Supporting Unemployed Pilots

We are Pilots too and are here to help. Read on to learn more…

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Unemployment support for Pilots affected by the COVID crisis.

Pilot colleagues. Flight Deck Wingman is here to help.

During these unprecedented times for the aviation industry, we understand that now more than ever, Pilots need our support. At Flight Deck Wingman, our mission is to help all aspiring and current pilots maximise their potential & achieve their dream airline job, so to hear that so many of you are suffering the fallout from the effects of COVID-19 upon the industry, is deeply upsetting. Previously providing independent support to Pilots from Thomas Cook and flyBe, we understand the professional and personal life events that so many of you will be experiencing right now. We have designed this page as a resource centre which we hope will assist you when you need it the most.

If you want somebody to talk to, would like to discuss your personal situation, or have a question relating to pilot recruitment, then head on down to the bottom of the page where you can book a free career support call with the Wingman team.

Train to Prepare. Prepare to Succeed. Get Yourself a Wingman! 

Claiming our Training through a Job Centre Plus

Flight Deck Wingman is registered as a LVP supplier with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), which means that if you are unemployed or have been placed under notice of redundancy, then you may be able to make a claim for training with Flight Deck Wingman through your local Job Centre Plus (JCP).

This service is for Pilots that have been placed under notice of redundancy or those that have received confirmation of redundancy. You may be able to claim our training via the “Rapid Response Service” through your Job Centre Plus (JCP). Note that this scheme is only available within 13 weeks of being made redundant. The Rapid Response funding ethos is to help with removing a barrier to employment.

You may be able to claim our training via other job centre processes.

The DWP website states that you can get free training if you’re unemployed and:

Your Jobcentre work coach will tell you what training you can do.

The Job Centre Plus (JCB) provide assistance to those who are unemployed and claiming benefits. Their aim it is to help people of working age find employment in the UK. You can find details on how to contact the JCP here.

There are some things you should do ahead of a meeting with your JCP work coach:

If you want to discuss your training needs and what Flight Deck Wingman services might be best for you, then we would be very happy to help. Please contact us here.

Unemployment FAQs

Pilot colleagues, here at Flight Deck Wingman, we consider you all part of the Wingman “formation” and are here to help. That’s why we have created an FAQ section designed to act as a resource to try and answer the many questions we know you will have, but may not have the capacity to research yourselves at this time. Please be aware that this information is only provided to the best of our knowledge and should be treated as such.*

There is a huge amount of expertise within the pilot community and we would like to draw on that expertise in order to assist as many Pilots as possible. If you have some information which you think might benefit the pilot community, we would be super grateful if you could help us by emailing us an FAQ style question and solution to .

Please note the following:

  • You must enter “SOLUTION” in the subject line of your email.
  • We may be unable to respond to emails personally.
  • We may contact you to ask further information in order to check the validity of an answer.
  • We will be reading all emails and doing our best to include your solution in the FAQ section on this page.

Thank you for your support!

We understand that you will have many unanswered questions. If you have a question that is not featured in the FAQ section, then you can email your question to us at .

Please note the following:

  • You must enter “QUESTION” in the subject line of your email.
  • Please ensure that you have carefully viewed all of the current FAQ answers before contacting us, as your answer may already be present.
  • We will be unable to respond to emails personally.
  • We make no guarantee that we will be able to post an answer.
  • We will be reading all emails and doing our best to provide an answer in the FAQ section on this page.

Assisting our Formation - Unemployment FAQ’s

Some companies have stated that you can get “free training” with them, but this is not strictly the case. You may be able to claim training via your Job Centre Plus (JCP) through the “Rapid Response Service”. This service is for Pilots that have been placed under notice of redundancy or those that have received confirmation of redundancy. Note that this scheme is only available within 13 weeks of being made redundant. The Rapid Response funding ethos is to help with removing a barrier to employment. Please see the top of this page for more details on the process.

Some companies have stated that you can get “free training” with them, but this is not strictly the case. You may be able to claim training via your Job Centre Plus (JCP) through the “Rapid Response Service”. This service is for Pilots that have been placed under notice of redundancy or those that have received confirmation of redundancy. Note that this scheme is only available within 13 weeks of being made redundant. The Rapid Response funding ethos is to help with removing a barrier to employment. Please see the top of this page for more details on the process.

Some companies have stated that you can get “free training” with them, but this is not strictly the case. You may be able to claim training via your Job Centre Plus (JCP). Please see the top of this page for more details on the process.

You may be able to access support towards other types of training via your JCP, but each application for funding is done on an individual basis and you will have to follow the same process as detailed earlier on this page under “Claiming our Training through a Job Centre Plus”.

