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Virgin Australia Cadetship 2012 & 2013

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Virgin Australia Cadetship 2012 & 2013

Old 17th Apr 2012, 08:17
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No Virgin cadets will be going into the RH seat of the 737,330 or Ejet. Cadets will go CFO on the 777 or RH of the ATR for 2 - 3 years. Cadet numbers per year will only be small ie 10 - 20.
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Old 17th Apr 2012, 08:46
  #122 (permalink)  
 
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You are correct, everyone does need to start somewhere, but does it really have to be in the RHS of a high capacity RPT aircraft? I suspect that accountants simply point to Europe and the apparent success of cadetships direct to RHS HC-RPT. There is a huge difference - a low vis departure to a CAT III autoland is a procedural flight from the FO as support pilots point of view. It is a series of yes/no decisions and calls that can be learned by rote. It is an entirely different proposition to the complex scenario above. That requires active management of the external world beyond the aircraft by the support pilot & requires judgment & experience in order to provide adequate support for the Captain. Not only is the FO there to provide support - he is also the vital cross check on the Captain. Captains make mistakes too.
I gotta take my hat of to you on this one. Anyone who genuinely argues that the Australian RPT environment is more challenging than the European one deserves the Gold Logie for delusion.

Even if you accept the argument that Low Vis ops are not particularly demanding, combine that with Cold Weather Ops (serious cold weather that is) where the rain is just a bit below freezing and you are trying to make a slot time and you are running out of holdover time in an environment where there are more aircraft parked at the terminal than are airborne in all of Australia, all trying to meet their slot times, along with mountains that require 5 figures to describe their height, approaches that go down valleys you would not have imagine even if you had flown in New Guinea, god knows how many languages, ATC talking to pilots in their mother tongue, the list goes on and on.

But hey, we have it challenging here. We have to do approaches into non-controlled airports with anywhere up to 2 or 3 light aircraft in the area, and sometimes it's raining. I can't imagine how those European Captains would cope with such a demanding environment with only a 250 hour cadet with them. Much easier to fly into Salzburg in winter i would think.

The only reason there is a risk here is because we don't have the training system to support low hour Cadets. If this scheme gets any legs, the end product will have had Multi Crew Training and be a far better product (for an airline) than someone who has spent 5 years flying single pilot into Numbulwar.

We need to embrace the future, because the future is low time pilots with Multi Crew Training flying RPT jets. Get on the train or get left behind.
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Old 17th Apr 2012, 09:19
  #123 (permalink)  
Keg

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Lightbulb

If this scheme gets any legs, the end product will have had Multi Crew Training and be a far better product (for an airline) than someone who has spent 5 years flying single pilot into Numbulwar.
The 'product' hasn't changed that much in the last 20 years. Being a graduate of that 'product' I can tell you from first hand experience that it is NOT enough to prepare you for the RHS of a RPT jet in Australian airspace under the normal airline training regimes. The 'multi crew' stuff in an artificial environment of a Level 4 (D, whatever) sim isn't going to adequately prepare people for the vagaries of the job.

Were the airline training regimes to change significantly from what they are now THEN they may be acceptable but you're talking about an active on the job training and active mentoring/ feedback system. Something well beyond what Qantas currently has and what my friends with DJ and J* say they have.

As for comparisons with Europe, they may be different but each environment carriers different risks. Arguments about which is 'harder' are ignorant as to the inherent risks in both environment. Just because European operators cope with inexperienced people in the RHS of airliners, doesn't mean it's the right thing for Australian conditions. We are different and require different emphasis in our training. Those that claim Europe as being 'harder' than Australia and therefore that 200 hour pilots in the RHS are acceptable in Australia are demonstrating their ignorance of those differences.
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Old 17th Apr 2012, 09:54
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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Keg

Mostly good points and a reasonable response.

I never advocated that Europe is harder. My point is that in no way is it possible to argue that Australia is more difficult, and 250 hr cadets are being successfully managed in Europe.

