-->

What to Expect in a Cadet Pilot Interview

Securing a cadet pilot position can be difficult, even for skilled pilots with flight experience. The cadet pilot interview a very competitive process, designed to test every aspect of your suitability. Much like any job interview, you need to prove to your potential employer that you’re the best person for the role.

Don’t let this put you off pursuing your dreams of becoming a commercial pilot. There are plenty of strategies you can employ to help you stand out from the crowd.

Here at Learn to Fly, we believe that preparation is key when working towards a cadet pilot interview. Understanding what to expect from the interview process will give you the best chance possible of demonstrating your suitability and passion. Our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is perfect for anyone aiming to secure a competitive role in a cadet pilot scheme. The program covers absolutely everything you need to know and provides you with the tools for a successful interview.

What is a Cadet Pilot Program?

A cadet pilot program is one of the routes available to future pilots to kickstart their commercial aviation career.

These programs are often designed to take those with little to no flying experience from being absolute beginners to experienced professionals. Cadet pilot programs are usually run by airlines and successful applicants will usually be offered a position upon completion of their training. In this sense, cadet pilot programs differ from training courses offered by flight schools. However, they tend to cover similar Commercial Pilot Licence course materials, including practical and theoretical lessons.

In Australia, many of the top airlines offer cadet pilot programs, including Qantas and Jetstar. It’s important to be aware that there are some prerequisites that must be met before applying to a cadet pilot program. You must be at least 18 years old. You must also be capable of holding a CASA Class 1 Medical Certificate and demonstrate minimum levels of English proficiency. Some cadet programs may require that you are a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.

It’s worth checking all of these stipulations before going to the effort of preparing for a cadet pilot interview. 

The Interview Process

It can help to think of the cadet pilot interview process as much like any other type of job interview, if not slightly longer and more intense. Exactly what the process entails will depend on which airline you are applying to. All airlines, however, will be looking for some of the same important traits: passion, commitment, and good instincts.

To start with, you can expect the airline to ask you basic questions about your flight experience and why you want to be a pilot. Don’t be too concerned if you don’t have a lot of experience. After all, these programs are designed to cater to beginners. However, it will certainly help if you have spent at least a few hours exploring the clouds. Learn to Fly’s Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) can help give you that extra competitive edge. It includes flight training and simulation training as well as specific cadet application and interview training.

You’ll also likely be asked to participate in a skills assessment. This may include basic questions designed to demonstrate your maths, physics, and aviation knowledge. In addition to skills-based assessments, airlines are also keen to test your problem solving skills. This may also include group-based activities that test your ability to work in a team environment.

Sitting a cadet pilot interview can seem overwhelming. However, it can help to keep in mind that it’s really no different from any other type of job interview.

Tips and Tricks to Prepare

As the adage goes, preparation is the key to success. Many applicants arrive at their cadet pilot interview with the exact same goals, skills, and set of experiences. Being adequately prepared to answer whatever question is thrown at you can be the difference between you and the rest of the pack.

Learn To Fly’s Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) is unique in that it is designed to provide you with practical experience, theoretical knowledge, and interview training, covering every possible base in preparation for your interview. In addition to the flight and simulation training, you will receive extensive airline interview coaching from a highly experienced airline pilot.

We know what each airline looks for in their cadets. We will work with you to ensure you present as a motivated, diligent individual that aligns with the specific qualities they like to see.

We’re confident that our Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) covers every aspect of a cadet pilot interview. This means that you’ll go into the interview room knowing exactly what to expect. To learn more, contact one of our flight training specialists today.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer

An Airline Cadet Pilot’s Road To The Line

Now flying an Airbus A350 for a major international airline, Second Officer Vincent Mok looks back on his airline cadet pilot journey and shares some of his experiences. In his first guest blog, he talked about his airline cadet pilot training. If you missed that you can read it here. In this edition, he discusses the next step – the road to the line!

Week 1: “The Honeymoon”

Within the space of a week, barely enough time to recover from the graduation party, we went from being the most respected gold-bar-on-the-shoulders seniors at airline cadet pilot school, to the most junior fresh pilots at the airline headquarters. It took 20 weeks to transform into a line pilot.

Day one at the airline started with a buffet breakfast with the chief pilots. With the same hands that commanded many heavy jets around the world, they opened a small envelope and brought out a piece of paper with the company logo at the top.

“Who’s Vincent?”

I put my hand up and gulped down the partially chewed fried egg in my mouth.

“Airbus.”

It was no longer flying the Slings, Foxbats, Diamond DA40s, Cessna 172s or the Diamond DA42 Twinstar. The link between my fingers and the ailerons will no longer be a few mechanical rods. Instead, a twitch of my finger will send digital signals through a myriad of wires connecting stacks of computers conferring at the speed of light whether they will grant the wish of that finger twitch. I’d be flying the Airbus A350.

There were two days of Safety School during the Honeymoon week. We trained for evacuation through various tasks:

1 Retrieve Snoopy the dummy from a smoke-filled cabin mock-up after donning a smoke-hood
2 Operate aircraft doors
3 Jump down an inflated 2-storey-high slide (which isn’t as easy as the “safety cards in the seat pockets in front of you” suggest)
4 Drag a classmate across a 25m swimming pool
5 Drag the same classmate from the pool into an inflatable life-raft
6 Set up shelter in the life-raft

The last day of the Honeymoon week was “new joiners’ day”. We broke ice with new joiners from other departments. We played games, toured the simulator building and maintenance hangars.

“Your accent sounds funny,” said the maintenance hangar tour-guide.

“I grew up in Australia”.

“People will start thinking you’re a pilot with that accent”.

Instead of saying “you’ve just met a pilot”, I grinned nervously. The upcoming schedule was ruminating in my mind.

