Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific
Reload this Page >

Is the Cadet Pilot extinct down under?

Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific

Is the Cadet Pilot extinct down under?

Old 3rd Oct 2020, 12:26
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Asia
Posts: 935
Is the Cadet Pilot extinct down under?

It appears that may operators globally are targeting cadets in layoffs. It appears there is going to be no need for any Cadet Factories in the medium to even long term.

However it appears our operators have yet to drop the axe on such programs, as I am aware of one who is still Ďbusiness as normalí. Even though the airlines pilots, who have recently been advised of reduced workload in the coming years, would be lucky to see a roster every couple of months. Then there is the issue of current Cadets within the company facing delayed promotion prospects, which in turn puts the brakes on the next fresh batch walking in the door.

Many of these cadets have been giving some form of false hope in that they will be rehired when things improve, or, in that they are young they will have long and distinguished careers ahead. Iím not convinced that a 45yr old Emirates or Tiger FO will be overlooked for a 20 something 2 striper with a very basic CV. They donít have any GA background to back them up if they wanted to go down that route.

I also have an issue with the large amount of people who have been made redundant and then replacing these people with fresh 2 stripes in the future.

I guess that opens up the next can of worms, are all these big flying operations producing dozens of CPL pilots yearly, essentially a dead business? I canít see any Labor governments propping them up.
wheels_down is online now  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 13:08
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: In da Big Smoke
Posts: 2,517
I was wondering a similar thing myself. I can't see any airline in Australia needing cadets for at least 5 years. REX will keep their one going as it's more about IR and it probably makes money than actually requiring the pilots.

Any flying school is pretty much dead in the water unless next year airlines really rebound in a big way.

The real issue for cadets is the inability to fly out their airline due lack of experience.
neville_nobody is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 13:38
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: The World
Posts: 942
Originally Posted by wheels_down View Post
It appears that may operators globally are targeting cadets in layoffs.
At SQ cadets layed off were still under training, therefore at the bottom of the seniority list and the first to be targeted. That's similar to what other carriers are doing, cadets or not. Airlines in the USA are furloughing plenty of pilots at the bottom of the seniority list too, no cadets over there. Don't forget that in most of the world outside the US (partially in Australia) "cadets" (those trained to multicrew jobs straight after initial training) are the norm, not the exception.

However it appears our operators have yet to drop the axe on such programs, as I am aware of one who is still ‘business as normal’.
They wouldn't want to. You're training people for a decades long career. This pandemic and recession will pass. Baby boomers are retiring. Developing world and Asia industrializing and growing, these factors will be back in play in the next 5 years, and by decade's end we'll all be back in it again. It'll be those who trained via an affiliated airline's cadet or ab initio course who are first in line to be recruited too, before anyone from GA. This is the way airlines are headed and the speed bump of the current recession will not change that.

The real issue for cadets is the inability to fly out their airline due lack of experience.
You sure? If it's MPL you're talking about then there was a case in the UK where an airline training MPL cadets went bust, the cadets were allowed to continue their MPL after being recruited into another airline after a short conversion. However since no Australian airlines use MPL it's not relevant. All here are trained for a CPL, so they're in the same boat as any trainee pilot, except they are a known quantity to the airline during their training, and would be the first in line for recruitment when it restarts. This has been the case here previously (airlines with big gaps in hiring dates looked at their own unemployed cadets first before considering external candidates).
dr dre is online now  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 14:34
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: London
Posts: 14
There will be no demand for cadets globally in the next 2-3 years when there is so little demand for air travel and experienced FOs are being put on 50% hours or being made redundant. Airlines operating 30% schedules at 30% capacity is simply not sustainable long-term.

I can see flying schools going bust or having to mothball until the industry recovers.

Anyone pressing ahead and starting out as a cadet in the current global picture is absolutely insane.
Le Chiffre is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 14:57
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 109
I disagree. Do the course, knowing that there probably wonít be a job waiting for you at the end of it.

Then take your fresh CPL and go bush, like a normal GA pilot would, knowing that you will be competing for C206 gigs with ex-airline pilots with thousands of hours.

Thatís ok...Work in a bar up north or out west, pick fruit, sweep hangars, fix 4wdís or whatever else you can find, and network with whatever pilots and charter mobs you can find until you find yourself in the seat of something that flies. Thatís what we all used to do. You might find an operator who actually wants you over a redundant airline jock who expects the coffee delivered to them rather than the other way around. Depends how you present yourself.

