Cobham opens applications for 2020 cadet pilot course

written by australianaviation.com.au | August 12, 2019
Cobham Aviation Services cadet pilots are trained by Flight Training Adelaide. (Cobham Aviation Services)
Cobham Aviation Services cadet pilots are trained by Flight Training Adelaide. (Cobham Aviation Services)

Cobham Aviation Services has opened applications for its second cadet pilot course that will commence in early 2020.

The company said on Monday it encouraged “aspiring pilots all over Australia with little to no prior flight experience to apply for the 53-week course involving classroom tuition and practical training at Flight Training Adelaide’s Parafield Airport campus.

Cobham Aviation Services launched its pilot cadet program in August 2018 in response to what it said at the time was the “global pilot shortage and to create entry-level opportunities to join its dedicated crews”.

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The first intake of cadets started in early 2019 and were being trained to be first officers on Cobham’s special mission Dash 8 fleet, which conducted aerial border surveillance and search-and-rescue operations on behalf of the Australian Government from bases in Broome, Darwin and Cairns.

A file image of a Dash 8 aircraft operated by Cobham conducting aerial surveillance. (Cobham Aviation Services)
A file image of a Dash 8 aircraft operated by Cobham conducting aerial surveillance. (Cobham Aviation Services)

Cadets who completed the 53-week, four-phase course would end up with an Advanced Diploma in Aviation (Pilot in command) and an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL).

The course includes flying time on Diamond DA40, Diamond DA42 and Mudry CAP 10 aircraft, as well as stints in various simulators.

“This is not regular passenger transport flying; it’s unique, hands-on, low-level flying,” Cobham vice president for Special Mission Russell Dyer said in astatement.

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“Ultimately, graduates have the rare opportunity to combine their love of flying with national security and environmental protection.”


VIDEO: A look at Cobham Aviation Services’ Special Mission operation, from the Cobham plc YouTube channel.

Cobham Aviation Services said the first batch of cadet pilots, who began their course in early 2019, recently completed their first solo flight.

One of those was Tobias Fitzgerald from Sunshine Coast in Queensland, who said all the cadets had been eagerly anticipating this moment.

“The feeling of passing another milestone that brings us closer to flying for Cobham and doing something that adds value to the company and the country is so motivating,” Fitzgerald said.

“That first solo flight really drives home how exciting the future is.”

Another soloist, Finn Haythornthwaite from Sydney, said he had enjoyed flying solo for the first time.

“I’m looking forward to building on my knowledge and experience in preparation for the next challenge,” Haythornthwaite said.

And Ed Duhig from Brisbane said he hoped the solo flight was the first of many memorable moments.

“Though only a short flight, it is the culmination of a lifetime’s dream of flying. Moving forward, I’m sure I speak for all cadets in saying that we look forward to hitting further milestones in our career,” Duhig said.

More information about the Cobham Aviation Services cadet pilot program can be found on the Flight Training Adelaide website. Applications close on August 25 2019.

A supplied image of Cobham Aviation Services cadet pilots. (Cobham Aviation Services)
A supplied image of Cobham Aviation Services cadet pilots. (Cobham Aviation Services)

Flight Training Adelaide already works with a number of airlines for pilot training, with the likes of Cathay Pacific, Cebu Pacific, China Airlines, Fiji Airways, IndiGo, Qantas and Virgin Australia.

In May, Qantas names Flight Training Adelaide as its training partner for the airline group’s pilot academy at Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba, west of Brisbane.

Construction of the new facility had gotten underway, with official “turning of the first sod” taking place on August 7.

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