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Newbie & Flying Training Advice (Merged)

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Newbie & Flying Training Advice (Merged)

Old 15th Jul 2009, 06:47
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Melbourne
Age: 35
Posts: 5
What about Coldstream?, I was there today they have a gravel air-strip 2 Warriors, 1 Cessna, 1 Jabiru , 1 Tecnam.

They seem to be a smaller setup but that is not a bad thing?

any one hire or train there?
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Old 15th Jul 2009, 07:33
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Melbourne
Age: 35
Posts: 5
What about Coldstream? i went there today for a visit they have a gravel runway, 2 Piper Warriors, 1 Cessna, 1 Jabiru, 1 Tecnam and 1 6 seater.

They seem like a small set up but that's not a bad thing?
Does any one train or hire there?
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Old 15th Jul 2009, 14:14
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 1,421
Consider Melton Flying School at Melton aerodrome. . Easy driving distance from Melbourne via Calder Freeway (35 minutes) No extra charges, no ATC, almost no traffic around, very good rates and only one instructor who is the owner/manager/CFI/LAME and of course he is a grade one which means experience.
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Old 15th Jul 2009, 19:18
  #24 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Another vote for YLIL, if it's close there's really no contest. Has everything you'll need and a friendly place from what I know.

Don't worry about learning to fly in older machines, pretty much right up to CPL you'll only need very basic instrumentation, and your dollars will buy more hours if looking at shiny new GPS units and big screens isn't aestethically important to you. Pretty much everything in the CPL syllabus can be done in a very basic aeroplane without many bells and whistles. Yup it's nice to take a great machine for a long nav, but then for those hour building occasions there are plenty of cross-hire options around Melbourne. Not something you need to worry about at first, though.

Once you're up to the instrument rating if that's where you want to go, better equipment becomes more vital (just look at the Benalla accident, a very similar GPS malfunction with a position given by a Trimble 2000 that was dozens of miles out actually happened to me on a training flight, but we had a Garmin 430 also..), but Lilydale has some options there too; I know the owner who hires out his YLIL-based Travelair for advanced training and his is one mighty fine aeroplane
Old 16th Jul 2009, 00:11
  #25 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Mel-burn
Posts: 4,864
Planky is now the GPS expert I see.

So Planky, did you report your GPS issue to CASA / ATSB as an incident report when it failed on you, being a certified model?

I'd also like to hear your crash analysis on the Benalla crash if you have time, perhaps another thread can be created for that one?
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Old 16th Jul 2009, 07:46
  #26 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
XXX, you just had to stir again, ey?

Again not going to bite, although it is tempting.
Old 17th Aug 2013, 11:58
  #27 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: somewhere
Posts: 10
Question Newbie & Flying Training Advice (Merged)

Use the information in this post at your own risk.

Having read some of the posts in recent time, here is a summary addressing some key points.

Don't expect to find a job purely by sending out emails or making cold calls to operators. Unfortunately it is a fact of life in this industry that you will have to eventually pack up all you life in your car and pack up shop. Yes, some do get lucky and have picked up jobs over the phone, but it doesn't happen often. Don't be rude to the operations person on the other end of the phone/desk. CV's have been binned on the spot purely because the potential employee was rude and belligerent to the staff on the front desk. Remember: how you present yourself to general staff, will be scrutinized.

"It's not what you know, it's who you know." This line bodes well in our industry. It can work in your favor and it can also work against you. For your first job; hit up all your mates who have "made it" and see if their operators' are hiring. If not, read the first paragraph. Having said that; if you know very little about your chosen profession come interview time, say goodbye to that potential job.

Take care when writing your CV. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors will always tarnish a potential's chance of getting an interview.

Just remember though: once you're established in your job; your reputation might make or break you down the track. Keep your head down, work hard and the rest will follow. - The aviation industry is like any other, it is very small so don't go rubbing too many people the wrong way.

Don't expect to find that first job right away, it will take time. Find another casual position outside of flying until something else pops up.

If you do gain an opportunity to have a sit down with a potential employer; do yourself a favor and present well. A business attire works well eg: Black slacks, button shirt, or pilot's uniform without bars and wings. - I have seen many potentials walk through the door and sit down, only to disappoint themselves by wearing shorts, t-shirt, jeans etc. This is your only opportunity to make that first impression, make it count!

