When did you know you wanted to be an airline pilot?
Ever since I was about 8 years old I have been interested in aircraft, at the age of 10 I went on holiday with my family to Cyprus (and despite having flown before, I was very young, so couldn’t remember much of the flight) I was absolutely overwhelmed and when we landed and got off that’s when I knew what I wanted to do when I was older.
When and where did you first learn to fly?
I first flew at the age of 13 with the Air Cadets from RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire. I then started having PPL flying lessons at the age of 14, my first one being on my birthday as a present. At the age of 16 I did my solo (9 days after my birthday, sadly not on the day itself due to high crosswinds). At 17 I completed my PPL in Jerez, Spain - after a particularly nasty spell of weather in the UK delayed my training, I decided to go abroad to finish the very few remaining hours. I then went to College and later worked at East Midlands Airport as a Flight Dispatcher for Swissport. I completed my CPL with Aviation South West at Exeter in February 2019 and ME/IR in April.
What are you looking forward to the most about being an airline pilot?
The views and scenery. Having a keen interest in photography and having watched nearly all of the ‘Day in the Life of a Pilot’ style videos on YouTube I know that the camera never does what you can see with your own eyes justice. I am really looking forward to successfully operating my first flight with actual fare-paying passengers on-board. Working together in a team as part of a crew and having something to belong to.
What challenges did you overcome on your journey to becoming an airline pilot?
I found studying for the ATPL theoretical knowledge exams a particularly difficult time, as did everyone else who I know. However with enough perseverance and determination I managed to pass all 14 of them and achieve an 85%+ average, which is something I am particularly proud of to this day.
What advice would you give yourself at the start of your airline journey if you could?
Don’t stress out and worry as much, just take your time to enjoy the journey and learning experience. There is no rush to get to the finish. You will not find everything easy but you will succeed and it will all be worth it in the end.
If you weren’t an airline pilot what would you be?
Before deciding to embark on the journey to becoming an airline pilot from a very young age I had decided that I wanted to be a Police Officer. I think that I have always aspired to work in a type of environment where every day is different and you don’t always know what to expect. I dislike ‘routine’ and couldn’t imagine working a normal 9-5 job instead.
When did you land your first airline job?
I found out that I had been successful in my sim assessment & interview with Flybe 4 weeks/exactly 28 days after finishing the APS MCC course in Cambridge with VA, on Thursday 13th June 2019, which was rather spookily exactly 5 years to the day of me finishing my GCSE exams at Secondary School.
What aircraft will you be flying for your airline?
As I am currently waiting for a date to start the Type Rating I have not yet been told, all I know is that it will be either the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 (turboprop) or Embraer 175/195 (jet). I am excited at the prospect of flying both these aircraft as I have heard good things about them and believe they are very capable machines.
For those thinking about becoming an airline pilot, would you recommend it, and why?
If you simply love to travel and are passionate about aviation then I couldn’t possibly think of a better career to have, it is more achievable than you may ever think it is.