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Old 5th Oct 2013, 14:15   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Moe's
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China Southern B787/777 Captain

I have an intrerview coming up very soon with CSA for a LHR base, is anyone currently doing this contract who can offer some advice on the interview process, rosters etc?
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Old 5th Oct 2013, 14:51   #2 (permalink)
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Not much help but I do know six guys in my base went and only one got hired. Apprently for DEC it was more the medical examinations that were there biggest stumbling blocks. Sure others will be more help.
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Old 6th Oct 2013, 04:29   #3 (permalink)
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Cheers 4reds, what type are they currently flying? I have heard that the astronaut medical is a big stumbling block, no beers for the next couple of weeks for me!
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Old 6th Oct 2013, 11:20   #4 (permalink)
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They all had over 10,000tt flying the 737 with most being TRI/TRE qualified. Good luck
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Old 6th Oct 2013, 14:59   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2006
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CSA screening

On the first day you just arrive and check into the hotel and get some rest. The next day you have to do the chinese ATP written test. It' s 100 questions in two and a half hours. Shouldn't be a problem with a bit of study. You need at least 70%. In the afternoon you go to the uniform fitting. Then in the evening you will go by bus to Zuhai which is about two hours from Guangzhou. There you might get the briefing for the sim check. On the third day will be the sim evaluation. They usually stick to the profile you get from your agency. It' s a busy session with a lot of handflying and raw data. So make sure you're at your best flying/ handling skills. Be prepared to get no debrief at all after the sim. It seems like close to 80% fail the sim!
When you pass the sim you have the first part of the medical the next day. After that you can go home and have to return a month later for the second part of the medical. Needless to say that a lot of guys fail the medical as well...
Best of luck!

Last edited by Sunrig; 6th Oct 2013 at 15:28.
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Old 7th Oct 2013, 01:51   #6 (permalink)
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Cheers Sunrig, did you get through?
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Old 7th Oct 2013, 05:02   #7 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2006
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The info sunrig posted is pretty right, 70% failed sim on my screening a few weeks back, all good guys with lots of experience. The medical was split into 2 parts when I did it, day 1 the basics of chest X-ray, blood pressure, physical, ultrasound, blood test etc. The rest of the medical is completed on day 5, but only by those that have passed the sim, it includes MRI of brain, stress ECG on treadmill, ultrasound of heart and main artery. The ATPL exam requires a lot of study as the CAAC data base seems to be throwing out a number of new & previously unseen questions, all of no real use or practical application. Sim ride varies depending on which aircraft you do it on, but do any sim practise you can get or sim supports for your mates if you can get them. 5 out of 15 passed on the 737, 1 on 767, 1 on 777 & 1 on airbus, the guys who failed had reasons given they all varied. The screening week is very stressful and only those that have completed it would understand, go with the flow & do what they ask of you it is a good workout. Yes I got through.

Last edited by ao767; 7th Oct 2013 at 05:16.
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Old 8th Oct 2013, 13:57   #8 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Question FAA test preps

Ao767 would it help going thru any of the FAA ATPL reviewers like ASA Publications or the Gleim test prep. An ex colleague now working in China says the test is patterned after the FAA exam. Which specific test preps did you prepare on? Longreach China also advertises a basing in Sydney. Would Sydney basing be available for the B787? Thanks in advance.
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Old 8th Oct 2013, 21:22   #9 (permalink)
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Australian ports are all A330 at this stage Roger, you would have to commute out of Auckland to live in Sydney, that can all change of course, but the agency I'm going through said they were unaware of any plans to send the 787 or 777 to Oz.
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Old 8th Oct 2013, 21:44   #10 (permalink)
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Now there's a confidence killer...failing a sim by the chinese.
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Old 9th Oct 2013, 16:18   #11 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2004
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The information is pretty right. I have also passed the screening on the second week of August. The ATPL is not a deal breaker, as they let you come back once to repeat it. You need a 70 or better out of 100 multiple choice questions (only a,b,c). The ones who pass do it with a 72 or so and the ones who fail do it with a 67 or 68, so it's all up to 4 or 5 questions. I was on the lucky side and what really matters is to study as many banks of questions as you can. Just google Chinese ATPL and you will find a bunch on the net. It's very similar to the FAA ATPL so the GLEIM book is definitely a good help.

In any case, everyone makes it to the SIM, weather you fail the written or not. They give you a SIM profile and they stick to it. It doesn't have anything you haven't seen before, but it is tiring as most of it is flown by hand on raw data (no FD's). You will do it on your present ACFT and they even let you use your own checklists and SOP's. 4 hours total (2 each). I did it on the B737 and I found particularly difficult the windshear right after takeoff. I firewalled the thrust levers and kept pulling up to the stick shaker and even then I was getting no climb. I ended up banking left and right to avoid the buildings and I thought we were dead, but at the end it started climbing again.

