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African Aviation Regional issues that affect the numerous pilots who work in this area of the world.

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Old 15th Jun 2017, 22:57   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: scotland
Posts: 39
56 Year Old Newbee

The title says it all,so how does a 56 Year old get a job flying a Caravan in Afrcia,currently I have a validated South African PPL based on my EASA PPL,230 Hours logged all on C152/172/PA-28 etc.Do I really need to get an ATPL?
All advise welcome other than to forget about the whole idea!
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 03:30   #2 (permalink)
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Though I cannot speak for the state of regulation you propose to fly in, I would generally expect that an ATPL would not be necessary, but a CPL will be a minimum. For Caravan flying, expect that a minimum would be a qualifying type course, Flight Safety, for example. I doubt that you'd be insurable without such training.

If you're really skilled in flying a 172 well, flying a Caravan is not a long stretch, but there are things which must be learned, mostly turbine engine procedures.
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Old 16th Jun 2017, 16:52   #3 (permalink)
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What you need to do, is target all the companies with Caravan. I would do this physically , be prepared to knock on doors . I am sure , you being 56 , you can bring some other skills to a business , which might appeal to smaller companies . My first 3 flying jobs , I got by knocking on doors, it involved a lot of time/ travel/ money , so be prepared for that , and never give up. I knew a taxi driver , who at 58 gave it all away and did a CPL, and got a flying job.
Good luck.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 22:14   #4 (permalink)
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Location: All over south east Asia
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I would definitely go at it the rational way, meaning that by regulations you will need:

a CPL and more than probably the IR as bare mini.

Then I would pass a Type or Class (depends which Regs you are under) on the C08B, to have flown it in Africa then in Asia .. this nice ol' girl is as gentle if not more than a C172. You should very quickly adapt... the training is mostly about transition to turboprop. Flight Safety is well regarded but very expensive - there are other training center less expensive but unknown from African Operators and that can be a problem for some.
----- Where to start when you will have accomplished all the above mentioned steps?
Namibia is a good place to start ... or even south east asia on rare occurrence, why not even include a Float rating on your Caravan training , that also can help ...
... as per you age ? don't bother .. JUST GO FOR IT !
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Old 20th Jun 2017, 03:38   #5 (permalink)
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Am I correct in thinking that what you've said is that you have a South African validation based on an EASA PPL with a total flight time of 230 hours?

My advice, which is often not correct, even less often popular but never knowingly self serving would be:

1. Make very certain you are financially secure for your retirement at any time, because that's when you might fail a medical, and that you have a war chest of disposable money and time to fund a late life career change. That should include the expense of a Commercial Licence and possibly an IR and a turbine type rating. (I would think you could reasonably allow US$50,000 and 2 years for this.)

2. Do an initial South African Class 1 medical.

3. Regroup on these pages when you are able to answer each of the above questions successfully and with an absolute assurance as to the first one.

Best of luck by the way.
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Old 20th Jun 2017, 23:43   #6 (permalink)
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ericsson16, If you want a job it will have to be a professional licence. Forget the ATPL, a CPL will be good enough (and try to get the CPL where you want to work rather than go through the complicated route of getting 'validations', etc., e.g. if you want a job in SA, get an SA licence).

However, think very seriously about the work-permit aspect of things. No sense in putting lots of money into the licences if there is no hope of getting that job as you won't be able to get that visa.

Forget age. I know someone who got his first airline job at 54 (and later became quite well known for a serious incident that he handled well where everyone survived OK), someone who did his first jet course aged 50 and someone who changed airlines (in a jet job) at 61. Age is just a number. The type that you want to fly will be some good fun real flying, crap work probably but good fun flying. Go for it! But look seriously into that visa!
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Old 21st Jun 2017, 08:21   #7 (permalink)
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Also, be aware that unfortunately a lot of these countries fly single crew which mandates a retirement age of 60 rather than 65 for two-crew so you could end up with an awfully short career....and furthermore, you'd be unlikely to get straight on a van with that experience, most operators require minimum 500hrs on pistons (and many 1000hrs min)
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Old 21st Jun 2017, 08:23   #8 (permalink)
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I am surprised to read of an airline taking somebody at 54 as they tend to be fairly ageist due to perceived risk of CRM complications when there is a large age difference between Captain and First Officer.

However, as others have written age/experience can be viewed very positively in aerial work and air-taxi operations. I work for an aerial work company and we view age/experience positively. And by experience - I don't mean flying hours - I mean technical/managerial experience which would be useful to the company.
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