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Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme

South Asia and Far East Wannabes A forum for those applying to Cathay Pacific, Dragonair or any other Hong Kong-based airline or operator. Use this area for both Direct Entry Pilot and Cadet-scheme queries.

Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme

Old 7th Feb 2024, 05:39
  #8241 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mantoholic
hello, they got back to you yet?
I got a response from the flight recruitment team confirming if I have the right to live and work in HK (which I do as I am an HKPR). Not sure if that’s a sign that they’re considering my application or not though.
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Old 7th Feb 2024, 10:21
  #8242 (permalink)  
 
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That salary is unheard of in other countries for public service @manthonic, and also enviable to ppl in the private sector at your age. people aren't even making half your salary at your age.. consider carefully if money is no object/ you got your finances in order / you got a backup plan if things dont pan out... or.. just go for it which is what someone in their mid 20's would do...
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Old 7th Feb 2024, 10:35
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Guessing the DESO are for those new grads from the aviation program or int'l talent but not quite FO hrs? Who else will meet ATPL req. with 250 Hrs behind a seat
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Old 12th Feb 2024, 11:49
  #8244 (permalink)  
 
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Hey man. From your earnings I would presume you are of senior officer grade (?). I also spent a bit of time in the gov and was on track to make a good income that people my page could hardly have. I understand how hard of a decision that was. But I was young and lucky enough to not have the burden that you have, and I got into the programme not long ago. Back-up plan is not doubt something you should consider. I would suggest if you were to go for it, make sure you have the financial reserve to cover your liabilities in the coming few years. And more importantly to have your family support. It is a risky and long commitment (for 6 yrs) for people with dependables.

Have you considered moving to Canada and do some recreational flying there?
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Old 13th Feb 2024, 04:56
  #8245 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mantoholic
Hi newbie here.

Have submitted my application to CX on 19th Jan but still pending reply. Got offer from HKIAA cadet programme, but it's too expensive plus employment is not guaranteed.

I just turned 36, earning over $120K/month in the public sector but sick of my job. Have mortgage, a wife and Canada passport. No aviation experience except flight sim. Have been thinking of pursuing an aviation dream and seeking inspirations in this forum, instead finding the realistic side of this sector.

Applied for the CX CPP before COVID but was rejected at the initial stage. No idea why.

It's a very difficult decision to start all over. Anyone have similar experiences?
I think it is very difficult to give suggestion to a person that have currently a stable salary that is comparable to a airline captain to resign from the current job and all-in to start another career at the age of mid-30s.
Here is my humble suggestion from a university student to-be graduated this summer could give you:

Other than Canadian passport, do you still have any other kinds of foreign residency/citizenship/ work permit? Say US/AU or even Europe.
No matter yes or no, I would suggest that you can make use of your annual leave/ holidays to go to US or Canada to have a discovery flight (and even try to get a private pilot license but it might take for few months even studying full-time) to see if you are really interested to become a pilot. Simply obtaining a PPL won't cost too much at your current income. (I think you could get a trial flight at South-East Asia for cheaper price, though getting a license at South-East Asia might not be a very wise choice since they might have less global accreditation)

Many people on the internet said they start to become a pilot even at the age of 40s/50s or above, so it shouldn't be too late for you to start flying at your age.
However, given that you still have mortgage and a family, I think you have better pay back all your mortgage first before you resign so you won't fall in a financial trouble after you switched your path to aviation. Better reserve about $1M for flight training cost (From 0 hours to flight instructor rating finished)
The difficulties for a career in pilot concentrates between 0 hours to getting your first job in regional airline. If you could get yourself to 1500hrs flight hours for PIC, it should make you competitive to find a job and the remaining part is to keep accumulating hours to get into major airlines

Hope my suggestions help and wish you can achieve your dream!
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Old 13th Feb 2024, 12:11
  #8246 (permalink)  
 
