Pilot Career -
Sunday, 12 November 2006 05:21
Dear Captain Lim,
I am a 15-year old student, studying in Singapore. I aspire to become an airline pilot one day. I have some enquiries and I hope you will answer them.
I have heard about the Singapore Youth Flying Club (SYFC) and I was hoping to join their flying training program. However, I have a shortsightedness of about 600 degrees. So I do not meet their requirements. I was planning to go for lasik surgery at 18 to correct my vision and then join the SYFC. Is the private pilot*s license that I obtain from this program useful in helping me to become a pilot?
I also happened to chance upon the RSAF website and I saw the University Cadet Pilot Training Scheme. I have heard that it is easier to become an airline pilot if you were from the Air Force. Is that true?
And also, I realize that SIA does not recruit female pilots. I was thinking of joining Cathay Pacific Airways as I have heard of them recruiting female pilots. However, I went to their website and I see that their cadet pilot scheme is for Hong Kong citizens only. What should I do if I would like to join their airline as an airline pilot based in Singapore?
So, should I go with the RSAF or the SYFC? Or are there any other ways that I can become an airline pilot in Singapore? Could you give me some opinions about how I should go about realizing my dream to become an airline pilot? Are there any subjects or courses that I should take in Junior College or in the University?
Your opinions are greatly appreciated. I look forward to your reply.
A PPL is useful because it gives you the basic understanding about flying but it is not a guarantee that it would land you a job with the airlines. Most airlines with the Cadet Pilot Programs do not require you to have a PPL at all. (They would prefer to select the best candidates and train them up from scratch!)
Generally, SIA gives preference to pilots from the Air Force - I mean those from the RSAF.
As you have noted, Cathay only employ Hong Kong citizens (or PR) for their Cadet Pilot Program. So there is no way for you to be one of their pilots or be based in Singapore (I am not sure if they do that as Singapore is too near to Hong Kong) unless you meet their residential requirements.
I believe, RSAF medical requirement is more stringent than those of SIA. If you are shortsighted, you can still be accepted into the airlines if your vision can be corrected to normal with optical aids (for more details on Lasik surgery, please read my posting in the Forum) but you are unlikely to make it to the RSAF!
If you join the SYFC, the medical requirement to acquire a PPL is only a Class 2 Medical Certificate. This is less stringent than an ATPL (Class 1 Medical) to enable you to fly with any airlines. Yes, your other alternatives, beside Singapore Airlines, are SilkAir (they do employ female pilots) or other low cost carriers in Singapore.
Please read the Singapore Airlines Forum, as there are a lot of resources and information regarding your other queries. (To other aspiring male & female pilots, please, please, read the Forums and my Website before you write to me as such repeated questions are getting a little too tedious for me now)
Wish you all the best!