Getting Your First Job In Aviation

The Darwin Project

UPDATE: Due to popular demand, we have combined a number of articles from this section with some new content and published a new book called “So You Want To Be A Pilot”. As a result, some of the articles below are no longer available via the website.

You can read a detailed review of the book and its contents (and why it is a must-read for all new pilots – and their instructors) here.

You can purchase copy of the book from our online store or from all good pilot shops in Australia.

Back to our story…

Many pilots looking for their first job in aviation make the journey north to the Top End of Australia in search of fame, fortune and a dream career. Why? Because that is where most of the work is for new CPL’s with little or no flying experience outside of their training.

This section of the Aero Circus website is dedicated to those pilots looking to break in to the industry. It covers everything you need to know about this subject which, until now, has been a well-kept secret.

Not only has it been difficult to find reliable information, but most of the aviation training industry does not recognise where the fundamental training problems lie. There can be a massive abyss between what a pilot learns on the way to the Commercial Pilot Licence, and what the industry needs a pilot to be able to do from day one.

The Darwin Project was conceived by Aero Circus to help new pilots find their first job in aviation without having to spend months (or years) working out what the industry problems really are, and in most cases failing before ever getting to first base on the job search playing field. We have visited Darwin to check out all aspects of the job-hunting process, from both sides of the employment fence.

The articles in this section will cover everything from how to find out if your flying skills are up to scratch, what employers are looking for, through to how to prepare for – and approach – the job-hunting process for maximum results. We will also provide in-depth background on what life is really like in the tropics and some of the interesting issues that flying the Top End brings up.

If this is your first time in this section, start at the bottom and work your way up. Just like in your career.

Making Contact – Intro’s, Interviews and Ideas

For our fifth article, we examine some proven methods of navigating the process of convincing a potential employer that you are the best person for the job. We cover what you need to know from the first contact, through resume preparation, to the various interviews you might undertake and documents you should have ready at all times.



Getting up to Speed

In the fourth instalment of the Darwin Project we examine the skills that might help you to secure the first job. We also discover a unique course that specifically addresses the local knowledge that new CPL’s will need to survive and prosper in the Top End.



What Employers Want: Secrets that New CPL’s Need to Know

For the third article in this series we asked aviation employers in Darwin what they actually wanted from their new recruits. What they said might surprise a few pilots who are training for a role in the industry.  But as always, it’s never black and white, and different employers might expect different things from new CPL’s. Once you have an understanding of the common requirements, how can you deal with the individual ones?



Preparing for Your New Aviation Career

The second part of the Darwin series looks at the true role of flying schools and the gap that exists between flying school training and industry requirements. We also explore how to go about identifying your areas of weakness in terms of flying skills. Finally, we take a look at the pitfalls of the VET Student Loans system that is so popular with trainee pilots.



Understanding the Problems in GA

This is the first of our series of articles exploring everything we learned from our Darwin trip, plus a whole lot more. This time we try to understand exactly what is wrong in General Aviation and the wider industry in general. We think every pilot who is training for a career in aviation needs to know what is really going on.



First Flight in Darwin

Flying a light aircraft in the tropics is reputed to be somewhat different to the rest of the country.  You may be thinking of going to Darwin for a holiday and renting a plane while you are there. Or perhaps you are a new CPL that is planning to go to Darwin to seek you first job in the industry. Whatever the reason, there are a few things you need to know before you go. This article explores the knowledge gap that most of us will have.



Living up the Road from Alice

This article explores the issues outside of the work environment that a pilot in the Top End might face. What is the weather, food, and the economic situation like? What are your accommodation options? What do you need to know about working with indigenous communities? Plus a whole lot more. There are even details about the generous government incentives to help you to relocate to the Northern Territory (if you qualify).



Before You Learn To Fly

Many people decide, for one reason or another, that they would like to make a career out of flying airplanes. Often with no real concept of what is actually involved, they find the nearest flying school, sign up for some lessons and get the process underway. Then at some point in the future they realise that the reality does not match the dream.

In this article we look at a few things the prospective pilot can do early in the process to maximise their chances of a successful career and minimise the cash outlay required to reach either their end goal or a sensible decision.


The Aussie Pilot’s Career Guide

We start this section with a somewhat tongue-in-cheek guide to the various career options that a commercial pilot can choose from. We even have a flow chart so you don’t need to read all the confusing words. Enjoy!

Aero Circus - Clowns at Play