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Newbie & Flying Training Advice (Merged)

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Newbie & Flying Training Advice (Merged)

Old 11th Dec 2013, 00:17
  #61 (permalink)  
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Hi all,

I recently completed my CPL and MECIR. I'm currently working two jobs (60 to 70 hour weeks) in hope to save enough to fund a trip 'up north' before the start of the dry season.
I have a map of all the companies i plan to stop at along the way, but it's not many...
was hoping for some advice about companies that are willing to employ low time pilots and the best way to research and find these companies!
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Old 11th Dec 2013, 11:26
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Companies | Aircraft Registry

Seems to have a fairly good list
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 04:17
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thank you,

felling pretty stupid I didn't know about this
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 05:19
  #64 (permalink)  
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felling pretty stupid I didn't know about this
Don't worry. Flight schools use photos of shiny airliners and 787 cockpits, and convince you if you purchase an instructor rating after your CPL, they'll give you a job and you'll be flying long haul 747's for Qantas after 2 years (regardless that they haven't recruited in 5 years). The reality is far from that, and it's hard to develop an understanding of the industry in Australia as a student; let alone from the typical 22 year old instructor!
Old 12th Dec 2013, 10:29
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true, they suggested i got a instructor rating to help with with work but i really didn't want to..so i said no

then i was told go north and good luck
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 11:26
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I thought I would chime in on this excellent thread. I am packing up my car in a few weeks to head up north and hopefully land my first gig...

If given the chance, a potential employer would want to test my skills in the plane - just how difficult will this flight be?
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Old 12th Dec 2013, 19:13
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Depends on the operator, some will just take you along on a days charter, some will do circuits with you and some will spend a few hours doing almost a mini flight test.

Even if you pass the interview check flight, you'll be doing quite a bit of ICUS first and then you'll get rechecked periodically.

My best advice is treat every flight as a learning flight, especially when you're on you're own. Concentrate on just one thing per flight, nail your height, heading, radio calls, RUDDER (you'd be surprised how many people you see that'd don't know how to use their feet ). If you do that it'll show in your flying and you'll have no worries with any future checks and it'll look favourably on you when it comes time to progression or that next job.
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Old 4th Jan 2014, 04:05
  #68 (permalink)  
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Write up any unserviceabilities. Don't accept a crap aircraft.
This one cannot be stressed enough! And, as was mentioned, if something doesn't look or feel right, it probably isn't. Just go ask the engineer to look at what you're looking at and get his opinion. No engineer worthy of a license will allow the dispatch of an unsafe, serviceable aircraft.
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Old 4th Jan 2014, 23:53
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Always carry some rags and a few litres of oil...engineers are not always around to get you home..
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Old 6th Jan 2014, 20:53
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Always carry some rags and a few litres of oil...engineers are not always around to get you home..
Not always?!?

Unless things have changed significantly, in my experience, not at all unless at a home base between the hours of 7am and 4pm (which is the time you hear the tires screeching out the front gate of the airport, not the tools down time)...

As for writing up anything that is unservicable on an aircraft - CAR50 is pretty clear on that, but the lines can become a tad blurred when stuck at a remote airstrip with naught but the shade of your wing and a 250ml bottle of water to last you the next 4 hours while an engineer comes to change your busted nav light... common sense (not overly common, I know) must prevail in these circumstances - could it have broken on the way home? Certainly not if its a serious defect - Nil Comms across the desert, alternator etc...

It is essential also, to remain cognisant of the different motivations each party has in deciding an aircraft is taskworthy:
  • Pilot - although it would seem obvious (complete the task, get home safe), it is amazing how often the "I have to get to the pub to catch up with the boys" type of motivation gets in the way... don't be a fool.
  • Operations - are there to achieve the endstate of the client and make money for the Company. Don't begrudge them for this, but be aware that they may not see the "minor" defect in the same light as you - rather just an embuggerance that is ruining their plan...
  • Engineers - although we would all like to think that "no engineer worth his salt would release an aircraft to line that wasn't taskworthy", the filter for what does and does not meet the taskworthy list may often become blurred as the day draws towards "knock off" time...
  • Customer - I had many passengers in the past ask me how serious the issue was - especially if they had been paxing in GA aircraft for years prior - chances are they've seen it all before; good and bad. The adage don't die for a deadline comes to mind here...
A sound tech knowledge will save a lot of hassle in many instances as you will have a better understanding of what has gone wrong and the implications. Morale of the story is therefore (its been said many times before, but is certainly worth repeating) - pull the flight manual and read it cover to cover. Then read it again. Until you can draw every diagram and schematic and explain every system in detail from memory, you don't know enough about your machine!
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Old 17th Jan 2014, 06:17
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Wet Season

The wet has snuck in up North once again. Flights here and there are being cancelled due to forecasts cropping up with marginal weather. Unfortunately due to the reality of our job, we can't choose to fly in only blue skies, although the complexities and sensitive nature of the environment we work in, we can't force others to go out into the grey although the more experienced wouldn't have a problem in having a look.

