Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pilot Job for Private cadet pilot / Fresh CPL / Low timers 200-250 hour

Congratulations. After all your hard work, the enormous stress, huge sacrifices and what ever challenges that you may have face during your pilot training, you finally graduate. You cant wait to join the airlines and start flying. Well I how it feels because that is exactly how I feel last time and no words can describe the satisfaction when I obtained my wings and my Commercial Pilot License.I have compile a list of airlines taking low time hours and wish you all the best in your flying career.The journey begins..........

To download the list of jobs for low timers, click here

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

How to become a Pilot

There are basically 3 main ways to become a pilot. You can go via the self sponsor route, airline sponsor cadet or government sponsor via the military, air ambulance, police wings and etc etc. You can start your flying lessons at 17 all the way till as old as you want if you just want to fly for leisure. But I am pretty sure most of you would love to become a pilot as a life long career rather than for leisure. To do that, you need to enroll yourself in a flying school that provides you up till a commercial pilot license. 

Once you start your training, you have to apply for a student pilot license. Depending on which country you take up your flying, you will fly up till generally 50 hours in a single engine to obtain your Private pilot license (PPL). With a PPL, you can only fly small planes and can fetch people up the sky but you can’t charge them any money. Basically with a PPL, the intention is to fly for leisure. To fly and earn a living, after your PPL, you will continue to take up a Commercial Pilot License ( CPL ). In Asia, to get into the airlines, you will need to have a CPL with 165 hours in a single engine, 35 hours in a multi engine aircraft with a total of 200 hours. In addition you need to have an instrument rating and complete all ground exams to obtain a Frozen Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL ). I know all these jargon sounds alien to you, but I will explain more in detail in my future post as I just want to keep it simple for now on how to become a Pilot.

Self Sponsor Route – If you chose this route, you will have to pay your own flight training ( which cost a bomb ) with no guarantee of job after you graduate. Among the 3, this route is deem to be very risky. However, if you think about it, if you study for a diploma/degree, since when the university or any employer guarantee you a job. There is no age limit if you want to do the self sponsor way.

Airline Sponsor Route – This is the best route as you do not need to pay a single cent and you are guaranteed a job with that particular airline after you graduate.  To cover back the huge cost invested in you by the airline, you are normally bonded between 7 to 15 years. According to Cathay pacific, their total cost for their cadet pilot is a cool HKD 1 million. Not a small sum of money. Majority of airlines have a age limit of between 26-30.For example, Malaysian Airlines has a age limit of 26 while Air Asia at 28.

Government/Military – For those of you who like to fly fast and feel the adrenaline rush such as flying fighter jets with speeds faster than the speed of sound , you will have to apply with the air force which is normally being paid by the government. Though it is a common belief that those who are extremely good will be selected to fly fighter jets , some will be selected to fly transport aircraft or helicopter. As for non military, you may serve the air ambulance, police air wing unit, search and rescue and etc etc. Most air force pilots do not stay with the government for life as majority will join commercial airlines after their contract is up. In Singapore, the Singapore Air force (SAF ) retirement age is 45 and most will join Singapore Airlines after that.

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Cabin Crew Interview Tips

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As I have mention earlier, a cabin crew job attract thousands of applicants throughout the world. You WILL be competing among the best candidates from freshies, current and ex cabin crew and those with high academic qualification. Though you can join at the minimum age of 18 with a high school certificate, due to demand, airline is increasingly being choosy and give preference to university graduates. A check with Thai airways or Singapore airlines (especially foreign candidate) requires the minimum qualification of a degree holder.

Most people have the impression that by having good looks(though it is a plus point ), you will definitely get the job. Well I can tell you how wrong you are .If you have that impression, you will definitely fail. When airlines recruit, they are looking for someone who can embrace and propel the corporate image of their airline. So you need to be an all rounder especially your communication skills, your grooming, how well you work in a team and your passion towards flying.

So how do you make yourself stand out during the interview itself? The very first thing you have to do is to look presentable. When the interviewers look at you, first impression counts and it is extremely important. So make sure you dress up appropriately. Business attire would be advisable and please,no jeans, miniskirts and etc. For male applicant, wear a suit ( well I did that though I was look at being overdress and a laughing stock among the rest ).

Trust me from the moment you are there, you are being observed all the time. The way you speak, how you interact with others and how you carry yourself. Don’t be over confident as that can leave the impression that you are being arrogant. Be friendly, polite and courteous to both your interviewer and fellow candidates.

Your knowledge of the airline and that of the flight attendant job role will provide a great reference base upon which to be able to naturally answer any questions. By answering the question base on your experience, you’ll be able to provide consistency and accuracy in your answers without fabrication.

Key thing is to do your homework and read up as much as possible about the airline that you are applying such as their history, the planes they fly and their destinations. Below are samples of question you maybe ask :-

Why do you want to become a cabin crew?

Why should we hire you over other candidates?

What is your weakness ?

To download the complete Cabin Crew Question and Answers, click here

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Life as a Cabin Crew

Being a cabin crew is a dream job for many people. The chance to earn good salary, meeting people, experience different cultures and travel around the world for free attracts many applicant. It is being viewed as a glamorous job .Well, it is true to a certain extend depending on which airline you wish to join.

