View Full Version : Fleet choice for cathay: 777 vs A340 vs 747
16th Oct 2010, 02:03
Hi all, I am currently in the interview process, and as part of my preparation I am trying to find all of the pros/cons for each of the three fleets. If I were to be successful and become a cx pilot, I'm not sure which fleet I would choose.
If anyone has some insight into this topic, I'd be grateful if you could give your pros/cons and some advice for me?
Thanks in advance!
16th Oct 2010, 02:43
In reality you don't get to pick the fleet you join when you graduate, you go to whatever fleet needs new S/Os at the time. They will try to give you what you want though, but there seems to be no guarantee. If they do happen to ask you which fleet you'd like to join after finishing training in ADL, I'd say their main motive is to get you to single out a Cathay aircraft type for them to base their technical questions on, rather than the pros and cons of each fleet. That was my own personal experience.
16th Oct 2010, 09:24
Do CX place cadets on B744 these days? I had heard a rumour that this wasnt the case.
16th Oct 2010, 10:04
they do. CP34 just graduated yesterday and one of them got B744, 6 B777 and 4 A340
16th Oct 2010, 18:55
This is the problem with you guys and gals. Getting all excited over which piece of heavy metal you fly should be the last thing you concern yourselves with. Where are you going to live? What standard of living will you enjoy / deplore? What options will you have down the road?
Personally, I would rather be bonded in the right seat getting real flying experience somewhere than choking on the Hong Kong pollution in a crappy little apartment with no money in my pocket. On trips as an SO, you are little more than a passenger in a pilot uniform. You will not even be allowed to do a walk-around so you can drool on the big-iron you "fly".
Honestly, the only people even considering this route should be those with little or no flying time who will do their indentured-servitude in HKG before trying to get a base as an FO. As of the current bid, the only bases available to FOs are in Oz (plenty) and Toronto (which will be full shortly as more SOs and FFOs become eligible). There are no base slots available in the UK/EU, New Zealand, or the USA.
16th Oct 2010, 22:55
I'm not sure which fleet I would choose.
That's the funniest thing I've heard in awhile, The only thing you can 'choose' at CX is whether or not you wear your hat...oh wait, we all had to make a New Year's resolution last year to wear it, so scratch that.
18th Oct 2010, 02:06
Cxorcist: While I presume that you have good intentions you have now just become a troll. Yes we know you are a cadet-hater and you are trying to give your company a bad name. Well done, I think everyone gets your point, your posts are just becoming more predictable and are quickly losing their impact.
Dan Buster: Is wearing your hat a genuine gripe? Wow things sound terrible over there at Cathay. :ugh:
18th Oct 2010, 17:39
Thanks for your reply above.
Could you please let us know what you meant by technology in your post? What kind of technology should we look for when comparing aircraft? I'd also appreciate it if you would let us know about useful websites with such information. I know two:
- Jerome Meriweather's Flight Deck Simulations (http://www.meriweather.com/flightdeck.html)
- The Boeing 737 Technical Site (http://www.b737.org.uk/)
I hope people find these websites useful. If anyone knows other websites, please inform us (specifically sites about the A340, A330, 777, 747). There used to be website with loads of info about the A340, but sadly it shutdown sometime back.
SmartCockpit - Airline training guides, Aviation, Operations, Safety (http://www.smartcockpit.com/)
still one of the best sites about for free info:ok:
18th Oct 2010, 19:49
Thanks SW1 :ok::ok:
Truly appreciate your help!
19th Oct 2010, 00:19
I will grant you that I have been trolling the last week or so. The simple fact is that I hate to see you guys and gals make uninformed decisions. If you think the company is going to paint an accurate picture for you, you would be mistaken. Their interests are not aligned with yours, and I have no desire to sit in the cockpit with you and hear about how bad you have it.
With regard to being a cadet-hater, I most definitely am not. I have embraced pilots from all our entry mechanisms, even the dreaded DECs. We (AOA) need them all on our side once on the seniority list. I realize that it is not the pilots, but the company who wishes to degrade our conditions. Along those lines, the company does not need my help in giving it a bad name. They do that plenty well all by themselves. Just take a read... Sure, the customers love CX, but labour... not so much.
I don't know if you are really a "van driver" or not (Caravan / crew van / whatever). It does not matter. The high probability is that the course in Adelaide and 4 years eating sandwiches as an SO are not going to make you qualified to sit in the right seat of a wide-body at a major airline. You and your peers will set the bar at a new low in terms of flying performance and industrial conditions. Personally, I would rather not have any part of either.
19th Oct 2010, 01:42
The high probability is that the course in Adelaide and 4 years eating sandwiches as an SO are not going to make you qualified to sit in the right seat of a wide-body at a major airline. You and your peers will set the bar at a new low in terms of flying performance...
What qualifications do you believe are required to be in the RHS of a wide-body? One major airline has had cadets/low hour entrants in the RHS of a wide-body just after 9 months of SO.
19th Oct 2010, 05:28
What he means is that ( as has been explained a million times here ), is that you will not gain a qualification at CX to sit in the right seat, unless CX put you there. P2X is the rating and it is not going to help you go straight to a RHS of another airline.
20th Oct 2010, 19:07
OK, I'll try on your bait. To me, there are four general categories of experience. FWIW, I think an FO at Cathay Pacific ought to have 7-10 years experience with PIC time in the higher two categories.