What advice would you give a newbie who faces their first wet season?

Last edited by wawa yaka mynmak; 17th Jan 2014 at 23:12.
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Old 19th Jan 2014, 21:03
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Gotta say that I have found the newbies who ask this sort of question are probably the ones least likely to get into serious trouble in the first place! Just thinking about the changes and asking the questions is a solid start.

Fuel or daylight will be what most often adds pressure on a poor weather day, so keep plenty of both. What are you going to do at the end of the day if you've burned extra fuel going around weather on the way out in the morning?

Do the homework on airstrip condition - treat anything unsealed as suspect unless you have a reliable and very recent report. Even then, remember that wet season rain can make an unsealed strip u/s in hours.

Always have a Plan B (and C....) - one that is close enough that you [U]know[U][U] you can make it. The maximum distance to this guaranteed option decreases as the weather gets worse - it has to be close enough that you are certain you can get to it and land safely. Metars are great for IFR, but only half the story for VFR - the conditions at the aerodrome are irrelevant if you can't get there.

Watch the guys who have been there for a few seasons - they won't all be good examples, but you'll work out pretty quickly who the good ones are. Then don't be afraid to ask those ones for advice.

Lastly, don't let it spook you. There are days in the wet that light aircraft just should not be flying, but a lot more days when it's possible to operate safely with good planning and decision making. Allow extra margins, plan carefully, and be prepared to spend the night away from home if you need to.
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Old 20th Jan 2014, 04:59
  #73 (permalink)  
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Solid advice that applies to both to the VFR and IFR pilots.

To add for the VFR guys, always have a good awareness of where you are. When the cloud base starts lowering down, make sure your situational awareness is high. Being able to put a lat/long from your handheld to your WAC can be critical. Remember that everyone is going to be sharing the same airspace to stay visual. Having a good idea of where you are will save you heart ache later on, with reference to other aircraft and terrain.

Give your position to other aircraft reference to a distinct feature ie: an Airfield. I doubt many (especially the IFR drivers) will have a clue where BS swamp is, where as "ABC 15nm NW of Lake Evil, tracking east at 1000'" will have more meaning to everybody.

VFR drivers, have an idea of the approaches for the airfields you operate at. Some days the IFR drivers will be under the pump and will be giving positions reference an RNAV waypoint or " 2nm outbound in the NDB-A approach" etc etc with limited mental capacity to deal with other traffic.

Keep an eye on your fuel, don't miss a fuel drain in the wet season as the noise will soon stop if your tanks are full of water.

If you operate within phone and weather radar coverage, keep an eye on the weather as it passes through. Sometimes waiting on the ground for 30 minutes can make all the difference between dark and gloomy to reasonable.

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Old 22nd Jan 2014, 20:24
  #74 (permalink)  
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Just do it the way they do it at your prospective new job..forget what you did at flying school..adapt and integrate..that goes for almost every next job you get!
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Old 24th Jan 2014, 09:18
  #75 (permalink)  
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Question What next?

Some great posts on here and very educational reading. I would like to ask the employers here an honest question but first I'dd like to paint a picture of where I'm 'coming from'. If not interested skip to the end

Currently I'm at a point in my (young) career where I believe I'm at a crossroad.

I did a (JAA) Frozen ATPL (yea I know, o oh right) back in 2008 but even before I finished the financial crisis struck and my (then) big dream of flying a classic A300 for DHL was shattered. No more hiring 195 hour guys.

I saw that coming so started researching on pprune what to do next. Africa had always been a part of my life so I looked in this direction and soon decided to go to Windhoek, Namibia to try my fortune. From Belgium I called a few operators and after getting a 'maybe' I booked myself on the next flight.

2 days after I got there I got hired by Scenic Air for the C210. Some time after the tourists stopped coming though and things got very quiet. I went back home to my girlfriend after working there for about 15 months and only getting to 550 TT.

2 years later after sending a lot of cv's and some (a lot of?) help from a friend who started there together with me and stayed there, I got an email inviting me to the interviews for Wilderness Air formerly known as Sefofane.
This is where I'm currently working flying the Cessna 210. I'm living a happy life here with my wife and 2 small kids. I'm soon reaching the magic number of 1000 TT with at least 700 PIC. But my contract ends in June and I'm already thinking about what I want to do.

I've learned many things here in Africa. Not only about flying (I agree with most what has been said above) but also about life. I'm not really interested in flying the big iron for now (not that I would say no), I came to appreciate this kind of hands on flying. But I would like to move up 1 step in my career and make a little more money than now (I can't really say, but lets say it's below 900 USD). But oh well, surviving is enough, right

What I really wanted to ask is if I would stand a chance in Australia.

My wife is registered nurse and her current job is on the visa 457 list. We are married so I guess that implies we would at least be able to enter Australia. I also have some distant relatives in Perth.
Once there I can convert my EASA to a CASA CPL.

