A lot of european pilots still go to the US to get their licenses. Basically because there are a lot of good flightschools over there.
I have always wanted to be a pilot, but I couldn’t just take up a loan and go to the US, for economical reasons.
So I tried to get into the govt. funded flighschool in Sweden. Unfortunately they closed down for reorganization when I finished my military service, so I put that on hold. The school was actually organized by the airforce, but trained civilian pilots. They reorganized it to belong to a University instead.
I got a job as a hospital engineer and moved to Norway instead.
After I moved there, an interesting chain of events unfolded.
First, a Piper Seneca II made a nosegear up emergency landing on national TV. It was a training flight from a flight school just 2hrs by car from where I live. “Cool! They have a flightschool this close to where I am” I thought.
It was a damn nice landing too!
A couple of weeks later, I read in the local newspaper that this flightschool now was approved for a student loan. “Interesting”, I thought.
And a few weeks after that, again, there was an article about Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) would start sponsoring students at the flightschool in question.
Now, this was getting too good to pass up, so I called SAS, and applied.
I got to go through the entire recruitment process, minus the flightsimulator, and got a training contract.
Two years later I was hired as a FO on the SAS Fokker 50.
Five years later I transitioned to a SAS owned airline called Widerøe, in Norway, and have been there for nearly twelve years now.
The airlines have been through hard times, since the start of the millennium. I was recently part of a study that concluded that working hours have increased by 30% since 2007. In the same period, salary has decreased by 10%, compared to the average workforce salary.
Working for airlines is not what it used to be, that’s for sure!
Still, I love it! I really do! For many of the same reasons already listed above.
A friend, at least a tiny bit inspired by Requiem’s story above, (another RoF guy) is learning in Spain. I gather that while its not America, it is much cheaper than northern Europe and has decent flying weather year-round.
Premature advice (but it is important so write it down and keep in your pocket): At some point in your career, airline or otherwise, you will given a version of the Hogan personality test as a part of the hiring process. Answer QUICKLY. Don’t think. My airline has turned away loads of really good people, often fighter types, because they overthink this test. They see a threat that must be out-manuevered. The test sees an untrustworthy BS artist. If you really think your sister has nice boobs, click “yes” and move on! (Not an actual question)
Had to look that one up. Funny how that piece of furniture grew into some perceived Briggs Meyers test…LOL…
From a PPrune forum (who knows if this is true)…
One of our Captains met Dr. Janus at a social function and asked him what the rocking chair was all about. The doc laughed and said: “I don’t know how all of that stuff got started. My wife bought the chair because she thought it would look nice in the office.”
When I did my typerating on the Fokker 50, as a newly hired lowtimer (235hrs in the log), we got a visit from the CEO of the airline. He said the biggest problem they faced was finding captains since they had to hire us lowtimers as first officers and we wouldn’t meet the hour requirement for upgrade in several years. It really hampered the expansion plans for the airline…
This was in 2000. A year later they laid off the first pilots…
A fictitious but strangely compelling believable statistic is that 87% of future life dreams feature purchasing an old flying boat. If you’ve ever wanted to buy a flying boat then we’re almost certain to be friends.