Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

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Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by Ash3igh » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:41 am

Thanks for an awesome forum and all the valuable contributions and insights. Ive spent the better half of February and most of March to date looking at the various topics/headlines that could assist me and thought it apt to register and seek a more definitive answer . Apologies in advance if it feels as if the topic has been discussed to death, in various segmented threads...

Several months ago I started a discussion with my 15 year son on what he would like to pursue / what his career interests are..Nothing light but a proper series of discussions and options....Not to bore you with the details and the lengthy time spent with him, but he has shown a keen interest in becoming a commercial pilot , hence the post.

He has the mental capability and is a well rounded , mature lad so I am pretty sure his abilities to cope and see it through exist. I am however looking for advice on the following:

1. He is in grade 8 now and we are also contemplating changing high schools next year. Is there a high school in JHB or SA that has a focus on PPL moving to Multi Engine Rating as part of the curriculum while still maintaining the "normal" school syllabus.

2. Would anyone be willing to have a chat with my son and I about their experience, provide some guidance on their path to achieving their licence. I am in JHB North but don't mind meeting you anywhere. I will gladly reimburse you for your time.

3. Is there a possibility of supervised volunteer work in or around his area of interest (flying) that you could possibly suggest? I am however a bit sceptical of this, only because he is in grade 8 and their schedules after school boarders ludicrous with homework schedules, after school activities etc.

4. Is anyone willing to mentor at your/their convenience should it progress to that stage?

I thank you in advance for any positive or negative feedback.
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by jimdavis » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:52 am

Good morning Ash. A very sensible and balanced post.

I have quite a lot of experience with answering your questions. As the boss of 43 Ari School I had many phone calls like this, and would always answer them with these four questions?

1. If your son is so keen on a career in aviation, why didn't he phoned me himself?
2. Tell me about his bedroom - is is covered with pictures of aeroplanes? and models that he has built
3. Does he buy or borrow flying magazines?
4. What is he prepared to sacrifice, or contribute towards his training? His music system? His motorbike, weekend work cleaning aeroplanes, mowing lawns, washing cars?

If the answers to these questions are a bit wishy washy, I would advise you to leave it until you have far more positive indications. If he has this rosy picture of himself walking our across the tarmac, with stripes on his shoulders, towards some fancy aeroplane, after daddy has paid for all his training, then perhaps he is somewhat spoiled and needs a reality check. It takes a hell of a lot of hard work and dedication to get there - not just money.

I made my own kids - a boy and a girl - work and pay for every hour they flew. Why, because I saw, on a daily basis, the difference between the 'daddy's paying' kids, and the ones who had to make sacrifice and to work towards their Com licenses. Both mine are Airline pilots - I think largely because I made them work for it.

Sorry to be so blunt, but we are talking about a hell of a lot of money and a lifetime career. It needs blunt talk.

Basically, you have to decide whether you are pandering to the whim of a kid who, deep down, you know to be slightly spoiled, or whether you are lending support to someone who has an absolute passion for flying and is determined to get there at any cost. It is a very steep, tough road for the first few years. Perhaps 15 is a bit young to be making this decision.

I would love to hear your responses to my four questions, they are not just casual enquiries - they are the result of seeing a lot of youngsters wasting daddy's money, and also a lot of dedicated, hard working kids who made it.

All the very best to you, and your son.

jim
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by Jumbo2016 » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:31 am

Ash3igh wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:41 am
Thanks for an awesome forum and all the valuable contributions and insights. Ive spent the better half of February and most of March to date looking at the various topics/headlines that could assist me and thought it apt to register and seek a more definitive answer . Apologies in advance if it feels as if the topic has been discussed to death, in various segmented threads...

Several months ago I started a discussion with my 15 year son on what he would like to pursue / what his career interests are..Nothing light but a proper series of discussions and options....Not to bore you with the details and the lengthy time spent with him, but he has shown a keen interest in becoming a commercial pilot , hence the post.

He has the mental capability and is a well rounded , mature lad so I am pretty sure his abilities to cope and see it through exist. I am however looking for advice on the following:

1. He is in grade 8 now and we are also contemplating changing high schools next year. Is there a high school in JHB or SA that has a focus on PPL moving to Multi Engine Rating as part of the curriculum while still maintaining the "normal" school syllabus.

2. Would anyone be willing to have a chat with my son and I about their experience, provide some guidance on their path to achieving their licence. I am in JHB North but don't mind meeting you anywhere. I will gladly reimburse you for your time.

3. Is there a possibility of supervised volunteer work in or around his area of interest (flying) that you could possibly suggest? I am however a bit sceptical of this, only because he is in grade 8 and their schedules after school boarders ludicrous with homework schedules, after school activities etc.