Weeks 2 – 3: Ground School

At airline cadet pilot school, we had 20 weeks to digest ATPL theory. The Airbus ground school was 2 weeks. We had to put everything we’ve learned, from airline interview preparation to cadet school theory classes, to full use.

Tip: Take the time to completely understand the aviation theory taught at interview training and airline cadet pilot school. Your future self will appreciate it.

The course consisted of:

  • Computer based training on a dedicated laptop where a monotonous voice explained the operation of all the A350 systems.
  • Study guide of questions, all of which we need to answer before the end of the course.
  • Technical briefings by our instructor, an experienced Airbus engineer.
  • Use of a fixed base procedural trainer where we learned Standard Operating Procedures and dissected the function of all the buttons and switches.

I once thought the Diamond DA40 Aircraft Flight Manual was extensive until I started studying the airline manuals. To list a few of them:

  • Flight crew operating manual (7000 pages FCOM)
  • Flight crew techniques manual (500 pages FCTM)
  • Quick Reference Handbook (90 pages QRH)
  • Minimum Equipment list (2000 pages MEL)
  • Operations Manual: Policy, Procedures and Requirements (1000 pages)

Tip: You don’t have to be a “walking FCOM”. Memorise the safety critical information and know where to find the rest.

Weeks 4 – 10: Simulator Training

Simulator training commenced at 10pm the day after we passed our ground school exams.

The first session was in a full motion A350 simulator and is similar to the “Effects of Control” lesson. The most challenging aspect was handling the momentum during landing. If we flared like a DA40, the jet will float and run out of runway. If we flared too little too late, our buttocks would learn a lesson as if the instructor hit them with a paper FCOM.

The remainder of the simulator sessions consisted of normal and non-normal training, each lasting 4 hours.

Tip: Spend plenty of time rehearsing each lesson in advance on a “paper flight deck”

The goal of normal procedures training was to learn the Standard Operating Procedures and associated manual handling. There were:

  • 4 sessions in the fixed based procedural trainer
  • 4 sessions in a full motion simulator

The non-normal training included handling failures (e.g. engine failures, electrical failure, hydraulic failure, decompression) including their associated ECAM actions, decision making and manual handling. There were:

  • 3 sessions in the fixed based procedural trainer
  • 5 sessions in a full motion simulator

Our final two airline cadet pilot simulator sessions consisted of low visibility operations and performance based navigation training and general revision for the upcoming type rating and instrument rating.

For our type rating and instrument rating in the simulator, we had to demonstrate to the senior training captain our proficiency in rejected take off, takeoff, go-around, diversion, hold, and landing in manual flight as well as with automatics (autopilot and autothrust).

Weeks 11 – 20: Line Training

“Where’d you go for lunch today?”

“I went to Korea”

The observation flight you do will be one of the most memorable of your career. You’ve trained for 14 months as an airline cadet pilot and finally get to sit back and observe the masters at work over a sandwich or two. I went to Seoul. After observing the first sector, I had a Bibimbap over a 2 hour lunch and bought some Kimchi with my meal voucher. I was a school kid on my first excursion.

Line training is about learning to fly safely, legally and efficiently in a multi-crew operation. It consisted of 10 sectors and took me to multiple exciting destinations including:

  • Auckland
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney
  • Barcelona
  • Washington DC
  • Brisbane

The 17 month journey from the beginning of airline cadet pilot school to the line check was full of challenges and triumphs. I made many lifelong friends and learned a lot about resilience, persistence and comradery.

I was lucky to have the ongoing support of my mentors including Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services as well as my family and friends. Realising my dream would have been impossible without them. If your dream is to be an airline pilot, certainly consider the airline cadet pilot pathway.

Airline-Cadet-Pilot-Graduates
Vincent’s airline cadet pilot class graduates with Captain Darren McPherson from ACS Aviation Consulting.

We’d like to thank Vincent very much for contributing these fantastic blogs on his airline cadet pilot journey. If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer

Online Airline Interview Preparation Course

Our highly successful Airline Interview Coaching Session is now available as an online airline interview preparation course!

At Learn To Fly we are committed to innovating our aviation training model so that student pilots and airline pilot hopefuls can continue to learn. We recently introduced online distance learning for our RPL and PPL theory courses, and we are now excited to launch an online Airline Interview Preparation course together with ACS – Aviation Consulting Services.

ACS – Aviation Consulting Services has been developing and consistently providing quality pilot candidates for a range of operators and airlines globally for over 5 years. The Airline Interview Coaching Session itself has helped candidates to achieve success in their applications to more than 10 major airlines worldwide, at both cadet and direct entry levels.

Are Airlines Still Recruiting Pilots?

During recent months we have seen unprecedented impacts on the aviation and airline industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Global airline traffic is nearly at a standstill, but that doesn’t mean that airlines aren’t thinking about their future recruitment.

Some major airlines are still actively recruiting cadet pilots. It is highly likely that the current hibernation period will make the applicant talent pool even more competitive once recruitment resumes for any airlines that are not currently recruiting. Those who use this down time to prepare will be far better placed than those who don’t.

Preparation will always be the single most important factor in giving yourself the best chance of success in airline interview processes. Our online airline interview preparation course gives you access to this crucial preparation knowledge from wherever you are in the world.

How Does the Online Airline Interview Preparation Course Work?

Thanks to advances in technology and software, we are now able to create a truly interactive online classroom environment. Your location no longer prevents you from participating in courses that before you could only attend in person.

This Online Airline Interview Preparation Course uses the same syllabus as our standard Airline Interview Coaching Session. The content has been refined to suit delivery using Zoom online meeting software.

The course contains 5 modules, each of which will run for approximately 90 minutes. We will present each module live in an interactive online classroom across 2 days. The presenter for each session is airline interview specialist and international airline Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services.