Don't worry, Qantas is not on its own. Virgin are having difficulty managing experienced pilots from the back seat of a 777 to a front seat of a 737. This is not a reflection on the pilots, but more a reflection on the airline and its culture.

Our system has been built on the back of the GA principle. Our airlines do very little training, mostly checking. If the airlines genuinely think they can manage Cadets into their systems, then they need to change from big C to big T.

I still maintain that the end product of a good Cadet scheme will be superior to a GA pilot as far as compatibility with an airline. What is in question is the airlines ability to take those kids and develop them into airline pilots. In the current airline environment GA pilots have the upper hand in that area because they have had years of experience learning how to survive in the dog eat dog environment of Australian Aviation. In that regard Cadets will be lambs to the slaughter unless the airline airline implements Cadet specific development programs.
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Old 17th Apr 2012, 10:20
  #125 (permalink)  
 
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Virgin,

Considering the new CP was also the Head of Training at United, a company that has an infinitely more "User Friendly" training culture, I'd bet my bottom dollar that the emphasis on checking rather than training, may very well change.
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Old 23rd Apr 2012, 02:15
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Developments

The end of April is rapidly approaching.. Has anyone heard any further developments? Expected announcement dates etc?
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Old 23rd Apr 2012, 23:15
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I've been in VA for 5 years. My experience has been plenty of T and just the required C. Overall, has always been a good experience. Maybe the other base is different........
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 06:26
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Any news of opportunities for the advanced entry as opposed to ab-initio? Or are we dreaming?

Ryan
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 06:30
  #129 (permalink)  
 
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Any news of opportunities for the advanced entry as opposed to ab-initio? Or are we dreaming?
Your dreaming! it will be ab-initio only.
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 07:26
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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From what I understand, there are a great deal of non Tech crew Virgin employees who are very interested in the Cadetship. It stands to reason that the company would give preference to those who are a known quantity.

j3
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 08:47
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2 bobs worth

I have held back and enjoyed watching the debate for quite some time :-
"can a cadet pilot from a production line flying school be a help or a hindrance when released to the line as an FO?"

Having just retired after flying with just such low time pilots for the past 12 years please allow me to comment.
Flying has many challenges - and we all discover new ones every day.
My last job was flying 4 sectors a day/night RPT in a 180 pax jet in the middle east with normally 12 hour - 14 hour duty periods, into 26 local and 15 regional airports with brand new national FO's.
Fourteen of those airports were uncontrolled OCTA.
Civilian traffic was light but there were always military transports and helos to make things interesting.
The cadets, who mostly paid for their own pilot training up to FAA CPL in the US were from a varied background - with different levels of enthusiasm for the profession of pilot and technical backgrounds.English was their second, third or fourth language.

On a good day most of these new guys did an adequate job, and most were eager to expand their knowledge base. But, as would be expected, when something unusual happened - all bets were off !! It often became single pilot IFR for a few moments while things settled down.
It was a steep learning curve for them but most adapted well.
And no, we didn't have snow/sleet - but we did have severe dust storms and runways contaminated by blowing sand !! GPS approaches were available at some of the more remote stations and were a great help.

Generally after a few months and several hundred hours these new cadets became fully fledged FOs; after 1000 hours they moved up to 747, MD11 or 777.

It was not ideal to have such low time co-pilots but just as other countries have learnt to deal with this new career path, so I fear must Australian aviation adapt. And at least the Multi Crew Licence will give the new cadets here a better understanding of what is required of them on the line

happy landings !!
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 11:08
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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From what i hear RT is going to use it to further his own agenda!
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Old 24th Apr 2012, 13:08
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Perhaps the delay in any announcement is due to the new Chief having a close look at the plan before giving it the go ahead.
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Old 14th May 2012, 07:27
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I guess it's looking less and less likely that they will have the cadets selected before the end of the financial year! Can anyone confirm that FTA won the contract for training provider?
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Old 7th Jun 2012, 05:27
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Any more news? Might be a bit late if they were wanting to have the Cadetship up and running before the end of the financial year.
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Old 7th Jun 2012, 09:31
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Last update to the troops a few weeks back said they are still in the process of selecting the training provider from the final 3 bids. Don't expect a start until late this year or early next.

