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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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Get a Feel for Flying with a Trial Introductory Flight

Have you always dreamed about flying but aren’t sure how it will feel once you’re in the air? Now is the perfect time to get behind the controls on a trial introductory flight. A Trial Introductory Flight (TIF) is an experience that has been created to give you a good idea of how it feels to fly a light aircraft, and also to give you a look at how flight training courses at Learn to Fly are run.

Lots of people will do a TIF as an amazing once-off experience. However, it does also count as part of the CASA flying syllabus. This means that if you do decide to take flight training further, you will have already taken the first step. You can then continue towards getting your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL), Private Pilot Licence (PPL) or Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL).

What You Will Experience on a Trial Introductory Flight

The first steps of your Trial Introductory Flight do, of course, start on the ground. Your instructor will take you through an in-depth explanation on how the aeroplane you are flying functions, along with a discussion of aerodynamics and what to expect during your flight. After this, you will accompany your instructor on their pre-flight examination of the aircraft where you are encouraged to ask any questions you may have. Even if you’re not intending to begin a career as a pilot, you will gain a whole lot more from the experience if you ask questions and are ready to learn.

Once you get settled into the cockpit and are cleared for takeoff, you will take to the sky with your highly trained instructor. They will lead you through some flying methods, manoeuvres and skills. Then, you will then get the chance to take the controls and perform those same manoeuvres, under the watchful eye of your instructor. They can take the controls back at short notice at any time. It’s a great way to get in the air and see how you feel in control of the aircraft, while still knowing that you are fully safe.

Do You Need Any Experience?

Not at all! The trial flight is for beginners, so you do not need to know anything about aircraft or have any previous flight training course experience, or even any flight theory knowledge. The whole point of the TIF is for people without any flight experience to get an idea of how it feels being up in the air. This way, you can give it a go with no fears or lengthy training. There is no need to study before your TIF – your instructor will teach you everything you need to know.

What Planes Will You be Able to Fly?

Sling Aircraft Sling 2 LSA

The Sling 2 LSA is an aircraft built from aluminium, designed by Sling Aircraft Ltd. The Sling 2 LSA aircraft was initially designed to be a cross country and recreational aircraft. However, due to its amazing and tight handling, it has become a well loved training aircraft. It sports near 360-degree panoramic visibility, 7-hour fuel range and high-performance design.

Aeroprakt Foxbat A22LS

The Aeroprakt A-22 Foxbat is an ultra-light two seater aircraft with a simple to understand 3-axis control system. Transparent doors of the aircraft provide outstanding visibility. The combination of simple controls and low stall speed make the Foxbat an excellent aircraft for first flights.

Cessna Skyhawk 172

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk has four seats and is used primarily for training and/or private aviation. It’s also the most popular aircraft ever built, with over 44,000 being produced worldwide since its creation in 1955, and new models still in production today.

Diamond Aircraft DA40

Designed in Austria, the Diamond DA40 aircraft is a modern and reliable four-seater aircraft. It is constructed from lightweight material, with glass G1000 cockpit avionics. The aircraft provides a great balance between performance and durability, making it a perfect training aircraft.

So, Why Not Give it a Go?!

We are ready to give you the thrilling experience of flying a plane for the first time! We also want to make absolutely sure the experience is a memorable one. This is why we also offer some additional add-ons for your flight. These include a GoPro or 360 degree video, or a certificate to commemorate your time in the air.

If you have ever wanted to know what it feels like to fly a plane, and are looking for a way to take the controls without commitment, a Trial Introductory Flight is a great place to start. Get in contact with our friendly team today to book yourself a session!

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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FAQs About Obtaining Your Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL)

Always wanted to fly recreationally, but not sure how to take steps and make it a reality? The Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) is your first pilot licence, and where every pilot’s aviation training journey begins.

During a recreational pilot training course you will learn the fundamentals of how to taxi, take off, fly, and safely land an aircraft. The course consists of both practical and theoretical training, eventually flying solo, and finally completing the RPL flight test.

