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Give Your Loved Ones the Gift of Taking to the Skies this Christmas with a Trial Introductory Flight

As the festive season gets underway, many of us will be looking to treat our loved ones to something special. And what better gift than the chance to experience the thrill of flying?

If you’re looking for something that will make them feel like they’re soaring through the clouds, we’ve got just the thing! With a trial introductory flight from Learn to Fly, you can give someone you love an incredible experience and set them on their way to becoming a pilot.

Learn to Fly offers trial introductory flight and solo flight training in a well-maintained training fleet of contemporary and classic aircraft, so no matter what kind of flying experience you want to share with your family members or friends, we can help make it happen. These flights are ideal for anyone who has thought about learning to fly or just wants to try something different.

What is a Trial Introductory Flight?

A trial introductory flight is a fun, low-pressure opportunity to experience flying with qualified instructors. There will be around 45 minutes of actual flying time throughout the lesson. Its purpose is to give you a feel for flying before committing to a pilot licence for either professional or recreational purposes. If you’ve never flown before, a Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is a great way to get an overview of the basics.

Someone who has demonstrated an interest in aviation, has a strong passion for aviation or is just someone who enjoys experiencing new and exciting things would be thrilled to receive a trial introductory flight experience as a gift.

Why a Trial Introductory Flight is the Perfect Present for the Aviation Enthusiast in Your Life

A trial introductory flight is a perfect gift for an aviation enthusiast. It’s a great way to introduce someone to the world of flying, and it can be an unforgettable experience.

Here are some reasons why:

1.    It’s an experience that they will never forget

An introductory flight is the perfect gift idea for any aviation enthusiast, whether they are young or old. The experience of flying in a modern aircraft can stay with them forever. It is also something that they can cherish for many years to come, as it is unique and very memorable. If you want to give someone an unforgettable gift, then this could be it.

2.    It’s a great way to see what it’s like to fly

The first thing most people do when they become interested in learning how to fly is to go on a trial introductory flight. This gives them the chance to see what it would be like to be at the controls of an aeroplane. They can also get a feel for what it would be like if they were flying it themselves one day.

3.    Builds Confidence

It builds confidence in them and helps them decide whether flying is something they want to pursue further. If they’re not sure about it, they can decide to stop there, but if they enjoy it, this will help them decide whether or not they should opt for solo flight training.

4.    It doesn’t break the bank

One of the main reasons why you should consider getting your loved one a trial introductory flight is because it is budget-friendly. Getting started with this hobby can be quite expensive, especially if you are trying to get practical hands-on experience. A trial introductory flight is much cheaper than buying someone full training and can be booked in advance so that you can surprise your loved one with this unique gift. Moreover, if your loved one already has an interest in aviation, getting them a trial introductory flight is an excellent way to get them started and help them get their feet wet in this exciting field.

5.    There are no age limits

Anyone who loves aeroplanes can enjoy this experience regardless of age or ability level. Some people want to see what it’s like to fly, while others want to learn how to fly for a commercial airline someday. Either way, this is the perfect gift for anyone who admires aviation from afar!

Flying Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving!

You don’t have to wait for Santa Claus to give your loved ones the gift of taking to the skies this Christmas.

Whether it’s a trial introductory flight or solo flight training with Learn To Fly, you’ll watch your loved one’s face light up as they take off from the ground and soar into the sky.

With our budget-friendly packages, your loved one will get an opportunity to take flight with an instructor, and they’ll walk away with a certificate of completion and a newfound confidence in their ability to take on this new challenge.

Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?

Are you looking to study a pilot course in Australia, but aren’t sure how to choose which flight school to attend? Here is a breakdown of what kind of schools are available, and how the different environments can affect what your learning experience will be like. We’ll also outline some steps for determining which kind of flight school in Australia will best suit your needs.

Large flight schools – the benefits

Large flight schools in Australia are very beneficial for those looking to learn alongside a number of other students. A larger flight school is also going to have more instructors, which means a broader range of expertise. You’ll also have the opportunity to hear more perspectives on what an aviation career is like.

One of the issues that some students may come across when studying a pilot course in Australia is aircraft availability. At a larger flight school, there is likely to be more aircraft available for you to fly in at any given time. In addition, you may also be able to choose between different aircraft types. For example, you may want to try flying a more traditional analogue aircraft like the Cessna 172, but also experience a modern glass cockpit aircraft like the Diamond DA40.

Larger flight schools in Australia are also likely to have more additional facilities available, such as advanced flight simulators, which can accelerate your progress.

The bigger schools tend to be based at larger and busier airports, like Moorabbin Airport. This means that during your training, you will experience higher traffic and more complex aircraft movements, both on the ground and in the immediate airspace. In addition, busier airports are usually in controlled airspace, which means you will be able to get plenty of ATC communication experience.

Large flight schools – the downsides

A potential downside to flying with a large flight school in Australia is that your experience may be less personal. This is because there will be many students all studying at the same time, and you may not have the same instructor for the duration of your course.

Although larger schools have more aircraft and facilities, more students means more demand. There may be times when some facilities, aircraft or instructors may not be available when you want them. Consequently, flexibility is key.

There are also downsides to flying in high traffic environments. The learning curve can be steeper. In addition, you may experience delays due to other aircraft. Delays can occur when you are on the ground waiting to take off, in the aerodrome circuit pattern, or in the training area.