150 hour pilots do get charter positions. - I have had the privilege of sitting in on interviews with a few 150 hour pilots who have gone onto become proficient pilots. - I was given my first charter job with 170 odd hours and we all had 150 hours at the start of our careers.

Your first 500 hours Total time will be the hardest to get, then your first twin, turbo prop and so on. Many I know of took at least 18 months to gather those first 500 hours. They got there by: station flying, private ops, remote charter operations etc. After that, it's all downhill from there.

Don't turn your nose down at the opportunity of being posted to a remote community. - Flying is only the half of the journey, the other half is the character building experience. Your closest mates will be made by the hardships sometimes faced in these remote areas and they will become your friends for life. You will depend on them and they will depend on you when times are tough. You will find that flying is only 20% of the job and by far the easiest.

You will screw up at some time. Be honest, and own up to whatever mistake you have made. - Your integrity is on the line. Those who deceive others, will eventually be found out and disciplined. Re-read the paragraph on "it's a small industry."

Your aircraft performance/weight and balance charts/checklists will save you from a scare/embarrassment to potentially your life. Use these with diligence and due care. The flight manual on the aircraft is your "bible." If things are looking tight, it is time to look at the figures.

If something doesn't feel or look right, it generally isn't. - It will take time to develop this "sixth sense." Swallow your pride and ask your senior pilots, as no doubt they would have found themselves in similar situations. Try and fill that bag of experience, before the bag of luck runs out.

Don't give up on your dream. Many have dropped out along the way after spending their hard earned cash to gain their CPL.

If it's time to move onto another operator: just remember, that it is far easier to find another job to go to whilst still being employed.

Just because you're in the bush, by yourself and not under the direct scrutiny of your Chief Pilot; Don't use this as an excuse to become ill disciplined in your flying. Bad habits are easy to form but hard to break! Low flying, beat ups and formation flying will not be tolerated by either your employer or CASA. At the end of the day, it's your licence, livelihood and your company's AOC on the line. It just isn't worth the risk and you only have to look at some of the ATSB's reports that are around to see that others have died because of this.

Above all: Have fun, enjoy the experience and take plenty of photos. You're in General Aviation for a good time, not a long time!

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Old 18th Aug 2013, 01:01
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: sydney area
Posts: 38
Couldn't agree more. Great post!
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 01:05
  #29 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Straya
Posts: 103
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 01:39
  #30 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: australia
Posts: 587
Well stated and accurate.
Definitely sticky worth.

Might pin this up on the front door of work
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 02:11
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: In a nest
Age: 31
Posts: 29
I think this is worth a Sticky
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 05:07
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: In God's Country
Posts: 188
Most of the advice I'd offer has been encapsulated in the OP.

The addition is that it is worth remembering that progression should be seen as an outcome and consequence of good DEVELOPMENT.

This means that 500 hrs in the logbook does not entitle one to a first twin - rather, what the CP and other decision makers expect is that the newbie generally keeps his mouth shut (unless to ask a question) and his eyes / ears open and listens to the advice being offered by any mentors in the organisation. Furthermore, it is important that the effort is made to APPLY the knowledge being passed on. Commercial flying is a lot different to CPL training in a flying school environment! Find the right mentor and you'll learn how to do it safely and well.
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 05:15
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: melb
Posts: 2,152
Yep a good overall description of what to do & what not to do, well put 'wym'
A lot of it common sense but I guess common sense isn't being taught to much anymore.

Shame though that fewer & fewer will need such advice in the future as there won't be the traditional flying route to get to that big shinny jet.

I guess the end of an era is now really stating to show.

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Old 18th Aug 2013, 05:23
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 320
Great post mate!
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 21:31
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: In God's Country
Posts: 188
And another thing...

Just got back from an early morning flight, checked my e-mail and saw a resume / covering letter with the following:

"I hold a fATPL with 1090 flight hours..."

I will presume the "f" means frozen.

Can I please get one thing off my chest for those seeking a start / subsequent job in the industry - you do not hold a "frozen ATPL", you are the holder of a CPL with passes in ATPL subjects!


Now seeking coffee!
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Old 18th Aug 2013, 22:36
  #36 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 958
Flying Bear (or other CPs),

On my resume I currently have my CPL listed in qualifications then under education (further down the page) I have Passes in all ATPL subjects. Should I put CPL with passes in ATPL subjects up or is it much of a muchness?

Also when listing hours, some have suggested rounding down to the nearest whole number for neatness as much as anything (eg; 378.4 is listed as 378) what are your thoughts on this?

