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Cadet Pilot Programs  
User currently offlineKiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6283 times:

Now, I know there is mention of this in another couple of threads but not all of my questions on the topic are answered

I am a senior exec in an entertainment and hospitality company, publically listed. I have had a pretty successful career, (particularly financially) in my current field, but I am fast losing interest and considering following my lifelong passion to fly commercial aircraft.

There are, or course a few different ways to do this. Howevr in my situation, I am leaning towards a cadet program, (have reviewed the ones for Cathay/SQ). We are OK to go for a while without an income. Also, I want to give myself the best possible shot of starting out with a "premium" carrier rather than building up through smaller aircraft/companies waiting for my big chance. This is because I am starting this career a little late, (I am 37). If I had to do the "build up" career path I would probably choose to let it go.

Of course I have no idea whether my thoughts are realistic, or whether my profile is likely to gain a favourable view on application, or whether these programs are any good. Information on the web is kind of sketchy, (partly because the programs are not run regularly)

If anyone has any experience or advice, I would greatly appreciate it

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6213 times:

Airlines like to get their pilots much younger so that they can get the maximum out of them after spending big bucks training them. Usually cadet programs have an upper age limit. And I have seen pilots hired by the airlines after age 40. But they also bring thousands of hours of flying experience to the table too.

Do you have any flying experience at all at the moment?


User currently offlineKiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 6201 times:

Quoting type-rated (Reply 1):
Do you have any flying experience at all at the moment?

No


User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7175 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6100 times:

Quoting Kiwiinoz (Reply 2):
Quoting type-rated (Reply 1):
Do you have any flying experience at all at the moment?

No

As it seems like you have the money go out every weekend and start flying. Get your private pilot license and make sure you actually love it before you leave your job for a career that pays less and is really a change of life style not just a job. After your private I suggest you get your insturment rating too. Then you can decide. Also don't forget flying for the big airlines is not the only way to make money flying. Lots of flying jobs out there.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7107 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 6066 times:

SQ are not taking on anyone at the moment, try having a look at the jetstar one, you will have to be based in Oz though but I doubt that will be that big a deal.

Nothing of this sort in NZ though unfortunately


User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9105 posts, RR: 75
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 5963 times:

Quoting Kiwiinoz (Thread starter):
I am leaning towards a cadet program, (have reviewed the ones for Cathay/SQ).

Due to a decision by the Hong Kong immigration department, the CX cadet scheme for people with no experience at all is only available to Hong Kong ID card holders. We are still taking people on with experience into the advanced entry scheme, you need a CPL and 250 hours I think for that course.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7107 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 5946 times:

Word of warning though, if you cannot get a cadet pilot gig then it is probably not worth it staying in NZ and 'working your way up' the civilian way. You will be looking at a number of years in GA with low pay and conditions, not ideal for someone 37 year old with a wife and kids.

Do you have any other citizenships apart from NZ? Because I'm pretty sure most cadet schemes need you to be a citizen on PR of that country.


User currently offlinezkojq From New Zealand, joined Sep 2011, 1224 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5875 times:

CTC Aviation will begin running Qatar Airways Cadet program sometime soon. This will be based in Hamilton. I believe Kiwis are eligible but don't quote me on that.


Air New Zealand; first to fly the Boeing 787-9. ZK-NZE, NZ103 AKL-SYD, 2014/08/09. I was 83rd to board.
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17044 posts, RR: 66
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5869 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 5):
Due to a decision by the Hong Kong immigration department, the CX cadet scheme for people with no experience at all is only available to Hong Kong ID card holders.

Basically Immigration said "You can't claim you are hiring them for their unique skill when you are giving them the skill..."

And even if you have a HKID if you are 40+ you will be at the bottom of the pile. Then again there have been 40+ people interviewed.

As a HKID holder and as someone who has settled here I am considering things...



