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Newbie & Flying Training Advice (Merged)

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Newbie & Flying Training Advice (Merged)

Old 3rd Apr 2023, 09:20
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Alright matey
He's matey, I'm old mate. ​​​​​​​
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Old 6th Apr 2023, 15:04
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Aviation Degree (e.g., UNSW) vs. Airline Cadetships

Hi everyone,

I'm exploring potential career paths in aviation for when I finish HS. I'm interested in an Aviation Degree (for example, at UNSW) and applying for an airline cadetship. Both options seem to have their unique benefits and drawbacks, and I have some queries.

I noticed that the ATAR entry mark for the UNSW aviation degree is 70, which doesn't seem too competitive when compared to the selection process for airline cadetships. For those of you with experience in the industry or familiarity with these paths, could you please share your insights on the advantages and disadvantages of an aviation degree compared to a cadetship, considering factors like competitiveness, career progression, and industry opportunities?

Why is the Aviation Degree ATAR for UNSW 70 when cadetships are extremely competitive? Most cadetships in Australia don't guarantee employment, for example, students studying aviation at UNSW can apply to the same future pilot program that Qantas cadets apply for.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
clamspread

Last edited by clamspread; 7th Apr 2023 at 06:28.
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Old 7th Apr 2023, 08:18
  #923 (permalink)  
 
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The only upside in any degree is for the education institutions balance sheet. I worked in recruitment in a previous employer (airline), we did not take a degree into any decision making, nobody cares, I never had a pilot in a interview mention it either, as they know, its pointless and management don't care. The ATAR mark is low because they are after numbers, ie profit. In fact, many education providers are currently in balance sheet repair mode after the previous few years, expect the entry barrier to possible even reduce further.

A Cadetship will be always be competitive. You are essentially bypassing the GA route which is very unattractive (too hard) for many. Financial assistance is also offered.

If you get into a cadetship, then great, if not, it's not the end. Work full time until mid 20s, self fund a CPL, get some 210 time, move to Darwin and they will hire you soon after.
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Old 7th Apr 2023, 11:28
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Thanks for the response,How competitive are cadetships? I've heard that cadet programs may be hesitant to accept recent high school graduates due to their limited real-world experience.

What are the potential drawbacks of obtaining an aviation degree? How does career development differ when comparing earning a Commercial Pilot License independently versus through an aviation degree program? While GA isn't an area of interest, I'm open to necessary options to progress in the aviation sector.



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Old 7th Apr 2023, 23:36
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The draw back at uni is time wasted on unnecessary subjects that make the course take the required length of time. For example if you go through a small school full time you can easily finish your CPL within 12 months and be out trying to find work where the uni students will still have two or three years still studying. If you can find a job you could be 1000+ hours ahead of the others. That’s IF you can find a job! As many are finding it’s not quite that easy.

I don’t have any figures on how competitive cadet shops are but anecdotally I’ve heard a minimum of 4-5 applicants for every slot (when they are doing them).
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Old 8th Apr 2023, 01:05
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If COVID taught pilots anything its that the Aviation Degree is worthless when the industry locks down! Self fund the CPL (if you miss cadet) and part time look to do a trade (electrical, plumbing, whatever, take your pick). That time spent telling some uni course admin person in 5000 words or less how "avaition fits in a modern society" or some nonsense will be better spent getting a trade that will pay your bills and fund your flying and life.
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Old 8th Apr 2023, 01:50
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Originally Posted by engine out
The draw back at uni is time wasted on unnecessary subjects that make the course take the required length of time. For example if you go through a small school full time you can easily finish your CPL within 12 months and be out trying to find work where the uni students will still have two or three years still studying. If you can find a job you could be 1000+ hours ahead of the others. Thatís IF you can find a job! As many are finding itís not quite that easy.

I donít have any figures on how competitive cadet shops are but anecdotally Iíve heard a minimum of 4-5 applicants for every slot (when they are doing them).
Seems like Unis are just money-making schemes; I'll steer clear. How hard is it to find a GA job? I was under the impression that there was a certain level of demand in this sector.

