About Us

Pilot Cadet Program

Following the success of our inaugural program in 2012, Virgin Australia continues to change the face of the Australian aviation landscape through the continuation of our Pilot Cadetship Program in partnership with Flight Training Adelaide. Our Pilot Cadet Program selection process for 2013 commences on 3 July 2013 and successful cadets will commence training in late November 2013.

The Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet Program is a unique opportunity to play an integral role in shaping the evolution of this iconic brand, and to become a part of a dynamic company that genuinely believes and demonstrates our people are our greatest asset.

We seek candidates who are motivated and committed to excel through a challenging and demanding training program. Successful Cadet’s will demonstrate well established analytical skills, high attention to detail, well developed problem solving ability together with a commitment to achieving high results.

Commencing a career as a commercial pilot requires a high level of dedication and passion. In return for this you will be placed in a world class training program and will receive the benefits of working with an internationally recognised flight training school.

To assist you with the transition to a career as a pilot, you will be assigned a mentor to provide you with guidance and advice. Your mentor has been selected from our highly experienced & high performing pilot group.

Once you successfully complete the program, you can look forward to a career within the Virgin Australia team taking off on the ATR or F50 in our regional fleet as a First Officer.

We recommend you review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) prior to commencing an application. Should you have any further queries once you have read the FAQs please email cadetprogram@virginaustralia.com.

 

Length of the program

Our 55 week residential course is conducted by our training partners Flight Training Adelaide, based in Parafield airport, SA.

Syllabus Content

Our course is designed to meet CASA’s requirements to achieve a Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL) Multi engine Command Instrument Rating (ME CIR) as well as the ground theory subjects for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and a Virgin Australia specific Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) program. Syllabus content can be found below;

180 hours flying comprising:

  • 150 hours single engine (80 hours dual, 70 hours solo)
  • 30 hours Multi Engine Dual 

84.5 Hours simulator training comprising:

  • 11.5 hours PTT
  • 24 hours Frasca simulator
  • 18 hours DA42 simulator
  • 32 hours (16PF/ 16PM) Jet simulator

893 hours ground theory training comprising:

  • 528 hours towards a Commercial Pilot License and Instrument Rating
  • 320 hours towards an ATPL
  • 45 hours Mass Briefs

Instructors

FTA employs very highly qualified full time instructors.

Ground theory instructors have a variety of backgrounds that are perfectly suited to the subjects they teach. Instructors come from either an airline and/or military background providing an unparalleled depth of experience.

Flight training is delivered using grade 2 and grade 1 flight instructors with a ratio of 3 students per instructor.

All jet simulator instructors have extensive airline commercial operational experience and have held a training role within their respective airlines.

Aircraft

During the Single Engine phase of training you will be operating either the Socata TB10 aircraft or the Diamond DA40 aircraft.

During the Twin Engine phase of training you will be flying the Diamond DA42 Twinstar aircraft.

Qualifications

On completing the course you will have gained the following qualifications:

  • CASA Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • CASA Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • CASA Multi engine Command Instrument Rating (ME CIR)
  • CASA Theory credits for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)
  • Virgin Australia specific Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) program
  • Diploma in Aviation
  • 24 Credits towards a Commerce Degree with the University of Adelaide

Accommodation

All cadets will be accommodated at FTA’s facilities. Accommodation facilities are located within safe campus grounds with no need for transportation from the room to program classrooms, simulators or aircraft parking apron.

FTA’s cleaning team will change linen once a week with rooms cleaned twice a week. Additionally, there are free of charge laundry facilities on campus.

Cadets are accommodated in blocks of 4 or 6 cadets per block. Each cadet will have a private room and shared toilet and shower facilities as well as a lounge area with Internet wireless coverage.

3 meals a day are provided with the accommodation.

VET FEE-HELP

FTA is a VET FEE-HELP approved provider. VET FEE-HELP will contribute up to $74,000 from Post PPL to gaining an MECIR. It should be noted that VET FEE-HELP funding is a stand-alone funding arrangement. In other words if you have incurred any HECS debt through your tertiary studies, this debt does not contribute towards the $86,000 fund.

