths and differing backgrounds. Depending on the service you choose, Flight Deck Wingman will help tailor your CV and covering letter to ensure that it makes the very best of all of your professional and personal attributes. This will make your application shine at each and every stage of the process. No matter which level of CV service you have chosen, your wingman will review it carefully and during your online 1-2-1 session, you will work closely with you Wingman to give it the very best chance of being at the top of the pile on the recruiters’ desk. A good covering letter is perhaps the single most important element of the initial screening process once the recruitment team are satisfied that you’ve met the experience requirements. Don’t let a poor covering letter be the reason that you don’t get through this initial screening process.
Flight Deck Wingman will train you in the “Techniques Not Tip Offs” to shine when it comes to any Airline or Flight School interview. We understand exactly how to construct answers to all types and styles of interview question you will face during this stage of the assessment process. Choose our online 1-2-1 services where we will train you in the techniques to be successful at any interview – “Techniques Not Tip Offs” that really work! Alternatively, if you are able to join one of our industry leading Airline or Flight School Assessment Preparation Courses, then get ready for a full day of preparation and practical assessment in interview and group exercise work, working alongside other clients, learning with (and from) each other – all supported by your “Wingman” team of course! Backed up with purchasing our industry leading “Guide to Passing Interviews and Group Exercises” you are ready to join the 99% of our clients that are successful with the Interview and Group Exercise phases of their assessments. Train to Prepare. Prepare to Succeed. Get Yourself a Wingman!
Group exercises introduce a new dynamic into the assessment process. You’re now not only be looked at as an individual, but also assessed on how you interact with the other group/team members. We understand exactly the competencies that the assessors will be looking for, from both a positive and a negative perspective. Our highly experienced Wingman team are not only all current airline pilots, but also former Military Officers, with extensive additional experience in leadership and teamwork training. Flight Deck Wingman has condensed years of experience into key facts and expert knowledge that will really give you the edge when it comes to this stage of the process. By far the best way to prepare for this part of the assessment process, is to attend one of our Flight School or Airline Assessment Preparation Day Courses. As well as Group Exercise training, you will also have the opportunity to take part in two assessed and de-briefed group exercises. With support and guidance we will discuss all of the positive and negative factors that could influence the outcome of the group exercise. If you can’t attend a group training day, then our online “Bespoke 1-2-1 training” course is fo you! 4 hours of dedicated time with your Wingman, training you in all of the elements you need to be successful.
That’s a great question, and one that Flight Deck Wingman is pleased to answer! As a former military fast-jet pilot, Flight Deck Wingman’s founder knows just what it’s like to make this transition. Some people make the move very naturally from the military type ethos, into the civilian aviation world. For some pilots however, this can be more challenging. Firstly, we can give you honest and frank opinions on the type of work that is out there, and with backgrounds in charter work and scheduled work, in both a long haul and short haul capacity. The Flight Deck Wingman team comprised exclusively of ex-military pilots from the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy, has a wealth of commercial aviation experience built over many years in the civilian world. Nobody understands your experience better and crucially, how to translate that experience better. Our military pilot services will help you gain the essential skills and competencies to ensure that you are able to translate your experience on the day of your assessment. Get in touch if you want to have a general chat about the transition – we would be delighted to have a free and no obligations chat about life “outside”.
Licensing and Type Ratings
Yes, absolutely. With so much change taking place under EASA, it is hugely important that you keep up-to-date with these changes with regard to your licence, so that when a job comes up that matches your experience, you are ready to go.
All airlines will require you to have an MCC qualification – it’s a mandated requirement. However, a JOC or APS course may not be mandated. These types of course are a fairly recent evolution and there are plenty of companies prepared to take your money, but as to whether it improves your chances of gaining that job or not, then that is probably open to interpretation. That said, when it comes to a simulator assessment, it is likely that you will feel more confident and prepared going into that assessment if you have completed a course such as the JOC or APS. It all comes down to your finances, and whether it is a pre-requisite of employment with that company anyway.
Flight Deck Wingman Top Tips
Airlines closely guard the test questions that they use to filter candidates at this stage of the process. However, should you wish to practise (and practise you must), then there are a wealth of tests out there on the internet, and on internet chat forums such as www.pprune.org you will usually find guidance from candidates that have recently attended selection processes. Check out this link and consider purchasing some practice questions in preparation. You must spend time practising multiple verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning tests. There is strong evidence to suggest that the more you practice these tests, the higher the likelihood of you passing this initial screening stage of an airline assessment process. If you’re not sure where to start, then please just get in touch. Flight Deck Wingman would be delighted to help you. In the meantime, check out the guidance on verbal/numerical reasoning and aptitude tests here on the website, where we have provided some hints and tips. Also keep an eye out on the Flight Deck Wingman Facebook page, where we will introduce the odd question to test your knowledge!