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Home > Becoming a Pilot > Can a senior RMAF pilot bypass the normal progression to be an airline captain?
Can a senior RMAF pilot bypass the normal progression to be an airline captain?
Pilot Career - Becoming a Pilot
Wednesday, 04 June 2008 06:27
Hi Captain Lim,

You have done a great job for all aspiring pilots around the world. I really appreciate your kindness and hard work that you have portrayed through this informative yet useful website.

I have a question for you. My cousin who is in the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) is considering becoming a commercial pilot. He has been serving for more than 10 years and is now a 28 years old air force pilot.

My cousin is confused about the ranking between the air force and commercial aviation. He is a Major but, can he take his rank into the commercial airlines (Malaysia Airlines), skip the natural upgrade process and become a captain?
What I mean is...

CAN AN AIR FORCE PILOT RANKED MAJOR BECOME A CAPTAIN STRAIGHT AWAY WITHOUT UNDERGOING THE NATURAL PROCESS OF UPGRADE IN THE COMMERCIAL AIRLINES (Second Officer to First Officer and finally to Captain) IF HE IS TO RETIRE FROM THE AIR FORCE AND JOIN A CIVILIAN AIRLINES?

Best Regards,

Satia Silan

Hi Satia,

In the airlines, promotion is based on merit and competency. There are so many things to learn about commercial flying that are never taught in the Air Force. In most cases a military pilot just could not cope without going through the normal progression.

So your cousin has to start off from the right hand seat - Second Officer, First Officer then to captaincy (depending on vacancy) - normally at an accelerated pace due to his flying experience. There are many Lieutenant Colonels who have gone through such a process - what's more if a Major is of a lower rank than that!

I am very sure he would find the learning experience very useful. The environment in commercial flying is quite different from the air force kind of flying.

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Thanks For Your Information
Thank you captain for your simple and brief explanation.For your information, I have my passed my interviewing session with Singapore Airlines(SIA) and waiting for my medical results.I now understand that natural progression is the best way to develop in commercial aviation same as in the air force. :grin
Major Mohan , 06 Jun, 2008

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