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Old 26th Oct 2011, 13:59
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give me a definitive answer
There is the problem!

The end game is to get a job working for an airline with good prospects increasing the likelihood of job satisfaction
Yes, and that is pretty much the same for the many tens of thousands of other wanabees! In fact is pretty much the same for any pilot.

Im not really concerned about the cost or recouping the money for at least 10 yrs if I can get a job (within a reasonable time...reasonable = 6 months) once ive completed training...money is not a motivator.
Good. That will make the advice I am going to give you a lot easier. However you should keep repeating to yourself, over and over again, "there are no guarantees......anywhere!"

Most Integrated training programs are zero to hero with 250hrs (not all hrs are ME), the basic requirement to be accepted onto a major airline cadet program.
No, you misunderstand. This isn't the basic requirement to "be accepted onto a major airline cadet programme." It is wholly integral to that major airlines cadet programme.

I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but "hey I have my licence and 250 hours, now where are the airline jobs?" just isn't going to happen.

Airlines (and particularly those in the market segment you have defined) have never sought applicants at this level. There are thousands and thousands of low hour pilots in a marketplace that has very few prime openings. Competition for those few places is fierce and intense. Successful applicants will be those with the best CV's on the pile (that hasn't been automatically swept into the bin!) They will be current, (those licences and ratings perish quickly, without expensive renewal and refreshers.) They will have significant and relevant levels of experience. They will be able to compete with the top few applicants who can present a good solid training, employment and experience background. This isn't going to be at 250, 500, or 1000 hours.

So what would I advise?

Apply for an integrated course of training at a flying school that is solidly tied to more than one airlines cadet programme. That is your aim, and that is the only likely route to becoming a "cadet" with a major airline (offering this type of programme) with such a low number of hours. These programmes recognise that the entire course of affiliated, mentored, and monitored training, will have been conducted to a standard and methodology that the airline uses themselves, and makes the transition more likely to be successful at this level of flying experience.

Research where airlines offering cadet programmes are sourcing their candidates from, as well as their placement record. Then if you decide the cost isn't prohibitive (as you have already stated it isn't,) decide if the risk is a viable one for you, in your own given circumstances.

Once again, I will state that there are no guarantees. However there are routes that if you are fortunate enough to be able to embark on, may well offer you significant advantages as regards the overall gamble. If cost is the determining factor (as it is for many people) then you will follow the route that you can best afford, and given determination, time and luck you may achieve the goal you seek. However do not convince yourself, or let others convince you, that this is a level playing field, because it isn't!
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