By DebbieH 20 Mar 2020 7 min read

Captain Chris Rigby: “So what do we do now?”

Captain Chris Rigby joined us last week for our free online aviation job fair, and spoke to visitors about the industry at present and how he is trying to help. Here’s a roundup below:


All of us who have been in commercial aviation over the last 50 years have seen all the ups and downs that it throws at us – but nothing quite like this.


The effects of the Covid-19 shutdown will take some time to work through and it will affect all strata’s of the flight crew community and pilot jobs from the just qualified to those approaching retirement. So if you are one of those, what do you do now?


Our experience at Flight Simulators Midlands is that we all pull together to help those worst affected, particularly the unemployed and laid off. We have seen company crashes from BMI Baby, Monarch, Thomas Cook and now Flybe. Their pilots have come to us for assessment preparation training for their upcoming interview but this is not going to happen at this time – at least not in the short term. The airlines they were hoping to join are themselves under pressure to keep on their existing teams and it’s going to be some while before that works through.


How long will this last? Nobody knows of course, but even if we find a vaccine in the next few weeks, it will take probably 12 months for it to flush through the system and see airlines looking to get back onto their normal track. Undoubtedly crews will be under pressure to reduce wage costs as things start to come back to life. That’s another battle yet to be faced.

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At Flight Simulators Midlands, we are fortunate in that we have a strong public market for people who want to see what it is like to be a commercial pilot. Of course at the moment we are closed, but we will emerge on the other side.


So in the meantime, as soon as it’s safe to do so, Professional Flight Training are offering special rates for pilots wanting to keep their hand in. We find that scan goes very quickly as well as keeping up with the speed of the operation. We all know what it’s like to come back from an extended holiday. 


Ideally, we would like you to come in pairs and you can opt to have an instructor or not to keep the costs under control. You can choose to practice whatever you wish to do on our A320, 737 or 747 at less than half the normal price.


We may well need a few extra instructors when this is all over, so keep that in mind too.

Do get in touch to have a chat and see if we can be of help.


Captain Chris Rigby  – Chief Pilot. FSM

Call: 0800 999 7370

Or personal mobile: 07831 161477