The DWP website states that you can get free training if you’re unemployed and:

 

Your Jobcentre work coach will tell you what training you can do.

Jobseeker’s Allowance has been replaced by Universal Credit which is for people of working age who are in or out of work. Universal Credit replaced Jobseeker’s Allowance. However if you have been credited with enough National Insurance contributions, you may be entitled to ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance. ‘New style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance works in the same way as contribution-based JSA. Your partner’s income and savings won’t affect how much you’re paid. You can get ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance for up to 182 days. Depending on your circumstances, it can be claimed on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit. If you get both at the same time, your ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance payment will be deducted from your Universal Credit payment – you aren’t guaranteed to get any extra money. If you get ‘New Style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance, you will get class 1 National Insurance credits. In some circumstances you may only get these credits and no money. For more information on Jobseekers Allowance click here. For more information about claiming Universal Credit click here.

If you’re unemployed, or under written notice of redundancy, the Travel to Interview Scheme can help you with the cost of travelling to job interviews in the UK, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Full details on eligibility and how to make a claim can be found at this link.

You only need to keep your medical valid if you are intending to “exercise the privileges of your licence”. That means that if you aren’t intending to use your licence, you don’t need to have a valid Class 1 medical. However, do be aware that some airlines will ask for a “Valid EASA Class 1 medical” at the point of application and may even ask for you to upload your medical certificate as part of the initial application process.

This is largely dependent upon your personal financial circumstances. If you decide to complete your training, then do bear in mind that you will need to consider keeping your IR and medical valid as well as trying to stay in recent flying practice – all of which costs money. If you are completing your training via the modular route, then you could investigate pausing your training, but we would recommend that you complete the module you are undertaking as a minimum and do bear in mind that continuity during flying training is important – picking up where you left off may not be as easy as you would like it to be. 

Most airlines will require you to hold a valid IR when you apply to them. We would encourage you to keep your IR valid.

No, you can complete an IR re-validation on a different type e.g. an MEP. That said, you may deem it easier to re-validate your IR on a type you are familiar with.

A valid LPC might improve your chances of being able to take advantage of any future job opportunities that come your way – many Airlines and operators would look for type-rated pilots with a current LPC. Do bear in mind your costs though and be wary of training providers charging over the top prices for this training.

Yes. From 1 Jan 2021. This will have several implications for future employment, particularly if you wish to operate under an EASA state operator.

You can find more information here.

Normally you can revalidate up to the expiry date plus three months. Beyond this point it is classed as a renewal and retraining will be required.
We are unaware of any alleviation’s there. Isolation periods where required must be complied with.

No. This is usually driven by an airline a pilot would be operating for. The important part of the LPC is the type-rating and instrument rating.

Yes, depending on how long it has been since it first lapsed. You can renew a rating up to 3 years after it has expired. 

MPL holders e.g. former flyBe MPL holders, are not restricted to that airline and are free to exercise the privilege of their licence at any other airline, subject to holding the appropriate type rating or having completed the type rating requirements and having completed that AOC’s Operator Conversion Course (OCC) for their new employer Airline. Historically the MPL was restricted to a specific operator until the MPL holder had completed that operator’s OCC training, however this restriction was removed from the regulations sometime after 2015 and is no longer applicable. Therefore, the MPL holder is not tied to the airline and is free to move to another airline in the same manner as any frozen ATPL holder.

However… we are not aware of any airline recruiting MPL licence holders in the same way as they do fATPL and ATPL holders, so the practicalities of gaining employment as an MPL holder may be problematical at best.

The MPL is a qualification set out in EU Regulations and to change the name would require a change in the law…. This is more an education piece for the UK Airline to understand the difference between an MPL and frozen ATPL.

In the current recruitment environment, we would recommend keeping all flying opportunity options open, including that of a Flight Instructor. Do bear in mind the financial investment though and we would be mindful of the health of any flying schools that you might seek employment with.

Absolutely. When the job market for pilots does improve, demonstrating motivation and a willingness to learn new skills and stay in employment will only be viewed positively.

Some opportunities have been available for those with previous military flying experience to re-join the Armed Forces. We are not aware of any opportunities for those with no previous military flying experience being able to “skip” any portion of the normal joining and flying training process. Joining the military could be an option for those right at the beginning of their flying career, but do bear in mind that joining the Armed Forces brings a “Return of Service” requirement. You can find out more by getting in touch with your nearest Armed Forces Careers Information Office.