 

Applications for the 2013 Ab Initio Cadet Program open on 3rd July 2013 and close at 11pm, Sunday 28th July, 2013. No applications will be accepted outside this timeframe, nor will they be accepted via email - only applications received online via this link will be considered.

Prerequisites for Program Entry

  • Completion of year 12 with high level achievements in the Sciences, Maths and English
  • Limited flying experience up to PPL
  • Minimal flying hours
  • A passion for aviation
  • A commitment to and understanding of the requirements and obligations of the Pilot Cadet program

You will require the following documentation to complete your online application.

Educational documentation/certificates

  • Completed secondary education (i.e. Australian Year 12) certificates showing subjects studied and results achieved
  • An up to date resume
  • Copy of CASA Prerequisite Report, for candidates that have sat any CASA examinations. This document can be obtained by contacting CLARC on 131 757
  • Last 3 pages of pilot log book, if applicable

We will request to sight your original documents during the recruitment process and will require certified copies if you are progressed in the recruitment process.

Additional Documentation

The following documents are not required for your online application however we will ask to site these documents as the recruitment process progresses:

  • Proof of Australian Permanent Residency status (e.g. Birth Certificate, Australian/New Zealand passport, visa page of overseas passport)
  • Current Australian/New Zealand passport pages showing expiration date, or overseas passport pages with Australian Permanent Residency visa showing expiration date of both passport and visa
  • Completed Bachelor’s Degree certificate and academic transcript (if applicable) OR
  • Evidence of approved Degree level subjects currently being undertaken
  • CASA Class 1 Medical Certificate, if applicable
  • CASA Multi-Page Pilot Licence, if applicable

Ready to Apply?

Please click here to commence your application.

Candidates are encouraged to research the Aviation industry, Virgin Australia and Flight Training Adelaide (FTA) to ensure you are appropriately prepared for the extensive interview and selection process. 

We will be assessing individuals:

  • Capability
  • Potential as a leader within Virgin Australia
  • Communication style
  • Presentation and professionalism
  • Adaptability in a changing environment
  • Technical knowledge
  • Team orientation
  • Resilience
  • Aviation and business knowledge

The process involves:

  • Initial application
  • Psychometric testing
  • Recruitment day/s, which include activities such as:
    • Group activities
    • Individual presentations
    • One on one interviews
  • Flight Screening
    • Manipulation skills
    • Spatial Awareness
  • Panel Interview
  • Final management review interview
  • Reference checks
  • Medical clearance (if required)
  • Confirmation of your ability to hold an ASIC

Please note that the steps outlined above may not be run in the stated order.

All cadets are employed directly by Virgin Australia and paid a competitive remuneration package for the duration of the Cadet Training Program. Our Cadets will also have access to benefits which include access to Virgin Australia staff travel benefits and assistance with the costs associated with obtaining you Commercial Pilot’s Licence.

Following successful completion of the Cadet Training Program to Virgin Australia’s standards and behaviours you will be offered a permanent role within the Virgin Australia group and will be employed under the applicable agreement as a First Officer on the ATR or F50.

You will be assigned a Virgin Australia group Pilot Mentor to provide you with non-technical support to assist you with your transition into your career as a Commercial pilot.

Virgin Australia’s Expectations

The following expectations are relevant to every Virgin Australia team member:

To be the ultimate Virgin Australia ambassador through living, breathing and promoting the Virgin Australia Values – Caring, Excellence, Individuality, Resourcefulness, Innovation, Enthusiasm and Integrity.

  • To demonstrate our Leadership Behaviour; Act with integrity, Be decisive, Act quickly, Listen to Guests and team members and Take responsibility.
  • To comply with and actively support all position, department and company policy and procedures.
  • To be a team player – supporting a one in all in approach and a first to know, best to deal with.
  • To demonstrate our Safety First philosophy – First to find, first to fix! Ensuring that you keep our workplace fair and safe – free of all forms of discrimination and harassment and free from injury and incident.
  • To engage the very best of your personality and enthusiasm and create memorable, positive and fun experiences for our guests and team members.

