Pilot selection in China – a ghastly experience like everywhere

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Xiamen Airlines in Shenyang has aggressive growth plans which means they also need an awful lot of pilots. Here’s a nice report from Carnoc on how they select them. Lots of pix.

If you’ve ever been through pilot-selection the you won’t need reminding of the awful gut-wrenching days of the process as you wait for the life-changing news. From the sick look on some of the candidates’ faces it seems it’s much the same in China.


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Google Language Tools does a pretty good job of telling the story. You need to be 170-185cm, at least 25 and unmarried. The airline helps you get a bank loan to pay for some of the training then pays you a salary even while you’re a cadet and you pay it back over the years.

I suppose it’s a pretty safe personal bet, although here in the UK students are leaving flying schools with debts approaching £100K and no job to go to – which is not a sustainable situation.

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