Once you have your RPL, you can continue with further training if you want. The next licence is the Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and then, if you want to fly professionally, you can continue on to Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) training.

The following frequently asked questions give you some more insight into the RPL process and requirements.

What are the general requirements for being able to obtain a Recreational Pilot Licence?

To obtain a Recreational Pilot Licence, you need to:

– Be at least 16 years old
– Have a current CASA issued medical certificate
– Build 20 hours in flight training with a flight instructor and 5 hours solo flying
– Pass an aeronautical theory exam and a flight test in a CASA approved aircraft in the presence of a CASA approved flight examiner.

Whilst you must be 16 years old to obtain the licence, you can actually start the training earlier than that. You must be at least 15 years old to fly solo (without an instructor).

How long is the training process?

The time it takes pilots to complete the RPL varies. Generally, if you decide to complete full time recreational pilot training (meaning flying and studying 4-5 days per week) you could be finished with your training within 4-6 weeks. Part time training will depend on exactly how much time you have available, but flying 1-2 days per week you will likely be finished in approximately 4-6 months.

What does a Recreational Pilot Licence allow me to do?

A Recreational Pilot Licence allows you to fly a single-engine aircraft with a maximum take-off weight of 1500kgs up to 25nm from your departure aerodrome, in Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions. You can carry up to three passengers, as long as you hold at least a Class II medical certificate.

If you are looking to fly further or carry more passengers, you will need to continue on to Private Pilot Licence training.

What theoretical training do I have to do?

You will need to complete the Recreational Pilot Licence (RPL) Theory course, which is broken in to the following subject areas:

– Aerodynamics
– General Aircraft Knowledge
– Human Factors
– Meteorology
– Air Law
– Navigation
– Flight Planning and Performance

You don’t have to complete the theory and practical syllabus at the same time. It’s possible to complete the RPL theory as a standalone course and then organise to complete the practical RPL flight training components separately.

We offer our standalone RPL theory course in a range of delivery methods including face to face or online. Completing the theory course online often works well for overseas pilots, as they can study theory in their home country and then only have to come to Australia to complete the practical flight training.

How do I maintain my licence?

After being approved for your licence, you are required to have a flight review with an Instructor every 2 years. If you are planning on flying with a passenger, you must have completed 3 take-offs and landings in the last 90 days.

It is of course recommended that you fly regularly (at least one hour per month). This is so you can ensure your general handling skills and emergency procedures are maintained. It’s essential that you keep your flight skills fresh to make sure you are safe in the air.

Are there any medical requirements?

There are some medical requirements for recreational pilots, but less than what is required to be a professional pilot. CASA requires that you obtain a medical certificate, but there are options.

You can fly on what is known as a Basic Class 2 medical certificate. This must be issued by an appropriate medical practitioner. The standards for this are similar to those required to drive a motor vehicle commercially. A Basic Class 2 medical certificate does have some operational restrictions though. To avoid this you require a standard Class 2 medical certificate, which must be issued by a Designated Aviation Medical Examiner (DAME).

There may be further medical requirements you need to meet if you have pre-existing health conditions or are over the age of 75.

For more information on recreational pilot training, get in touch with one of our Learn to Fly Flight Training Specialists. We can help to find the best way to get your flight training journey started.

Did you know that we have free Recreational and Private Pilot Licence flying lesson videos available on our YouTube channel? Check out the video below and don’t forget to subscribe so you get notified when new videos go live! 👇

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Clement Suen [email protected]

Elton Malowney [email protected]

Eric Sim [email protected]

Jacqui Armstrong [email protected]

Jed Joven [email protected]

Josh Best [email protected]

Kenny Won [email protected]

Nick Harris [email protected]

Paul Wydymus [email protected]

Stefano Liucci [email protected]

Stephen Kong [email protected]

Summer Russell [email protected]

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William Thomas [email protected]