Small flight schools – the benefits

If you are interested in a more personal experience while studying a pilot course in Australia, then a small flight school may be a suitable option. Smaller flight schools will often be able to allow more flexibility in your training. Larger schools usually need to keep a more rigid schedule to ensure that all students are moving at the same pace.

Whilst there are some smaller flight schools at larger airports, there are many located at smaller airfields. At a small airfield, you will experience far less traffic – in fact you may often be one of the only pilots on the runway. This means you can usually take off straight away. Another benefit is the geographical availability of smaller airfields. Around larger cities, you will find many of them, so there may well be one close to where you live.

Smaller flight schools in Australia are sometimes a little bit cheaper to attend as well, since they don’t need to pay the larger fees associated with bigger airports.

Small flight schools – the downsides

A major downside to flying with a smaller school is that there will most likely be fewer facilities available to you during your training. Additionally, they will have a smaller selection of aircraft to train in – meaning you will have less choice of aircraft, and less aircraft availability. It’s unlikely that advanced flight simulators will be available, so you may need to access these at another location.

There will be less instructors available – and being able to find an instructor you connect with is very important. You will likely find that there are far less course options available as well, which can be an issue for more advanced or specific training.

Smaller airfields won’t expose you to complex aircraft movements, higher traffic, or ATC communication. Those wanting to train to Private Pilot Licence (PPL) level and beyond will need experience both flying into other airfields and communicating with ATC. Completing your initial training without exposure to this can make it a bit more daunting later on – whereas it just becomes second nature for pilots that learn with high traffic and ATC comms from the start.

How do you decide which one is right for you?

When you are looking to make the final decision about which flight school in Australia is going to be best for you, one of the most important things is to know what your goal is. Do you want to fly for fun, or fly for a career? Will you need multi-engine experience? Will you need instrument flying experience?

The most important factor is whether the school is going to be able to provide what you need to meet your goals. Check which courses they have available. Check to see what aircraft types they have in their fleet, and how many they have available. Are they able to provide advice on the best path to achieve your goals? Do they have experienced instructors?

For those looking to fly recreationally or for fun, a smaller flight school may be a good option. However, for pilots looking to train beyond PPL level, and especially those wanting a career, we highly recommend a larger flight school like LTF.

If you want to fly for a career, you will need experience with larger airports, larger aircraft, higher traffic environments, and ATC communication. Additionally, learning in a group environment will help to develop the team skills that are required for many aviation career pathways. Even private pilots looking to fly in more conditions, or fly to a wider range of locations, will benefit from what a larger school is able to offer.

Get in touch!

The school that you attend can have a major effect on your learning experience. So be sure to review what your goals are before choosing which pilot course in Australia to study, and which flight school to study it with.

If you have any questions about what kind of experience we can offer you at Learn to Fly, get in touch with our flight training specialists. We’ll be able to help you take that first step to getting in the cockpit!

Upcoming Learn To Fly Events

Learn To Fly enjoys being involved in the wider aviation community. Throughout the year we participate in or host a range of events.

Learn To Fly Open Day 2022

📆 Saturday October 29th 2022
🕙 10am to 5pm
📍 Learn To Fly, 22-24 Northern Avenue, Moorabbin Airport VIC 3194

Come along and learn about flight training at our 2022 Learn To Fly Open Day at our Moorabbin Airport training base in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs.

Meet our flight instructors, chat to current students, check out our fleet of aircraft and take a tour of our state-of-the-art flight training facilities.

We have 1 hour sessions available from 10am to 4pm. Click the link below to reserve your spot:

https://calendly.com/learntoflymelbourne/open-day-2022?month=2022-10&date=2022-10-29

Past Recent Events:

Seminar: How To Become an Airline Pilot in Singapore in 2022 | Singapore | Oct 1st 2022

In-Person 1-on-1 Flight Training Consultations | Hong Kong | Sept 22-27th 2022

Webinar: Applying for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program in 2022 | Sept 20th 2022

📆 Stay tuned to our social media for free flight training content, flight school life, and future event announcements at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

If you would like to find out more about learning to fly, you can email our flight training specialists at [email protected]. You can also visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and a tour of our Moorabbin Airport training base.

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Singapore Airlines Cadet Pilot Programme – Questions & Answers

Following on from our recent seminar on How to Become an Airline Pilot In Singapore in 2022, we have prepared some answers to a range of common questions. These should provide some additional insight into the Singapore Airlines Cadet Pilot Programme as well as Direct Entry.

What is the rate of success for cadet pilot applications? How many people apply and how many get in?

The SIA Cadet Pilot Programme is highly competitive. Information suggests that around 1,000 applicants are submitted per year, with only around 100 cadets accepted. The intake may increase as demand increases, but preparation is still extremely important to ensure your application stands out.

Many Singapore Airlines cadet applications are culled simply due to ineligibility (failure to meet minimum requirements), so taking the time to review the prerequisites is important.

Is age a factor in selecting cadet pilot applicants? Can you be too old?

Singapore Airlines have traditionally preferred cadet applicants within the 26 – 32 years old range. Given the forecasted increase in pilot demand, this may change and they may be willing to look outside that range. We will update this blog if we receive further inside information on current preferences.

Do I need to have maths or science studies to be considered?

