Hey Captain Lim,
Firstly, I would like to thank you for your time and dedication for such a great web site on flying. I have a few questions with regards to aeroplanes and becoming a pilot.
Firstly, I read in your last FAQ that flying with the jet stream would enable the plane to go faster. What I don't understand is, why don't airplanes fly at their maximum speed all the time? If the airplane receives assistance from wind behind, wouldn't the plane travel faster than its maximum speed and hence pose a danger to the aircraft?
Secondly, I am looking to become a pilot, and there is a university course that is suitable for me. It is a 3 year-course and at its completion, I would have done 240 hours of flying and receive a frozen airline transport pilots license (ATPL). I am also aware that I could achieve the same qualification in 1 year if I go to a flying school. So I am not sure which one to choose as the cost is similar but there is a 2-year difference between the courses.
Lastly, I am wondering what factors determine which aircraft airlines use for their routes. I know you have said previously that cost efficiency determines it. What I am confused about is, it seems that the long-ranged aircraft, i.e. the Boeing 777, is used by Cathay Pacific on routes within Asia, whilst the Airbus A330 is used for the Australian flights. I would have thought, after hearing so much praises about the Boeing 777 by you, Cathay Pacific would use the Boeing 777s for the longer-ranged flights and keep the Airbus A330 for shorter flights.
Thanks once again and hope to hear from you soon.
Your first query about airplane flying with the jet stream has been asked before. You can search for it again by one of the following:
a. Select www.geocities.com (not Web) in the Google Search box below and enter your keywords,
b. Try 'Search our Site' on Home page (left column) or look under 'Index' in this site.
Now, your second question - you have to decide this based on where you come from. Are there opening for pilots in the airlines soon? If so, go for the shorter course. If not, go for the longer one as you would graduate with a degree as well as an ATPL.
I am sure you are aware that the Boeing 777 has a few variants. There are long-haul ones (Boeing 777-200IGW/ER) and medium-range ones too (Boeing 777-200/300). So you do see the Boeing 777s operating on shorter routes as well longer ones. I am sure the airlines management knows what they are doing when they put a particular type of airplane for a particular route. You know, Cathay Pacific is one of the most profitable airlines around the Far East and they are aware of all the aspects of the economics when it comes to the utilization of aircraft.
Have a good day and enjoy your browsing in this site!