In 2008 growing regional carrier SA Express proudly launched its own exclusive Cadet Pilot Training Programme as an initiative to creatively address the looming pilot shortage which is imminent in the aviation industry. This means that the search for talented pilots has begun! The then Chief Executive of SA Express, Siza Mzimela, said : “SA Express is most proud to implement a programme of this nature. By building skilled specialists in the aviation sector, our airline is making a significant contribution to the trade, travel and tourism industries. South African Express Senior Specialist, managing the Cadet Program , Capt Patrick Chiwandire says: “Our airline is looking for people who are passionate about aviation. We encourage all those who would like to be groomed to become pilots of a world-class airline such as South African Express to submit their resume and engage our airline, if they meet the criteria as defined in our requirements.” SA Express presents interested pilots with two options: The Cadet Mach 1 Programme and the Cadet Mach 2 Programme. The Mach 1 syllabus will commenced during the course of 2009, while the first Mach 2 Programme candidates were selected in February 2009.
Cadet Mach 1
Mach 1 is the abinitio course for the cadets who have zero or very few flying hours. These candidates would have to be sent to a flying school for 18-24 months in order to complete a full Commercial Pilot’s License prior to being brought into SA Express to join the Dash 8 aircraft pool.
A tiered selection process will be followed for the Mach 1 Programme, with successful candidates sent to a flying school to study a SA Express developed and approved course.
Cadet Mach 2
Mach 2 is for Previously Disadvantaged Individuals (PDIs) who are fully qualified Commercial Pilots but cannot find employment because of their low time experience level.
A tiered selection process will be followed for the Mach 2 Programme, with successful candidates sent to a flying school to study a SA Express developed and approved bridging course, inclusive of an initial turbine conversion, before joining the Dash 8 aircraft pool. The bridging course will be designed to ensure that the pilots are all at the same level and also to acquaint them with various aspects of turbine flying experience.