Alex J

SFO and Consultant Trainer TRI/TRE A320 and A330

Previous airline/s: VIRGIN ATLANTIC and CAPTAIN @ EASYJET, BMIBABY & BRITISH MIDLAND 

Uni degree: BEng(Hons) Aeronautics & Astronautics

Do you speak any other languages? Italian and German at intermediate/semi-competent tourist level

Airline training route: Integrated ATPL

ATO/s attended: OXFORD AIR TRAINING SCHOOL 1998-1999 

 

Why did you want to become a pilot? 

Probably saw Star Wars aged 6 and flying aeroplanes seemed the closest thing I could manage to actually being Han Solo. Also I love engineering, science and big machines, as well as solving problems, working with people, and exploring. 

 

How did you fund your training?

British Midland Part-sponsorship + graduate loan 

 

Was training a breeze or did you find it a challenge? 

I very much enjoyed training but put a lot of pressure on myself to achieve, so I understand the stress that trainees or any pilots can find themselves under, at different stages of their careers; 

 

What was most challenging? 

Coming to terms with failure, or lack of instant success, and instead recognising it as a normal part of the learning and development process. 

 

What do you enjoy most about your job? 

I’m quite a social person so enjoy being able to share the best things about flying with a crew and col- leagues; I like travel and exploration, and the chance to do something rather special as a career. Being able to participate in the training of fellow pilots has been a career highlight so far, in being able to support and guide colleagues to succeed, and hopefully share some the enthusiasm I have for aviation. 

 

What is most challenging about your job? 

Long-haul flying - physical cost of jet-lag & night flying, and the impact of time away from family. Training - trying to be the ‘critical friend’ needed by pilots sometimes; finding ways to provide the feedback needed for positive change in the long run, even though it may be 

 

Which Pilot Competencies are of most interest to you? 

I don’t think any particular ‘competency’ in the ICAO model has overall importance or significance - they are all linked. You can’t hand fly accurately under high workload, to manage your workload you need good teamwork, knowledge, and SA; and everything is tied together with communication of one form or another. I’m a big fan of how competency-based training is used to identify the root causes of performance (good or bad) - it doesn’t really matter which competency you focus on, as long as you gain insight into the root cause in the end (and use this knowledge to improve). 

 

Anything else: 
Whilst with easyJet I was a Peer Support Volunteer and I am a current member of the Royal Aeronautical Society (MRAeS). 

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