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Nippon Air Cargo B747

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Well-known member
Aug 26, 2002
Anyone out there work for this outfit or is currently in the selection procedure? Believe they are hiring including guys with little or no time on the classic for SFO & JFK bases, provided you are typed on the 747 and have plenty of jet time (SIC or PIC).
How is the selection process? Are they as finicky on the medical as JALWays or ANA? Have heard that most guys (up to 70%) fail the medical, having passed the sim eval and interview in Tokyo. Not sure how true that might be but seems to be an awful waste of resources unless you do the medical first. I already know about the JCAB license, just wondered about the selection process and also the schedule once you are on line. Also, are you able to jumpseat with any US carrier? Probably not as you are an American pilot but work for a foreign carrier. Just curious as to how the US pilots flying for NCA like their job or otherwise. Both up and downsides would be much appreciated.
Many thanks in advance.

Just what I have heard. Yes they do give you the astronaut medical that few end up passing. Training is for 7 months for non type rated pilots and about 5 for those who are typed on the 747. The contract is about 4 years, but the pay is good. Hope this helped. If you fill out the application on their website, they will email you an application form, and contract summary.
Actually you do not need a type on the 74 provided you do have some jet and international experience. From what I understand the SFO guys are doing one 12-14 day trip a month. The JFK guys work a little more but have shorter trips. You are correct about the medical, in the fact if you do fail you can still be an astronaut. Seventy percent does seem a little high, but then again this profession of sitting on your butt for hours, eating crews meals, having a late night beer, can catch up with you if you don't work out. Hawaii Aviation is the only contractor for NCA and seem to be a decent outfit. As far as commuting, they offer $300 a month for commuting. I have also heard that there is an American carrier that offers jumpseats, just not sure who that is.
The JCAB medical exam is very thorough, it can take about two, on the 2nd day, they conduct an EEG (Brain scan).

The hiring standards are normally very high, but, for those that are hired and make it through training, the Japanese treat you very well.
Thanks for all the info guys. It pretty much ties up with what I figured.
Actually, there isanother agency besides HACS, Parc Aviation of Dublin also contracts with both NCA and ANA/Air Japan. I already have an application in with both, just waiting to hear if I've got an interview.
As for experience, I'm typed in the B747 classic, currently doing IOE with my current employer and have approx 50 hrs on type - all of it international. Also have B737, B757 & B767 types with time on all, 6000+ SIC turbojet, the majority of it international with some long-haul overwater plus ETOPs. I think I'm qualified according to their min requirements and the fact that I received an app. Just a question of whether I can impress the Japanese enough to warrant an interview and pass that medical. My doc says I'm healthy and he also does JCAB medicals but I don't think he knows that the selection medical is a bit more than that!
Anyway, I guess I'll sit tight and see if I make it that far and report back in due course. Any tips on what would impress them at the interview, few words of Japanese, a bow instead of shaking hands, enthusiasm, ability to get along in multi-cultural companies (I've worked for some airlines that seemed like United Nations & have also lived/worked in countries outside of the US), neat logbooks? Probably common sense mostly and know who you are dealing with.
Again, thanks for the gouge guys.
The Japanese can smell "phony" a while away, so don't try it, unless you are familar with the customs. Normally the Japanese are picky when it comes to time in type, but, perhaps things have changed.

70% failure rate? Sounds like something written on the PRUNE website.
The initial cadre of pilots at NCA were TWA B747 pilots on contract. Many chose to stay when given the opportunity to do so later on. Don't know if there are any of these guys left today as most would be 60+. The nice thing for those guys was that you could be based in SFO which was pretty much unheard of in the eighties.

You might try a Google search and see if you can find any former NCA guys here in the US that would share some information with you.

Good luck,
We've had about 4 guys from my airline successfully get on with NCA cargo in the last 6 months, all are still in training and not out flying the line yet. (All used Hawaiian Aviation Services)

NONE had any time in type, all just had B757 international flight time. Also, none of them were, how do I put this, "Mr Olympian". They were just regular USA airline pilots that ate crew meals, hamburgers, and drank beer. So I image the 70% medical failure rate is a little misreported.

I too was offered and interview in Toyko in late Aug, and it was the toughest decision of my life to turn it down and chose another airline that recently offered employment. It was VERY had to say "no" to $91,000 per year and a JFK base, but in the end, I hope I did the right thing.
From what I have heard the physical is pretty complete. It is not that you have to be a Superman it is just that there can be absolutely no variance in their findings - you have to fit the mold. For instance, the minimum resting pulse that you can have is 50 BPM. If you are very fit, your resting pulse can be lower than this value. So you can be a world class athlete say a jogger, have a resting pulse rate lower than 50 BPM, may have a slight bit of blood in your urine (not unusual for runners) and you will FLUNK the physical because your readings are out of tolerance.

From what I have heard the physical is based on the typical japanese physiology and as such some Westerners that are in excellent physical condition still may not pass.
Spooky 1 said:
The initial cadre of pilots at NCA were TWA B747 pilots on contract. Many chose to stay when given the opportunity to do so later on. Don't know if there are any of these guys left today as most would be 60+. The nice thing for those guys was that you could be based in SFO which was pretty much unheard of in the eighties. Good luck,

I don't think there are anymore of the NCA-TWA left, all of the TWA pilots would have been over 60 years old by now. When I was at NCA, the youngest Captain was about 54,the youngest FO was about the same age. The youngest FE was about 40 and that was about in 1995.....

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