Meet our Pilots

 


Alex Wong

First Officer

One of the things that surprised Alex the most about being a cadet is how quickly he was able to start flying in the right-hand seat of a multi-million dollar jet, from take-off to landing. In his mind, that’s the thing that sets the Cathay Dragon Cadet Pilot Programme apart from the rest.

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Loretta Chan

First Officer

Short haul flights give Loretta great satisfaction as she can continually hone her technical skills and fly to up to three destinations per day. She loves being able to fly to fun and challenging regional airports in South East Asia.

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Loretta Chan

Junior First Officer

Short haul flights give Loretta great satisfaction as she can continually hone her technical skills and fly to up to three destinations per day. She loves being able to fly to fun and challenging regional airports in South East Asia.

What are some of the challenges of ab-initio (flying) training?

Learning to fly can be stressful; there’s a lot to learn in a short period of time. If you don’t manage that stress well then you can fall behind. It helps to build good relationships with fellow cadets, whom we share our knowledge and help each other.

What can cadets expect when they start flying with Cathay Dragon?

In flying school, you follow instructions and everything goes well. Flying with an airline is different. It’s about teamwork; you need to be flexible and open to other pilots’ approaches. You will find that your co-pilots will have different ways of operating, although thankfully there are Standard Operating Procedures that bring everyone onto the same page.

Flying a passenger jet means that there are many factors to consider when making decisions. For example, if a mechanical issue arises and we need to land at a different airport, we need to consider whether engineering support is available. If it’s not, the plane could be out of commission for a long time and impact other operations and flights.

What are some of the most exciting aspects of your job?

Cathay Dragon flies to smaller regional airports that receive less support in terms of ATC, navigation and landing systems. Sometimes there isn’t even an arrival procedure to follow. It’s exciting because it means there’s a lot of uncertainty and you need to exercise lots of flexibility and great technical skills to manually land the plane. It’s definitely not boring!

 

Luke DeSantis

First Officer

Luke loves the way that no two days in the cockpit are ever the same. He enjoys the rush of being up against new challenges, from bad weather to mechanical issues. The excitement keeps him on his toes!

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Luke DeSantis

First Officer

Luke loves the way that no two days in the cockpit are ever the same. He enjoys the rush of being up against new challenges, from bad weather to mechanical issues. The excitement keeps him on his toes!

How did your flying career begin?

My father was an airline pilot and so I became interested in flying at an early age. I started training independently by researching the aviation industry and speaking with pilots to absorb their knowledge. This became useful when I was accepted into Cathay Dragon’s Cadet Pilot Programme.

What are some of the challenges of ab-initio (flying) training?

It’s a lot of work and so you need to be fully dedicated in terms of both academic and flight performance. While learning to fly, you also need to find ways to demonstrate that you will be a valuable member of the flight crew. The pressure can weigh heavily at times, however once through this stage of training you will be launched into the most amazing career!

What can cadets expect when they start flying with Cathay Dragon?

Once line flying begins, cadets must immerse themselves into a team environment. Everyday, Cathay Dragon pilots face challenges due to things like bad weather and airport difficulties. All aircraft crew need to work as one team to resolve issues so that our operation runs smoothly.

What are some of the most exciting aspects of your job?

No two days are ever the same. One day may be smooth sailing with beautiful weather, and the next may bring storms, aircraft delays or mechanical failures. Every issue we face keeps us on our toes and makes our job even more exciting!

 

Michael Chow

First Officer

While studying aeronautical engineering at university, Michael would go to the airport just to watch the planes take off and land. Now as a First Officer with Cathay Dragon, he gets to be at the controls every day.

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Raffaele Bazzanti

First Officer

Raffaele says there’s a lot to love about having a career at Cathay Dragon, from the great career progression opportunities to being able to live in one of the world’s greatest and most vibrant cities – Hong Kong.

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Peter Taylor

Senior Training Captain

Peter has enjoyed an exciting career journey with Cathay Dragon. He joined us as a First Officer in 1994 and has quickly moved up the ranks to Captain and flight training management roles.

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