A few years later, you might get a phone call from your cadet airline operator. If so, sweet! You would have a few years of real blues and real flying, and you would never forget it. If not, keep doing what you are doing until you have the hours and experience to make in an airline, old-school. You wonít regret that either.

If you arenít prepared to do that, then I would argue that you shouldnít be doing a cadet course in the first place. You need to love flying to enjoy this career, and that means doing whatever it takes.

Airlines always go in waves. When you are at the bottom of a wave, it can be impossible to see the top.

I wouldnít be surprised to see our industry going gangbusters within 5 years. Maybe it will be 4, maybe 7. But it will happen.
Derfred is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 15:05
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: London
Posts: 14
I mean yea, if you are prepared to mortgage your future to the tune of £100k in the middle of probably the greatest crisis the industry has ever seen.
Le Chiffre is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 15:31
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 109
There will always be downturns. Better to do it in a downturn with a clear picture of the troughs and wait for an upturn than do it in an upturn and get dismayed and destroyed by the next downturn!

I know, itís a contrary view, but like the old adage, when your taxi driver is telling you to buy shares, itís time to sell.

When everyone is telling you not to go to flying school, it might actually be a good time to sign up. Youíll be in the right position to ride the next wave (assuming you have the $100K of course!)
Derfred is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 15:41
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: London
Posts: 14
Agreed - but this isn't part of the usual 10-15 year upturn / downturn cycle. This is something completely different. There are, literally, thousands being laid off or put on P/T hours.
Le Chiffre is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 16:05
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 109
Right now, there are, yes. Just 6 months into it we feel the hole is so deep itís impossible to perceive a recovery.

Humankind has always prevailed. This virus is not the worst global event in the last 100 years. We were swinging in the 50ís after WWII. That era proved the zest for prosperity after 5 years of despair. This virus wonít give us 5 years of despair. We have medical science, vaccines only months away from certification, rapid testing on the horizon, etc. Sure, aviation wonít return overnight, but my optimism remains.
Derfred is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 16:22
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: London
Posts: 14
Again, agreed.

At the risk of turning this into a Covid-19 thread, the problem is public confidence and perception. Governments have scared the shit out of people. Road traffic collisions are a bigger risk to people under 45 than Covid-19 is.

We need to work out a sensible, risk balanced approach. Shield the most vulnerable, let everyone else get on with life.
Le Chiffre is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 17:31
  #11 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Brisbane
Posts: 109
Originally Posted by Le Chiffre View Post
...At the risk of turning this into a Covid-19 thread...
Ah, but you did, didnít you! My fault, sorry, I started it. We can discuss that on another thread.

No-one knows how COVID is going to play out, nor do they know the timeframe.

All I am suggesting is that at some point it will be all sorted out along with economic activity resuming, and when it does, the pent-up demand will possibly blow all gloomy predictions out of the water.

Thatís the moment you want to have your CPL finished, a few bush hours, and ready to ride the next wave of aviation boom.

Thatís not the moment to start your training, because if you do, then I guarantee that the stock market will crash again the day after you get your CPL in the mail.

As I said, itís contrary, but so is ďbuy low, sell high.Ē

In my first post on this thread I suggested 5 years, maybe 4-7.

Very bold of me to make such a prediction in a completely unknown climate. But on reflection, Iím going to stand by it.

ďI believe that a cadet or a GA pilot starting tomorrow will have the opportunity for RPT Turbo Prop or better in 5 years (with a variance of 4-7 years).Ē

Iím going to take a screen-shot of this post and see how I go.

Whatís your prediction?

Last edited by Derfred; 3rd Oct 2020 at 18:04.
Derfred is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 18:36
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: NQLD
Age: 34
Posts: 147
Originally Posted by Derfred View Post
Ah, but you did, didnít you! My fault, sorry, I started it. We can discuss that on another thread.

No-one knows how COVID is going to play out, nor do they know the timeframe.

All I am suggesting is that at some point it will be all sorted out along with economic activity resuming, and when it does, the pent-up demand will possibly blow all gloomy predictions out of the water.

Thatís the moment you want to have your CPL finished, a few bush hours, and ready to ride the next wave of aviation boom.

Thatís not the moment to start your training, because if you do, then I guarantee that the stock market will crash again the day after you get your CPL in the mail.

As I said, itís contrary, but so is ďbuy low, sell high.Ē

In my first post on this thread I suggested 5 years, maybe 4-7.

Very bold of me to make such a prediction in a completely unknown climate. But on reflection, Iím going to stand by it.

