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  • AJ and other airline pilots

    How did you guys get to where you are today? Also, is there any tips inparticular you have for aspiring airline pilots?
    You've got to try to find what's right before your eyes-Finger Eleven



  • #2
    I started out by getting my private locally, then went to Auburn for the rest of my ratings and bachelors degree. After school, I flew a Beech 18 for an air taxi company. That soon went belly up, and I went to another company flying a Cessna 337. After a while doing that, I got checked out in a Learjet, and flew air ambulance, charter, and cargo. When that finally dried up, I went to work flying whatever I could, namely a Cessna 182, Piper Navajo, with my bread and butter job being right seat in a Sabreliner.

    After a year of doing that, I got my interview at USExpress and was hired. That was 3 years ago. Now I'm after a corporate job again in my home area.

    If I were you, and had my mind made up that I wanted to be an airline pilot, I'd go to a university with a flight program. I wouldn't worry so much about UND or Riddle, simply because of the cost involved. I would go to a smaller school like I did. Purdue and Auburn both have good programs.

    After that, I'd flight instruct until you got enough time to get an interview.

    If I had it to do over again, I'd go to law school and fly for fun. The career just isn't what it's cracked up to be anymore. That being said, you may get into it and love it. You also might be part of the solution that turns the profession around.
    Bite me Airways.....

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    • #3
      Originally posted by LRJet Guy
      If I were you, and had my mind made up that I wanted to be an airline pilot, I'd go to a university with a flight program. I wouldn't worry so much about UND or Riddle, simply because of the cost involved. I would go to a smaller school like I did. Perdue and Auburn both have good programs.
      I'm not an airline pilot yet, but I have something to add. You dont HAVE to go to a college with a flight program. If I were to do things over again, I would still want to be a pilot, but I dont think I would get a degree in aviation. At least here at UND, when you combine flight training with college, school gets way too complicated. Hardly anyone that goes to UND finishes in 4 years due to the way prerequitistes are set up, the number of lessons in flight courses that only are a semester long, etc. The flight instruction and the ground courses have definately been excellent, but really I should have been done at least a year ago.

      As for the expense of UND, I think its kind of a misconception that everyone has. UND is a normal state school and tuition is pretty average as far as state schools go. Another advantage of UND is if you live in the state for a year you can get in-state tuition that makes things much much cheaper (about 4-5k a semester). The flight costs are estimated at 55,000 for all 4 years (private-CRJ course). Its expensive, but pretty average for learning to fly.

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      • #4
        You don't have to get a degree in aviation, like Joe said, but most airlines are going to the phase of 4 year degree required, so schools like UND you can get something other then aviation while flying. Also, if someone has a 4 year degree and you don't guess who gets the job if all other things are equal.

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        • #5
          I started flying at 16 whilst I was at school in Canberra. I gained my Private Pilot's Licence at 17 then moved to Sydney after High School to complete my Commercial Pilot's Licence and Command Multi Engine Instrument Rating at 18. At the end of this training there wasn't much work around so I obtained my Instructor Rating and taught at the same school. I became a Grade II instructor there training mainly Malaysia Airlines cadets in G-115s, TB-10s and TB-20s.

          Whilst I was instructing I was also a refueller at Bankstown where I met a guy who later bought a Cessna 310R. He asked me to fly it for him on freight runs on behalf of a company called Adventure Air. When the freight run finished Adventure employed me as a Grade I instructor and charter pilot in Coffs Harbour, flying C310s, Pn68s, PA-31s, Be58s and eventually Mu-2s. The Mu-2 flying eventually bought me back to Bankstown on bank runs. The guy who originally bought the C310 now owned an Mu-2 so he asked me to become his Chief Pilot, which I did after writing his operations manual and obtaining an AOC.

          Whilst working as the Chief Pilot we hangared the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) B200 King Air and I got to know the pilot. After a year or so he mentioned he was moving to Broken Hill so they were looking for a new Bankstown based pilot. I applied successfully and joined the RFDS in 1997. There I flew the B200 and Piper Mojave.

