Dear Captain Lim,
I have been reading you website recently and I find it extremely interesting, so I thought I might ask you some questions.
I am 15 years old living in Australia and I would really like to become an airline pilot. I fly on flight simulator using complex aircraft with FMC so I can work on real world procedures. I have also spent time in an Air New Zealand 747-412 Simulator with the Chief Pilot. It was spectacular!
With only a couple more years of school left, I am starting to make my decisions on my career. Currently in Australia we have many old pilots (In their late 50*s early 60*s) and in the next few years, there will be a pilot crisis, opening many jobs for young pilots.
I originally had the idea that I would go to University for 3 years, and complete a Bachelor of Aviation degree, which would also give me qualifications all the way up to Frozen ATPL. With the pilot crisis, a few pilot cadet schemes are opening up - such as Regional Express Airlines. The course is 32 week long and gives you all you licenses up to Commercial Pilot Licence including IR etc. After completion of the course the pilot is guaranteed a job with REX (Regional Express) or one of the Groups Companies - flying either Beech 1900D, Saab 340A/B or Private Jets such as the Learjet 45 depending on how well you went during the course.
I quite like the idea of a quick flying course and especially the idea of going straight into flying Regional airliners, or even jets, and bypassing GA and other careers, often leading up to an Airline Job. I could also get a scholarship for the course, reducing the course costs to around $40K-$50K
In the long run, would I be better off with tons of experience when I am 21-22years old, or 400-500 hours with a Bachelor Degree? I am Interested to hear about how you became a pilot.
Ideally, I would like to join a Cadetship for Singapore Airlines but unfortunately I am not a Singaporean. So these would be my only options other than private or expensive lessons.
I look forward to your response,
If you can be guaranteed of a flying job with REX then go ahead with your plan of the "quick flying course". Make sure you get it in black and white that you would be offered a job after graduation. In airline flying, hours and seniority are important for promotion.
The other question has been covered before.
Wish you all the best.