Airplane Pilot Portrait
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Sandy

Captain

Airline Pilot Experience:

MCC/JOC/APS training and seat subbing.

Most Recent Aircraft Type:

B737-800 sim, Diamond DA42, Piper PA28.

Training Route:

Integrated ATPL

Aviation Specific Degree:

No

Languages:

English, Afrikaans.

Location:

Shoreham, South-East England.

Additional Experience/Qualifications:

Aviation training, Competency based training, Risk and Operational management, Expedition Leadership and Training.

Passions, Interests and Experience:

Health and Wellbeing, Professional and Personal Learning & Development, Pilot competencies, Exploration and discovery.

Why did you want to become a pilot?

I don’t remember a time that I didn’t want to be a pilot and not being interested in aviation and aerospace!

My grandfather was in the RAF and Royal Rhodesian AF and would regale me with his stories and experiences and inspired me to try and join the South African AF while I was in the military myself.

Growing up, I lived in a part of Cape Town where I could see all the civilian and military planes and helicopters taking off and landing and always wondered where they might be going or what they might be doing

How did you fund your training?

I borrowed some money from my property business to complement my saved funds to allow me to follow the full-time self-sponsored route.

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

Juggling looking after a family, caring for my elderly parents’-in-laws, running my own small property portfolio business and being involved in full time integrated training was certainly challenging and very demanding.

What was most challenging?

Juggling all my commitments and still trying to exceed the standards that I set for myself; especially through the very intense ATPL ground school phase of training.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety within the broad structure of aviation as every day, every flight, every training detail and every student is different, so there is a need to constantly adapt and ensure that there is learning and development to take away.

Because aviation is so multi-disciplinary, I also enjoy managing the delicate, but dynamic, balance between the science and the art of aviation.

I get tremendous satisfaction in understanding and controlling the risks of each flight and watching students grow and develop and succeed as they progress through their training

What is most challenging about your job?

In some respects, aviation can be extraordinarily innovative, but at the same time it can also be very conservative and exceedingly slow to embrace any potential change.

Pilot Competencies

I am interested in Communication, Leadership and Teamwork and Workload Management. If you can communicate well to those around you it implies an ability to understand those around you; if you have well developed leadership and teamwork skills it implies you know when and how to be both leader or follower and so you are far more likely to effectively manage your workload to achieve a safe outcome.

Although not a recognised ICAO competency, I am very interested in personal professional development as I believe it underpins all the other recognised competencies.

If a pilot is professional in their mindset, their behaviour and their attitude, then the core competencies tend to be developed and embedded more readily and applied more effectively.

Additional Info

Having realised a childhood dream of being a pilot after moving country and developing a portfolio career, I am deeply appreciative of the risks, sacrifices, challenges, trials and tribulations it takes to do so.

I also acutely aware of how other knowledge, experience and skills developed in other parts of life are so often transferrable to aviation and the flight deck, in particular.

Most importantly though, I could never have done what I did without the support and understanding of those around me

Why do you want to become a mentor for Resilient Pilot?

My own experiences have inadvertently shown me how important it is to have deep resilience, especially in the face of adversity, so I would like to become a mentor because I am impressed with the ethos and philosophy of Resilient Pilot.

What do you believe you can offer your mentees?

I have been fortunate to have had a portfolio career built around the themes of professional learning and development, communication and leadership and teamwork that has taken me to many parts of the world doing some very interesting things.

So I think that my knowledge, experience and background allows me to connect and build rapport with all sorts of people from all sorts of places.

I can offer my mentees, particularly aspirant and student or newly graduated pilots, a space where I can share my experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly - and hopefully be a positive role model to show what is possible with the right support and guidance around you; especially coupled with setting appropriate goals and targets along the way.