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Home > Becoming a Pilot > A self-sponsored cadet pilot sharing his experience at Swinburne University.
A self-sponsored cadet pilot sharing his experience at Swinburne University.
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Sunday, 16 December 2007 19:11

Hi Capt Lim,

This is a response to "Is there a quota imposed on the passing rate in a Flying Training School?" in previous FAQ.

I am currently attending Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne for my Bachelor of Aviation course. I am in my final year and in my course, I have to balance between university course work with flying, and government theory exams (also known as CASA exams) throughout the three years.

As you have said, flying aptitude is probably the most important attribute to any pilot. One must be motivated to fly. It is the motivation that defines one's character to fly safely in an aircraft. Different people have different motivations to flying. For me, I love the challenge that is portrayed to me in flying, while some of my classmates love aerobatic flying. Hence their motivation is to do every maneuver with great accuracy and precision.

In my course I have grown more matured as a person and as a pilot. I remembered that during my first year in the university, I always walked around in the flying school with undone up tie, unpolished shoes and messy hair (I guess I thought that I was still in high school, ha ha!). Today, I walk in the opposite, having pride of what I do and in my uniform.

Yes, flight training is hard work especially if one has a timeline to their training (mostly cadet pilots). In practical training, a cadet will have to undergo basic flying lessons (Take offs, landing, turns, climbs & descents, engine failures etc) which is pretty straight forward. And as one advances to more aircraft ratings and endorsements (private pilot license, night flying, multi-engine, instrument flying etc), it really tests your ability to cope, remain calm and know the procedures back to front when, for example, your instructor fails an engine on you after take off. That can very much happen in day to day flying.

On top of the practical workload, one also has to complete approximately 20 theory tests which accredit towards the ATPL, CPL, PPL, GFPT, IREX theory. These tests once again tests the limit of the trainee (especially the ATPL exams!!) as nearly all are done under the pressures of time and requires a pass mark of 70%, with Air Law, requiring 80%.

Through these years, I have learnt that the most important thing to succeed as a trainee, would be to have a balance of both social and "working" life. I still go down to the local clubs or have coffee with classmates to relieve the stresses of the day to day school work.

I am not with any of the cadet programs, hence I'm not sure what "life" is like for them. But I believe that to be a successful trainee pilot, it requires aptitude, balance of social/work and that tiny bit of will power.

Your sincerely,

Matthew Liang.

Hi Matthew,

Thank you for sharing your experience at Swineburne University with the aspiring pilots. I am sure they now have a little insight about what to expect in such a course.

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