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Old 8th Apr 2023, 02:05
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Originally Posted by BO0M
If COVID taught pilots anything its that the Aviation Degree is worthless when the industry locks down! Self fund the CPL (if you miss cadet) and part time look to do a trade (electrical, plumbing, whatever, take your pick). That time spent telling some uni course admin person in 5000 words or less how "avaition fits in a modern society" or some nonsense will be better spent getting a trade that will pay your bills and fund your flying and life.

Yep, I agree. I'd like to get a degree while also getting my CPL, but I probably wouldn't have the monetary means to do so. So instead of getting a trade, I might consider the police force. Probationary Constable salary is great.

I've seen most cadetships are ab initio; I've got some flight hours. Would that put me at a disadvantage?
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Old 9th Apr 2023, 12:01
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What ever flying school you think you might consider doing your flying training you must do some thorough background checking. What is the experience of the instructors? does the training school have a demonstrated record (names not just numbers) of graduates employed, and where were they employed? how long do the instructors get to spend with you for pre- and post flight brief for every hours flights?; what is the cost breakdown and how much do you pay up front (never pay a whole course up front, but progress payments may be reasonable, check the fine print); how is the theory delivered and at what cost?. Check to see what training fees include (landing fees, instruction, fuel, theory, repeat flights...) and what is not included.

Whether you will want to use a government loan (HECS Help or FEE-Help; make sure you understand the difference) will depend on whether you have cash up front (a rich uncle scrooge, family savings or personal savings) or need a loan. The government loans to universities are always loaded with "on-costs" which are added to the actual costs of training, however even training organisations without government loan affiliations will often still charge comparable amounts. The practice of training on weekends and earning through the week is inefficient and not conducive to building flying capability quickly or effectively. So if young and penniless the loans are a way forward. (It takes several years to get a trade qualification, say as a sparky, and then several more years to save cash, so this is a very long pathway).

Not all universities are the same in terms of entry criteria, and postgraduate employability. Check on both, rumours abound; an earlier post suggests UNSW ATAR is 70; not long ago I believe it was ~80. A University degree does indicate some measure of ability to absorb and understand technical information and also some maturity of living and working with others, so can add to employability for some types of flying positions where this is useful. Visit the school on open days and also get a personal interview. Try to get to talk with current students in private to get their real opinions.

It is your pathway to choose, and every path is expensive in cost, and of course takes time ( and precludes or postpones another choice). Good luck
Seabreeze





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Old 9th Apr 2023, 23:22
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Originally Posted by Seabreeze
What ever flying school you think you might consider doing your flying training you must do some thorough background checking. What is the experience of the instructors? does the training school have a demonstrated record (names not just numbers) of graduates employed, and where were they employed? how long do the instructors get to spend with you for pre- and post flight brief for every hours flights?; what is the cost breakdown and how much do you pay up front (never pay a whole course up front, but progress payments may be reasonable, check the fine print); how is the theory delivered and at what cost?. Check to see what training fees include (landing fees, instruction, fuel, theory, repeat flights...) and what is not included.
Unless you have someone with you that has an aviation background, none of the above will mean anything to a newbie. Therein lies the problem.
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Old 10th Apr 2023, 11:06
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Originally Posted by Seabreeze
What ever flying school you think you might consider doing your flying training you must do some thorough background checking. What is the experience of the instructors? does the training school have a demonstrated record (names not just numbers) of graduates employed, and where were they employed? how long do the instructors get to spend with you for pre- and post flight brief for every hours flights?; what is the cost breakdown and how much do you pay up front (never pay a whole course up front, but progress payments may be reasonable, check the fine print); how is the theory delivered and at what cost?. Check to see what training fees include (landing fees, instruction, fuel, theory, repeat flights...) and what is not included.

Whether you will want to use a government loan (HECS Help or FEE-Help; make sure you understand the difference) will depend on whether you have cash up front (a rich uncle scrooge, family savings or personal savings) or need a loan. The government loans to universities are always loaded with "on-costs" which are added to the actual costs of training, however even training organisations without government loan affiliations will often still charge comparable amounts. The practice of training on weekends and earning through the week is inefficient and not conducive to building flying capability quickly or effectively. So if young and penniless the loans are a way forward. (It takes several years to get a trade qualification, say as a sparky, and then several more years to save cash, so this is a very long pathway).