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinetype-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5735 times:

Quoting Kiwiinoz (Thread starter):
Get your private pilot license and make sure you actually love it before you leave your job for a career that pays less and is really a change of life style not just a job

Ain't that the truth.
Get used to never having holidays at home for the next 10-15 years or so. You'll be sleeping in hotel beds more often than in your own bed, etc. After the newness wears off it becomes a grind. Your wife will have to be of the very independent variety to keep the household in order while you are away. That is being able to take care of leaking roofs, broken washing machines, etc.
And the general public doesn't look at pilots in their uniforms quite the way they did 25 years ago either.


User currently offlineKiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5639 times:

Thanks for the input. I should have mentioned that regardless of what heppens, I am intending to take a sabbatical next year. I am just looking at doing something productive, (and hopefully life-changing). So there would be no net sacrifice of my current career by doing a program like this, (as I will already be making the sacrifice!)

It does sound tricky though. I do have a HK ID but perhaps I have left it too late


User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17044 posts, RR: 66
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5615 times:

Quoting Kiwiinoz (Reply 10):
I do have a HK ID but perhaps I have left it too late

May the Force be With You. http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_INTL/careers/student/cadetpilot



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9105 posts, RR: 75
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5610 times:

Quoting Kiwiinoz (Reply 10):
I do have a HK ID but perhaps I have left it too late

Go for it then, nothing stopping you. They are still hiring, just not as fast as last year.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17044 posts, RR: 66
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 5606 times:

Apologies but the page I posted previously has a broken link. Try this instead: http://www.cathaypacific.com/cpa/en_.../careers/flying/fdc_so_application

Note:
- CX is only hiring 2nd officers. After 5 years I think they pay F/O rates even if you are still an S/O.
- Cost of living is, as I'm sure you know, very high in HK. The days of housing allowance for new hires are probably gone for good. Think very very carefully about this point. You may be single now but once you have kids they have to go to school which is also expensive if you don't go "local" with schooling...
- Your training commits you to CX for 6 years. If you leave earlier you have to pay back the cost.

[Edited 2012-07-04 02:35:30]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 9105 posts, RR: 75
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5552 times:

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 13):

Promotion depends on demand, it is presently coming down to around 2.5 to 3 years. Some of he SOs I fly with have been employed for over two years, and are expecting a course later this year. The amount of training varies as the amount of flying the airline does. No automatic promotion after 5 years to FO, you have to do your course. They do have a bypass provision, not sure when that commences, I thought it was around 3 years.

All new hires in Hkg all get at least the local pilot allowance, it is not as good as the expat package that was offered years ago, it is better than the local package was offered years ago, that was zero. This course was designed or locals, I.e. those with HKID cards, it was not originally designed for expats with HKID cards. There is no training school n Hkg, nor is there a general aviation route for locals to gain experience to join the airline.

There is a loan arrangement for the training, I do not have all of the details, you are correct, it is based over 6 years. If you have previous experience, CX recognizes this, and pays a cash amount when you have completed your licence conversion and exams when back in Hkg. The airline does not expect the cadet to pay anything, it actually pays them a small allowance during training, and provides all of the accommodation and meals during training in Adelaide.

Always do your research, CX and Hong Kong is not for everyone, nor is the cadet pilot course. Emailing recruiting is the best way to get answers to specific questions, keep in mind, this correspondence may form part of your application.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17044 posts, RR: 66
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5465 times:

Quoting zeke (Reply 14):
Promotion depends on demand, it is presently coming down to around 2.5 to 3 years. Some of he SOs I fly with have been employed for over two years, and are expecting a course later this year. The amount of training varies as the amount of flying the airline does. No automatic promotion after 5 years to FO, you have to do your course. They do have a bypass provision, not sure when that commences, I thought it was around 3 years.

Thanks for info. However what I meant was that even if you are still an S/O, they pay you at F/O rates after a certain period, which I believe is 5 years. At least that is the info I have. Not an automatic promotion, just an automatic raise.

What does the bypass provision entail?

[Edited 2012-07-04 18:06:05]


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlinekiwiinoz From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 2165 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5227 times:

Well, I have started the process, thanks very much for the advise.

I feel quite confident that once in an interview I can be viewed quite favourably. However on paper I might struggle, (age, flying time).

Fingers crossed, and thanks again.


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