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Choosing a flight school, will eventually apply to CX

Fragrant Harbour A forum for the large number of pilots (expats and locals) based with the various airlines in Hong Kong. Air Traffic Controllers are also warmly welcomed into the forum.

Choosing a flight school, will eventually apply to CX

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Old 12th Aug 2018, 20:45
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Choosing a flight school, will eventually apply to CX

When hiring pilots how much do CX recruiters care about where prospective employees were trained for CPL? Would training at FTA (where they train their own staff) impress them or give an appreciable advantage? I hear FTA isn't great service for non cadets. How much would they value qualifications from an expensive flight school in Australia or USA over a school in South Africa which is half the price?! Or even Philippines. Advice appreciated!
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 22:14
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They don’t care. The standards these days are nil. They just require a heartbeat so that your body will warm the seat. Not kidding, use your money for something far more useful, like training for another profession. Spending even one dollar or second of time on CX will set you up for a lifetime of regret. You have been warned.
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Old 12th Aug 2018, 22:55
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It’s a bit of an odd question. Most pilot wannabes now treat CX like a flight school.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 02:17
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Get a flight school that offers an EASA qualification. This will be acceptable to the HKG authorities and CX and any airline in Europe. There are several good schools in Europe and USA with worldwide accepatnce. Do not limit your sights to one school in AUS and one airline CX. Depending upon your circumstances and passport why not get fully sponsored by an airline ?
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 03:37
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Re-read post #2. Also understand you probably won't see out your career as a pilot. Autonomous airliners will be the norm in 20-40 years.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 03:58
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Thanks unitedabx, that’s useful. South Africa is really tempting though as it’s so cost effective.

Guys, with respect, I’m not asking for advice of whether or not to become a pilot or whether or not to work for CX. Understand a lot of you seem pretty unhappy with either CX or the industry so if it makes you feel better then rant away but it's not relevant to my question!

Cheers
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 04:18
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Lets also be clear FTA is shit service and shit training for those of us who were forced to go through that system aswell. I would never pay to go to that place.

Originally Posted by HemisphereDancer View Post
When hiring pilots how much do CX recruiters care about where prospective employees were trained for CPL? Would training at FTA (where they train their own staff) impress them or give an appreciable advantage? I hear FTA isn't great service for non cadets. How much would they value qualifications from an expensive flight school in Australia or USA over a school in South Africa which is half the price?! Or even Philippines. Advice appreciated!
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 07:57
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I’m not totally convinced by post #2.
I know suitable young and very keen Pilots that have applied and been rejected, they most definitely had a Heart beat.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 08:34
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Hemisphere,

There is a lot of negativity and bad feeling in CX at the moment and indeed for the last 20 years. Hence some of the replies you have received. If it is your dream to be an airline pilot then GO FOR IT but do not limit your sights to CX or FTA. Both institutiuons are no longer world leaders or hold any real respect in the industry. There are still many airlines that are worth applying to.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 12:38
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Originally Posted by HemisphereDancer View Post
When hiring pilots how much do CX recruiters care about where prospective employees were trained for CPL?

Advice appreciated!
There is no longer pilot recruitment at CX, it is a generic “People Department” (HR) with generic “talent acquisition” (recruiters) they spend most of their days either terminating motivated staff (like all the ground staff away from Hong along recently and then get them to reapply for their own jobs at lower wages) or helping people with their resignations.

They would have not have an idea what an aircraft or pilots licence would look like, let alone the difference between a good quality or poor quality school.

If you want to be a pilot like any job look at what will make you more attractive to a number of employers, do not lock yourself in. Keep your options open.

if you want to contact the CX recruitment staff, apply to Qantas, they are working there now.

Cathay is making other airlines great by providing well trained pilots with international wide body experience across the globe.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 17:08
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CX to my knowledge doesn't care where you got your license from, so long as it is legal, and you can demonstrate to them you can be competent at the job during your interview. If you are keen to join CX and don't have a license yet, then just go for their cadet program. I wouldn't go out and get a license just to join CX.

If you do go out and get flight training elsewhere, then I highly recommend building your experience from elsewhere. Learn to work your way up, fly some turboprops, and regional flying. It will be a much more rewarding career than going straight to cruise relief on a long haul wide body. Some guys at CX have never done this, and they have missed out on the fun.

As you can tell from these forums, CX is also not the same airline it used to be. There used to be a time when I think people used to be proud working at CX. The days are long gone, and I can assure you the attitude is not just a forum thing. You must recognize that in between CX making financial losses, and the expensive nature of Hong Kong, that CX is trying to make consessions out of the pilots. I'm not saying CX is going to be a bad employer forever, but do be wise in your career decision making. You only get so many chances.

I say this from hard learned experience.
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Old 13th Aug 2018, 19:15
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“If you do go out and get flight training elsewhere, then I highly recommend building your experience from elsewhere. Learn to work your way up, fly some turboprops, and regional flying. It will be a much more rewarding career than going straight to cruise relief on a long haul wide body. Some guys at CX have never done this, and they have missed out on the fun.”

This is a critical point! You don’t just miss out on fun but also vital handling skills that you will NOT get at CX. Long haul flying is something to be done at the end of your career, not the beginning. But why listen to an old guy? You teens and twenty somethings know everything, right?!?!
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 08:23
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SWH......I suggest you ask you “mates” about the QF system, it’s also run by HR people that don’t have one clue about the front or back of an Aircraft. One of their long standing Senior 400 C and T CN’s had to apply and be interviewed by HR for a 787 position, he was told by a snotty nose HR person that he wasn’t suitable for C and T on the 787 after 30 years in QF.

