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Home > Becoming a Pilot > Many questions about flying and the pilot
Many questions about flying and the pilot
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Wednesday, 02 January 2008 19:38

Dear Captain Lim,

My name is Gary Ng and I will be attending the selection process for the cadet pilot program with Cathay Pacific Airways later this month. I have to say your web site is one of the most resourceful place I have come across so far. Your valuable information simply gives aspiring pilot like me an idea of what to expect from the interviews and what it is like being a commercial pilot.

I have a few questions that I would like to ask:

1. I know that after 9/11, security has tightened drastically since then. Are there also changes in rules which pilots have to abide to? Do they need to adjust themselves psychologically as a result?

2. What are the usual risks associated with being a commercial pilot?

3. How long does it take, usually for a second officer to climb each step of the pilot hierarchy (i.e. second officer to first officer, first officer to senior first officer), eventually becoming a captain?

4. What is the general job market like for commercial airline pilots nowadays?

5. Do you need to send a flight report to FAA after each flight?

6. What personality or even mentality best suits a pilot? (hope this question is not too silly)

7. On what occasion do pilots use auto landing? Is it used only during
adverse weather conditions?

Thanks for the information. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Cheers,

Gary Ng

Hi Gary,

1. Since Sept 11, cockpit visits are banned. Pilots are accustomed to flying in any situation and so far, I don't see any pilots being affected psychologically in any way.

2. When a pilot decides to make flying his life-time career, he would accept any risks that come with the job. I have not given a thought to this matter at all.

3. It depends on which airline you are referring to. In a new airline such as Itihad Airways (based at Abu Dhabi) in the United Arab Emirates, promotion is generally quite fast if you are rated on the Airbus 330/340. With Cathay Pacific Airways, your promotion may be slower. Promotion are based on merit and for a Second Officer to reach the status of a Captain, the time frame may vary from 12 to 20 years.

4. The job market for commercial pilots is very bright at this point of time. I have read that many Asian airlines are recruiting for pilots very aggressively. Again, the airline industry is a very fluid market. Another Sept 11, another prolonged war or SAR outbreak would dampen the travel industry and consequently the pilot's job market!

5. There is no need to submit a flight report to the FAA (and no reason to)

6. This is too wide to discuss specifically here but I have touched on this issue in a previous FAQ.

7. This has been discussed in a previous FAQ.

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