Darren is also available to provide further feedback and interaction with all participants following the course.

Airline-Cadet-Pilot-Graduates
Cadet pilot graduates with Captain Darren McPherson from ACS Aviation Consulting.

Course Outline

The following modules make up the online Airline Interview Preparation course:

Module 1 – The Interview Process

The interview process varies in both format and content for different airlines and operators. This module assists in providing a practical insight into the processes for a range of airlines. Participants also develop a study pathway to assist in structured and ongoing preparation further down the track.

We tailor this module to target the interview process for the specific airlines that course participants will be applying to.

Module 2 – The HR Interview

The HR interview is an important step for most airlines and operators. This also forms a crucial part of the online Airline Interview Preparation course. In this module we examine the human factors that can impact you during this part of the interview process.

We explore the content of the HR interview, and look at interview scenarios and styles for a range of different airlines. This allows you to develop your response methods in order to create the best outcome.

In developing methods for response, we conduct practical planning activities. These teach you how to best respond to airline HR questions using your own strengths and your past work and study experiences. The aim of this module is to help each participant to unlock the ways in which they can showcase their best and most relevant qualities.

Module 3 – Typical Review Questions

Whilst airlines differ in their approach and interview process, there are a number of key themes and areas that are common to all operators. Whilst some of the knowledge areas may seem obvious, the best way to answer these common questions themselves may not be.

In this module we look at those common themes and questions with consideration to the content covered in modules 1 and 2. We will work through each activity in a practical group style format. This way, participants are able to explore their own responses and also develop them further by learning from each other.

Module 4 – Group Skills & Exercises

Airlines place a large emphasis on your ability to work in a team environment. That means that group skills and exercises are an important component of the application process for many.

In this module we discuss the human factors involved in group dynamics, and look at teamwork. We also work through a number of practical team exercises, similar to those you will experience during the interview process.

Finally, we analyse the results of the group exercises. We then conduct an open discussion on how personality factors contribute to the overall outcome.

Module 5 – Technical Knowledge

Even for cadet entry positions, airlines expect that applicants have a level of technical aviation knowledge. During this module in the online Airline Interview Preparation course, we review crucial technical knowledge subject areas.

We take into consideration the differences in what level of knowledge different airlines tend to expect. We also discuss the expected knowledge levels relevant to each individual’s own previous flying and aviation theory experience.

The discussion in this module provides each applicant with an insight into their current knowledge. It also then allows them to plan for further preparation and study if required.

Advanced Training & Further Online Airline Interview Preparation Modules

The Online Airline Interview Preparation course is a standalone 2 day program. However, Learn To Fly and ACS – Aviation Consulting Services have developed a range of individual online modules for more advanced training. For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer

How Do Airlines Select Cadet Pilots?

What are airlines looking for when they select their cadet pilots?

There are more airline cadet pilot opportunities than ever before, but competition is still very strong. So how do airlines select cadet pilots? What are they looking for, and what makes you a stronger applicant than others?

Historically, airline pilot candidates were selected based on academic background and relevant industry experience. Over time, airline operators have recognised that there is far more to what makes a good pilot than this alone.

Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services is our specialist airline interview consultant. He runs our highly successful airline interview courses, which includes the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) and the Airline Interview Coaching Session. In this blog Darren shares some of the information that has helped guide over 100 airline cadet pilot applicants to success in the last 2 years.

Initial Applicant Screening

Initial screening and selection is a key element in identifying applicants who might be a good fit for a specific airline. It also provides an indication of who is likely to be able to cope with the intensity of a full-time flying training program.

Airlines have their own selection criteria that they adhere to when conducting initial cadet pilot application screening. This can include but is not limited to:

– Age
– Schooling and previous education
– University qualifications, both attempted and/or completed
– Previous flying or aviation-related experience
– Other relevant or additional qualifications

Cadet pilot applicants should check the key selection criteria for the airlines they are applying to. It’s important to know what will be looked at during initial screening.

Aviation English Proficiency (AELP)

Aviation English is the standard global language under ICAO AELP Standards. It is essential that airline cadet pilots can communicate effectively during both their training and their operational careers. This applies in normal day to day operations and more importantly, in emergency scenarios.

Airlines require that applicants pass an AELP test at a minimum of Level 4 proficiency. Even prior to the test, airlines assess an applicant’s English proficiency during initial screening and during the interview process, paying particular attention to:

– Vocabulary
– Overall fluency
– Spoken English and pronunciation
– Comprehension
– Sentence structure

For tips on improving your English skills, check out our previous blog on how to pass your ICAO Aviation English exam.

Group Skills & Exercises

Group skills and exercises form an increasingly important part of cadet pilot recruitment processes for nearly every airline. Airline flight crews feature multiple nationalities, personalities and cultural backgrounds both inside the cockpit and around the flight deck.

One of the most important things you can do in your interview is demonstrate your qualities as a team player that can work effectively with a range of people.

Some of the key things that airlines will look for during group activities include:

– Communication
– Leadership
– Teamwork
– Problem solving
– Decision making
– Situational awareness
– Workload management

Human Resources (HR) Questions

Another key component of how airlines select cadet pilots is the HR Interview. This interview explores your motivation to become an airline pilot, and also your background.

Airline interviewers will ask questions exploring your past experiences with a focus on how you overcame and learnt from past challenges.

Example questions to explore your motivation to become a pilot:

– What interests you the most about becoming an airline pilot?
– Which of your qualities are best suited to becoming a pilot?
– Why do you want to work for our airline?

Example questions exploring your past experiences:

– How did you overcome the challenges that you have experienced throughout your career or life?
– What is the most satisfying part of your career to date?
– What preparation have you done for today’s interview?