Many operators have historically looked for a minimum of 500 hours on type when recruiting new pilots into their airline. What is unclear however, is how airlines will treat pilots that have been affected by this pandemic with low experience. We would like to think that many airlines will take a practical view on peoples experience and, through a robust recruitment process, still give those pilots that have been affected the chance to continue their careers uninhibited through no fault of their own.

It’s anyones guess really, as so many factors could come into play. We don’t think there is likely to be significant recruitment for 18-24 months, but things can (and often do) turn for the better as quickly as they turned for the worse…

Not necessarily! Whilst it is true that airlines often look to type-rated pilots when they open recruitment, they don’t always get the candidates that they require. Some of the terms that an airline might recruit on, may not be tempting for more experienced pilots and many airlines and operators also like to create a broader pilot demographic for their operation. A good performance at a selection process is still required of course – a type-rating is unlikely to be all that is required to get over the finish line and into the flight deck!

100%! In fact, getting your CV and/or Cover Letter re-vamped and being prepared for any opportunities that arise, should be considered essential. Competition for jobs will be extremely fierce when recruitment does return, so having an application which ensures that you will be giving yourself the best chance of getting to an assessment stage is one of the things that you can be proactively working on right now! Visit our CV and Cover Letter pages to learn more about how Flight Deck Wingman can help.

Beware companies that write your CV and/or Cover Letter for you – this is unlikely to maximise the impact of your application and is also likely to have been constructed using some form of “template” which means that airline recruiters are likely to recognise it!

Through our work supporting pilots at Thomas Cook and flyBe, it was apparent that many of those pilots had not been through a modern day interview process in some time, or indeed ever before. We would strongly recommend that you seek some support in interview techniques ahead of any new interview process, as interview processes have evolved significantly in the last 10 years. Being prepared is something you can and should be doing now – don’t leave it until the last minute, as it is possible that you won’t be able to get training at short notice, or have sufficient time to work on any problem areas!

We can help with interview preparation of course, or if you would just like to check your readiness for an interview, then you might like to consider our Pilot Skills Test.  You can find out more about our Interview Training here and Pilot Skills Test here.

Ideally both as this may increase your chances of employability. If this isn’t possible then pick the one that is most likely to make you employable when things pick up.

One effective way is to use a sim practice scheme, like the one on offer at Motion flight using their fixed base sim.

As professional pilots, maintaining our skills is vitally important. We would encourage pilots to try and stay current, even if it’s in an SEP aircraft. If you can’t afford to rent an aircraft, then try and “back-seat” when you can, in order to keep your brain in the operational environment. You might also like to check out the “Providers” section at the bottom of this page, where you can find information on other forms of skill-set maintenance. Do be aware that some airlines have historically asked for “XX amount of hours in the preceding XX months” – this has only tended to be the case for low hours pilots looking for their first airline job.

If you are considering paying for a type-rating with no offer of employment attached to it, then we would generally not recommend this. You risk paying for a type-rating which a future employer may not require (if they don’t operate that type of aircraft) and maintenance of skills within that type-rating might be very difficult and very costly.

Training Providers and Opportunities

We will be adding training providers and other employment opportunities below. You should research any Training Providers and/or Opportunities carefully before taking action of any kind*

We are looking for training providers that might be able to assist unemployed Pilots at this difficult time. At Flight Deck Wingman, we are passionate about providing ethical, unbiased and high quality support and training. If that sounds like you too and you can help an unemployed Pilot in need, then we’d be delighted to hear from you. Please contact

Please note the following:

  • You must enter “SUPPORT” in the subject line of your email.
  • Please inform us of the type of training or opportunity you are offering and what you are specifically doing to assist unemployed pilots.
  • Acting ethically and with full transparency is extremely important to us, so please don’t be offended if we can’t immediately recommend you as a provider.
  • We will get back to you if appropriate. Thank you for your interest.
Provider

Free Drop-in Day

Stay Current. Be Prepared! Motion Flight & Flight Deck Wingman in association with the charity Aviation Action are offering a free drop-in day to all unemployed

Read More »

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*Legal. Whilst we hope that you will find the information contained on this page useful, we would like to draw your attention to the following:

Disclaimer Flight Deck Wingman makes no warranty or representation that the information contained and provided on this page will be accurate. No part of this page nor its contents is intended to constitute advice and should not be relied upon when making any decisions or taking any action of any kind.

Limitation of Liability To the maximum extent permitted by law, Flight Deck Wingman accepts no liability for any direct or indirect loss or damage, foreseeable or otherwise, including any indirect, consequential, special or exemplary damages arising from the use of this page, third party websites and services or any information contained therein. Users should be aware that they use any third party websites and the Flight Deck Wingman website and its Content at their own risk.