Previous Airline/s: easyJet, Arik Air
Uni degree: BSc(Hons) Geography
ATO/s Attended: CTC Aviation
Why did you want to become a pilot?
I have always had an interest in aviation ever since I was very young when I would visit the flight deck on BA flights with my 'sky fliers' passport which was signed by the flight crew. Having family working for an airline enabled me to visit many countries when travel was traditionally very expensive in the 1980s and 90s prior to low cost travel.
How did you fund your training?
Professional Studies Loan/ CTC Wings Scheme
Was training a breeze or did you find it a challenge?
Initial flight school training was a challenge having come straight from University without any flight
experience. It required an adjustment and different mindset in order to cope with the frequent testing and rapid progress required to be successful through the training.
What was most challenging?
The training is challenging like anything that is new. However, it is extremely rewarding when you reach these professional and personal goals. Many things to consider include moving away for training, being constrained financially, working many hours and studying during free time, steep learning curve etc. Once on the line and with the airline it is extremely enjoyable and all the hard work during training is rewarded.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the fact that everyday is different, flying with different colleagues, different routes, experiencing a variety of challenging situations day to day and the immense sense of pride that comes with commanding an airliner and being responsible for the safety of all the passengers, crew and aircraft. I also enjoy the fact that I play a role in providing people with a great holiday and customer service experience.
What is most challenging about your job?
Working for an airline you must be extremely flexible; many days are long hours and days off can be irregular with rosters not always being on a fixed pattern. It requires disciplined time management to be able to balance work and family/ social life. The priority is making sure that you are well rested prior to each duty in order to maintain maximum levels of safety and professional standards, and providing the best possible customer service.
Which pilot competencies are of most interest to you?
Flying experience and hours alone do not provide a guaranteed ticket to employment. Airline recruitment teams are increasingly seeking applicants whose pilot competencies stand out from others. These help to determine ability and suitability for employment as a First Officer or Captain. As a professional pilot it is important that we self critique and strive to continually hone these competencies to improve our resilience in what is an extremely tough and volatile industry.