June 11, 2012:
Specialists in environmental surveys by air, APEM has launched a pilot cadet training programme designed to take 100-hour PPL recruits and turn them into fully commercially qualified crew with a frozen ATPL.
The company employs over 120 scientists and over the past seven years has greatly expanded its aerial survey capabilities, concentrating on developing in-house survey expertise. The fleet now consists of five specially modified aircraft: three Vulcanair P68s, a Britten Norman Islander, and a Cessna 172SP. An established team of six full-time survey pilots is supported by several part-time pool pilots.
The cadetships are expected to last between 18 months and two years, during which time the cadets will be paid APEM employees. They will be trained to work in ground operations and as on-board camera technicians, but will spend approximately 20 per cent of their time in pilot training. The company will pay for the cadet scheme, including all pilot training, examination and hour building, with the qualified pilots bonded for three years after completing their training. Once operational, they will then join the full-time salaried pilot staff and fly the full range of survey activities undertaken by the firm.
The pilot cadet scheme follows on from APEM's long-standing graduate training programme for aquatic scientists, which has seen over 50 graduates join the company and begin their careers in marine and freshwater biology. The company philosophy is that by investing in new and enthusiastic staff, the rewards are varied and numerous, not least in providing bespoke training specifically designed for the type of work undertaken by the company. Staff retention is also improved in that people appreciate that the company values the skills they develop.
APEM director Dr Stuart Clough says: "Putting something back into our industry to invest in the scientists and pilots of the future is something we are extremely proud of at APEM – after all the skills of our staff are what we sell. "Graduates of the cadet scheme will not only become competent, experienced commercial pilots, but they will also develop a level of skill and knowledge in the field of remote sensing unrivalled outside APEM," he adds.