HR interviews can also be conducted in a panel format, and may be combined with technical aviation questioning.

Technical Evaluation

Even though it’s not a requirement to have any previous flying experience to apply for airline cadet pilot roles, technical knowledge is one of the best ways to demonstrate your motivation towards an airline pilot career.

The technical evaluation can include practical aspects of flying an aircraft, the role of an airline pilot, and knowledge about the aviation industry in general.

Airline interviewers understand that the level of technical knowledge varies between candidates, but it’s a great opportunity for you to communicate your motivation. Your technical knowledge demonstrates time spent preparing for not just the interview, but towards actually working in an airline pilot role in the future.

A great resource for technical knowledge is the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) “Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge” (2016), which is available through the US Government FAA website as a free download.

What Is The Best Way You Can Prepare?

There are many online tools available to help you prepare for each aspect of the airline cadet pilot interview process, but the best preparation knowledge comes from those who have past experience and success.

Learn To Fly’s Airline Interview Coaching Session has been created specifically to give airline pilot applicants the best possible preparation. The Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) also offers practical flying training, which makes a valuable addition to your technical knowledge.

For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer

Step By Step Guide to the Qantas Airline Pilot Selection Process

With a global pilot shortage, major carriers are opening up recruitment programs to attract pilots looking for an airline career. Even though there are many more opportunities now available to join an airline, the selection process remains challenging and competitive.

Preparation is the key. To help you to understand what airlines are looking for and hopefully improve your chances of success, we have created a blog series to take you through the selection process for some of the major airlines.

Preparation courses, where we go into specific airline interview processes in great detail, to coach you towards achieving your dream airline pilot job.

Read our last blog on the topic featuring the Cathay Group

Let’s look at Qantas Group airline pilot selection process including Qantas and Qantaslink.

Qantas (Mainline) and Qantaslink (Direct Entry)

1. Remote computer psychometric testing

Remote screening of applicants is conducted prior to an invitation for further assessments. Following this, you can expect additional Group Skills and Exercises, an HR interview and evaluation.

Key indicators consist of general personality, intelligence, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and eye-hand co-ordination; all of which are essential benchmarks before further testing can be attempted.

2. Group skills and exercises

Groups skills focusing on various scenarios and situations are developed and assessed as to how a candidate works within a team. These Qantas pilot selection process exercises will examine aspects within a number of situations and tasks that need to be completed in a dynamic and evolving scenario.

Key qualities assessed are communication, leadership, general problem solving, as well as threat management. These scenarios are dynamic, fast-paced and will change throughout the exercises; subsequently testing a candidate’s ability to update, reassess and implement strategies or changes throughout.

3. HR interview and assessment

Human Resources (HR) examines a candidate’s personal and career history. With particular emphasis on enthusiasm and attitudes, it also evaluates problem-solving skills in dynamic theoretical situations.

Skill sets that are considered closely include communication, leadership, general problem solving and threat management during a number of both individual and group settings.

4. Simulator exercise and training aptitude and assessment

Flight simulator assessment will allow the candidate to demonstrate flying skills that are an essential part of any pilot position. A sound demonstration of skills is required to demonstrate a solid foundation of basic instrument flying skills.

Whilst not expected to fly the simulator at the level of a qualified or endorsed pilot, candidates will be assessed on their ability to process new tasks in the aircraft and training environment.

5. Detailed reference check

A final step in the Qantas pilot selection process is the professional and personal reference check. Speaking to previous employers, flight instructors, supervisors or vendors helps validate the candidate’s true character as opposed to an artificial or pre-rehearsed interview candidate.

Learn To Fly offers 3 dedicated courses to help you in preparation for airline applications, and we can customise the syllabus based on the process of whatever your chosen airlines are. The courses are run in conjunction with ACS- Aviation Consulting Services and are facilitated by international airline Captain Darren McPherson.

Over the last 2 years, these programs have assisted nearly 80 applicants to successfully be accepted into 10 different airlines around the world. Learn more below:

Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP)
Airline Interview Coaching Session

Darren-McPherson-ACS-Aviation-Consulting-Services
Captain Darren McPherson is an expert on the Qantas pilot selection process.

For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer

Singapore Airlines Pilot Selection Process: Step By Step Guide

Want to know more about the Singapore Airlines Group pilot selection process (including Singapore Airlines and Scoot)?

We also have airline selection process blog posts for Cathay Group and Qantas Group.

One of the biggest ongoing aviation news stories in 2018 was the current and future global pilot shortage, and the rapid expansion of cadet pilot programs from most of the world’s biggest airlines. With new opportunities opening up around the world, a career as an airline pilot is more achievable now than it has ever been.

The selection process is still challenging and very competitive. Preparation is absolutely essential if you hope for success.

To give you the edge over other applicants we offer a range of highly successful Airline Pilot Interview Preparation courses. These courses can be tailored specifically to your target airlines, and provide you with comprehensive training on how to make the most of your applications.

Learn more about the Singapore Airlines pilot selection process (including Scoot Airlines) and how our courses can help you below.

Singapore Airlines Pilot Selection Process

1. Remote computer psychometric testing

Designed to screen applicants and look at key qualities that are desired for the role as a pilot, the psychometric test covers general personality, intelligence, numerical reasoning and eye hand coordination.

Our airline interview preparation courses give you the opportunity to complete example psychometric tests similar to those used by the airlines. We will then thoroughly analyse your results with you, based on what airlines are looking for.

2. General HR Interview

This closely assesses the candidate’s overall motivation towards the role and to the airline, as well as some technical knowledge. In particular, enthusiasm and general attitude are assessed through detailed and focused questions about their dedication to becoming a pilot.

International airline Captain Darren McPherson has 30 years industry experience. He will teach you how to best present yourself and your documents. Darren will thoroughly review your CV, enhance your HR skills and technical knowledge based on what specific airlines are looking for.