Maths and science are 2 areas specifically mentioned by Singapore Airlines in the prerequisites. Applicants with no maths or science studies may be at a disadvantage. We would strongly recommend completing some flight training beforehand to be able to demonstrate your passion for aviation, and your ability to progress as a pilot regardless of no maths/science study. Our Future Cadet Pilot Program is perfect for this.

How long does it take to hear back from Singapore Airlines once you have applied?

The SIA cadet application process is experiencing delays in administration. Whilst information suggests that you should hear back from your initial application in around 2 weeks, this may take longer.

Are group exercises still a part of the interview process?

Group exercises are not being conducted as part of Singapore Airlines’s interview process at the moment. However, there are still be areas of the interview process where you will need to demonstrate strong group or team working skills.

Are Direct Entry First and Second Officer roles also difficult to get into? Would you recommend doing more than the minimum hours required?

Even though direct entry roles are more based on experience and qualifications that you either already have or don’t have, they are still competitive. You will still need to prepare in order to present a strong application, and to present well in the interview phases – which is why we recommend considering a course like the Airline Interview Coaching Session.

Does Singapore Airlines accept Non-Singapore Permanent Residents or Citizens?

At this stage you must be either a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident to be accepted.

If I have no flying experience, do I still have a chance of being chosen as a cadet?

The short answer is yes, but we don’t recommend leaving this to chance, and VERY strongly recommend that you have at least some flying experience prior to applying. If you have already applied, we still recommend looking at doing some flying prior to applying. If you have interviewed and been accepted – even then, we recommend doing some flight training as it will really help you to hit the ground running when your cadet flight training phase commences.

SIA are experiencing delays in their cadet selection and training, which gives you a GREAT opportunity to get in some extra preparation and/or flight training regardless of where in the process you are. We recommend checking out our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP), which includes both application/interview preparation and practical flight training.

As an added bonus – the Australian Dollar is very low at the time of writing (Oct 2022) – this means that the process of coming to Australia to complete a program like the FCPP is far cheaper than it usually would be for Singapore pilots.

If I have already done PPL training, can I still apply?

Absolutely. We usually recommend training to RPL level, as this shows that you are able to progress through understanding the basics of flying, fly solo, and achieve a licence. To show that you have continued your training as far as PPL level will certainly not disadvantage your application, however Singapore Airlines may want to know why you didn’t progress with CPL, and clarify that you are happy to go back to the start for your cadet training.

Is the technical exam still a part of the process? What’s your advice in studying the technical interview in a short amount of time?

Yes, it will be a part of the interview. Whatever the current exact format, we strongly recommend that applicants should have an established basic knowledge of aerodynamics and general aviation topics. Singapore Airlines has many YouTube videos available, and a well prepared candidate should have watched all of them.

In addition, there are two texts that we recommend for technical knowledge preparation. These are “Ace The Technical Pilot Interview” by Gary Bristow and “Handling The Big Jets” by D.P. Davies

How long will Singapore Airlines be accepting Cadet Pilot applications for?

Given the longer term pilot shortage projections, we believe that there will be an ongoing need for consistent cadet pilot recruitment for many years to come.

Do I have any aviation knowledge for the interview?

We will always recommend obtaining some technical aviation knowledge, and the best way to do this is by enrolling in some flight training.

If you wear glasses, can you still come a SIA cadet pilot?

The pre-requisites state that you must have myopia of not more than 600 degrees and astigmatism of not more than 200 degrees, fully correctable with optical aids. For candidates who have undergone corrective eye surgery, the pre-surgical visual acuity must meet the above requirements. We recommend contacting the CAAS Medical Department or your doctor for case-by-case advice.

Do I need to pass the ICAO English Test before I apply for the cadet pilot program?

You don’t need to have passed the Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) exam prior to application, however doing so may well be an advantage, and will at the very least speed up the process. You need to achieve at least ICAO Level 4 – which is a conversational standard of English and easily achievable for most Singapore-born English speakers.

How long does it take to complete the ATPL ground school and exam?

The latest advice we have received suggests that this phase may take up to 7 months.

If you took a lot of training hours to fly solo, could this negatively affect your application?

We all progress at different rates and in different environments. Going solo in itself is a massive achievement, and so we wouldn’t be too concerned about this.

If I completed flight training but it was 5 years ago – will that still be okay?

Having flight training from 5 years ago is certainly better than having no flight training. However, we would recommend doing a refresher lesson if it is possible to do so prior to applying or to the interview.

What is included in the Airline Interview Coaching Session and how long is it?

The Airline Interview Coaching Session includes 8 hours of either face-to-face or live online training. The syllabus includes airline selection process methods, optimal CV presentation, HR interview skills, technical assessment expectations, group exercises and more. Click here to learn more.

Does every applicant get a chance to interview?

No – which is why preparing a solid application is SO important.

What is the top reason people fail the interview?

There are many reasons that can cause applicants to fail the interview process, but they essentially all come down to lack of preparation.

I have recently failed the Singapore Airlines final cadet interview, and can not reapply for 6 months. What would you recommend learning in the meantime?

We would recommend starting your preparation now. Even more-so, we would recommend including some flight training – this would improve your knowledge and skills, AND importantly it would provide evidence of your dedication to an aviation career. A course like the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for this.

How would you foresee the growth of female pilots in the future?

