Contrary to what most people think, making a career transition for a RSAF pilot is quite a painful process. The period of transition is usually an emotionally volatile period and also a really expensive process. It would definitely set you back a few years in your retirement funds.
In this article, we will explore all the costs involved in a successful transition for a RSAF Fighter and Transport Pilot. Helicopter Pilots are not covered here simply because, helicopter Pilots have to spend much more to make the transition (sorry guys).
Cost to get your FAA ATP
The cost for getting your FAA ATP was covered in an earlier post. In that post, we determined that it will cost SGD $49,400 for Single engine Fighter Pilot and SGD $35,400 for a multi-engine fighter pilot and a transport pilot.
Cost to satisfy the requirements of a CAAS licence
Before you even start your aircraft training, you’ll have to break a few more piggy banks. Here are some of the costs to to fulfill the requirements of your CAAS licence.
- Psychometric Test – This test is done before employment, and it is supposed to determine if you are suicidal or not. You usually pay for this yourself and it costs SGD $428
- CAAS Class 1 Medical – The Class 1 Medical, initial medical, can only be done at Raffles Medical, and it costs SGD $513.60 and an entire day at Changi Terminal 3 and Raffles Hospital.
- 2 CAAS Computer Based Exams – 2 papers, $155 each. Total SGD $310 plus 2 weeks of studying. How to prepare for the test?
- Licence Conversion Fees – These fees are the first in a series of fees that you need to pay to CAAS. These fees are payable upon submission of the licence conversion form FC-02. SGD $345
- Certificate of Validation – These fees are paid to CAAS to validate your foreign Licence. SGD $72
- Licence Application Fees – These fees are paid to CAAS for the issuance of your CAAS Licence. SGD $144
- IR Currency – As part of the application for the licence, you need to have a current IR. Since one of the way of getting the IR current is through several simulator proficiency checks in Singapore, it will cost roughly SGD $2,000 per year to keep it current.
Cost of Training
While you are being hired by a Singapore registered Low Cost Carrier, Part of your employment contract will state that you will need to be type rated. And to be type rated, CAAS requires all RSAF Fighter and Transport Pilots to undergo a Multi Crew Coordination Course. It’s basically as course to teach us all to work together. It’s also the most expensive 1 week of your life.
- Multi Crew Cooperation Course – This will set you back about USD $10,000. You’ll need to pay for this yourself and is separate from your type rating. You need to do the MCC if you are a fighter pilot. Providers like Airbus, CAE, STAA and SAAS each provide MCC training at different prices. But this would be the rough cost of MCC ~ SGD $15,000
- Type Rating – As most of the RSAF Pilots will be joining Jetstar or Tiger Air the type rating will be on a A320, and it will set you back SGD $48,000
Thats about all
It is pretty darn expensive.
But hey, its a privilege to fly.
For a Single Engine RSAF Fighter Pilot, the grand total is
For a Multi-Engine RSAF Fighter Pilot, the grand total is
For a RSAF Transport Pilot
So, you’re spending $100k+ just to find a $100,000 job. It’s up to you to decide if doing this is worth all the time and money to make the transition. But for many of us in the Airlines, it is not about the money. Read this article for a step by step guide for RSAF Fighter and Transport Pilots, and this article for Helicopter Pilots.
If you do decide to make the jump, its time to sell your luxury car =)