ďI believe that a cadet or a GA pilot starting tomorrow will have the opportunity for RPT Turbo Prop or better in 5 years (with a variance of 4-7 years).Ē

Iím going to take a screen-shot of this post and see how I go.

Whatís your prediction?
I think youíre probably right!!

Iíve been thinking something similar. All the pilots being made redundant now, may be facing upto 2 years before any significant hiring starts again. A large number of those pilots will either retire or find another career. How many will change back to an airline gig when the music starts again? My guess would be not many.

So this will result in a large chunk of experience vanishing from the industry. When hiring starts again, it wonít take long to ďpick up the slackĒ and run out of qualified pilots to move up.

Combined this with the view that now is NOT the time to start training, youíll also have a lack of fresh CPL drivers coming through at the bottom. So again, when hiring starts, qualified pilots will be picked up pretty quick.

For perspective, the US domestic market took 3 years to recover after 9/11. That was also only a 30% drop. So a 4-5 year timeframe to see a recovery back to 2019 levels isnít unreasonable, especially in international travel.
aviation_enthus is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 20:05
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Oz
Posts: 272
When the wheel turns and recruiting starts again, who would be the cheapest to employ?
clark y is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 20:53
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Weltschmerz-By-The-Sea, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 896
I see five challenges to starting a long career in aviation:

1. The virus, to which we will adapt by vaccine, treatment or realpolitik. We are likely past the halfway point about now.
2. The long term economic harm that the global slowdown has caused which, like 2008, will take a long time to overcome.
3. Technology. Both the Zoom type of virtual travel which reduces premium cabin demand, and advances in autonomous (or semi, or remote) aeroplane control which the airframe builders are already investing in.
4. Climate change, which is going to loom ever larger as a damper on discretionary fossil fuel burn.
5. The biggie.The downward pressure on wages and conditions which we are just now starting to see redoubled. The invention of the LCC started the rot, and now airlines emerging from bankruptcy want to pay meagre wages which will in turn put pressure on other airlines’ pilots.

The days of going bush to bang around in a forty year old single are gone. No one in airline HR cares about that kind of experience. And who the hell wants to pay $140,000 just to starve for a few years against a potential future job which may not ever be stable or rewarding? My 30 year old sparky drives up in his Dodge Ram and speaks of just buying his second house. A lot of my 40 yr old aviation colleagues are wondering about losing theirs.

Last edited by Australopithecus; 3rd Oct 2020 at 21:27.
Australopithecus is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 20:59
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 8,382
The real question is wether we will ever return to pre covid “normal” or will covid be the turning point for the start (in hindsight of course) for a completely new era - one that may not feature massive international tourism and domestic air travel. We don’t know the answer.

‘’Thus, start a cadetship entails more risk than before on two fronts; the risk associated with finding employment and the salary you receive once employed.

Is the era of “we have a lon weekend, let’s do Bali/ Majorca/Amsterdam” over?

What is the impact of the green movement and flight shaming?

What is the impact of cold war II with Russia and China?

Indications are that Zoom meetings, working from home, etc. etc., have sparked the end of CBD offices and maximum business travel.

Our superannuation savings have been trashed. The millennials haven’t got spare cash for travel.

Over to you. Good luck.


Sunfish is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 21:10
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Maningrida
Posts: 35
Are cadet pilot programmes extinct for the foreseeable future?

Put simply, Yes.
dontgive2FACs is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 21:34
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: SE QLD
Posts: 175
Originally Posted by Derfred View Post
I disagree. Do the course, knowing that there probably wonít be a job waiting for you at the end of it.

Then take your fresh CPL and go bush, like a normal GA pilot would, knowing that you will be competing for C206 gigs with ex-airline pilots with thousands of hours.

Thatís ok...Work in a bar up north or out west, pick fruit, sweep hangars, fix 4wdís or whatever else you can find, and network with whatever pilots and charter mobs you can find until you find yourself in the seat of something that flies. Thatís what we all used to do. You might find an operator who actually wants you over a redundant airline jock who expects the coffee delivered to them rather than the other way around. Depends how you present yourself.

A few years later, you might get a phone call from your cadet airline operator. If so, sweet! You would have a few years of real blues and real flying, and you would never forget it. If not, keep doing what you are doing until you have the hours and experience to make in an airline, old-school. You wonít regret that either.

If you arenít prepared to do that, then I would argue that you shouldnít be doing a cadet course in the first place. You need to love flying to enjoy this career, and that means doing whatever it takes.