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The aviation sector in Hong Kong is incredibly difficult to navigate. While I do know of people who joined CX as SOs in their late 30s and even 40s, the career stagnation during the SO tenure (not to mention the constant effects of jet lag from operating during the window of circadian low), can make it a difficult position to hold. Also, one would not have an income during the cadet program, and will receive a reduced salary for several years after cadet graduation. If one holds a lot of cash on reserve and a Canadian passport, I would say either to go to Canada and build an aviation career over there, or perhaps consider the HKIAA program, since it gets you into the right seat right away assuming you get hired.
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Old 15th Feb 2024, 04:01
  #8247 (permalink)  
 
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Hi there, I am in an oddly similar situation as mantoholic having just turned 35, with a Canadian passport and seriously considering pursuing this path (again). The only difference is I've no mortgage or dependables. I applied to CX cadet program 12 years ago but didn't make it past the interview. My career went another path since and have now saved up enough to consider either HKIAA cadet program, living in another country (Cape Town or New Zealand) for flight training for X months/year, or applying to CX cadet program again.

From those I've asked thus far, it seems CX cadet program is the best way to go as it guarantees a job at the end, takes the shortest time and cheapest immediate cost of the 3 options. I understand I wouldn't have income or have reduced salary for the next six years but I should be fine if I'm frugal with my finances. Boulanger curious as to why you suggested not to go with the CX cadet program route given that it should be the fastest and immediately cheapest option between 0 hours and first job.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
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Old 15th Feb 2024, 05:45
  #8248 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mistertoms
Hi there, I am in an oddly similar situation as mantoholic having just turned 35, with a Canadian passport and seriously considering pursuing this path (again). The only difference is I've no mortgage or dependables. I applied to CX cadet program 12 years ago but didn't make it past the interview. My career went another path since and have now saved up enough to consider either HKIAA cadet program, living in another country (Cape Town or New Zealand) for flight training for X months/year, or applying to CX cadet program again.

From those I've asked thus far, it seems CX cadet program is the best way to go as it guarantees a job at the end, takes the shortest time and cheapest immediate cost of the 3 options. I understand I wouldn't have income or have reduced salary for the next six years but I should be fine if I'm frugal with my finances. Boulanger curious as to why you suggested not to go with the CX cadet program route given that it should be the fastest and immediately cheapest option between 0 hours and first job.

Any advice is greatly appreciated!
If you are a Canadian, why don't you do the flight training in Canada? You can try to get a low time pilot job in Canada to accumulate some flying hours then jump to Jazz or WestJet Encore meanwhile applying CX DESO or HKE SO/FO.
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Old 15th Feb 2024, 12:06
  #8249 (permalink)  
 
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mistertoms I'm sure at some point in life you've heard of the phrase "if it's too good to be true, then it probably is." It is an apt phrase, as on the surface, the cadet program being the "fastest and immediately cheapest" option sounds like a very good deal. I thought it was a pretty good deal many years ago too, although I cannot say the same today. I am not one to try and persuade anyone to not give it a shot, but for your own sake, you better know what you are getting into first.

When you go in as a cadet, you will have no salary for the first year and a bit. You are not even employed by CX until you are actually finished. Once you do finish, you will be bonded for more than half a decade and will have a fresh Hong Kong Commercial Pilot License (CPL), with just bare minimum hours that make it impossible to convert this license to another country CPL without supplementary training. Regardless, you will be locked in with CX. Assuming they give you an offer to become a Second Officer (SO), you will then proceed to get a P2X type rating, which is essentially a restricted type rating forbidding you to do takeoffs and landings and to even touch the controls below 20,000 feet. The only experience that is of any value in aviation is P1 and P2, not P2X, so you will not exactly be gaining any experience during your tenure. You will start year 1 as a brand new inexperienced pilot. If you get stuck as an stuck as an SO for a number of years, you will still be a brand new inexperienced pilot by the end of however many years of your tenure. Last I checked, people were waiting for 6-7 years, and the P2X will prevent you from leaving (on top of the bond mentioned above) unless you have prior experience. The length you serve is a tossup. There used to be a 5 year cap. Not anymore.