They also do "map shifting" for the SE RAW data ILS, which means that if you are spot on on the LOC, the magenta line on the MAP display will be left/right of the ACFT symbol which is contradictory and confusing. They really want you to ignore the MAP/FMC data and just fly the needle, which was difficult for me as it's something you never do on the line.

I won't comment the medical because you are in the hands of God. In any case you only receive the medical results 3 weeks after the screening (that was my case).

All in all, I personally received a very good treatment with high levels of courtesy. They paid for everything including all meals. It's just a bit boring eating noodles 3 times a day. We definitely appreciated our beers and a fat burger on the last day on an Irish pub, which seemed like an embassy to all of us.

My recommendation is not to get crazy with the ATPL as the SIM is the deal breaker. I don't think you need any hours on the SIM (I didn't get any). You just review the QRH for the events on the profile and keep your concentration high along with your courtesy levels.

Fire away if you need any further details and good luck to everyone...
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Old 9th Oct 2013, 21:24   #12 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Europe
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Just curious about the flying itself. Is it pretty much UK-to-China and back or do pilots fly onward to Australia, other Asian 787 destinations, etc.?
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Old 10th Oct 2013, 15:17   #13 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2003
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they now want a 20K USD bank guarantee before you start. Check with your agencies. A deal breaker for most.
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Old 10th Oct 2013, 19:39   #14 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Europe
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Question Typical roster.

Does anyone know what a typical roster looks likes for expats based in USA/Europe/Auckland?
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Old 18th Oct 2013, 06:54   #15 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: China
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CS 787/777


I also passed the screening in early August. Has anyone actually got a start date yet? I've been chasing documents down for two months but have been given no information from CS regarding possible start dates or aircraft type yet.
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Old 18th Oct 2013, 10:16   #16 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: wyoming
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A friend of mine also passed the screening recently but will most likely not go. The terms are vague and seem to be rapidly changing. The earliest class will most likely no be until March 2014. The contract has 3 options but is not what it really seems. For example one option is 45 days on and 14 days off. What this really means is in a 2 month period you will have 14 days free from duty NOT in one block. The other option is listed as a BNE or MEL option. This will not be what it really seems. You may start in MEL but go fly a 7 day trip ending in Guanzhou with only 2 days off. Your next sequence will start and end in Guanzhou. You may on occasion get a trip which starts and ends in MEL but don't count on it. The other option is a 20 days on and 10 off, but the pay is reduced to only 13K per month. The 20K bond will be in effect. Non rated pilots will be Cruise Captains for a minimum of 1 year and NOT the PIC. There are A-320 contracts paying 20K plus per month and 6 weeks on and 16 days off which are much more attractive.
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Old 19th Oct 2013, 09:30   #17 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2006
Age: 53
Posts: 254
CSA Bonds

Not sure where this bond thing is coming from guys? The master contract requires THE AGENCY to pay CSA if you resign inside two years post the type rating... This is then reflected in the contract that you sign with the agency....

NOW if your agency is making you put up a bank guarantee or cash up front , flick them OFF !!! If you resign inside of the period, YOU ARE LIABLE for the amount remaining TO THE AGENCY.

My point is , some agencies are prepared to take the risk ( and chase you for it if you leave ) , others, such as PARC dont want the risk and are asking you to stump up I think...

Does that clear up the concept?

I am 330 MEL based and it is a great gig... Not perfect, but for guys looking to get a widebody endorsement etc it is pretty good. The rosters for the 777 guys will be pretty good I reckon ... And for the few pilots living iN GZ , they seem to be enjoying it ... The two italian guys here on the 330 are opening a restaraunt with the coach of the GZ soccer team ... So plenty to think about...

Come prepared if you are off a narrow body as the pass rate is low ... CSA do not like 'oleary one ' high energy arrivals with gear at 1200 ' etc!!! Back it all up to above 1500' (final stabilisation) , and practice some hand flying and you will do ok...if the medical doesnt knock you out which is random and genetics!

Go to ... Longreachchina.com for a list of FAQs ( no bond!)
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Old 19th Oct 2013, 11:05   #18 (permalink)

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. You just review the QRH for the events on the profile and keep your concentration high along with your courtesy levels.
By maintaining that exact attitude,I can tell you that your stay will be a breezer.
Good on you
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Old 19th Oct 2013, 13:14   #19 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: europe
Posts: 58
Cruise Captain???


Just wondering where you got the info on non-rated DEC's being given only cruise captain position for the first year? Is it a real cruise captain position i.e No controls below 10000' or are you just 'Junior Captain' to the Chinese counterpart you are heavy crewed up with??

If its a real cruise Captain position then i guess it could be a deal breaker for many.

Best regards

Last edited by mach85; 19th Oct 2013 at 13:16.
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Old 19th Oct 2013, 18:25   #20 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: China
Posts: 9
My understanding is you are just rosters as the junior Captain until they are confident you have enough company and route experience. I was told you will still be doing your share of take offs and landings. Apparently FOs are not permitted to operate as PF with foreign Captains.
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