3. Prepared written essay

A number of word-limited and topic-based questions are prepared by the candidate prior to the next stage of the process. Answers document the applicant’s motivation towards becoming a pilot and furthermore working for the airline specifically.

As part of our programs, we work through example questions with you and assist you in constructing your responses. From extensive experience, we are able to guide you on the type of content and response structure that the airline is looking for.

4. Detailed HR and technical interview

These interviews may be conducted by personnel from both the HR and Flight Operations department, and delve deeper into the candidate’s attitudes towards work, studies, life experiences, preparation and aviation knowledge.

In a simulated mock interview environment, we will work through advanced airline-specific HR questions and response methods, and perfect interview presentation techniques. The technical session will outline effective levels required for the various airline entry points. This will help identify your current level of knowledge, and any areas that you should upskill prior to interview.

Scoot Pilot Selection Process

1. Online assessment

A detailed online computer screening process is conducted with specific evaluation of key indicators including personality, intelligence, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning and co-ordination. Tasks are specifically time-limited to place the candidate under pressure, looking for composure and consistency of results.

We are able to provide our program students with online assessment tools similar to those used by the airlines. We discuss and then work through results to track performance in specific areas most likely to be highlighted by airlines, and assist with improving on any areas of potential deficiency.

2. Group skills and assessment

These timed exercises place candidates in a range of dynamic scenarios to identify skills such as communication, leadership, mathematical problem solving and threat management. Tasks may be re-presented with modified group numbers or participants to analyse different dynamics and results. All scenarios are thoroughly debriefed and discussed to review applicants’ ability for self-assessment.

Group skills have become a significant factor in the airline pilot recruitment phase. We will practice group activities and review the effects of different personality types and examine leadership qualities as well as effective problem solving techniques within a group, through airline-based scenarios.

3. HR Interview

In this interview the applicant’s personal and career history are examined with particular emphasis on enthusiasm, and attitudes; whilst concurrently closely examining problem solving skills in theoretical yet dynamic situations. Additional problem-solving tasks are presented on short notice. This is to demonstrate, test and reinforce previously established group skills displayed during the earlier assessment.

We will thoroughly review your CV and then analyse your HR skills and technical knowledge. In addition, we will conduct a range of mock interview scenarios. This will link in with previous group exercises, to fine-tune your presentation technique and skills.

Learn To Fly offers 3 dedicated courses to help you in preparation for airline applications, and we can customise the syllabus based on the process of whatever your chosen airlines are. The courses are run in conjunction with ACS- Aviation Consulting Services and are facilitated by international airline Captain Darren McPherson.

Over the last 2 years, these programs have assisted nearly 80 applicants to successfully be accepted into 10 different airlines around the world. Learn more below:

Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP)
Airline Interview Coaching Session

Darren-McPherson-ACS-Aviation-Consulting-Services
Captain Darren McPherson is an expert on the Singapore Airlines pilot selection process.

For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer

A Guide to the Cathay Pacific Pilot Selection Process

This is the first in a series of blogs that will discuss the selection process for 3 of the major airline groups, and how we can help you with each stage. Today we discuss the Cathay Pacific pilot selection processes.

One of the biggest ongoing aviation news stories in 2018 was the current and future global pilot shortage, and the rapid expansion of cadet pilot programs from most of the world’s biggest airlines. With new opportunities opening up globally, an airline pilot career is more achievable now than it has ever been.

The selection process is still challenging though, and very competitive, and preparation is absolutely essential if you hope for success.

Cathay Pacific Airways Cadet Pilot Selection

Stage 1A. Initial Psychometric Testing

Designed to screen applicants and look at key qualities that are desired for the role as a pilot, the psychometric test covers the general personality, intelligence, numerical reasoning and eye-hand coordination.

Our airline interview preparation courses give you the opportunity to complete example psychometric tests similar to those used by airlines. We will then thoroughly analyse your results with you, based on what airlines are looking for.

Stage 1B. Initial HR & Technical Screening Interview

This closely assesses the candidate’s overall motivation towards the role and to the airline, as well as some technical knowledge. In particular, enthusiasm and general attitude are assessed through detailed and focused questions about their dedication to becoming a pilot.

International airline Captain Darren McPherson will teach you how to best present yourself and your documents, based on 30 years of industry experience. During the program, he will thoroughly review your CV, as well as enhance your HR skills and technical knowledge specifically based on what airlines are looking for.

Stage 2A. Group Skills & Exercises

These timed exercises place candidates in a range of dynamic scenarios to identify skills such as communication, leadership, mathematical problem solving and threat management. Tasks may be re-presented with modified group numbers or participants to analyse different dynamics and results. All scenarios are thoroughly debriefed and discussed with to review applicants’ ability for self-assessment.

Group skills have become a significant factor in the airline pilot recruitment phase. We will practice group activities and review the effects of different personality types and examine leadership qualities as well as effective problem-solving techniques within a group, through airline-based scenarios.

Stage 2B. Detailed HR & Technical Interview

These interviews may be conducted by personnel from both the HR and Flight Operations department. They delve deeper into the candidate’s attitudes towards work, studies, life experiences, preparation and aviation knowledge.

In a simulated mock interview environment, we will work through advanced airline-specific HR questions and response methods, and perfect interview presentation techniques. The technical session will outline effective levels required for the various airline entry points. This will help identify your current level of knowledge, and any areas that you should upskill prior to interview.

Cathay Pacific Airways – Direct Entry Second Officer Selection

Stage 1. Group Skills & Exercises

Group exercises form an important part of the Cathay pilot selection process.

