When did you know you wanted to be an airline pilot?
When I was very young. My first memory was my gran taking me to what is now Liverpool airport and from that day I remember being mesmerized by aeroplanes.
When and where did you first learn to fly?
I started at Main Air Flying School at Manchester Barton aerodrome. I started flying fixed wing microlights.
What are you looking forward to the most about being an airline pilot?
The buzz of it all. The takeoffs, the landings, the environment of airports and aircraft, the people and putting in to practice all those things I’ve learned along the way.
What challenges did you overcome on your journey to becoming an airline pilot?
Far more than anyone will know. I started out from a family that were hard working but maybe, let’s say, there wasn’t so much direction of those finances or support. I started with nothing, literally, no assets, no money.
I had a tough family time in my teenage years, and so took out all of that negative energy on studies, to escape the situation. I practically put myself in a room for a year or two, studied like crazy for my A-levels, got good results, went to university in London, became a solicitor, started a business, made some money, then gave up my business to revisit this long held ambition of being a pilot. If you want something badly enough, it can be done, is my message.
What advice would you give yourself at the start of your airline journey if you could?
Be prepared to run through brick walls, and when you hit a brick wall you can’t run through, don’t be defeated. Take a day and then run at it again tomorrow. You will get through them. Don’t think you’re the only one hitting brick walls, everyone hits them, It’s how you deal with it.
The road can be looked at as a filter; a test of those who have resilience and those who don’t.
If you weren’t an airline pilot what would you be?
I was a Solicitor, but other than that, I’ve always said I have an interest in economics. So I’d probably work in the City in a financial role of some sort.
When did you land your first airline job?
What aircraft will you be flying for your airline?
I will be flying the Boeing 737-800, and having spent so many hours in the VA simulator, I’m very happy about it.
For those thinking about becoming an airline pilot, would you recommend it, and why?
I certainly would recommend it if the real passion is there. What’s not to love? The variety, the views, the environment, the buzz of flying such a large aircraft.
I don’t think you can put passion for a job in to words, it’s an indescribable feeling.
When people used to ask me what job I did, and I replied “Solicitor”, that was the end of the conversation. Now, when I say “Pilot”, it’s far from the end of the conversation, and that about says it all.