If you fly for a premium and legacy long haul airlines, yes , you get to see the world. However as the aviation industry evolve, more and more low cost airline (LCA ) becomes available. As the name suggest, to cut cost,if you fly for a LCA, normally there are no Nightstop or layover, which means that you do not get to travel. This kind of flight is called “turnaround” flight whereby you fly from your base to a particular destination only to return to your base. For example, Bangkok to hong kong and back to Bangkok again on the same day.

What is a job role as a cabin crew. Many people have the misconception that a cabin crew’s job is mainly to serve passengers only and do not realize that their main priority is the safety of the aircraft , crew members and the plane itself. Apart from being trained on services, they also have training on first aid as well as safety and emergency procedures (sep) . During emergency, their role is to reassure passengers, opening doors and inflating emergency slides for evacuation.

Depending on which airline you join , the training duration range from 5 weeks up to 4 months. Airline such as Emirates has a 5 weeks training schedule while Malaysian airlines is 4 months. You are being train on communication,grooming, first aid, sep, crew resource management, the aircraft that you will operate and finally the airlines standard operating procedure ( SOP ). I really did enjoy my training very much and my batchmates hails from different parts of the world. I am still in touch with some of them, thanks to facebook :)

Let’s start with the glamorous part of the job. As mention earlier if you fly for a legacy carrier, you get to travel around the world for free. That is the part that I love most as I have the opportunity to see at my last count 70% of the world. That is something I could not afford to pay for myself if it’s not for this job. I have make friends from everywhere and taste all kind of exotic food. My favorite destination are normally European destination such as Paris, Rome, Frankfurt , London to name a few. Besides I have the opportunity to fly with movie stars , celebrities and VIP personal. 

The job as a cabin crew is very demanding and tiring. You do not have a fixed working schedule as every month, you have a roster working different kind of shift from morning to afternoon to midnight with a couple of standby. My roster consist of mix pattern which normally has 1 long haul flight,3 medium haul and 2-3 turnaround flight. Long haul is classified as 11 hours and above and medium as 5-11h hours. Even though the working hours are long, you have to look at your best especially the ladies with full make up on. In addition as crew, we suffer jetlag ,eat and sleep at crazy timing and have to be away from families or the inability to attend important function such as Christmas,Chinese new year and etc etc.

A normal typical day for a crew during duty start off with you getting ready from home and be at the airport at least an hour and half before the standard time departure ( STD). Once there, you will have briefing among the crew on topic such as first aid, passengers that we normally experience in that particular sector, things to watch out and what not to bring to that destination. The captain will normally brief you on the weather condition and the flight time duration for that flight. Once that is done, you will proceed to the aircraft checking for any dangerous item on board and make sure that all stock and supplies are correct. Next, the boarding of passenger begins. Make sure all correct passengers are boarded, safety demo being shown and be prepared for takeoff. Once airborne, meal is served and to attend to every passenger's request with the goal of making sure everyone have a safe and pleasant flight.  

Nothing beats the satisfaction when a passenger comes up to me and tells me that they have one of the best flights of their life.


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How to become a Cabin crew/Flight attendant/Air hostess/Flight stewardess

Whenever people know that I used to be a Flight Steward before,I am often being asked "How do I apply to be a cabin crew ".Got this question a million times.So I thought why not I just write it here so that I don't have to repeat all over again. Notice that I put various names as the title.Many are often confuse as it is called differently in different region of the world.For instance,in Asia,you are normally known as flight stewardess,in India as air hostess , in Europe and Usa, as flight attendant and cabin crew in the middle east. But it is actually all the SAME.

First,you need to check the recruitment ad either through your local newspaper or the airline's website for the requirement.Some airlines hire both male and female but some only female for example Silk Air Singapore.Generally airlines recruit candidates at 18 all the way up till 35.Some airlines like Emirates hire cabin crew from nationality around the world while majority only if you have the right to live in that particular country. Why is that you may ask? Well, when you work for an airline, cabin crew are normally seen as a representative and ambassador not only to the airline but to the country of origin. I am sure when you fly Singapore Airlines, you can see that they promote heavily on the "Singapore Girl". However there are cases where other nationalities being recruited as well for their ability to speak in their mother tongue such as Japanese and Korean crew.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dancing Safety demo by CeBu Pacific Cabin Crew

This video about Cebu Pacific's flight attendant has been creating waves around the world. I am lucky that the airline that I have join last time were flying all widebody aircraft which do not require me to do a manual safety demo.The demo is being shown through the screen.I remember how piss we were when being told that the video system is not functioning and we all have to carry out a manual demo. Nevertheless kudos to the people in Cebu Pacific for being creative. Definitely will catch the passenger's attention. I know I would !!

From Ms.Thailand to an Air Asia Pilot

After competing in the Miss Universe 2005 pageant, Miss Thailand Chananporn Rosjan traded in her crown for a pilot's license. The first plane that Air Asia pilot Chananporn Rosjan -- or Nod –- ever flew solo was a Cessna 172, a single engine prop plane. She describes the flight as the most terrifying event of her life. “We were still at Don Muang Airport. A thunderstorm was coming in, it was turbulent. I had a trainer with me who would jump in if I ran into problems -- but he never did.” Despite her initial fears, Nod went on to pass every exam and obstacle the pilot training program put in her way. One of just five women in a graduating class of over 30, today she's among the few female pilots working in Asia’s male-dominated airline industries. 

Read more here