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Darren

Captain - ATR 72-600

Airline Pilot Experience:

Captain

Most Recent Aircraft Type:

ATR-72 600

Training Route:

Modular ATPL

Aviation Specific Degree:

No

Languages:

English, Hebrew

Location:

UK, Europe, Asia

Additional Experience/Qualifications:

Union Representative

Passions, Interests and Experience:

Mentoring

Why did you want to become a pilot?

Very good question and I keep asking myself this… I have wanted to be a pilot since day one! Nothing would shake off this dream and this desire to become a pilot. Even my parents tried to dissuade me as financially the cost of all the courses and flight training wasn’t viable. However, through shear perseverance, a lot of hard work and sweat and a very understanding bank manager I managed to fulfil my dream. I actually gave myself a deadline by the age of 30 to become a pilot and my first job started on my 30th birthday - fate maybe!

How did you fund your training?

Through many bank loans, working in a variety of jobs and being very cautious and financially savvy about the tax I paid allowed me to fund my training!

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

Definitely a challenge.
During ground school most of my peers were out at the pub after class socialising where as I had to sit through every evening at my desk and work my way through the deluge of information and found it very difficult but persevered and passed all my subjects.

What was most challenging?

For me definitely the ground school.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Using my skills and knowledge that I have worked and trained so hard for to safely transport my passengers from one place to another. I also loved meeting some of the famous passengers that I carried and also the destinations that I flew to.

What is most challenging about your job?

Originally I thought it was the complexities to the aircraft and not always having an in-depth understanding of the aircraft as I am not technically minded and I struggle to retain so much information. However, for me what is most challenging about my job is not being able to do the job. Being made redundant and not being able to fulfil my dream has to be the biggest challenge so far.

Which of the Pilot Competencies are of most interest to you and why?

1. Leadership & teamwork
2. Communication
3. Workload management

Additional info

I worked as the union representative for my base. There were approximately 70 members of staff; all of whom were facing redundancy. Not only were they facing redundancy, but also losing their livelihoods and careers which is an incredibly difficult prospect to manage. I have mentored my colleagues during this process and, even with the process concluding, I am still mentoring them as a number of them are finding the ramifications very difficult to deal with.