The whole World has gone crazy.....not just CX.

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Old 14th Aug 2018, 10:46
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...but none AS crazy as CX. Fact. (...and I wonder how well that HR persons nose is healing up...?)
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 13:10
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Originally Posted by ACMS View Post
One of their long standing Senior 400 C and T CN’s had to apply and be interviewed by HR for a 787 position, he was told by a snotty nose HR person that he wasn’t suitable for C and T on the 787 after 30 years in QF.
A persons ability to pickup new technology like the 787/A350 and then being able to teach it has little to do with how many years spent on the 744.

CASA is now requiring those people to have a instructor rating, there are people with a lot of time in QF doing a basic instructor rating in a light single.
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 13:36
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Hemispheredance

Previously, when pilots (or even people who knew what an airplane looked like) were involved in recruitment of pilots, it would have been advantageous to interact with these recruiters at the flying school used by Cathay. Several current pilots did just that and it led to them getting jobs.

As others have pointed out, Cathay recruitment is now done by clueless HR robots so it would be a much better idea to just get a license that is recognised in HK at a location, instructional standard, and price that you are happy with.
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Old 14th Aug 2018, 22:39
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First, identify which airlines you wish to work for (I suggest CX is not one of them. As a S/O you log P2X - time most, but not all, other operators won't recognise as valid flight time. Beware that most airlines work to a seniority system, so time spent at CX is time wasted). Then asks those airlines if they have a preferred entry path. Some have preferred training schools.

The hardest job to get is your first job. So as the training schools on your short list if they have a policy of hiring their students as instructors. Ask what % are hired. Many schools will promise much but in the end they are just after your $.
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Old 15th Aug 2018, 07:35
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HemisphereDancer,

As a father, if my son decided he wanted to become a pilot, I would support him fully...it is an amazing job with a huge choice of career opportunities, especially if you are prepared to leave your domicile. I would also STRONGLY recommend he learn how to fly OUTSIDE of the airline ab-initio training systems, and spend the first 10 years of his piloting career gaining some experience. This would benefit both him, and the industry. Yesterday I was asked by a new joiner if I have ever heard a Mayday declared in my 11 years at Cathay...my answer was "...actually no, but I have declared 2 or 3 myself before coming to Cathay". This was met with surprise...and is indicative of the very safe nature of airline flying compared to what is available in the aviation profession.

If I was an airline recruiter, I would also prefer to hire pilots who have prior experience. Certainly for me personally, the highlights of my flying career were prior to joining the airlines. As a 20 something year old, you have at least until age 65 to fly...spend the first 10 or so years gaining some great experience somewhere (GA, military, Africa, PNG etc) before strapping yourself into the very safe and benign airline environment.

Unfortunately, much of what is stated in previous posts is correct...prior experience is not particularly highly valued by airline management. They are concerned with bums in jets, so as long as you have the minimum requirements, you simply have to win the recruiting process battle to get a seat.

Do yourself a favour...go and have 10 years of amazing adventure before settling into the easy retirement job!

Jason
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Old 15th Aug 2018, 08:52
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Great Post Jason74!! You said it all. Don't rush into the shiny metallic jet. Flying small aircraft is super fun and an amazing experience for your confidence and hand skill that you can not easily gain if you jump immediately from flight school to airliners.
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Old 15th Aug 2018, 10:01
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Cool

Originally Posted by Jason74 View Post
HemisphereDancer,

As a father, if my son decided he wanted to become a pilot, I would support him fully...it is an amazing job with a huge choice of career opportunities, especially if you are prepared to leave your domicile. I would also STRONGLY recommend he learn how to fly OUTSIDE of the airline ab-initio training systems, and spend the first 10 years of his piloting career gaining some experience. This would benefit both him, and the industry. Yesterday I was asked by a new joiner if I have ever heard a Mayday declared in my 11 years at Cathay...my answer was "...actually no, but I have declared 2 or 3 myself before coming to Cathay". This was met with surprise...and is indicative of the very safe nature of airline flying compared to what is available in the aviation profession.

If I was an airline recruiter, I would also prefer to hire pilots who have prior experience. Certainly for me personally, the highlights of my flying career were prior to joining the airlines. As a 20 something year old, you have at least until age 65 to fly...spend the first 10 or so years gaining some great experience somewhere (GA, military, Africa, PNG etc) before strapping yourself into the very safe and benign airline environment.

Unfortunately, much of what is stated in previous posts is correct...prior experience is not particularly highly valued by airline management. They are concerned with bums in jets, so as long as you have the minimum requirements, you simply have to win the recruiting process battle to get a seat.

Do yourself a favour...go and have 10 years of amazing adventure before settling into the easy retirement job!

Jason
Of course you’ll be able to ride your unicorn to work as well... even the slightest knowledge of the aviation industry shows its cyclical nature. In a straight comparison of the two scenarios this guy, who has already said he’s determined to work for CX would at 30 with 10 years at CX be well up the greasy pole. The other route would have him turning up with umpteen ‘fun’ hours on puddle jumpers to start at the very bottom of the seniority list, if there’s a cyclical downturn good luck with that. It’s all very well giving the ‘cloud strewn glory of the skies’ schtick but there’s only one rule in civilian aviation: get into the left hand seat of the newest jet possible and accrue seniority. Fly your own puddle jumper on your days off...
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