So, you will be stuck for a few years, which in my opinion is not recommended for someone in their 30s. You will likely come across First Officers or even Captains who are younger than you while you serve grinding away doing fuel checks and making bunks at 3 am in the morning. Your upgrade to First Officer is also not guaranteed, you will need to interview again for the role at some point, and if there is anything CX is transparent to their own staff, it is that they don't earnestly care about your career progression. It is cheaper for them to hire an experienced First Officer externally than to upgrade their own second officers (of whom they can easily replace), since the latter requires more training resources and thus more cost to fill the role. CX is very comfortable in filling FO roles with experienced external hires, and back filling SOs since there is no shortage of local demand. The only exception to this is when they are desperate. Additionally, if you have not followed aviation news during the year or two, you may be interested to know that CX is at the forefront of working with airbus in working out a solution for single pilot operations in the cruise for long hauls. Much of your functioning role as a Second Officer can already be replaced by automation in those shiny new A350s. Regardless of whether this happens in the near future, do you really want to be stuck in a role where you cannot gain experience, where your employer prevents you in leaving, and where your employer is also actively trying to find a way to replace you by a machine? Your call.

You mentioned you hold a Canadian passport. Canadians overseas who are fresh out of flight school can acquire PIC/Co-pilot time (essentially P1 and P2). Many regional airlines these days go as far as hiring fresh CPLs out of flight school with the kind of pilot shortage they have in that side of the world. Those who don't make it to the airlines right away can still find jobs instructing, or working for smaller charter operators acquiring valuable experience. Is it more expensive? Sure. Is the pay there glamorous? Absolutely not, but neither is the rest of aviation these days. However, in 6-7 years, there is a good chance many of them become captains on some kind of aircraft.

Last edited by Boulanger; 15th Feb 2024 at 12:27.
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Old 15th Feb 2024, 15:33
  #8250 (permalink)  
 
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Waiting time

Hi everyone, how long does it normally take for the application to be deleted from the portal after final interview?
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Old 16th Feb 2024, 15:56
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Awaiting the results

Originally Posted by lasi
Hi everyone, how long does it normally take for the application to be deleted from the portal after final interview?
When was your final interview? I had my interview on 05/02, but still haven’t heard back from them.
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Old 17th Feb 2024, 12:45
  #8252 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by lasi
Hi everyone, how long does it normally take for the application to be deleted from the portal after final interview?
from 2hrs to 2weeks
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Old 18th Feb 2024, 00:53
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Originally Posted by wywkwok
When was your final interview? I had my interview on 05/02, but still haven’t heard back from them.
It was last week. Is your application still in portal?
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Old 18th Feb 2024, 13:31
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Results Awaiting

Originally Posted by lasi
It was last week. Is your application still in portal?
Ya, still active.
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Old 19th Feb 2024, 00:21
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Originally Posted by wywkwok
Ya, still active.
if the application is still in your portal you should be fine.
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Old 20th Feb 2024, 08:49
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Does anyone know what questions they ask in the Initial Interview?
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Old 20th Feb 2024, 14:31
  #8257 (permalink)  
 
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Hi there. Newbie here. Have a few questions to ask about the program.

1) What does a cruise relief pilot do actually? Why can't they fly? I thought a pilot was supposed to fly an airplane, like a uber driver, no? (There is no job description on the job ad)
2) I am in LGBT group. Is the program GAY FRIENDLY? Will they kick you out when they found out that you are gay? (Sorry but HK still does not recognise same sex marriage)
3) Will they allow you to hook up with anyone during training? Like, if you hook up with a stranger or your classmate and get caught, will they kick you out straight away? or they just don't care?
4) The medical test, do they care about your sexual history or background? Do they care if you have STD, STI or not?

