Rex Cadet Application Experience

This article was submitted by forum member (whitham89) on 28th July,2014.

Hi guys,

Thought I would share my experiences with applying for the Rex Cadetship Program so far (I’m currently still in the process of going through it). A bit about me: I’m 25 and have a couple of uni degrees in Law and Media from Adelaide Uni. I decided to change to a career in aviation. I began the UniSA Bachelor of Aviation degree at the start of ’14, and applied for the Rex program in May. I have no flying experience other than an hour-long trial instructional flight with FTA at Parafield and a couple of sessions at Flight Experience (B737 simulator).

Here’s what’s happened so far:
– I got an e-mail inviting me to sit the WOMBAT test in Mascot, Sydney. It is like playing a PC game from the 80s. Two joysticks, and some buttons between them. You try to keep a cross inside a moving circle with one joystick, and keep two vertical bars lined up with the vertical sides of an expanding and contracting hexagon with the other. There are also 3 different ‘bonus’ rounds to choose from at any time, and these get you the points. It goes for 90 mins (30 learning, 60 doing). It’s fine for anyone who’s played computer games.

– Got a call a couple of days later inviting me to an interview in Wagga. Traveled there last week. It was at the AAPA building at Wagga airport. While I was waiting, I got a maths test to do. Questions ranged from easy to difficult. I had 25 mins to complete it, didn’t quite finish it. Interview was with a Paul Musemeci and two other guys. Mr. Musemeci asked most of the questions. Some discussion about why I wanted to be a pilot, what are good qualities of a Rex F/O, why I would be a good F/O, how would I go being away from home for 9 months, how I would stump up $25k, questions about the Saab 340, basic aerodynamics and engine systems questions with the use of a model Piper that was on the desk, what the lift formula is, what leadership is, what was my worst quality, what my favourite A/C is, and other questions tailored to my resume were asked. I assume these questions differ slightly based on your personal experiences in aviation etc. They also asked me where I see myself going with my career ultimately. I did some name-dropping, as I’ve had a chat with 1 or 2 people who have done the program.

– I was asked to wait outside. A couple of minutes later, one of the guys who was in on the interview came out and said I was successful in my interview and I’d be doing a sim test. It was with a guy named Rob. He was a bit of a lad. He said it was ‘to make sure my brain was attached to my hands’. The sim was a twin engine A/C, but it may as well have been a single. He explained some things to me with the use of a whiteboard, and then he got me to demonstrate level flight, and left and right 30 and 45 degree turns. He said I was very good for someone with no flying experience. The receptionist at AAPA told me I would hear from them soon (she wasn’t sure exactly when, maybe a week or two). I am reasonably confident of a 2nd interview.

Some tips for anyone who gets an interview:
– Revise basic aerodynamics, maths and engine systems – control surfaces, stalls, turns, icing, engine types, flaps, lift formula. Even if you have no experience or anything, revising these will show you have an interest in aviation
– Make sure you know Rex (the specifications of the Saab 340, where they fly etc.)
– Practice basic interview questions with someone before the interview (I did, and it turned out to be very helpful, especially the question about where I see my career heading ultimately)
– Play some Flight Sim if you can – buy a flight yoke off eBay or Gumtree
– Make sure you present well (friendly, smiling, maybe a little joke here and there to show you’re human)

I will keep you up to date with my progress as I go, but I hope what’s here so far helps anyone who is thinking of applying. If anyone wants to ask me a question I’d be happy to answer.

REX Cadet Pilot Program

Rex (Regional Express) is a small airline based in Australia and operated a wide range of small aircraft led by the Saab 340. Rex operate flights for Qantas and uses the Qantas livery on most of their airplanes.

To be eligible for the cadet pilot program, a candidate must have completed year 12. Other than that, it will cost you a whopping $98,000 but can be significantly be reduces with a grant from them that gets ‘forgiven’ if you stay with them for seven years. Training is only 32 weeks but is dependent on the individual cadet.

Seems simple enough for someone trying to get their foot into the aviation game.

Check out the program here.