The future for female pilots is very bright. Airlines around the world are proactively encouraging more female applicants. In addition, there are far better support networks available for female pilots at every level today than what have been available traditionally.

Are the training phases full time?

Both the ground school training and the flight training phases are definitely full time. On top of that, both involve absolute dedication. It is common for Singapore Airlines cadets to spend at least 6 days for study, school and practicum, and to take one day off a week for social time.

If I have done some flight training and put it on my CV, will that mean they ask me harder questions?

You should ALWAYS put as much information about the flight training you have completed on your CV. That may be the difference between progressing to interview or not.

We also highly recommend checking out Pilot Kaki’s blog on the Singapore Airlines Cadet Pilot Programme process at https://www.pilotkaki.com/singapore-airlines-interview

Do you have further questions? Would you like to enrol in one of our highly successful Airline Interview Preparation courses? Please get in contact with us.

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more – so, give us a follow at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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Cathay Cadet Pilot Program – Questions & Answers

We received some fantastic questions during our recent webinar on applying for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program in 2022. We weren’t able to answer them all live, but we have covered the majority of questions and answers below:

What is the rate of success for cadet pilot applications? How many people apply and how many get in?

Press releases from Cathay have them onboarding 400 cadet pilots before the end of 2023, with the projected ongoing pilot shortage likely to mean that this increased recruitment will continue beyond that. We don’t yet have data on applicant numbers, but we assume they will be very high.

Whilst many Cathay Cadet applications are culled simply due to ineligibility (failure to meet minimum requirements), it remains VERY important to present a strong initial application.

Is age a factor in selecting cadet pilot applicants? Can you be too old?

Age may be a small factor, but historically, Cathay has accepted a fairly broad scope of ages into the program. This ranges from school-leavers, to university graduates, to established adults in other professions looking for a career change.

Do I need to have maths or science studies to be considered?

Maths and science are 2 areas specifically mentioned by Cathay in the prerequisites. Applicants with no maths or science studies may be at a disadvantage. We would strongly recommend completing some flight training beforehand to be able to demonstrate your passion for aviation, and your ability to progress as a pilot regardless of no maths/science study. Our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for this.

How long does it take to hear back from Cathay once you have applied?

We’ve been made aware of delays at all stages of the process due to HR shortages. It is possible that you could experience lengthy delays in hearing back from Cathay. Delays counted in months are not abnormal.

Are group exercises still a part of the interview process?

We understand that group exercises are not currently a part of Cathay’s online interview mode. Even if this is the case, there will still be areas of the interview process where you will need to demonstrate strong group or team working skills. One of the best ways to prepare for this is with group exercises, like those explored in our Airline Interview Coaching Session course.

Will Cathay resume their original cadet interview process?

Taking into consideration the current HR shortages, it is likely that Cathay will opt for a more online-based interview process for some time yet.

Are Direct Entry First and Second Officer roles also difficult to get into? Would you recommend doing more than the minimum hours required?

Even though direct entry roles are more based on experience and qualifications that you either already have or don’t have, they are still competitive. You will still need to prepare in order to present a strong application, and to present well in the interview phases – which is why we recommend considering a course like the Airline Interview Coaching Session.

How long can I expect to be a Second Officer at Cathay Pacific?

The Second Officer position has previously had a time limitation of 5 years imposed by the HK Civil Aviation Department. This may have been subject to some leniency during Covid. Upskilling a pilot whilst maintaining their rank may also bypass the 5 year requirement. However, with the growth and recovery the airline is experiencing, we expect accelerated progression will be likely in order to satisfy demand.

Does Cathay accept Hong Kong Permanent Residents?

Yes – Cathay accepts HKPR for both Cadet Pilot and Direct Entry applications

If I have no flying experience, do I still have a chance of being chosen as a cadet?

The short answer is yes, but we don’t recommend leaving this to chance, and VERY strongly recommend that you have at least some flying experience prior to applying. If you have already applied, we still recommend looking at doing some flying prior to interview. And even if you have interviewed and been accepted – even then, we recommend doing some flight training as it will really help you to hit the ground running when your cadet flight training phase commences.

The current delays Cathay are experiencing in their cadet selection and training offer you a GREAT opportunity to get in some extra preparation and/or flight training regardless of where in the process you are. We recommend checking out our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP), which includes both application/interview preparation and practical flight training. As an added bonus – the Australian Dollar is very low at the time of writing (Oct 2022) – this means that the process of coming to Australia to complete a program like the FCPP is far cheaper than it usually would be for HK pilots.

If I have already done PPL training, can I still apply?

Absolutely. We usually recommend training to RPL level, as this shows that you are able to progress through understanding the basics of flying, fly solo, and achieve a licence. To show that you have continued your training as far as PPL level will certainly not disadvantage your application, however Cathay may want to know why you didn’t progress with CPL, and clarify that you are happy to go back to the start for your cadet training.

Is the technical exam still a part of the process? What’s your advice in studying the technical interview in a short amount of time?

We believe this is part of the same testing that the CUT-E process is contained within. Whatever the current exact format, we strongly recommend that applicants should have an established basic knowledge of aerodynamics and general aviation topics. Cathay has many YouTube videos available, and a well prepared candidate should have watched all of them. In addition, the two texts from John’s bookshelf provide adequate technical knowledge for your preparation. These were “Ace The Technical Pilot Interview” by Gary Bristow and “Handling The Big Jets” by D.P. Davies

How long will Cathay be accepting Cadet Pilot applications for?