There is so little information on their website, no job description, and the requirements are so vague. Any insight would be appreciated!
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Old 24th Feb 2024, 01:58
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Anyone have any ideas on how the ICAO will be done, considering that I have no experience at all when it comes to communicating at an aviation type level? I will be doing my ICAO test on the 28th and I feel like I am too unprepared for it looking at the tests that will be done
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Old 27th Feb 2024, 09:12
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Originally Posted by lasi
Hi everyone, how long does it normally take for the application to be deleted from the portal after final interview?
Have you heard back from cx?
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Old 28th Feb 2024, 03:11
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Flipthebird, there you go.

SO Guide. Part 1. Introduction and Despatch

Originally Posted by AKOTA
The Ultimate SO Guide
By Second Officers X, Y and Z.


Introduction

Ever dreamed of soaring among the clouds, pushing the throttles forward as you accelerate 400tonns of metal down the runway? Watched aviators navigate the skies, arriving with a firm touchdown some fourteen hours later and wonder if that could ever be you? Remaining calm as you’re confronted with an emergency requiring all your knowledge and skill to be applied in just the right sequence to save the lives of your passengers and crew?

As a Second Officer, you can forget all that. Your function is to eat any food not consumed by senior crewmembers, prepare the bunks for the real pilots and stare into darkness knowing that if anything actually happens which require the last bit of decision making or actual pilot skills, you’re on your way to the back of the cockpit as fast as you can say “sandwich?”

Since your job doesn’t really amount to much, the company hasn’t bothered to write a job description for you. The only place you’re mentioned is when describing your place in the food-chain; squeezed in tightly between the ISM and the safety pilot. In real life, mind you, you’re below the ISM, the captain’s wife, all first class passengers, as well as any positioning aircrew. If you want some respect as a result of your fancy title and giant hat, the 19 year old stationed at L5 is your best bet. Anyone wearing black, blue or purple uniform is above you, and if it wasn’t for the fact that there are actually two pilots required in the cockpit, you’d never see any of them from takeoff to landing.

So we’ve written this guide to help you along in your new role as a Second Officer. With the ink still wet on your P2X rating and your hat still looking like a nuclear mushroom cloud, reading the following pages will at least let you pretend to know what you’re supposed to be doing.


Dispatch

Sign on time is 70 minutes prior to departure. You’d be an idiot to actually show up 70 minutes prior to departure, giving away your newbie status immediately. As a Second Officer, you’re expected to be there early enough to stock the flight documents bag with all the essentials; ear plugs, sanitary wipes, moisturizers and covers for the headsets. You’ll ultimately be blamed if a missed NOTAM causes any problems down the line, so you’re also expected to memorize closed taxiways and shortened runways for airports you’ll never see from your windowless seat. You should retrieve the DDG from dispatch if there are any ADD’s raised, and be prepared to wait outside the circle as the rest of the crew huddle in secrecy to discuss any implications the DDG might have. Once they’ve finished, you take the DDG back to dispatch without a clue as to what just happened.

This takes us on to the flight documents. Gross-error checks are big part of the operation, and just like real pilots you’re expected to make your own little notes on your own little paper in your own non-standardized way about the flight. Make a note of the estimated ZFW on your paper, and when the others decide on how much fuel to bring, add that to the ZFW. You now have your very own ramp weight, and after deducting any taxi burn you should be able to estimate your TOW. A further deduction of trip-fuel should give you the landing weight, which as the SO has no meaning to you what-so-ever.

Some captains, having recently completed a CRM course, might ask you about relevant NOTAMS or weather of concern. But most don’t. Keeping your mouth shut, your back straight and your eyes down will make you look the role of a seasoned SO; not expected to provide any useful information and not deemed worthy to share any with.

As the “briefing” comes to a close, expect the ISM to approach the table having finished her own separate briefing for the cabin crew at a different location. You have no idea what she has told her crew, and in the best CRM fashion she has no idea what we're expecting from the flight. She will smile, introduce herself to the Captain, and shake your hand.

With everything set to go, your job is to collect all the paperwork, less the Initial Dispatch Message and Crew Currency Sheet. Place them in the flight documents bag and carry them to the aircraft like the junior crewmember you are. If the captain wears a jacket, put on a jacket. If he wears a hat, put on your hat. And off you go to board the bus.
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