I think my experience is relevant to the outback. All my experience, though limited at about 1500 hours when I would leave, has been in a desert environment where careful planning and sometimes tough decision making is required. We land on (semi-)unprepared strips and deal with small and big defects in these old but amazingly capable little planes. There are only a few refuelling stations in a vast area so deciding when and where to divert for bad weather or emergencies is always in your mind. It teaches you to treat your aircraft right, think about all the little things as well as the obvious, encourages you to really know your aircraft and the geography. We also interact closely with our passengers and try to provide them with the most comfortable experience in a sometimes terrible environment. And I still have lots to learn...
But anyway, I'm starting to rant again.

What I would love to do is get my CASA CPL, travel around WT and NT and try to find a job. Obviously F/O on a small twin turboprop would be awesome but I wouldn't mind flying some more C210 or something similar to get to know the country. I also lack twin time since twin pistons are become very rare fast. My ME/IR has lapsed since there are no jobs for it and we only fly VFR anyway. I do fly a lot of approaches on the computer to keep me in the game.

Anyway, I would love to make the move and try it. I hope that employers would be interested in a profile like mine. Any ideas on that? Mick Stuped?

Thanks guys. Sorry again for the long post. Once I start writing, I just go

Last edited by MKA742; 24th Jan 2014 at 09:30.
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Old 30th Jan 2014, 08:38
  #76 (permalink)  
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Cool Advice for a newbie

Hey everyone,

I'm posting here as i just want some seasoned advice from people in the loop as to whether i have a decent chance of making it into the pilot seat of a 737 or whether id be better of trying something else.

My situation is - 26 years old. Live in Melbourne, Australia. Have always had a moderate interest in flying but never thought about it as a career. I don't have my PPL or any flight experience either.

After browsing the forums a bit id seems that my options are...

- Go for private lessons out of my own pocket and get my PPL and CPL, get as many hours as i can as an instructor or up north flying tour groups, once i hit 500 (or 1000?) hours, apply at the major regional airlines such as QantasLink, Rex, Skywest, etc and then progress to the major airlines a few years after that.


- Apply and get a cadetship at Qantaslink, Skywest, Jet*, etc

I understand that both of these routes are very very competitive and require a HUGE HUGE HUGE!!! financial and time commitment with no guarantee that this big investment will get in with the major airlines aka Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar, Tiger, etc

I have almost $50,000 in savings and the means to save a lot more so i could realistically pay for my PPL and CPL but being a bit older at 26 years, i'd be throwing everything i have into this with no guarantee (or even a decent chance?) of getting in due to massive oversupply of young pilots all trying to get in as well as ongoing cost cutting by major airlines.

The one ace i have up my sleeve is that i have 2 family members who are pilots with Qantas, one who is a Captain (who ill be speaking to soon) who might be able to pull some strings to help get me in if i did get my PPL and CPL.

So taking all this into account would anyone here (especially those who work for the major airlines, or work in airline management, HR, etc) have any advice, would this be a smart investment for me that will pay off or are the odds small enough that'd id be better finding something else?

My biggest fear here is spending all my time and money to get my license only to have no career at the end of it. - Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated

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Old 1st Feb 2014, 05:59
  #77 (permalink)  
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I suggest reading all the other forums entitled "Advice for a newbie".
A moderate interest is not even close. Unless it is an absolute overwhelming passion, get a PPL and fly for fun. As far as relatives pulling strings, that just p@sses the rest of us off.
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Old 1st Feb 2014, 06:05
  #78 (permalink)  
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My biggest fear here is spending all my time and money to get my license only to have no career at the end of it.
As is everyone's - We all took that risk at some stage, for some it worked out for some it did not.

If you can't decide, or are not 100% passionate about flying, then don't do it!

PS: Can your relo's pull some strings for me?
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Old 1st Feb 2014, 06:25
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If you only have a moderate interest it will not be enough.

The job requires passion and discipline. If you don't love it, the journey is simply to long and treacherous.

It's also not fun having job day every six months passing your checks. Your career could be set back because of a difference of opinion, particularly in regionals.

It'll be a ten year journey from now to an airliner via the traditional route and you will be starting your life over.

It took me a long time to catch my mates financially and I started the journey in my very early 20s.
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Old 1st Feb 2014, 06:33
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Funny thing about free advice...

I had uncles who were doctors who told me not to do it, "it's not what it once was".

I had uncles who were Architects who told me not to do that either - same reason.

Bloody good thing I didn't know any pilots.

I don't know if a "passing interest" is enough to get you through the tough times but I do know a few pilots who weren't total aviation anoraks and have done just fine.

It's only a job at the end of the day.

...and by the time you have been in it for 10 years you would have had any burning passion bashed out of you anyway. If you can muster the cash and the time to take on a new career, why not?

Go for it I say. It's more fun than most other jobs despite what the whingers on here will have you think!
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