A380 Senior First Officer
Previous airline/s: British Midland
Previous role/s (pre pilot training): German Customer Support Agent for MSN
Do you speak any other languages? German, French (intermediate)
Airline training route: Integrated
ATO/s attended: Oxford Aviation
Why did you want to become a pilot?
Like many people I wanted to be a pilot from a young age. When I was younger the flight was always the most exciting part of the holiday. I used to love going to the viewing gallery at Belfast International Airport. The flying bug grew from there. I got really involved in the CCF RAF at school and was lucky enough to get several opportunities to fly which led to becoming a motor glider instructor. From there it was always a dream to fly airlines.
How did you fund your training?
HSBC professional studies loan
Was training a breeze or did you find it a challenge?
Training was exactly as you would expect. There was so much to learn in such little time, but incredibly rewarding.
What was most challenging?
For me the most challenging time was the IR phase, my instructor had a different method teaching to my way of learning and I was restricted a lot of the time by bad weather which made this stage slow and frustrating. Speaking to peers and talking through with my instructor led to improvement and I felt on top of the world the day I passed my IR!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
The best thing about the airline world has to be the people. I get to work with people from various backgrounds and with different interests. I’ve made such strong bonds and friendships with these people. No day is the same and you get to fly an amazing aircraft with the best office view in the world.
What is most challenging about your job?
One word… sleep! Managing rest is the biggest challenge for some many reasons. When well rested it’s incredible how much better your physical and metal performance is. Learning to manage your rest is an art in itself
Which Pilot Competencies are of most interest to you?
For me it has to be Communication, Situational Awareness and Workload Management.
Pilot competencies are so intrinsically linked:
Working with many people effective communication gives you key information which in itself help improves you situational awareness. High SA helps you to decide when and how to manage your workload.