Behaviour Guide

The following behavioural competencies are relevant to every Virgin Australia team member:

  • Continuous Improvement and Strategic Focus - Striving to exceed expectations and our performance by embracing a desire to focus on creativity, innovation, continuous improvement and our strategy.
  • Critical Thinking and Analysis - A focus on how we effectively break down barriers of issues and solve them.
  • Organisational and Social Commitment - Living and breathing our values and understanding the essence of Virgin Australia – this works hand in hand with our awareness of our commitment to environmental, community and other social issue.
  • People and Leadership - Regardless if you are a team member or leader everyone is encouraged to demonstrate leadership and teamwork.
  • Personal Awareness and Effectiveness - The desire to be the best that you can be – working to understand yourself and your impact on others, being responsible for your own performance and responding appropriately. Recognising that safety is a key part of every role in the organisation and that you are accountable for taking this responsibility on board.
  • Service Delivery - Excellent internal and external service delivery that remains genuine and sets us apart from our competitors.
  • Vivacity - The liveliness of our spirit and pride and commitment to working with enthusiasm positivity, resilience & passion.

Remuneration

You will be paid a competitive remuneration package whilst undergoing training and you will receive further information about this throughout the selection process.

When do applications open for future Pilot Cadet Programs?

Applications for the 2013 Pilot Cadet Program open on Wednesday 3 July 2013 and applications close (sharply) at 11pm, Sunday 28th July 2013.

What qualifications do I need in order to apply for the Pilot Cadet program?

Please refer to the “Course Outline” section of this website for details on the entry qualifications for the program.

What working rights must I hold to be eligible for the program?

Applicants must have authorisation to work in Australia or New Zealand, without restriction, at the time of application. For further details regarding working rights in Australia we recommend you visit the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and citizenship website http://www.immi.gov.au/. Please note Virgin Australia cannot offer sponsorship or advice on gaining working rights.

Do I need to have any flying experience to apply for the Pilot Cadet program?

No. While some flying experience would be valuable up to PPL level, you do not need to have had any experience before you apply to the Pilot Cadet program. If you hold a Commercial Pilot’s Licence or higher you will not be eligible for this program however may be eligible for future programs.

I have completed Year 12 but am unsure if my achievements in Science, Maths and English are high enough; can you provide advice?

Due to the variations in the national education syllabus we are unable to provide specific feedback to individuals on level of achievement or subjects undertaken at school. Based on the data provided by our training provider FTA, given their extensive experience in training pilot cadets, the ideal candidate profile includes high level achievements in Advanced level Maths, English and the sciences (preferably Physics) as these subjects build a foundation for developing good cognitive ability.

I have completed Year 12 and did not study Science, Maths and/or English, should I complete a bridging course and which one should I study to increase my eligibility?

We are not able to provide information about what type of bridging course to complete due to the variations in the national education syllabus. However, applicants must be able to demonstrate high level achievements in Advanced Maths, English and the sciences (preferably Physics) at the completion of the bridging course/s.

I am at High School and would like advice on subjects to select; can you tell me what I should study?

You should seek advice from your school teacher/s or career counsellors who can help regarding which subjects to select. The ideal pilot cadet candidate profile includes high level achievements in Advanced Maths, English and the sciences (preferably Physics) as these subjects build a foundation for developing good cognitive ability.

Do you only accept applications for the Pilot Cadet program online?

Yes, only applications received online will be considered.

Who will be involved in the selection process?

The selection process will include representatives from the Flight Operations Department, Pilot Cadet Program Working Group, Virgin Australia’s People Team and Flight Training Adelaide.

How long will the selection process take?

The selection process is expected to take 8- 10 weeks from the close of advertising.

You will receive notification if you have been short listed to participate in our assessment process within four to six weeks of the application close date. Due to the high number of applications received, unfortunately it is not possible to provide individual feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Is the course available as a full-time course only, or could I take all or parts of it on a part-time basis?

This is a full-time course only.

Can I complete a shorter course if I already have a PPL?

No. All cadet pilots on the Pilot Cadet program will complete the full course of training. Recognition of prior learning may be recognised.

How long will I spend away from home during the Program?

You will spend approximately 55 weeks with our training partners Flight Training Adelaide, based in Parafield airport, SA.

Will I have the opportunity to go home during the Program?

You will receive adequate opportunity for rest during the Pilot Cadet program.