4. Is anyone willing to mentor at your/their convenience should it progress to that stage?

I thank you in advance for any positive or negative feedback.
Good morning Ash,

Jim has some sound advice, however, I do disagree with “daddy’s money” vs washing aircraft money.
My father helped me with my flying career, as well as my tertiary education and I will never hide from that. As a father myself, although my son is a lot younger than yours, if he showed an interest in the game, which he is already, I would also help him regardless. What is the difference between spending money on our kids to send them to school, university, tech or flying school, all we want is the best for them.

Please feel free to pm me, I’m also in the JHB north area, and would be more than happy to have a chat.
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by RGB » Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:00 am

Hi Ash

Jim is spot on with his points but it doesn’t hurt to see where his heart is. I paid for every hour of my flying and it was a huge undertaking after my folks lost everything they had in Zim .... took me 6 years to get my CPL and yes I did appreciate it more but by the same token some of my good friends and people I fly with today were fortunate enough to have it paid for by there folks and they appreciate it just as much and share just as much passion for the industry.

We operate a King Air and have a smaller personal plane that I am happy to take your son for a flip and show him the charter ropes etc , I am not an expert nor do I profess to be “experienced” but I have been doing this for about 12 years and have quite a mix of flying some good some not so good ..... give me a shout if you are keen to show him around.

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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by IKTAV » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:50 pm

I agree with uncle Jim. As an airline pilot and flight school owner I’m often asked to give career advice. So often that I wrote an article which is on the “career guidance” section of the Flight Training College website. www.flighttraining.co.za
There are also a few articles written for the aviation magazines over the years detailing the adventures and mishaps along the way to an airline career.
The worldwide shortage of pilots is REAL! Yes, it’s tough getting your first break in aviation. It’s like that for everyone! But there’s never been a better time to become a professional pilot.
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by cage » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:40 pm

I have often wondered why there seems to be so little career guidance for aspiring pilots, and especially for their parents.
There is a lot of focus on other professions but aviation seems to come up short, generally speaking.
A while back, friends of extended family gave me a call because their son had just got his CPL.
As all parents do they wanted to give him a good start and get him going in his chosen profession, not having an aviation background they had an expectation that once qualified he could pay his way.
They really had no clue that he had only put his foot on the first step of the ladder and there was a long road ahead.
His dream stalled rather rapidly as there wasn't much left to continue building hours and there was no work.

It's fine if mom and pop are well off and have aviation connections, but from all the posts on the avcom career pages reality seems to vary from the dream.
Locally there seems to be so little support/guidance/mentoring to take advantage of this "real pilot shortage" that is so often discussed.
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by Bearcat » Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:59 pm

cage wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:40 pm
I have often wondered why there seems to be so little career guidance for aspiring pilots, and especially for their parents.
There is a lot of focus on other professions but aviation seems to come up short, generally speaking.
A while back, friends of extended family gave me a call because their son had just got his CPL.
As all parents do they wanted to give him a good start and get him going in his chosen profession, not having an aviation background they had an expectation that once qualified he could pay his way.
They really had no clue that he had only put his foot on the first step of the ladder and there was a long road ahead.
His dream stalled rather rapidly as there wasn't much left to continue building hours and there was no work.

It's fine if mom and pop are well off and have aviation connections, but from all the posts on the avcom career pages reality seems to vary from the dream.
Locally there seems to be so little support/guidance/mentoring to take advantage of this "real pilot shortage" that is so often discussed.
I agree with the direction of your post ..ie career guidance would be valuable... but I think it would be tough to offer definitive advice.
For a few it works out to forgo a tertiary education and work straight towards a flying/airline career.. but for many others it does not work out.. not necessarily because they dont have the skills or passion .. but simply because they dont get the necessary breaks.
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by jimdavis » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:28 pm

Jumbo2016 wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:31 am
What is the difference between spending money on our kids to send them to school, university, tech or flying school, all we want is the best for them.
Ha ha ha - greetings Jumbo - I am not butting heads, just offering my opinion. Flying is a way of avoiding work for your entire life (being a dentist isn't or an accountant isn't). So I think the little buggers should know they have to put in the hard yard at the beginning if they want to joll for the rest of their days!
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by jimdavis » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:38 pm

cage wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:40 pm
It's fine if mom and pop are well off and have aviation connections...
Also not butting heads with you, but in my experience the 'connections' thing is a myth. I certainly wouldn't employ a pilot just because I was mates with his daddy. Actually it would go against the youngster if daddy tried to push his son.

