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Canada The great white north. A BIG country with few people and LOTS of aviation.


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Old 24th Nov 2012, 22:39   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Age: 25
Posts: 4
Reputation with Canadian pilots?

Hi everybody

I'm a 24yr old from Vancouver and got my PPL earlier this year. I applied to the Cathay Pacific cadet programme, passed the 2 interviews in Hong Kong, and did my flight grading in Adelaide, Australia in May.

However, in Adelaide, I noticed the flight graders were often not pleased with my prior training. The examiners would say things like "I never understand why they do this in Canada..." and would find faults in exercises I've done exactly the same to pass my exam here (ie. practice forced landings). I had passed my Canadian flight exam just weeks before my flight grading so my flying should have been in tip-top shape.

Is there a stigma or reputation with Canadian pilots abroad? My flight graders were all British or Australian, one was trained by US Air Force. I'm confident my flying was decent, and their comments made it sound like it was Canadian training they were having problems with and not something I had done personally, which has led me to these suspicions.

Has anybody experienced the same?
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Old 25th Nov 2012, 02:15   #2 (permalink)
 
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While I obviously wasn't there, it's likely nothing to do with Canada. You're (either / or / and) a foreigner / FNG / civilian / etc. Note that the Aussies / Brits / Americans would get the same treatment in Canada. There might well be a bit of airline snobbery / hazing as well. Grin and bear it, and remember you're bound to do things their way now; your old ways don't count.
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Old 25th Nov 2012, 02:23   #3 (permalink)
 
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Hi PiuYi,

I think you hit the nail on the head when you said that those interviewing you were from England and Australia.

Canada is not well known in the Southern Hemisphere for producing well versed pilots. We certainly produce our fair share of pilots who can hand fly an airplane, but we do not produce a pilot who is as knowledgeable as his or her British, Australian, European, or Kiwi counterparts.

Now, before the PPRuNe crowd swallows me up and spits me out, I've spent 7 years of my career in New Zealand and one of my family members is a Cathay pilot, so I've experienced first hand the statements you are referring - I've also seen the training that other countries conduct.

For example, in New Zealand and Australia they require PPL, CPL, and ATPL holders to conduct one examination per subject (Met, Nav, Performance, Air Law, Human Factors, Aircraft Technical, and one other that eludes me right now despite looking at my books). That's upwards of 24 exams to get to your ATP!

We here in Canada only require one until the ATPL, then it's two. The NZ Instrument Rating is three exams - Canada is one. You are required to conduct an ATPL flight test in New Zealand on a multi-turbine aircraft; here it's a group 1 instrument ride within the last 12 months - a seneca will do fine!

Now, in saying that, there is material on those exams which a pilot will never, ever, use again. They load you up with so much material, that flying begins to sound like a frightfully stupid idea. However, the end result is that their pilots look at us having done three exams and three flight tests to get a CPL with a Group 1, they look at themselves who have had to do 17 examinations and three flight tests, and you start to get the picture.

Additionally, their flight test standards, specifically Australia and NZ (not sure about England) are slightly more stringent. +/- 50 feet, +5/-0 knots, +/- 5 degrees for a CPL - at least that's what they were 10 years ago when I did my CPL down there. Compare that to our standards here in Canada, and one could see why they see us as a little lackluster.

In saying that, Cathy does not seem to hold the Canadian training system at fault. They hire many Canadians and family working for them say they are all great guys and gals who have a good reputation on the line. You have to remember too that it depends on what you put on your resume and application and how you worded things. Something you wrote may have zeroed in on something, or maybe they saw someone do something stupid before and you happen to be from the same school.

Whatever the case, don't worry. If you did good on the interview and test, they won't hold your country of training at fault - that's kinda the whole purpose behind those cadet programs anyways - you become a padawan to the airline.
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Old 25th Nov 2012, 05:35   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
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I've flown inside and outside of Canada, here are my observations:

1. Pilots in general are very clannish, every pilot thinks that he's had the best training and everyone from his background is also amongst the best. The arrogance comes with the job, I think a little bit of arrogance/confidence is important in this job, too much of it will kill you or put you in positions you'd rather not be.,

2. Canadian training is a little less technical on theory but its more common sense. Since I've started flying with people from a JAR background I find them to be very strict with procedures, but that does not make them better operators of an aeroplane.(sometimes being too rigid is not a good thing). In general pilots from Europe come from an area of heavy traffic, and if you're not strict with the rules up there you'll be kicked out of the airspace quickly. On the other hand in Canada we have miles and miles of Class E and G airspace to play around in.