Not all universities are the same in terms of entry criteria, and postgraduate employability. Check on both, rumours abound; an earlier post suggests UNSW ATAR is 70; not long ago I believe it was ~80. A University degree does indicate some measure of ability to absorb and understand technical information and also some maturity of living and working with others, so can add to employability for some types of flying positions where this is useful. Visit the school on open days and also get a personal interview. Try to get to talk with current students in private to get their real opinions.

It is your pathway to choose, and every path is expensive in cost, and of course takes time ( and precludes or postpones another choice). Good luck
Seabreeze

Thanks for the response,
I'll be happy with any pathway that leads me into aviation, but as it stands, I'm most interested in the cadetship and Uni pathways. I'll be taking out a loan either way. I've conducted some research on post-graduate pathways via LinkedIn, and I've discovered that Cadetships and University programs yield fairly comparable outcomes. A notable number of Rex Saab FOs are graduates of AAPA, while many QLink Q300/400 FOs have successfully transitioned through the Future Pilot Program with backgrounds from both FTA and Uni.



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Old 10th Apr 2023, 11:38
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A notable number of Rex Saab FOs are graduates of AAPA
Deeper research required, AAPA is owned by REX, that's why there are loads of AAPA graduates in REX.

​​​​​​​while many QLink Q300/400 FOs have successfully transitioned through the Future Pilot Program with backgrounds from both FTA and Uni.
​​​​​​​Many? Don't think so, deeper research required. The numbers are very low.
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Old 10th Apr 2023, 12:28
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Just be careful with LinkedIn. Those degrees are generally connected to a Cadetship or something, especially Rex. Anyone that has AAPA connected to a profile is a Rex cadet. Common across the Rex FO ranks as that is a lever Rex uses to man its fleet.

Not sure degrees are that widespread outside of the Cadet schemes. Aside the cadets I sit next to, the rest are GA. Nobody that I am aware of is ex degree. See my point earlier, in recruitment, it wasnít something we factored in. It was on some resumes, when we conducted the interview, none of them mentioned it, as they know, nobody cares.

How hard is it to find a GA job? I was under the impression that there was a certain level of demand in this sector.
Itís more a demand for a certain type of pilot the employer is looking for. Letís take Darwin for
example. To be successful, you need to actually live there, have what they actually want, which generally involves a dozen or so hours in a 206/210, a retractable gear rating, and the right attitude. Last one is probably the most important. Forget IFR/Twin ratings at 200 hours, not important.

Age can play a part. The pool these days is largely early to late twenties, generally somewhere in first to middle range. I was speaking to a GA owner last year, he was after two people, had 50 resumes, they all sat in 20-25 years old range, then he had one random bloke mid 30s, local, ex corporate career, single with no ties. Guess who got the job. Your competition might be someone older who comes from other life. That is why I advise perhaps donít rush, live life, travel the world, buy a house. Revisit late 20s, you will likely slot into a job easier, your confidence level is chalk and cheese from 20 to 30.
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Old 10th Apr 2023, 14:05
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Originally Posted by PoppaJo
Just be careful with LinkedIn. Those degrees are generally connected to a Cadetship or something, especially Rex. Anyone that has AAPA connected to a profile is a Rex cadet. Common across the Rex FO ranks as that is a lever Rex uses to man its fleet.

Not sure degrees are that widespread outside of the Cadet schemes. Aside the cadets I sit next to, the rest are GA. Nobody that I am aware of is ex degree. See my point earlier, in recruitment, it wasnít something we factored in. It was on some resumes, when we conducted the interview, none of them mentioned it, as they know, nobody cares.


Itís more a demand for a certain type of pilot the employer is looking for. Letís take Darwin for
example. To be successful, you need to actually live there, have what they actually want, which generally involves a dozen or so hours in a 206/210, a retractable gear rating, and the right attitude. Last one is probably the most important. Forget IFR/Twin ratings at 200 hours, not important.