When my kids were applying for jobs, particularly airline jobs, I kept my nose well out of it. (a) A I would hate to think they couldn't make it on their own, and (b) I would be shirt scared it would go against them if the board thought daddy was asking favours.

Just my opinion. I have heard of others who believe that 'connections' help - but I have never seen any evidence of this.

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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by monkey pilot » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:48 pm

Here is my take on the situation,

Gr 8 is almost too early to decide on a career.

Everybody wants to be a Airline Pilot if it fail they end up as Bush Pilots or Software developers.

Passion for aviation is one thing, you can have all the passion in the world, if you dont network you wont get around in this industry, there is alot of luck involved unless you are connected, dont jump into things and buy an aircraft to build hours cheaply it is not.

There is a clear route to follown there is no guarantees but it could work.

Single CPL with Instructor rating ATP exams let him get into instruction as eary as possible,

If you teach him about being money savvy he would be able to sustain himself, you will have to pay for rent

He will build connections and hear what is happening in the industry,

He will be able to plan his future, it is all about planning and things lining up/connections/networking.

Dont let him jump all over the place, this flightschool that rating and so forth.

It will not happen overnight, yes there are cases where pilots leave flightschool and get employed as FO on Caravans, Let 410, B190, and that type of thing, if it happens he saved 3-5 years of his career, if not network more, be all over the place know the guys that does the sky diving ops in your area, if someone has an aircraft let him be around them talk to them, let him be spontaneous and assist wherever he can, this is what you need to do in this industry,

It can work out it has for alot of these guys,

There will be alot of sacrifices he need to decide which is important all in all that id a 5-9year timeframe until he will fly 737/a320 and the likes,
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by jimdavis » Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:57 pm

MP, I am appalled at how often you mentioned networking and connections. I don't believe that these are nearly as important as doing a good job and getting a good reputation.

Of course he must keep his ear to the ground, and follow up on likely leads. And indeed luck plays a part, but string pulling has never played a part in my life, or that of any other pilot I know.

I am not being sarcastic MP, but has it really worked for you?

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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by aTrolley » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:27 pm

If your son has a passion for aviation, willing to put in a lot of hard work and doesn't just want to look cool in uniform he will make it.
That being said I was one of the spoilt kids that had my dad pay for my flying all the way to CPL after I had finished a university degree and decided I would rather be a pilot. I am enternily grateful to my dad for helping me, but it was always my decision and I was never forced to do something I did not want to do.
I’ve met many young kids who started flying at 16 and by the time they are 18 with a CPL have chosen different careers and are no longer flying due to a parent or family member forced them into aviation.
First jobs in aviation are hard to come by, connections can help point you in the right direction, but dont expect to walk into a job with 200hours and get a seat on a King Air. Myself and many of my friends are flying in Malawi, Zambia, Namibia etc. away from family and friends in non-glamorous circumstances for the love of flying.
It wont do any harm to take him to flying schools to meet people, hear and see what it is like, but he is still young, choosing a career now might not be the same thing he is passionate about in 4 years time when he finishes school.

Feel free to PM me if you want to hear more or possibly for a meet up.
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by IKTAV » Sat Mar 09, 2019 5:35 pm

Pulling strings is a dicey thing to do. Sometimes it works, but often it backfires. I once tried to help out the kid of a friend. Big mistake! The youngster was a lazy condescending little @#$&! Unfortunately daddy couldn’t see it. End of a friendship. I’ve seen this happen several times now.
Like Jim, I stayed well clear when my kids were scouting for jobs. I wanted them to succeed on their own merit. It was important for their own self worth. Hanging onto daddy’s shirt tails, hoping for a job, won’t win them any respect.
Having a contact might get you an interview - but that’s about all. In fact it might be a disadvantage. People know when they’re being used and don’t have much respect for this type of thing.
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by cage » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:03 pm

jimdavis wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:38 pm
Also not butting heads with you, but in my experience the 'connections' thing is a myth.
Butt away ;)
Apologies, that wasn't the point I was trying to make - message lost in translation.
If you move in the right circles, you know who is who so it is easier to start chasing the right people.
You are more likely to hear if someone is looking for people or to have your name pop up in conversation, more likely to have an understanding of the right approach or to get good advice/mentoring.
Name recognition never hurts when your CV is in a pile of others, though I guess it could also be a disadvantage in some cases 8-[

Knowing the lay of the land is always a good advantage.
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Re: Assistance/Advice with aspiring teenager

Unread post by Bearcat » Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:49 pm

cage wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 6:03 pm

Name recognition never hurts when your CV is in a pile of others, though I guess it could also be a disadvantage in some cases 8-[
Yea ... never mention the word Cage if you are looking for a heli job :lol: :lol:

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