3. RT. In Canada and the States its very relaxed, especially since almost everyone is a native english speaker. Many foreign pilots comment on this when they fly to North America. RT outside of Europe is a lot more strict and it takes a bit of getting used to.

In conclusion you can see that because of the environment in which each pilot is "brought up" the end result is different. To be honest it takes a while to adjust but you'll get there.

Last edited by Airmann; 25th Nov 2012 at 05:39.
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Old 25th Nov 2012, 06:32   #5 (permalink)
 
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+1 For +TSRA

I'm from NZ. Hold a NZ, Aus and Canadian CPL. The NZ CPL is a lot harder to get. They do some things strangely in this part of the world

Can't really add anymore to what TSRA has said already.
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Old 25th Nov 2012, 19:52   #6 (permalink)
 
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The Australonaughts strike again.....Canadians might have a rep for more practical knowledge and less theoretical, however the Brits and Aussies are known for trying to make things much more difficult or complicated than they actually are..Cathay having a large number of these types.

Always admired the yanks..they teach ya what you need to get the job done and it's usually always practical.

Don't worry too much about it, use the standard answer..

Nod your head wisely and say "Ohhhhh! I see...."
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 00:37   #7 (permalink)
 
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Given that Canada has approximately ten times the number of pilots in all categories than New Zealand, and approximately four-thousand more ATPLs than Australia. This may explain Canada's more practical, and dare I say contemporary approach to air crew licensing standards.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 03:21   #8 (permalink)
 
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So are there any statistics available of pilot related accidents or incidents, on a country-specific basis? For developed countries only.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 06:07   #9 (permalink)
 
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Lets all remember the Aussies are the "worlds safest airline pilots".... at least that is what I have read in the Aussie newspapers.

Last edited by Yobbo; 26th Nov 2012 at 06:13.
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Old 26th Nov 2012, 10:02   #10 (permalink)
PBY
 
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I like the joke about a difference between a north-american and european pilot.
The north-american flies from point A to point B safely. When you ask him, how he got there, he does not know how he did it. The european guy flies from point A to point B and crashes half way in point C. But when you ask him, he has every possible explanation of why he crashed. I think that there is some truth to that joke. By the way, I am european.

Last edited by PBY; 26th Nov 2012 at 10:03.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 01:01   #11 (permalink)
 
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The outlaw, I think you are as guilty of sterotyping as they are.

The population is not small. It is half the size of Canada.
The mountians around the south eastern part of Aussie are pretty decent. They aint the rockies, but they aren't to be sneezed at.
Tropical weather, monsoon rain, dust devils, high density altitudes etc etc.
Tasmania gets pretty cold in the winter too.

The flying that I have done around Ontario is pretty tame in comparison.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 05:23   #12 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
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Thanks for all the comments and information guys, I really appreciate it and feel like it's restored some confidence in my knowledge and training haha

I've never been to England or Australia (prior to this trip) so had no idea of the different exams/training they go through over there. I suppose it's like Airmann said, different environments produce different pilots.


Lilflyboy, and others who have their NZ/Aus/British CPL's, do you guys feel the extra theoretical knowledge is necessary?

I've thought of picking up some NZ or Australian CPL study guides off eBay... but like others have said, is it just information you'll never ever need other than for exams/interviews?

If I am to try again for the program, I'd like to be more in line with their standards, but I don't have the money to actually train there...
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 17:47   #13 (permalink)
 
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I would suspect that given the circumstances it may have had more to do with an evaluation of "trainability" . . . Let me explain:

A pilot lands 10 inches left of centerline and the examiner scolds and says "good grief I can't believe you just did that!". Does the student pilot scoff at the critic, accept the criticism, ignore the examiner or take the critique in stride and try to do better next time? You said you we testing for a cadet program. I wouldn't be the least surprised if this is what was going on.

I'm a military pilot and very, very early on the examiners and flight instructors will use this technique to gauge how receptive a student is to training. Simply put: are they "trainable"?

With regard to other nation's flying ability I can speak from experience. I currently fly NATO AWACS. Imagine multi-national crews (16+ different sending nations). I've flown with pilots from CAN, US, Bel, DE, ITL, GRC, TUR, NLD, etc . . . Each have their own quirks and traits (as do I) but they're all professionals who are serious and dedicated to what they do. Judge folks on their individual abilities not on their backgrounds or nations . . . Sound advice.