Flexibility can be given for rest during the program dependent on progress and circumstances. Unfortunately, breaks/leave cannot be taken during full time ground school.

What type of qualifications will I receive from successfully completing the Pilot Cadet program?

  • CASA Private Pilot License (PPL)
  • CASA Commercial Pilot License (CPL)
  • CASA Multi engine Command Instrument Rating (ME CIR)
  • CASA Theory credits for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)
  • Virgin Australia/ Skywest specific Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) program.
  • Diploma in Aviation
  • 24 Credits towards a Commerce Degree with the University of Adelaide

Will I be guaranteed a role with Virgin Australia at the end of the Pilot Cadet program?

Yes, subject to successfully completing the program to Virgin Australia’s standards (Technical and behavioural), you will be offered permanent employment as a First Officer on an ATR or F50 in our regional operation.

Where will I be based at the end of the Program?

Following completion of the Pilot Cadet program you will have the opportunity to submit preferences regarding base. While we cannot guarantee you will be offered your first preference, these will be taken into account if you are offered a role. Bases are expected to be in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra.

What is the total cost of the training and how much is the cadet expected to contribute towards training?

A successful cadet is not expected to contribute towards training costs, outside of what is required to be paid back through access to VET-FEE help. VET FEE-HELP will contribute up to $74,000 from Post PPL to gaining an MECIR. Virgin Australia will advance fees for training costs pre PPL. It should be noted that VET FEE-HELP funding is a stand-alone funding arrangement. Assistance with accommodation and food will be provided through FTA for a successful student.

What career progression can I expect in Virgin Australia?

Once you have gained the necessary experience in your first role as a First officer on the ATR you will be able to apply for a variety of pilot roles within the Virgin Australia Group.

Am I bonded for a period of time?

Following an offer of a permanent position post training you will work for Virgin Australia in our regional operation and will be bonded for three years. Should you be successful in gaining a role on the Jet operation with Virgin Australia after this time you will be bonded for an additional three years. Cadets who resign within this period will be required to repay the outstanding amount (pro rata) of their training.

What if I fail a component of the program?

 

Flight Training Adelaide Pty Ltd. is an experienced training provider who will endeavour to ensure you receive the appropriate development to meet the required standard. If you require additional training to meet these standards this will be discussed at the time, and a tailored development program may be produced.

If following additional training, you are still unable to meet the required standard; we will discuss the ability for you to continue training

 

What if I chose to withdraw from the program?

Cadets who withdraw during the program will be required to repay the training costs that have been incurred at the point of resignation.

Will I receive feedback if I am unsuccessful during the process?

You will be advised if you are unsuccessful with your application. Unfortunately, due to the extremely high number of applications received for the Pilot Cadet program it is not possible to provide individual feedback to all applicants on the outcome of their application. Individual Feedback will be provided to all applicants who attend an assessment day.

If I am successful in being invited to attend an assessment centre what will I need to bring?

You will be given full details of what you need to bring with you prior to your attendance at an assessment day.

What if I am unable to attend my assessment?

If you meet the minimum requirements but are unable to attend the assessment you are encouraged to apply for the next cadet program intake.

Are there expenses involved in participating in the selection process?

There is no fee associated with submitting an application, however you may be asked to pay for the costs associated with obtaining a CASA Class 1 Medical and a Pre-employment Drug & Alcohol Screen, this will be discussed with you as required.

Will Virgin Australia assist with travel and expenses during the assessment process?

If you are invited to attend an assessment centre away from your home you will be provided with travel. You may be required to contribute to other costs associated with the recruitment process.

If I am progressed past the application stage, how do I contact Virgin Australia if I have questions or need to supply further information?

Full contact details will be provided to you if you progress past the application stage.

What should I wear for the selection process?

We are looking for people who will role model Virgin Australia brand and uniform standards. Therefore, we expect candidates to attend wearing appropriate business attire.

How do I obtain CASA Class 1 Medical and when should I do this?

While you are not required to hold a CASA Class 1 Medical prior to being selected on to the Pilot Cadet program it would assist in preventing delays in processing your application, should you be successful.

To commence the Virgin Australia Pilot Cadet program you will be required to hold a valid CASA Class 1 medical.