Cathay have a plan to recruit at least 400 cadets by the end of 2023. Given the longer term pilot shortage projections, we believe that there will be an ongoing need for consistent cadet pilot recruitment beyond 2024.

Do I have any aviation knowledge for the interview?

We will always recommend obtaining some technical aviation knowledge, and the best way to do this is by enrolling in some flight training.

If you wear glasses, can you still be accepted for the cadet program?

Many airline pilots wear spectacles or contact lenses when flying. The requirement to wear spectacles is generally not disqualifying for a cadetship or a medical certificate. The candidate should contact the HK CAD Medical Department or their Doctor for case-by-case advice.

Do I need to pass the ICAO English Test before I apply for the cadet pilot program?

You don’t need to have passed the Aviation English Language Proficiency (AELP) exam prior to application, however doing so may well be an advantage, and will at the very least speed up the process. The Cathay requirement is to achieve at least ICAO Level 4 – which is a conversational standard of English and easily achievable for most HK born English speakers.

How long does it take to complete the PolyU ground school and exam?

The latest advice we have received suggests that this phase may take up to 7 months.

If you took a lot of training hours to fly solo, could this negatively affect your application?

We all progress at different rates and in different environments. Going solo in itself is a massive achievement, and so we wouldn’t be too concerned about this.

If I completed flight training but it was 5 years ago – will that still be okay?

Having flight training from 5 years ago is certainly better than having no flight training. However, we would recommend doing a refresher lesson if it is possible to do so prior to applying or to the interview.

What does the Airline Interview Coaching Session include, and how long is it?

The Airline Interview Coaching Session includes 8 hours of either face-to-face or live online training. The syllabus includes airline selection process methods, optimal CV presentation, HR interview skills, technical assessment expectations, group exercises and more. Click here to learn more.

Does every applicant get a chance to interview?

No – which is why preparing a solid application is SO important.

What is the top reason people fail the interview?

There are many reasons that can cause applicants to fail the interview process. Essentially though, they essentially all come down to lack of preparation.

I have recently failed the Cathay final cadet interview, and can not reapply for 9 months. What would you recommend learning in the meantime?

We would recommend starting your preparation now. Even more-so, we would recommend including some flight training. This would improve your knowledge and skills, AND importantly it would provide evidence of your dedication to an aviation career. A course like the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for this.

How would you foresee the growth of female pilots in the future?

The future for female pilots is very bright. Airlines around the world are proactively encouraging more female applicants. In addition, there are far better support networks available for female pilots at every level today than what have been available traditionally.

Are the training phases full time?

Both the ground school training at HK PolyU and the flight training phases are full time. On top of that, they involve absolute dedication. John advises that from his flight training phase time at FTA in Adelaide, Cathay Cadets devoted at least 6 days to study, school and practicum. They generally only took one day off a week for social time.

If I have done some flight training and put it on my CV, will that mean they ask me harder questions?

You should ALWAYS put as much information about the flight training you have completed on your CV. That may be the difference between being offered an interview or not. The questions you are asked in relation to the information on your CV should be relative to what your knowledge level should be.

Do you have further questions? Would you like to enrol in one of our highly successful Airline Interview Preparation courses? Please get in contact with us.

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more – so, give us a follow at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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Top 5 Tips for Flying Into Moorabbin Airport with LTF Instructor Summer Russell

Our very own LTF Grade 2 Instructor Summer Russell has been featured in the latest Victorian edition of the Australian Women Pilots’ Association (AWPA) newsletter. In her article, she shares her top 5 tips for flying into Moorabbin Airport.

On the AWPA, Summer says:

“I first connected with the AWPA Victorian Branch in 2017 when I was looking for guidance as I begun flight training. With no connections in the industry at the time, they were a huge support for me and have continued to guide and support me to this day. It is such a great network of women – for anybody interested in connecting I could not recommend them more”

Fantastic work Summer! Original AWPA article below:

Summer Russell is a Grade 2 Instructor at Learn to Fly Melbourne. In this issue she runs through some simple, effective tips for flying into Moorabbin Airport.

Moorabbin Airport’s reputation precedes itself. With over 700 aircraft operating out of the aerodrome each day, it is one of Australia’s busiest airports. For those flying into Moorabbin for the first time it can be a daunting experience. But with the right preparation it doesn’t need to be.

Moorabbin is unique in many ways, from its parallel runways, inbound/outbound procedures and circuit operations, to its complex taxi clearances. Taking a pragmatic approach to your preparation is key. As a Flight Instructor working out of the airport, I see these operations daily. After years of experience, there are 5 top tips I have found most useful for those unfamiliar with the aerodrome.

1. Read up

As for any new aerodrome one of the most important pre flight components is to read the airports ERSA page. Due to a multitude of unique operations it is easy to miss crucial information regarding wingspan limitations, noise abatement procedures, inbound points, circuit operations and many more. Reading the ERSA carefully will give you confidence on arrival into Moorabbin.

In addition to the ERSA entry there is also a Melbourne Basin Guide published by CASA which gives a more in-depth discussion of the arrival, departure and circuit procedures.