Cadets will now only start on the ATR rather than the 777. Required number of cadets is less than first thought ie less than 10 per year.

I don't think is a big priority, hence the delay.
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Old 26th Jul 2012, 11:49
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Hi guys,

Have had this lying around for about a month. Have been researching extensively into careers. Was published May 23rd this year.

"Company representative, Ian McCallum, attended the meeting on the second day to provide an update on the Virgin Australia Cadet program. The company is still in the process of selecting its preferred training provider, and is hopeful of making an announcement in the next couple of months.
The first intake of cadets for the ab initio program has been wound back from the earlier projections of 12 to 8 cadets, and the Company is now forecasting an average of 8 cadets each year (originally 25). The company was not in a position to commit to a commencement date other than it had a self-imposed deadline of 31 December 2012.
While the company still maintains there will no upfront costs for cadets, there has been some shift in the employment conditions for cadets since our last briefing in February. Cadets will be employed by Virgin Australia on individual contracts from the start of their cadetship, and will be paid a training salary of just less than $50,000. At the successful completion of the 18 month program, the cadets will be guaranteed employment on the ATR at Skywest on a secondment arrangement from Virgin Australia, but on Skywest terms and conditions, except that they will be paid 15% less than a Skywest First Officer ATR salary for a period of time. Previously the Company had expressed a clear view that once a cadet is in the seat of a Virgin/Skywest aircraft, there should be no differential in pay to other intake pilots. Upon completion of the minimum hours requirement (yet to be determined) at Skywest cadet pilots will then be offered a position in Virgin Australia’s domestic operation.
Whilst we see advantages in a cadet program there are a number of outstanding ‘industrial’ issues to work through in its current form. We will raise our concerns with the company."

Comes directly from the Virgin Australia Negotiating Team EBA Update 19.
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Old 28th Jul 2012, 04:06
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While the company still maintains there will no upfront costs for cadets, there has been some shift in the employment conditions for cadets since our last briefing in February. Cadets will be employed by Virgin Australia on individual contracts from the start of their cadetship, and will be paid a training salary of just less than $50,000. At the successful completion of the 18 month program, the cadets will be guaranteed employment on the ATR at Skywest on a secondment arrangement from Virgin Australia, but on Skywest terms and conditions, except that they will be paid 15% less than a Skywest First Officer ATR salary for a period of time. Previously the Company had expressed a clear view that once a cadet is in the seat of a Virgin/Skywest aircraft, there should be no differential in pay to other intake pilots. Upon completion of the minimum hours requirement (yet to be determined) at Skywest cadet pilots will then be offered a position in Virgin Australia’s domestic operation.
Whilst we see advantages in a cadet program there are a number of outstanding ‘industrial’ issues to work through in its current form. We will raise our concerns with the company."

Comes directly from the Virgin Australia Negotiating Team EBA Update 19.
JayG_Bull could you provide me a link to where you got this information from.

Does anyone know when they will get this Cadetship up and running?
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Old 28th Jul 2012, 04:15
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Could someone pm me a link for the Skywest ATR72 eba? (Im struggling to find it).
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Old 29th Jul 2012, 07:12
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Formally announced

From Plane Talking,

Virgin cadets to fill (it hopes) a pilot shortage
by Ben Sandilands
Virgin Australia and ally Skywest today formally announced one way they intend to address the impending global shortage of suitably skilled airline pilots by making Flight Training Adelaide their preferred supplier to their joint cadetship scheme.


Virgin cadets to fill (it hopes) a pilot shortage extract
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