Last edited by ChrisGK; 27th Nov 2012 at 17:48.
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Old 27th Nov 2012, 20:58   #14 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Canada
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Outlaw, you are comparing apples with peaches.
That is what I am trying to get at.
Its like trying to tell a guy who plays field hockey to play ice hockey. Or vice versa.

And yes, I have flown in -45. Was -55 with the windchill. I wish I was flying into YYZ.

PiuYi, I am a very practical person so I don't think that a lot of the theory is worth it. I don't really want to know the forces acting on a plane in a spin, I would rather know how to get out of it, or how to avoid it in the first place.

When I was studying for the licences, I found that pretty much both are using the same material, same techniques and same theory. (Except for met because everything spins the other way!)
The difference I found here was that the Canadian stuff was easier to study because the reference guides are a lot more specific and point to exactly what you need to know. There is then only 1 test.
Where as in NZ there are a lot more questions and can be chosen from a broad range of topics, and 1 test per subject.
The only difference I can see with the knowledge base is how lazy the Canadian pilot wants to be. Either you study to pass the test, or study to know the information.

Does the extra knowledge help? To a point.

To respond to PBY's quote. I think its better to be able to get from point A to point B and be able to understand and avoid what made the european pilot crash at C.

Last edited by lilflyboy262...2; 27th Nov 2012 at 21:06.
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Old 28th Nov 2012, 23:14   #15 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
A pilot lands 10 inches left of centerline and the examiner scolds and says "good grief I can't believe you just did that!". Does the student pilot scoff at the critic, accept the criticism, ignore the examiner or take the critique in stride and try to do better next time? You said you we testing for a cadet program. I wouldn't be the least surprised if this is what was going on.
The cultural differences between the Americas and British,AZ/OZ when it comes to aviation training are astounding. Sure in the Americas we want to excel and there is a healthy level of competition but it can get quickly unhealthy eg. floating down the runway trying to have a smother landing on the centre line while you lose valuable runway length etc. I believe in the mantra I hear often, a good landing is one you walk away from.

I an AMT/Flight mech am blown away at the training my brothers across the pond go through. We understand ourselves that it is impossible to retain much of what we are taught. There is more of a concentration on continual training and experience here. I learn more from the people around me than I ever have from any instructor.

Bottom line is usually true, those who can DO, those who can't TEACH!

Last edited by grounded27; 28th Nov 2012 at 23:17.
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 01:02   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Bottom line is usually true, those who can DO, those who can't TEACH!
Sorry, but I would have to disagree with that often used (and usually incorrect) mantra. Some of the finest instructors I've encountered in my career were also excellent pilots and many of them are Canadian.

Last edited by J.O.; 29th Nov 2012 at 01:03.
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 02:24   #17 (permalink)
 
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grounded27

Sorry to read that last comment in your post, if your personal experience can validate or justify that remark, then I feel sorry for you.
If the state of instructing at the airline level is 'those who can DO, and those who can't, TEACH' then this industry is in serious trouble.
If you experience a time building Flight Instructor on your way to a CPL/ME/IR who isn't interested in teaching you, then demand a more capable, motivated, interested instructor and stop wasting your money.

Willie
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 04:13   #18 (permalink)
 
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I don't know about that outlaw...i'd rather be landing in -45 up north than taxiing for 2 hours to the central deice in YYZ.
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 04:22   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Bottom line is usually true, those who can DO, those who can't TEACH!
Well I do both - fly the line and teach. So does that mean that I can, but only on certain days? Perhaps only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; but only if the Friday falls on the 3rd of the month during a full moon.

Sure, there are some time builders out there at the ab initio level who teach straight and level and don't care about anything but how much time you're giving them, but boy if you can't line fly at the airline level, then you sure as hell can't teach.

I wonder, do you let your instructors know how you feel before you attend a training session? You know, just to put them in their place?
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Old 29th Nov 2012, 06:23   #20 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Canada
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@Yobbo
Quote:
Lets all remember the Aussies are the "worlds safest airline pilots".... at least that is what I have read in the Aussie newspapers.
Yes and our government (Transport Canada) frequently claims we have the safest airline industry in the world. By default I presume they figure we pilots are pretty darn safe too. Personally I think this claim is false and no country produces enough proper and accurate statistical data to properly make this claim.

I am Canadian an I can tell you that both our industry, and our regulatory body are pretty messed up.

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