Airlines always go in waves. When you are at the bottom of a wave, it can be impossible to see the top.

I wouldnít be surprised to see our industry going gangbusters within 5 years. Maybe it will be 4, maybe 7. But it will happen.
Precisely. Couldnít agree more. Helps to have been around a while in order to have a sense of perspective.

This, like every other downturn, will pass.
ScepticalOptomist is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 21:37
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Europe
Posts: 470
Originally Posted by aviation_enthus View Post
I think youíre probably right!!

Iíve been thinking something similar. All the pilots being made redundant now, may be facing upto 2 years before any significant hiring starts again. A large number of those pilots will either retire or find another career. How many will change back to an airline gig when the music starts again? My guess would be not many.

So this will result in a large chunk of experience vanishing from the industry. When hiring starts again, it wonít take long to ďpick up the slackĒ and run out of qualified pilots to move up.

Combined this with the view that now is NOT the time to start training, youíll also have a lack of fresh CPL drivers coming through at the bottom. So again, when hiring starts, qualified pilots will be picked up pretty quick.

For perspective, the US domestic market took 3 years to recover after 9/11. That was also only a 30% drop. So a 4-5 year timeframe to see a recovery back to 2019 levels isnít unreasonable, especially in international travel.
I fully endorse your view. Even if there's no shortage of CPL holders with undefined experience, a shortage of experienced candidates is enough to put the boot on the other foot once again. By my most avant-garde estimates, producing a quality Captain takes a bare minimum of 7-8 years (initial training - 2 years, FO experience - 4-5 years, another year or two of command experience to settle in and actually find your feet in that LHS). Producing a line trainer thus takes at least 10 years, zero to hero.

The question is, who's going to fill that void if the top part of the list gets shaved off by early retirement, those in the lower half walk away from flying in large numbers and new entrants put their training plans on hold and potentially bin them while waiting for a complete recovery?

Back on the subject of training - cadetships will likely not be a thing for a couple of years as the last thing on the mind of a financially troubled airline is long-term strategic investment. But those who left high school this summer or are about to next summer have some seriously good prospects if they play their cards wisely. Go to uni - that's 3-4 years spent in a quality way. Do as much as you can of your CPL in the meantime. Before you know it, it's 2025 out there, you hold a degree and a CPL and the doors are open everywhere. You're fully equipped with a licence and a substantial backup qualification. And you're far better positioned than those who will barely start training in 5 or 7 years.
PilotLZ is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 22:12
  #19 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Sydney
Posts: 77
Originally Posted by PilotLZ View Post
I fully endorse your view. Even if there's no shortage of CPL holders with undefined experience, a shortage of experienced candidates is enough to put the boot on the other foot once again. By my most avant-garde estimates, producing a quality Captain takes a bare minimum of 7-8 years (initial training - 2 years, FO experience - 4-5 years, another year or two of command experience to settle in and actually find your feet in that LHS). Producing a line trainer thus takes at least 10 years, zero to hero.

The question is, who's going to fill that void if the top part of the list gets shaved off by early retirement, those in the lower half walk away from flying in large numbers and new entrants put their training plans on hold and potentially bin them while waiting for a complete recovery?

Back on the subject of training - cadetships will likely not be a thing for a couple of years as the last thing on the mind of a financially troubled airline is long-term strategic investment. But those who left high school this summer or are about to next summer have some seriously good prospects if they play their cards wisely. Go to uni - that's 3-4 years spent in a quality way. Do as much as you can of your CPL in the meantime. Before you know it, it's 2025 out there, you hold a degree and a CPL and the doors are open everywhere. You're fully equipped with a licence and a substantial backup qualification. And you're far better positioned than those who will barely start training in 5 or 7 years.
That's a lot of debt to roll the dice on aviation. I think the younger generation have been hounded so much for being 'financially unstable' that they will pick safe, risk free jobs. My guess is what will be left is the rich entitled kids who have parents with fat wallets bankrolling their way to a CPL, no matter how many repeats it takes.

Ladloy is offline  
Old 3rd Oct 2020, 23:51
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: The World
Posts: 942
Originally Posted by Ladloy View Post
My guess is what will be left is the rich entitled kids who have parents with fat wallets bankrolling their way to a CPL, no matter how many repeats it takes.
Youíre aware a proper cadet program is designed to avoid that? Candidates undergo a selection process, training is structured and monitored and repeated fail attempts at assessments wouldnít be tolerated? You canít just pay your way to a job.
dr dre is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.