This thread looks like it will be another PPRuNe classic that should be mandatory reading when completing a CPL!
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Old 19th Aug 2013, 00:40
  #37 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Australia
Age: 59
Posts: 67
Agree completely with you an all that have posted on this thread. From an owners point of view I see our CP blood pressure rising slowly over the last few years as it seems that newbies come demanding a job with the attitude of what can you do for me not the other way round.

We have always had a policy of giving pilots first job in the industry. We take our responsibility of giving back to industry very seriously and as an owner it's a great feeling when you invest a lot of time and frustration in developing a newby into a confident strong experienced decision maker, with great stick and rudder, skills to see them move onto the next stage of their career. We have had a feeling of pride a lot of times to board a heavy somewhere in the world to hear a familiar voice and name then have them thank us for the start and tough love and basic commercial skills.

Newbies come into this industry with a dream that's what drives every one on. However loose the attitude. We don't care about ATPL in fact you are rubbing our nose in the fact that we as charter employers are only a step for you, that you will leave us as soon as you can. A lot of our past employees have gone onto do ATPL after 1000 hours of charter time and said they are so glad to have done this later as so much made more sense after doing real commercial time and helped them into RPT as it also refreshed them and helped revisit areas of op's they knew they were deficient in.

Come to your first job as a blank canvas. You have basic skills, remember you are starting as an apprentice. Your main job is to make your boss money so he can stay in business and give the next pilot a job.

The most important skills you are about to learn is about profitable operations. How you treat and look after your tools(aircraft), how to profitably manage fuel and plan for high stressful situations. How to adapt quickly to changing situations and remain professional and smiling the whole way through.

There are so many things that are to be learnt in small charter that are just not taught in textbooks or cadet ships. Unless you are a natural gun and breezed through all CPL subjects with high 90's on first attempt and found all your practical flying and planning easy go for a cadet ship. If not, then sorry charter miles is the only way up.

To go north hunting a job this is basically what you will require.

100-200 command time. We look at TT to judge how hard it was for you to learn your basic skills and if you have spent to much duel time training then you are best looking for another career as whoever has trained you never gave you that advice an just plainly stole your money.
20 hours on a 200 series Cessna will be an advantage. (Insurance minim times are getting tighter.)
Willingness to sweep hangers, pickup freight,refuel aircraft and turn up for work each day happy with a smile.

Come with an attitude of, what can I do to help, will get you in the door. Prove you want to learn. Ask lots of questions.

Apart from a few bad operators that most rumour mills know about most operators are not there to rip you off with cheap labour it is a way of trailing your keenness and patience. When a spot is available you will be first in a seat. Don't expect big wages for a start as it costs us a lost seat or freight weight to put the CP in next to you and usually longer days, the operation still has to balance books. Your wages will increase as your skills do.

Hope this gives some insight into employment from the other side of the fence. We generally all love to fly and the industry as much as you. We all started at the same basic level. Some of us had a dream to run their own business other to hand on their skills to others and other to fly the big things around to world. It's a responsible job as lives are involved at any level. No other way really of getting were you dream easily. It's hard work, miles and willingness to learn that will make your career.

Last edited by Mick Stuped; 19th Aug 2013 at 07:17.
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Old 19th Aug 2013, 10:18
  #38 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: rookie land
Age: 29
Posts: 153
Great thread and great replies! Mick do you have an email dress that I can send some questions to? Cheers, rookie
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Old 20th Aug 2013, 08:25
  #39 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Australia
Age: 59
Posts: 67
Best you post any questions you may have in this forum so that all get to see any advice that comes out of your questions. It will also allow advice from other directions that maybe better than advice I can offer.

It was from frustration that I posted the last message as I understand fully were the thread started as we also are bombarded with so many employment requests and the same mistakes are being made time and time again in approaches to us.

We now don't even advertise jobs and protect our email addresses as the modern age of technology means we get bombarded with so many employment requests, that it is becoming a problem as big as spam. To tell you the truth, only one or two per every 100 submissions even meet our basic criteria as mentioned in my blog.

Our CP still likes to see a potential pilot do the cold call and introduce themselves and have a chat. Sometimes it may take a few visits before you even get to meet the CP. Its not that we are arrogant and don't want to meet you, its because usually we are very busy and don't have the time. Ask if we have a preferable time and be prepared to come back. We feel this shows they are keener than someone just sitting at home on a computer sending off mail blasts to every operator thinking they we will contact you with a job offer. Doesn't work like that, sorry.

