The 2016 Aer Lingus Cadet Pilot Training Programme is open for applications

Last week, our 2016 Cadet Pilot Training Programme began taking applications. The programme is generally regarded as an exceptional opportunity to train and qualify as a commercial pilot, and will be the starting point for a rewarding career with us for the successful cadets.

Captain Malachy O’Curry from our Flight Operations team is responsible for Cadet Pilot Recruitment. We caught up with Capt. O’Curry to get an insight into some of the practicalities of living and training as a cadet pilot.

Cadet Pilot TrainingWhat skills and qualifications will you be looking for in the ideal candidate?

The ideal candidate may come from a variety of educational backgrounds. A third level qualification is not a prerequisite.
They will have demonstrated a capacity to absorb large volumes of information and an ability to apply themselves to achieving the highest standards. They may have some flying hours already but it’s not essential.

What can successful applicants expect from the programme in terms of the workload and the variety of modules taught?

The workload is significant for the entire 64-week programme. Up to 800 hours of classroom study. 14 subjects, each with a pass mark of 75 percent. Subjects range from Air Law, to Meteorology, Navigation, Radios, and aircraft technical subjects such as Hydraulics, Jet Engines, Instruments, and Theory of Flight. This is combined with an additional programme that consists of flight training along with simulator training exercises. And, of course, flight tests along the way as well. All in all it’s a busy 14 months.

Upon successful completion of the programme, in what capacity will cadets begin working as fully-fledged Aer Lingus pilots?

On completion of their training in Jerez, cadet pilots will return to continue their training in the classroom and in the simulator to gain their A320 rating. This allows them to operate the controls of our A320 aircraft on commercial flights. This takes about five weeks. Line training continues for approximately another six weeks, following which they are approved to fly on our European routes on the A320 aircraft.On completion of their training in Jerez, cadet pilots will return to continue their training in the classroom and in the simulator to gain their A320 rating. This allows them to operate the controls of our A320 aircraft on commercial flights. This takes about five weeks. Line training continues for approximately another six weeks, following which they are approved to fly on our European routes on the A320 aircraft.

How would you describe the various demands and responsibilities placed upon modern-day airline pilots?

Onerous. To be deemed as sufficiently competent to operate an A320 aircraft for commercial flights requires a high level of ability, application and determination over an extended period of time. The responsibilities associated with the role demand that a pilot must operate to the highest standards always, and the commercial realities of the business mean that the lifestyle is physically demanding as well.

What opportunities exist for pilots within Aer Lingus to further develop their careers?

The opportunities are many and varied. It starts with qualifying on the Airbus A320. From there, we have opportunities to become an instructor on the fleet. Our First Officer Instructors are involved in classroom exercises, simulator training and providing the material for our eLearning platform.

Promotion to Command leads to other opportunities such as supervisory roles as Base Captain (responsible for the daily interaction with the pilot group), Training Captain and Line Standards Captain.
To find out more about the programme, and to apply, visit ​http://careers.aerlingus.com/careers-in-the-air/cadet-pilots/​

Aer Lingus Pilot Cadetship