These timed exercises place candidates in a range of dynamic scenarios to identify skills such as communication, leadership, mathematical problem solving and threat management. You will have the opportunity to re-present tasks with modified group numbers or participants to analyse different dynamics and results. All scenarios are thoroughly debriefed and discussed to review applicants’ ability for self-assessment.

Group skills have become a significant factor in the airline pilot recruitment phase. We will practice group activities and review the effects of different personality types and examine leadership qualities as well as effective problem-solving techniques within a group, through airline-based scenarios.

Stage 2. Simulator Exercise & Assessment

Flight simulator assessment will allow the candidate to demonstrate flying skills that are an essential part of any pilot position. You will need to demonstrate a sound knowledge of basic instrument flying skills. Furthermore, a number of selected training events are presented to assess the candidate’s aptitude as to their “rate or learning” and the ability to process new tasks in the aircraft and training environment.

Learn To Fly has partnered with Flight Experience to be able to offer our students direct access to a Boeing-endorsed B737 flight simulator. Our preparation courses can not only prepare you for the things assessors will look for, but can also guide you through practically on the actual simulator.

Stage 3. Detailed HR & Technical Interview

Personnel from both the HR and Flight Operations department may conduct these interviews. They will delve deeper into the candidate’s attitudes towards work, studies, life experiences, preparation and aviation knowledge.

In a simulated mock interview environment, we will work through advanced airline-specific HR questions and response methods. We will also perfect interview presentation techniques. The technical session will outline effective levels required for the various airline entry points. This will help identify your current level of knowledge, and any areas that you should upskill prior to interview.

We also have airline selection process blog posts for Cathay Group and Qantas Group.

Learn To Fly offers 3 dedicated courses to help you in preparation for airline applications, and we can customise the syllabus based on the process of whatever your chosen airlines are. The courses are run in conjunction with ACS- Aviation Consulting Services and are facilitated by international airline Captain Darren McPherson.

Over the last 2 years, these programs have assisted nearly 80 applicants to successfully be accepted into 10 different airlines around the world. Learn more below:

Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP)
Airline Interview Coaching Session

Darren-McPherson-ACS-Aviation-Consulting-Services
Captain Darren McPherson is an expert on the Cathay Pacific pilot selection process.

For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer

Learn To Fly Scholarship Recipient Dean Shing Starts at Cathay Pacific

We recently offered a Learn To Fly scholarship for our highly successful Future Cadet Pilot Program to a Hong Kong student. The scholarship allowed the successful applicant to come to Australia and complete the flight training component of the program.

Our scholarship recipient was Dean Shing, who has been accepted into the Cathay Pacific cadetship program. He came to Melbourne to complete his flight training and fly solo, and we caught up with him to talk about the process, as well as his love for flying.

Dean’s Flight Story

The Beginning

The moment I became determined to be a pilot was when I did my first flight training in Canada in May 2018. But my Learn To Fly Scholarship program preparation started a lot earlier than this. Allow me to share a bit of my aviation journey.

I was never an aviation person, and being a pilot to me was just like being an astronaut. It was something I never thought was possible. But all that changed in December 2015 when I was travelling around New Zealand, looking for fun and exciting things to do

That was when I did a trial flight. It was an absolutely beautiful and amazing experience. I still remember after my instructor aligned the Cessna 172 to the runway centreline, he asked me to apply full throttle, and then pull back on the control yoke, and the C172 just lifted off; and here it was, my first takeoff, flying me into my aviation journey.

Ever since then I started to be interested. Part of me thought having flying as a hobby was a pretty cool thing to do. It’s silly I know, but that’s how I started. What I did was mostly self-studying, and later joining AAEP (Advanced Aviation Education Programme, by Hong Kong Air Cadet Corps) after I came back to Hong Kong. It was during the course I realized that being a pilot is not just about flying. It involves a lot of planning, decision-making, and multi-crew working, etc. That really attracted me, and that’s also when I started studying really hard for the Learn To Fly Scholarship program.

To confirm my passion, I went to Canada for my first flight training. It was during the fight training I found out that not only did I enjoy the flying part so much, I enjoyed literally everything including all the ground preparation with my instructors, the late night study with my batch mates; and the satisfaction of flying in the sky is incomparable. That’s when I became determined to be a pilot, so I made my move, and here I am!

Preparing and Applying for the Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Program

My preparation for the Cathay Pacific cadet program was divided into two parts – technical knowledge and HR Interview, both of which require teamwork.

Firstly for the technical knowledge, I did a lot of self-study, reading mostly Bob Tait’s. Apart from books and Google, I have learnt a lot about Meteorology and Engineering through YouTube. Another thing I did was having study group meetings. During these we discussed different technical knowledge, shared question banks, and had mock interviews with each other. In my opinion, it is important to do it on a regular basis with different people. In that way not only did I learn from different perspectives, but knowing that I’m not alone in pursuing this dream actually energised me. It’s important to always ask “why”, and know that it is not only the cadet pilot interview that I’m preparing for, it is the career.

Secondly for the HR interview, the most important thing is knowing yourself from inside out. Let’s first talk about CVs and portfolios. Simply put, each item on my CV and portfolio is there for a reason – they can either show my passion for flying or show what kind of person I am (in a good way). If they can’t serve either of the two purposes, they shouldn’t be there.

For the interview part, I think it’s important to treat it not as an interview, but more like meeting new friends, or even having a speed date. It’s really the process for your new friends to know about you, and, to a lesser extent, for you to know about your new friends. Be calm, act normal, and show them why you’re suitable. Of course it’s easier said than done. To prepare I had a lot, I mean really a lot, of mock interviews with different people; and I have also applied for different jobs just to gain “real” interview experience. In this way, I was calmer when facing the real one. I also learnt when to talk more, and when to stop, i.e., talk like a normal person in an interview.