As an example we put an add out in the electronic media a couple of years ago for a basic line pilot as a first job. That resulted in 148 applications and resumes in the first 24 hours. Some 36 came through in the first 4 hours of posting the add. We had to take the add down before we got swamped.

We are only a small charter company so I can imagine how frustrated the bigger higher profile guys get with so many requests. I have been told by some of them that they end up setting up a special email address for this very reason and delete anything on their other email addresses that look like a CV without opening.

So rookie nothing personal we just don't give email address out to anyone we don't know.
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Old 20th Aug 2013, 10:37
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: somewhere
Posts: 10

Flying Bear (or other CPs),

On my resume I currently have my CPL listed in qualifications then under education (further down the page) I have Passes in all ATPL subjects. Should I put CPL with passes in ATPL subjects up or is it much of a muchness?

Also when listing hours, some have suggested rounding down to the nearest whole number for neatness as much as anything (eg; 378.4 is listed as 378) what are your thoughts on this?

This thread looks like it will be another PPRuNe classic that should be mandatory reading when completing a CPL!

If you're really that keen on putting whole numbers, I would write 378. If it were my CV I would just round to 380, 375 or 370. Take your pick, just don't blatantly lie and tell your potential employer you have a lot more experience than you actually, do or falsify your logbook.

There was a time where we all could recall to the decimal place how many hours we had in our logbook. Don't fall into this trap, just tally the numbers at the end of the page and get a pleasant surprise when you hit whatever target you've set yourself. The kettle will always take longer to boil if you sit and watch it. There will come a time where your logbook becomes a chore to fill in.

Speaking of numbers: Try and take any opportunity you can to clock up some night as these are the hardest numbers to put in your logbook. Some considerations when doing so: Weather (don't get caught out by unforecast fog or take your 210 through CB's during the wet), duty times, CP's/Operations' permission, aircraft serviceability, currency, previous experience, black hole approach etc. With the change in ATPL requirements needing a flight test to gain an ATPL, self regulated early starts and late finishes to gain these hours may be a thing of the past.

Would suggest you take two torches with you during night ops. Keep one accessible in your nav bag and one on your belt. Keep one on, and in between your legs ready to grab when in critical phases of flight ie: Takeoff, Landing and in IMC. You don't want to lose your lights and not having a backup in hand, especially a during a departure in the wet. A green/red adjustable brightness torch is superior so you don't go blinding yourself when you turn it on. If you're a crafty person, you will find a way to jam it in between your headset band and head. LED's are superior to normal filament bulbs as they will last the test of time. Also keep plenty of spare batteries in that mighty captain's briefcase you purchased.

Everything you purchase should have a practical application to your job. There isn't much point of buying that said briefcase if you've got no where to put it in the aircraft. Small and flexible is the key. Backpacks, messenger bags, helmet bags, small pilot's bags etc work well. Come to an understanding that you won't be able to fit much under your knees or in between the pilot's seats of the aircraft you are going to fly. There isn't much point of putting your flight bag in a baggage locker. Try as you might, your documents wont be accessible when you need them!

Hydration: Camelbaks etc fit well in between pilot seats. Trust me, you will need all three litres of water that it contains by lunchtime when working a 12 hour multi sector day in the top end. Keep sunscreen and hand sanitizer in the pockets of your hydration pack/ chosen flight bag. Why hand sanitizer you may ask? You will know when the time comes...

Clothing: Wear whatever your company dictates uniform wise. In the bush? Wear sensible shoes and a hat. Leather shoes? Don't buy anything that will last you a month or so before the sole wears through - Anything that you would normally wear to the races/formal functions will not stand the test of time! I would suggest smart looking boots of a known brand/quality. The environment that your footware is operating in is very different to footware that was designed for an office worker and will last as such. Gravel and tarmac are very abrasive and will destroy your shoes in weeks, not years.

Communication: You're kidding yourself if you think one of the discount mobile providers are going to provide you such a service in remote Australia. There is only one telco that will provide service to the areas that you're going to operate in. Keep a spare charger in your flight bag. If you get stuck somewhere, you will have wished you had packed one.

Navigation: Bring a handheld GPS with you that will withstand the test of time. Wouldn't recommend touch screens due to turbulence. Leave it on the dash in the hot sun at your own peril. Also your boss will not be happy if he catches you wedging said GPS in between the windscreen and the dash. You were warned.
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