Category 1: Wide-body, Narrow-body; Military Transport, Tanker, Fast Jet
Category 2: Regional Jet, Similar Corporate Jet
Category 3: Commercial Turbo-Prop, SO, FE
Category 4: GA flying and all the rest
This is not to say there is no merit in the lower categories; it's just that they do not really qualify one to fly in the right seat of a wide-body. I am sure there are many who disagree like those from the airline(s) that put cadet SOs in the right seat after 9 months. Those airlines are not necessarily safe operations though. Keep in mind that an FO should be able to take command of the aircraft and fly ALONE in any conditions should the CN become incapacitated.
To say that the lines between safety and economics in this industry have become blurred would be an understatement. Even at CX where the standards are quite high, we have seen compromises made in the last few years. Because the airplanes babysit us as much as we babysit them, we have allowed the technology to replace our premium standards. There are SOs, FOs, and even a few CNs on the property that would not have been allowed here 10 years ago. The company knows this, but then they act perplexed as to why they see high FDAP rates.
The international cadets will, without doubt, press the standards even lower. It is simply an ill-conceived plan that has no basis in the basic tenets of aviation. It has everything to do with satisfying the bean counters and their bosses. If you would like to see a history of what will happen simply observe the regional operators in the US and the litany of accidents they have endured at the hands of inexperienced pilots. Look familiar???
20th Oct 2010, 22:29
There is nothing wrong with an airline having a Cadet program. Lufthansa is an airline which has had a cadet program for decades, where the cadets go directly RHS on an airliner. Difference is the quality of training and training equipment. For example, using turbo-prop aircraft for the multi-engine ratings and extensive use of full motion transport category sims. I am sure their safety record is on a very high level.
The military also trains 0 hour pilots to fly a fast jet or transport airplane with less than 250 hours of training.
It all depends on the quality and tools of the training program. One could argue that the CX cadet program might have a different philosophy than other airlines who put their cadets in the RHS, using a contracted GA flight school, with the initial training being more GA oriented and the airline specific training being done in SO training and on the line as SO, instead of having their own Cadet Flight Training Unit with an airline specific course. One could also argue that promoting cadets directly in the RHS of the A330, with a modified cadet program, gaining experience flying the line at CX would be a better approach than hiring DEFO train them and then had to let some go as they were CX substandard (seems to happened to an unusual high number of 2008 hire DEFOs). There is pro and con's for both programs. In my opinion hiring DEFO in times when the airline industry is stagnating or contracting opens a pool of qualified applicants, while having a cadet program guarantees a constant quality level of new CX pilots when the airline industry is expanding fast.
21st Oct 2010, 01:35
The international cadets will, without doubt, press the standards even lower.
In terms of T&C's surely... in terms of quality, quite the contrary, because of the larger pool of cadet candidates.
But to start with, you don't seem to embrace the cadet scheme at all.
I agree with GTC58, on how low hour (straight from school) pilots get to fly jets many years now!
On the military pilots I do have some objections. They have military(discipline), academic and flying education for four years. That can not be compared by any current civil aviation program in the world.
21st Oct 2010, 09:33
The military also trains 0 hour pilots to fly a fast jet or transport airplane with less than 250 hours of training.
That is true, but they continue AFTER the 250 hours with lots of "hands on flying", currency & supervision. After a some years/1000+ hours they will have gained invaluable experience that will come in handy the day they need it.
If you give the same training to a guy and then put him in an automated flight scenario, he will never get the same experience to fall back on.
You can do a lot in the sim, but never truely stress a person.
A cadet may first see his life in real danger during an emergency in a widebody. There is a high chance that the other categories of pilots have already experienced this before and know how they will react.
There is pro and con's for both programs. In my opinion hiring DEFO in times when the airline industry is stagnating or contracting opens a pool of qualified applicants, while having a cadet program guarantees a constant quality level of new CX pilots when the airline industry is expanding fast.
The biggest problem with Cadet programs is that there are tons of qualified pilots on the street already. When airlines decide to go for cadets versus qualified pilots the main reason is cost lowering - But at what price? Only time will tell.
you must be dreaming if you think any long haul airline can expect to get the sort of experience you suggest as FO's. I came with 4000+ hours of which around 2000 was turboprop/regional jet. After 3 years as an SO are you suggesting I'm not qualified for the RHS?
By the way I got to pick which fleet I went on.
21st Oct 2010, 15:02
I think his point was that you would fall into the third category, unless you had some command time in one of the aforementioned categories. If you will recall, up until a few years ago, it was pretty standard for DEFOs to have these experience levels, and more. Of course, CX also paid more, so go figure.
24th Oct 2010, 10:56
The simple fact is that I hate to see you guys and gals make uninformed decisions
Cxorcist (and other broken-records),
You couldn't give a two-bob-bit about cadets, or any other pilot that walks past you at CX. No one does. Just like the other 2800 or us, you are in it for yourself.
EVERYONE knows that the only reason you sad lonely old gits come on here harping about the joys of flying in the the airforce first then coming to CX with 1million hours is because you are crying over the perception that your T&Cs will be shot to sh1t with these cheap-arse cadets coming into the picture.
At least admit THAT, and maybe, just maybe wannabees here will give credit to your 'advice' rather than simply ignoring the sanctimonious ramblings of a bunch of discontented old fools.
The negative posts by the usual suspects (Cxoricist et al) has gone past the line of being pathetic and is now just plain embarassing. In a few days time, it will become cringeworthy. :yuk:
1st Nov 2010, 09:33
Take the 777.
Its the most valuable type rating to have, and will give you the most options should you decide that CX is not for you, and want to move on.