2. Avoid arriving on the eastern side

Due to the use of parallel runways, aerodrome operations are separated to arrivals and departures east and west. While it is not stated specifically in the ERSA, VFR circuit training is done on the eastern side of the airport. This means there will often be 6 aircraft practicing circuits in addition to other inbound and outbound aircraft.

I suggest, instead of trying to navigate these busy operations, flying for an inbound point on the western side, or requesting an overfly (of which procedures are in line with overfly procedures at most Class D aerodromes) is a much easier alternative.

3. Start listening to YMMB tower prior to arrival at your inbound point

This is something I teach all my students, especially those new to Moorabbin. If you have dual comms available don’t be afraid to monitor the appropriate tower frequency a few minutes prior to your arrival. The frequencies tend to be busy, so it will allow you to gain situational awareness of other inbound and outbound aircraft. In addition, you will know what clearance to expect.

4. Say “unfamiliar” on arrival

This seems like a simple tip. However, it is rare that I hear a pilot state that they are unfamiliar when making initial contact with Moorabbin Tower. No matter how prepared you are for your arrival it is always a good idea to let the tower know that this is your first time at the aerodrome. This allows the controllers to direct you clearly throughout your approach and taxi clearances.

5. If you are unsure, ask!

Too often at Moorabbin pilots will falsely assume they have their traffic in sight, are aligned with the correct runway, or are crossing a taxiway when it is in fact another runway. These mistakes are common, and happen to even the most competent pilots, especially at complex aerodromes such as Moorabbin.

An easy fix for this is to simply ask. If you don’t understand your instructions, don’t see your traffic, or can’t find your runway communicate this to the tower as best you can and they will be there to assist. It is important to remember that Moorabbin is a training airport. Therefore, the controllers are used to pilots who aren’t 100% confident. They are more than happy to help you if you need it.

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more – so, give us a follow at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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Becoming an Airline Pilot in Hong Kong in 2022 – Part 1 – Cathay Cadet Pilot

If you have dreamed of flying for Cathay Pacific, you now have a great opportunity to realise those dreams. Cathay have announced a huge airline pilot recruitment drive over the next few years. This includes recruiting and training hundreds of cadet pilots. But how does the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program work, and who can apply? Read on to find out!

Who Can Apply for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program?

Cadet pilot programs in general are aimed at people who do not have, or have very little, prior flying experience. They are a fantastic opportunity for people who have a passion for aviation as well as the ambition to become an airline pilot.

If accepted, you will complete flight training, with a provisional offer of becoming an airline pilot with Cathay following successful completion.

To apply for the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program, you must:

– Be aged 18 years or older
– Be a Hong Kong Permanent Resident or Citizen
– Have graduated from secondary school with good passes in English language, Mathematics or Science; a degree in any discipline will also be considered provided you meet the secondary school criteria.
– Be physically fit, as well as qualified for a Civil Aviation Department (HKCAD) Class 1 Medical Certificate
– Be able to meet Cathay’s flight deck reach requirements
– Achieve ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) English Language Proficiency level 4 or above
– Have had at least 3 COVID vaccinations

How Do You Apply?

Initial qualification applications must be submitted via the Cathay Pacific website. If you qualify, you will then be invited to submit a formal application: https://careers.cathaypacific.com/jobs/cadet-pilot-cathay-pacific

How Does the Application Process Work?

If Cathay selects you to progress to interview, you can then expect to go through multiple stages. Here’s an overview:

1. Qualify for application
2. Application
3. Vaccination confirmation
4. ICAO confirmation
5. CUT-E aptitude test, maths and working behaviour test
6. HR interview
7. Group exercise interview and flight planning exercise
8. Final interview
9. Medical checks
10. Background check
11. Cadet training sponsorship offer

Update: Recent information suggests that the group exercises are currently not part of Cathay’s online interview mode. However, teamwork and group skills will still form an essential of Cathay’s selection criteria. We strongly recommend that they form a part of your preparation.

In addition, due to HR shortages, there are administrative delays in the application process. You can help your application by getting some of the prerequisites sorted before you apply. This includes the COVID vaccinations, and also the ICAO English test.

How Does the Training Process Work?

The training phase of the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program takes approximately 60 weeks to complete. Here’s how the progression works:

1. Induction Session
2. Ground School
3. Ground School Exam Passed
4. Flying Phase (CPL+MECIR+ATPL)
5. Flying Phase Passed
6. Contract Offered
7. Multi Crew Cooperation & Airline Transition Training
8. Type Rating (B777 / A350 / B747)
9. Line Training

Update: At the moment, the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program process is being affected by staff shortages. This is affecting timelines across the entire process – from application right through to the training phases.

Where Does the Training Happen?

Ground school takes place at Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong. Following this, there are 2 providers for the flight training phase. These are:

– Flight Training Adelaide based in Adelaide, Australia; and
– AeroGuard based in Phoenix, USA

Following the flying phases, the remaining training takes place in Hong Kong.

Do You Have to Pay for the Training?

Cathay Cadet Pilot Program trainees can take out a loan from Cathay. You then pay this back over a minimum service period once you start working for them. There are living allowances provided at various stages of the training phases. For the phases that take place in Hong Kong, you will be based on campus with meals provided in addition to board.

What Preparation Should You Do Before Applying?

