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Home > Becoming a Pilot > Unsuccessful SIA aspiring pilot looking for an alternative path to flying?
Unsuccessful SIA aspiring pilot looking for an alternative path to flying?
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Saturday, 17 May 2008 21:27

Dear Captain Lim,

Thank you for creating such a wonderful site providing vast amount of information and knowledge for aspiring pilots. I have previously sent you a message but did not get a reply and I think you have just too many messages to go through. So I am hoping this mail can get to you one day!

Sorry, I had forgotten to include my personal particulars in my previous email. I have completed my Degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and am 25 years of age this year.

I am a Singaporean and had previously failed my 2nd interview with the SIA cadet pilot program after the tea party stage. I am really interested in pursuing flying as a career but I have no flying experiences and so I need your advice on these questions:

1. Is it really true that once you have failed at the 2nd interview you would not be able to apply for the cadet pilot course again - even if I upgrade myself by taking a PPL course?

2. Another route I considered taking is the instructor course at the Singapore Flying College but I think they only have opening once a year or so. I am considering taking a PPL before I apply for the instructor course to stand a better chance. Do you think it is better to do it this way? And if yes, where should I take the course for a recognized yet affordable price.
3.  I have also found that Etihad airlines is offering a cadet pilot course for global candidates and would like to try this as well. Is it better for me to get a PPL too to secure a higher chance of getting in?
4. If all the above failed, I will do a self sponsored CPL course. Can you advise on a good training centre and the cost of the whole course which I know is about at least S$100K. And with this license will it help to get me into an airline such as SIA?

I really hope you will be able to read this and advise me on the questions posted or provide other alternatives available that I was not aware of.

Really look forward to your reply!

Thank You and Best Regards!

Li Wenda

Hi Wenda,

My apologies to you and many others for not replying to numerous queries posted. In the course of the last 8 years, I have answered more than 1000 questions in my site. Each time, I see the same kind of questions posed. I wish I can oblige everyone but I am only a human being with limited time. So, once in a while, I would repeat, but less frequently now...

1. Once you have been rejected after the SIA Tea Party, the chances of being recalled are extremely slim. You have virtually cleared all the hurdles technically but you have probably failed to impress them of your character. Yes, you may have the aptitude but you may also have lacked the attitude!

2. Getting a PPL helps if you want to become a Flight Instructor. You can get a PPL in any Flying Clubs in Singapore or Malaysia. You must thereafter get your CPL/IR (Frozen ATPL) which is available in Singapore Flying College. For more information, contact them at:-

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it   or

Building 112/966, Western Avenue
Seletar East Camp, Singapore787811
Tel: (65) 6481-5166
Fax: (65) 6482-1481 

Alternatively, there is a new Flying School nearby at Johore Bahru,(KLIFA) that caters up to Frozen ATPL as well.

3. Yes, Etihad has launched a global cadet pilot program (See here). They are among the very few airlines that accepts international candidates (SIA periodically accepts non-nationals for their cadet program). I think this is a very good idea as they can tap into the best brains for their pilot needs. However, despite their generosity, I believe they do have a system whereby their nationals are given first priority and about 12 candidates are selected for each flying course conducted in Horizon Training Academy in Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates. So you have to be the cream of the cream!

4. When all fails (I know quite a number do) they self sponsor themselves for the Frozen ATPL course in the various flying schools (see here).   Choose the school where airlines send their cadets to. In Malaysia, two schools I would recommend are APFT in Kota Baru and HM Aerospace in Langkawi (recognized and affordable). There are also other recommended schools overseas (please read the Forums or previous FAQ) in Australia and Europe but getting the required licenses does not necessarily mean that SIA would take you in. You still have to go through their stringent screening processes. That means you have to work hard on improving your character and attitude in life to ensure a better chance of getting into a good airline!

Wish you all the best! Smile


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Too Young
Boy u r still young sia... the threshold age for singapore air is 28. u may just nt meet the requirements.
Ash , 21 May, 2008

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