          In 2000 I applied for Qantas and was accepted as a Boeing 747-400 Second Officer. Propotion came quickly and in 2002 I checked out as a Boeing 767 First Officer, where I still am today.

          I can't help too much with the industry in the US, but there are 1,001 ways to get to being an major airline pilot. GA, regionals, Military etc etc. Right place right time seems to be a main factor!

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          • #6
            Thanks guys for commenting. I like to learn how other people got to where they are today. I want to try and build my hours by flying for the local commuter airline. I am even thinking of joining the Coast Guard to fly C-130s or their jets.
            You've got to try to find what's right before your eyes-Finger Eleven


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            • #7
              I have been one of the lucky ones, managing to join my airline through their ab initio programme straight out of university, although there are good things and bad things about doing it this way. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have had a bit of a varied background of flying before joining an airline, but at other times I think that what better experience is there of flying a widebodied airliner than having flown a widebodied airliner!! Certainly I do not feel disadvantaged in the flying side of things when compared to my colleagues and from the airline's point of view there is an advantage of teaching their way from day one and moulding a person from the start rather than taking someone who has already been moulded and trying to reshape them into one of their pilots.

              I started off training on the Grob115 nearly 9 years ago, followed by the TB-10 Tobago and then the Be-76 Duchess with a bit of CAP10 aerobatics thrown in. I then went and flew the 744 as S/O before flying a Learjet45 prior to my upgrade to the 777 where I am now. The way things are going it looks like I will get to continue flying the 777 for a very long time, possibly even till retirement if I want to.
              Have a look at my photos, including Kai Tak crazy landings!http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=460

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              • #8
                Hey Colin, would you say a majority of the pilots for Cathay went throught he Ab initio program? I would love to move back to Asia on a permanent basis, and it looks like Cathay is one of the more accessable (not easier to get into, just more accepting of foreigners) than some of the other airlines. I know the minimums to apply to Cathay as an f/o are 1,000 hours turbine time, though I'm sure competitive minimums are much higher.

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                • #9
                  I want to go through the same path as Colin and Trevor did, that is to join Cathay via the cadet programme.

                  I think there should be around 2000 pilots now in Cathay and only 200-250 of people went through the cadet programme and others came from other airlines. Also from what I heard is that to be a competitive applicant for Cathay Pacific (DESO), you need to have at least 3,000 hours and most of them on the jets, for DEFO, you need to have considerably more. if you got in you might get to choose to be a SO on the passenger or FO on the freighter, but now I think they hire FO straight onto the passenger plane now, right Colin?

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                  • #10
                    Screaming Emu,

                    Thos hours you mention are for the Second Officer position (Cruise pilot). As Kevin says, we are beginning to take Direct Entry FOs on the passenger fleet although these initially will be Australian based and on a different pay scale to HK based pilots. You must be eligible to work and live in Australia. There are 30 positions available and from what I hear, with muddy waters at Qantas at the moment, Cathay are hoping to fill all 30 positions with ex-QF pilots.

                    Feel free to send me a private message if you want to discuss this further in private.

                    Colin
                    Have a look at my photos, including Kai Tak crazy landings!http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=460

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                    • #11
                      hi, i just want to know about schooling to become a pilot.

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                      • #12
                        The resignations have started here, a B767 FO is off to fly A330s at CX's Sydney Base!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AJ
                          The resignations have started here, a B767 FO is off to fly A330s at CX's Sydney Base!
                          Would this be you? If so, congrats What was the reason for leaving?
                          You've got to try to find what's right before your eyes-Finger Eleven


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                          • #14
                            No, not me.

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                            • #15
                              Well, CX opened that base with the hope of taking advantage of the mess that QF aircrew are in now. I suspect most of those slots will be filled by QF pilots.
                              Have a look at my photos, including Kai Tak crazy landings!http://www.jetphotos.net/showphotos.php?userid=460

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