Because you don’t require any prior experience, applying for cadet pilot positions is extremely competitive. Therefore, this means that submitting a strong initial application is very important to get you through the interview stage. In addition, you will need to perform strongly throughout the interview stage.

Preparation is everything, and consequently, the right preparation will make an enormous difference. You don’t require any flying experience to apply – however, we strongly recommend it. This is for 3 reasons.

Firstly, flying experience on your CV shows that you are dedicated and passionate about aviation. Secondly, being able to demonstrate your flying knowledge will benefit you during the interview process. Finally, the flight training process is a fast-paced pressure environment, and if you can’t keep up then there is a chance you may fail. If you are able to go into the flight training phase having already completed some initial training, you won’t find it as stressful, and consequently you will greatly improve your chances of success.

How Can Learn To Fly Help?

Learn To Fly Melbourne’s specialised Airline Interview Preparation Programs have helped hundreds of pilots to achieve success with multiple leading airlines internationally, including the Cathay Cadet Pilot Program. We offer 2 courses:

The Airline Interview Coaching Session guides you through airline recruitment processes, in addition to the various elements and phases that make up the interview. You’ll learn how to present the best possible application, and then perfect the skills required for optimum interview performance using scenarios created from actual airline interview processes.

This session can be taken either in-person or online, and is presented by airline interview specialist John Sabato, who is a former Cathay airline pilot himself.

The Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is a comprehensive course that combines aviation theory and practical flight training, as well as the Airline Interview Coaching Session. Firstly, it equips you with the knowledge and skills necessary to prepare and submit a high quality application. Then, it allows you to follow it up with confidence throughout the interview stages. And finally, the practical training helps you to excel in the cadet program flight training phase.

The FCPP has 3 package options available:

Lite: 5 flying hours, 2 LTF sim hours, as well as 1 B737-800 sim hour
Solo: 15 flying hours, 2 LTF sim hours, as well as 1 B737-800 sim hour
RPL: 25 flying hours, 2 LTF sim hours, as well as 2 B737-800 sim hours

Want to know more? Schedule a meeting with us or get in contact, and one of our flight training specialists can answer your questions. It’s a very exciting time for pilots who want to fly for Cathay, and therefore the time to start preparing is NOW!

Our next blog with dive into the process for training and applying for Direct Entry Cathay airline pilot roles.

Our social media offers free flight training videos and much more – so, give us a follow at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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William Thomas [email protected]

How to Become an Airline Pilot in Australia

When we ask our students what their goals are, most of them tell us that their ultimate flying goal is to become an airline pilot. Maybe this is because so many aspiring pilots gained their fascination of aeroplanes and flying when they were young. And for a lot of youngsters, their first experience of flight came from flying in an airliner. Understanding the pathway towards achieving your goals is so important when learning to fly. So – how do you become an airline pilot in Australia?

There are 2 main pathways towards becoming an airline pilot in Australia. The first involves taking a traditional training pathway and building your flying hours gradually, then applying for “Direct Entry” airline jobs. The second pathway is to be accepted into a cadet pilot program. Read on to find out more about how each pathway works.

Pathway 1 – Commercial Pilot Licence & Airline Direct Entry

The pathway that most people take to become an airline pilot in Australia involves first completing the CASA training to achieve a Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). This can be achieved by completing each of the 3 CASA licences sequentially. Alternatively, you can complete the AVI50222 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course which covers all 3.

Once qualified, pilots add ratings and endorsements (and an Air Transport Pilot Licence), and build their flying hours until they meet the direct entry airline entry requirements.

Here’s an overview:

1. Complete Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)
2. Complete Private Pilot Licence (PPL)
3. Complete Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL)
OR Complete a Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence)
4. Build Flying Hours and add Ratings & Endorsements
6. Apply for Direct Entry Airline Jobs

What is the Next Step After the Commercial Pilot Licence?

Once you are qualified as a commercial pilot, your next step to become an airline pilot in Australia is to build your flying hours. Airlines in Australia will have minimum flying hour requirements for their Direct Entry opportunities.

In addition, you’ll need to add some Ratings and Endorsements to your CV – most notably multi-engine and instrument flying. You can complete a Multi-Engine Class Rating and Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR) as separate courses. Alternatively, you could complete the AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course, which covers off both things.

What is the Best Way to Build Flying Hours?

There are a number of ways to build your hours. The BEST way is to of course find work as a commercial pilot. However, like airline roles, many other commercial pilot roles will themselves have minimum hourly requirements.

Becoming a Flight Instructor is an excellent solution. You can complete a Flight Instructor Rating straight after obtaining your CPL, and start earning money as a pilot AND building your hours immediately. Flight instructing is actually a great career pathway in itself, and an excellent additional skillset to have regardless of your longer-term goals.

How Many Hours Do I Need to be an Airline Pilot in Australia?

The number of flying hours required for Direct Entry roles varies between airlines, and also changes over time. Therefore, if you are aiming for this pathway then you’ll need to stay informed on the current requirements for your target airline.