Age can play a part. The pool these days is largely early to late twenties, generally somewhere in first to middle range. I was speaking to a GA owner last year, he was after two people, had 50 resumes, they all sat in 20-25 years old range, then he had one random bloke mid 30s, local, ex corporate career, single with no ties. Guess who got the job. Your competition might be someone older who comes from other life. That is why I advise perhaps donít rush, live life, travel the world, buy a house. Revisit late 20s, you will likely slot into a job easier, your confidence level is chalk and cheese from 20 to 30.
I don't think I could wait that long since I'm highly motivated. If I have to follow the GA path, I'd prefer to complete it as soon as possible. Wouldn't starting later in life impact seniority?

Could initiating a career in Europe potentially present more advantageous or simplified opportunities? I'm eligible to get a European passport.

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Old 10th Apr 2023, 14:13
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Originally Posted by tossbag
Deeper research required, AAPA is owned by REX, that's why there are loads of AAPA graduates in REX.



Many? Don't think so, deeper research required. The numbers are very low.
What is the typical trajectory for cadets who have completed cadetships that don't offer guaranteed employment? Given the high demand for pilots and re-emerging market, I assumed that good performance during the cadetship would enable advancement to airlines, perhaps following a brief stint as an instructor.
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Old 11th Apr 2023, 03:30
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I am fairly sure some have have been offered line pilot opportunities in the Torres Strait, Cairns region. I canít recall the operator but I think it was those cadets who trained from Brisbane.

I think Sharp Airlines offered a cadet scheme in the past, they might still do it, one would imagine it would be less competitive vs airlines.

Not sure what you mean by good performance within a cadetship.
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Old 11th Apr 2023, 10:31
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.
I think Sharp Airlines offered a cadet scheme in the past, they might still do it, one would imagine it would be less competitive vs airlines.
Yep, it's still around. It's a pretty expensive program, but you get a 1-year contract as an FO with them, where you rack up a minimum of 650 hours during your tenure. I believe it's the only cadetship providing employment, aside from Rex. Cobham might; I'm not sure.

Not sure what you mean by good performance within a cadetship.
I guess I'm referring to demonstrating a positive mindset and enthusiasm for learning, coupled with a mature demeanour during the cadetship. Instructors and administrators would be looking for that, right?


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Old 11th Apr 2023, 12:59
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Yep, it's still around. It's a pretty expensive program, but you get a 1-year contract as an FO with them, where you rack up a minimum of 650 hours during your tenure.
Having a look, you stump up 130k, donít get paid for the 15 months, then get a 12 month contract on 40k, then get dumped on the kerb unemployed.

I mean, seriously, what a disgrace. Iíd love to follow the money trail on that one.
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Old 12th Apr 2023, 10:02
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Having a look, you stump up 130k, don’t get paid for the 15 months, then get a 12 month contract on 40k, then get dumped on the kerb unemployed.
It would be interesting to see how many ex Sharp cadets get a gig anywhere after their 12 month contract? I know they've employed into the left seat after the 12 months, but elsewhere would be the key to deciding on doing it. I have seen gigs advertised that requires multi-crew experience, this would tick that box.

The qantas college thing or whatever it's called looks awful to me, there appears to be a lot of qantas prancing around at Wellcamp and lots of 'mentor' pilots but very little qantas employment.
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Old 22nd Apr 2023, 22:33
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Originally Posted by clamspread
I've seen most cadetships are ab initio; I've got some flight hours. Would that put me at a disadvantage?
Shouldn't be a problem mate. Have spoken to a Rex pilot who switched across from flight training school in Melbourne to AAPA/Wagga with an existing RPL or PPL (forgot which one). Rex selection program looks into previous flying and will test you on aviation knowledge so this is all good for your application. Just make sure not to go beyond PPL level if you're considering the cadetship route but a RPL should be fine. I had a PPL when I applied to Rex and got invited to the wombat test pretty soon. Good luck!
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