David R

TRI Boeing                                                         

 

Most recent base: Leeds Bradford                                                       

Most recent airline: Jet2.com

Previous airlines: GB Airways, Etihad Airways

Previous/ Additional roles: FO A320/A330, Captain and TRI B777/787, Captain B737

Airline training route:  Integrated ATPL

ATO attended: FTE Jerez

 

Why did you want to become a pilot?

Despite having no aviators in the family, flying has always been in my blood. Growing up close to Heathrow probably helped, I used to be able to set my watch by the sound of Concorde taking off! I ‘flew’ my first simulator, a B747 classic, for my 13th birthday and flew my first solo in a glider at 16. After that, I knew that there was nothing else I wanted to do for a living.  

 

How did you fund your training?

Through a professional studies loan, secured on my first airline. I was fortunate enough to be selected as the first cadet pilot for GB Airways, having spent two years working with them as cabin crew. 

 

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

It certainly had its challenges! I always felt that, although the learning material wasn’t easy, it was more the volume of learning in a relatively short time frame that presented the biggest challenge. 

 

What was most challenging?

Managing the significant workload whilst balancing it with enough social life to stay sane!

 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Meeting so many interesting people, from all walks of life, all over the globe. We’re privileged to enjoy some pretty stunning views from time to time too!

 

What is most challenging about your job?

Balancing the hours with family life and having to explain to my children why I couldn’t always be there when they wanted me to be. 

 

Which Pilot Competencies are of most interest to you?

Workload Management combined with Leadership/Teamwork. If those aren’t effective, Situational Awareness and Communication quickly go out the window, making Problem Solving and Decision Making a problem!

 

Anything else?

I worked as a Flight Crew Assessor/Recruiter as well as a TRI with Etihad Airways, which led to me frequently mentoring First Officers who were approaching Command Upgrade or who had been unsuccessful previously. I’ve always been passionate about helping people develop their competencies, perhaps because I’ve had so much professional support from others throughout my aviation career (which began as a customer service agent!). For now at least, redundancy has impacted me, in the same way that it has so many others. Although my wings are currently clipped, I’m not sitting still – I’m launching a new business venture, outside of the flying world until we can spread our wings again. 

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