The CASA Class 1 medical process take approx. 3 hours and involves; the application for an Aviation Reference Number (ARN), a medical examination, an audiogram, a blood test, an ECG and an ophthalmic report. These tests are conducted by Designated Aviation Medical Examiners (DAME and a DAO or DAEE). To find more information please go to www.casa.gov.au. To find your nearest DAME please go to www.casa.gov.au/avmed/search.htm where a search can be made within your particular state.

I have a medical condition and am concerned I may not be eligible for a Class 1 medical, how do I find out more?

To enter training, a cadet must hold a valid Class 1 medical certificate. If you are unsure whether your medical condition may affect your ability to hold a Class 1 medical certificate, contact a DAME for professional advice.

Information about medical certification can be obtained from: www.casa.gov.au/manuals/regulate/dame/index.htm.

Can I still qualify if I wear glasses and/or contact lenses?

The wearing of glasses and/or contact lenses does not automatically prevent you from obtaining a Class 1 medical certificate. Full details of the eyesight requirements are also available on at www.casa.gov.au.

I have a criminal record. Am I eligible for the Cadet Training Program?

If you have been convicted, found guilty or subject to proceedings for criminal or motor vehicle offences, this may affect your eligibility to be issued with an ASIC. Employment with Virgin Australia will be conditional on being eligible to hold an ASIC and if you fail to be issued with an ASIC or authority to hold an ASIC is withdrawn, withdrawal from the program or termination of your employment may result.

If you have been cautioned, warned or convicted of a criminal offence (this could include traffic or parking offences) we suggest you check whether you will be able to obtain an ASIC by visiting www.casa.gov.au.

If I am unsuccessful for this program can I apply to future programs?

If you are unsuccessful for this program and meet all of the selection criteria, you are encouraged to reapply for future programs. Opportunities to apply for future programs will be advertised on the Virgin Australia Careers website.

I am a current employee of the Virgin Australia group. If successful for this program will I be seconded to the training provider for the duration of my flight training and be employed under the terms and conditions of the Cadet Pilot program?

Yes.

If I am successful, where is the training conducted?

All training is conducted by our training partners Flight Training Adelaide, based in Parafield airport, SA.

What is the syllabus content?

The 55 week course is designed to meet CASA’s requirements to achieve a Private Pilot License (PPL), Commercial Pilot License (CPL) Multi engine Command Instrument Rating (ME CIR) as well as the ground theory subjects for an Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) and a Virgin Australia/Virgin Australia Regional Airlines specific Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) program.

What aircraft will I be flying during my training?

During the Single Engine phase of your training you will be operating either the Socata TB10 aircraft or the Diamond DA40 aircraft.

During the Twin Engine phase of your training you will be flying the Diamond DA42 Twinstar aircraft.

Are FTA’s instructors well qualified?

Yes. Ground theory instructors have a variety of backgrounds that are perfectly suited to the subjects they teach. Instructors come from either an airline and/or military background providing an unparalleled depth of experience.

Flight training is delivered using grade 2 and grade 1 flight instructors with a ratio of 3 students per instructor.

All Jet Simulator instructors have extensive airline commercial operational experience and have held a training role within their respective airlines.

Do I need to find my own accommodation?

All cadets will be accommodated at FTA’s facilities. Accommodation facilities are located within safe campus grounds with no need for transportation from the room to program classrooms, simulators or aircraft parking apron.

FTA’s cleaning team will change linen once a week with rooms cleaned twice a week. Additionally, there are free of charge laundry facilities on campus.

Cadets are accommodated in blocks of 4 or 6 cadets per block. Each cadet will have a private room and shared toilet and shower facilities as well as a lounge area with Internet wireless coverage.

3 meals a day are provided with the accommodation.

Do I have to live onsite at FTA?

Yes, it is a requirement for student cadets to live on site due to the high study demands and benefits gained through contact with other students at FTA. In FTA’s extensive experience in training successful cadets they have found this environment to be the most conducive to the results required of cadets.

Do I need to bring a uniform?

No. FTA will supply a full uniform. Additionally there are free of charge laundry facilities on campus.

I have read your FAQs and have some additional queries, who should I contact?

Please email cadetprogram@virginaustralia.com with any additional queries.