An example of the Jetstar Direct Entry A320 First Officer / B787 Second Officer requirements (current as at August 22, 2022) are listed below:

– 1500 hours total aeronautical experience
– 500 hours PIC or FO on multi-engine
– 250 hours PIC (may include 150 hours PICUS)
– Hold an Australian ATPL (Part 61) or CPL with passes in all Australian ATPL subjects
– Hold an Australian Multi-Engine Aeroplane Instrument Rating with a 2D and 3D endorsement
– ICAO English Language Proficiency Level 6 on your Licence
– Current Class 1 medical certificate issued by CASA

You could also look at the requirements of airlines overseas. We’ve recently seen airlines in the USA specifically target Australian-trained pilots, with very achievable minimum hours and some attractive sign-on benefits.

Pathway 2 – Cadet Pilot Program

Most airlines have their own cadet pilot programs, which can be a great way to become an airline pilot in Australia. Essentially, cadet pilot programs offer the opportunity to complete commercial pilot training under an initiative overseen by the airline itself. The aim is for pilots who successfully complete the program to then be offered a job by the airline.

You generally don’t require any flying experience to apply (although having some basic experience may help your application). For this reason, the application process for cadet pilot programs is usually VERY competitive. We offer the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) course that has been developed specifically to help strengthen your cadet pilot application.

Whilst cadet programs have their obvious benefits, there are some drawbacks. Training is still completed at the cadet’s own cost, and whilst the program is conducted in conjunction with the airline, it doesn’t actually guarantee you a job at the end.

Cadet programs can also require the cadet to make a longer-term commitment to the airline – sometimes for many years.

Other Aviation Careers

There is no doubt that becoming an airline pilot in Australia can offer a very rewarding professional pilot career. Whilst becoming an airline pilot is a popular goal for pilots to aim for, it’s important to note that there are many other fantastic pilot career options available. These include:

– Flight Instructor
– Cargo Pilot
– Charter Pilot
– Agriculture Pilot

Chat to one of our flight training specialists today about your flight training goals, and how we can help you to reach them! Contact us or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and a tour of our Moorabbin Airport training base.

Follow us on social media for free flight training videos and much more at https://linktr.ee/learntoflymelbourne

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What Qualifications Do I Need to Become a Pilot?

There are many pathways to becoming a fully qualified pilot. There are also plenty of different types of pilots. Therefore, the qualification you choose to pursue — be it a Recreational Pilot Licence or a Diploma of Aviation — really comes down to what your long-term aviation goals are and the amount of time you have to dedicate to your dreams.

Here at Learn to Fly, we think there’s no better job than that of a pilot. Imagine getting paid to explore the skies. Your office is the clouds, your desk chair is the cockpit, not to mention your office view! Now, let’s find out about what qualifications different pilot types need.

Types of pilots

Not all pilots are qualified to control all types of aircraft. Several classifications dictate the type of plane you can fly, how far you can venture from your departure point, and the conditions you are able to fly in.

Firstly, let’s look at the simplest pathway to earning the title of ‘pilot.’

A Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is the first step in the journey for any pilot. If your main goal is to just get up into the air and experience the sensation of being in control of a small light plane, the Recreational Pilot Licence is for you. This licence is the most basic licence, and RPL holders must stay within 25 nautical miles of their departure aerodrome.

Next in the progression of pilot classifications, we have the Private Pilot Licence (PPL). The PPL builds on skills learned during RPL training, and then adds navigation. The PPL qualification enables you to both plan and conduct flights anywhere in Australia.

Finally, there is the Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), ideal for those who dream of becoming a professional pilot. Having obtained your CPL, you will be able to pursue a number of different pilot career paths. These include airline pilot, cargo pilot, agricultural pilot, flight instructor, as well as many others.

I want to become a full-time pilot: what do I need to do?

To fly professionally you will need a CPL. One of the best ways to get your CPL and fulfil your dream of becoming a full-time pilot is with a Diploma of Aviation course.

The AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course follows CASA’s Commercial Pilot Licence syllabus, with the added bonus of additional subjects to help best prepare you for the competitive aviation industry. Upon completion of the course, students will receive both a Commercial Pilot Licence and a Diploma certification.

The course is run at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne and takes approximately 60 weeks of full-time study. This includes flight training hours, hours in our state-of-the-art full cockpit flight simulators, and onsite theory classes. Students must be at least 18 years old, meet English language standards, and have passed an aviation medical exam.

Learn To Fly Australia is proud to be a VET Student Loans approved course provider (RTO 45684) for the AVI50219 Diploma of Aviation (Commercial Pilot Licence – Aeroplane) course.

Wherever you’re from and whatever your background, the Diploma of Aviation is an excellent option to consider. It provides a fantastic pathway to those looking to pursue their passion and enjoy a full-time aviation career. We also offer the AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating) course, which is highly recommended as an additional step before starting your career – as well as an articulation pathway towards achieving the Bachelor of Aviation with Griffith University.

Why Learn to Fly?

Learn to Fly is one of Australia’s leading flight schools. We offer a broad range of courses to meet the needs of every type of aviation student. We are passionate about making flight training affordable and accessible with modern aircraft, state-of-the-art facilities, and highly experienced flight instructors.

Our instructors train everyone from hobbyists to professional pilots:

– Flexible course options to ensure everyone can achieve their aviation aspirations
– Realistic pathways allowing students to achieve their flying goals.
– Diverse international student base
– Student accommodation facilities located just 15 minutes from our Moorabbin Airport training base

For more information about our Diploma of Aviation courses as well as information on how to enrol, contact our Learn to Fly flight training specialists today.