Before applying, I also did 12 hours of flight training in Canada. I think it’s important to at least try a couple hours of flying to know whether you really like it or not, before committing to a life-long career. And the pursuit of a career is always a team game. Joining some courses or programmes is a good way to start your preparation. Not only you’ll learn the knowledge in a proper manner, but you’ll also meet people who may as well become your batch mates in cadet training in the future.

The Interview Process

At the time of my application, there were 3 stages:

– 1A – Aptitude Test + Technical Quiz
– 1B – HR Interview
– 2 – Flight Planning Exercise, Group Exercise, and Technical Interview

The 2 interviews were more relaxing than I expected. They were really just like chatting, letting them know why I want to be a pilot, and what makes me suitable to be one. You need to familiarise yourself with the whole process, know what to expect, and therefore what to prepare. Nothing should come as a surprise if you are well-prepared.

The most difficult and time-consuming part of the preparation was the interviews, and therefore HR questions. Others were pretty straight forward. From my experience, when preparing for HR interview it’s easy to fall into a trap – pretending to be someone we’re not. It’s important what we say in the interview match what we have done in the past (shown on our CVs). To prepare for this, I would suggest first you need to figure out what kind of qualities the airline is looking for in you. And then you can start judging from those essential qualities to see which ones you have. This process could take a lot of time so it’s better to start preparing earlier.

I found that quite a lot of people I met would try to hide their past failures or mistakes. To me they’re actually a great selling point if you know how to use them. It doesn’t matter what failures or mistakes you had, it matters what you have done about them. Show the interviewers what you have learnt from them, and how you have improved. Once again, match what you say with what you have done.

Flying in Melbourne with Learn To Fly

Flying with LTF was an amazing experience for me, and has built up my confidence in flying. During my last flight training in Canada, I was struggling on landing and because of that I wasn’t able to do my 1st solo. Before I started my training with LTF this time, I had already expressed my concern. Not only did LTF construct the training schedule to fit my particular needs, my instructor Uly also gave me a lot of encouragement and guidance. After some bouncing on the runway, I was finally able to land the Diamond DA40, and achieved my 1st solo.

Diamond-DA40-Solo-Landing
Bringing the Diamond DA40 in to land at Moorabbin Airport.

It was amazing! Words simply couldn’t describe how happy and satisfied I was, and I still am. To me, it’s not only about the joy of flying the plane by myself, but what’s more important is knowing that I can actually handle an aircraft, and that has really built up my confidence and made me feel like a pilot for the first time. For this reason I couldn’t be more grateful to LTF and my instructor Uly.

Looking back a little bit before I went to Melbourne, and before I started preparing for my flight training, I had thought flying in Moorabbin Airport was so difficult. It has 5 physical runways, each one crossing the other one. On top of that, the numerous taxiways crossing different runways makes it a bit of a maze to begin with! Thankfully LTF prepared a starter kit that listed out the detailed route map and the standard procedures for Moorabbin Airport. This preparation took away my worries about navigating the runways, and made my flight training smooth.

The other thing I have to point out is that the LTF aircraft are so beautiful. They’re probably the most beautiful ones in the airport – all looking new and colourful. It’s an enjoyment simply looking at them, and taking selfies of course! Other than flying, I do enjoy hanging around in the office. There is a big classroom for students to study and chat. I have met a lot of aviation enthusiasts there, sharing thoughts and talking about aviation.

All that being said, I’m really looking forward to coming back for more!

The Learn To Fly Future Cadet Pilot Program Scholarship

The Learn To Fly scholarship has helped me in a lot of ways. I mean the grant of the scholarship itself already means a lot to me. It is not just the flying hours that I get, but more importantly it’s the recognition of my passion and hard work – it’s a real encouragement.

Before I went to Melbourne, we already had a consensus about my flight training goals, and LTF delivered. They didn’t simply try to put me up for my 1st solo, but they constructed a training program, including the aircraft, the checklist, the procedures etc, to prepare me for the upcoming cadet training. Of course, completing my 1st solo was a simply a bonus, and a bonus that I really love.

During my time there, not only did I massively improve on my flying skills, but I have also learnt more about what it takes to become a good pilot through sharing stories with the instructors, something I find of true value.

All in all, with the help from LTF, I am now confident and ready for the upcoming challenge. I hope soon enough I could be as a good pilot as my instructors here at LTF. And I’m really glad LTF has given such a chance for Hong Kong locals to pursue their dreams. It’s never easy to take on this career in Hong Kong, but with the LTF Future Cadet Pilot Program now, the path seems to be a little bit easier.

We thank Dean for giving us this great insight into his aviation journey. We also wish him well with his training at Cathay Pacific, and hope to see him in Australia again sometime.

Darren-McPherson-ACS-Aviation-Consulting-Services
The Learn To Fly scholarship grants the recipient our FCPP course, which is facilitated by Captain Darren McPherson from ACS Aviation Consulting Services.

For further information about Learn To Fly scholarship opportunities, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour. Our highly successful Future Cadet Pilot Program is run in partnership with Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer

Airline Cadet Pilot Interviews: How Many Flying Hours Are Required?

Over the previous years, I have seen airline cadet pilots candidates apply for interview with varied amounts of flying experience. Some applicants have zero flight hours, and some have as many as 50 flight hours. This brings to light an important question. “Before I apply for for airline cadet pilot interviews, how many flying hours do I need?”

This answer will certainly vary from person to person, and even airline to airline.

Typical responses from airlines can again vary from “we will train you”, to “the more experience the better”. There are even in extreme examples such as “why would you waste your time doing any flying beforehand?”

All of these are very subjective responses.

So is there a right or wrong answer to this question?

From my own personal experiences with cadet pilot interview requirements, I feel that previous flying hours are an important part of preparation. This is important not just at the interview stage, but is also advantageous once successful applicants start their cadet training.

Typically, zero time cadets may not have had any exposure to flight at all. Considering flying introduction programs are certainly worthwhile. Firstly, to see if aviation and the flying environment actually interests you. Secondly, to see if you are suited to a flying role and the challenges that this presents.

Over the previous 2 years most of the successful airline cadet pilot interview applicants have completed a basic flying program as a minimum.

Beyond initial flight training, further training is of course up to the individual. You can pursue programs that help you towards achieving your first solo flight. Beyond that you could even look at obtaining a Recreational Pilot Licence or Private Pilot Licence. This certainly does help towards not just the interview process and understanding aviation, but the future role that one is about to pursue as an airline cadet pilot after the successful interview.

Recent airline cadet pilot interview applicants have given feedback that practical aviation exposure and flying hours is a must. This experience greatly assists with actual practical knowledge of flying beyond a purely theoretical approach.

Further to considering airline cadet pilot interviews and the flying hours required beforehand, it’s also a great idea to think about completing a flying program before starting your actual cadet training. This is especially beneficial if you complete a course in a similar aircraft type to the one you will fly during your training.

Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services is our specialist airline interview consultant. He runs our highly successful airline interview courses, which includes the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) and the Airline Interview Coaching Session.

Darren-McPherson-ACS-Aviation-Consulting-Services
Captain Darren McPherson is an expert on airline cadet pilot interviews.

Learn To Fly’s Airline Pilot Interview Programs have been created specifically to give airline pilot applicants the best possible preparation. The Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) also offers practical flying training, which makes a valuable addition to your technical knowledge.

For further information or to register your interest in these modules, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer

Pilot Stories: The Road to Becoming an Airline Second Officer – Matt Waterton

We spoke to Matt Waterton, one of the success stories of our Airline Interview Coaching Session about his passion for flying, his experiences in applying and being accepted into a cadet program, and then becoming an airline Second Officer. Matt is well on his way to achieving his aviation dreams in the airline industry.

Even for those young men and women who have already taken steps towards being a pilot, until very recently a career as an airline pilot has still seemed out of reach. Many major airlines are opening up their doors, increasing numbers in their cadet and direct entry programs and offering new entry points into the industry.

Tell us a bit about your background and what made you interested in flying

I travelled regularly as a child and found myself more interested in what type of aircraft I was flying on, rather than the trip itself. In the days when it was legal, I used to visit the flight deck where I found myself fascinated by the complexity of the dials and switches. I remained in the cockpit during landing on several flights, and it was on one of these occasions when the captain allowed me to wear headphones and listen to Air Traffic Control, that I realised flying was my passion.

What do you love most about flying?

I still find that there is still nothing quite like accelerating down the runway and taking off. However, I do enjoy looking at the night sky and observing things I wouldn’t usually be able to see; the International Space Station, shooting stars, and the ever-changing scenery down below.

If you were given the opportunity to fly any aircraft in the world, what would it be?

Unfortunately for me, I have always had a soft spot for the Concorde. It flew higher and faster 50 years ago than any airliners in active service today. The Concorde truly made the world a much smaller place. It amazes me that Concorde was designed and engineered in a time without computers as we know them.

What is your ultimate flying goal?

I’d love to be the captain of an airliner into London or my hometown of Brisbane.

Tell us about your current airline Second Officer role

I’m currently a Second Officer at a major airline based in Asia. It’s a great job – I mainly fly sectors back to Australia, so I always get to catch up with my family. The crew are fantastic and easy to talk to, and very supportive if I’m due for any upcoming training sims.

Did you have any flying experience before you decided to apply for airlines?

I used to fly skydivers in a Cessna aircraft. It was a great job for getting used to manually handling an aircraft and seeing how they perform. I then worked as a charter pilot in a twin-engine piston aircraft based in Queensland. I primarily flew passengers to remote towns in Australia, landing on some interesting landing strips.

Was the interview process what you expected?

Yes, it was indeed. I made sure I did everything I could to prepare for the process. I found the interview itself to be less confronting than I had expected, that was a big relief! I had to pass an initial interview, followed by two days of testing before I was accepted. The two days encompassed a group interview with other candidates (a problem-solving activity), psychometric testing, a simulator assessment in a 747 simulator, and finally a panel interview.

What are the main things that you found challenging during the interview process, and what advice would you give to future applicants?

Waiting to see if I was successful or not was agonising. I’d jump every time I received an email! Make sure you receive all the help you can for your interview; interview preparation, reading through online forums to see what to expect, and running through the simulator assessment on a flight simulator.

Make sure you’re completely familiar with the airline you’re applying to. That includes where they fly to, knowing about the country in which the airline is based, which aircraft they operate, and most importantly – what is expected of you in the position you’re applying for. Knowing you’ve done everything you can makes it that much easier to stay calm and be yourself during the interview.

Airline Pilot Interview Preparation Courses

Whilst now is the perfect time to look at an airline career, getting there is still very competitive and challenging. To give yourself the best possible chance of success, you need an edge. That edge is preparation, and knowledge from people experienced in how both the cadet program itself and the industry in general works.

Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services is our specialist airline interview consultant. He runs our highly successful airline interview courses, which includes the Future Cadet Pilot Program (FCPP) and Airline Interview Coaching Session.

Matt becoming an airline Second Officer is just one of many success stories to come out of these courses, which give you a proven edge over other applicants. We’d like to thank Matt for sharing his story and experiences.

Darren-McPherson-ACS-Aviation-Consulting-Services
Captain Darren McPherson is an expert on airline cadet pilot interviews.

For further information or to register your interest in our airline interview preparation courses, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

Learn-To-Fly-Melbourne-Youtube-Subscribe-Footer