Airplane Pilot Portrait
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Thijs

Line Training Captain - A320

Airline Pilot Experience:

Captain, LTC

Most Recent Aircraft Type:

Airbus

Training Route:

Integrated ATPL

Aviation Specific Degree:

Yes

Languages:

English

Location:

UK

Additional Experience/Qualifications:

Leadership Training, Other

Passions, Interests and Experience:

Wellbeing, Aviation Training, Evidence Based Training, Competency Based Training, CRM/TEM

Why did you want to become a pilot?

My interest in aviation came at a later stage. By coincidence, I read the book “Piloot Worden” (Dutch for ‘Become a Pilot’) which kickstarted a thorough research on how to become a pilot, what it was.

How did you fund your training?

Through a private loan.

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

Because of the late discovery of my interest in aviation, I started the pilot training with a lack of knowledge. I did not even know what a VOR was. Though challenging, it was also motivational because I had peers to work with.

What was most challenging?

That will have been the “Simulated Instrument Training” in the Piper Archer. We had to wear those goggles to block out external cues and completely trust the instruments. Though challenging at the time, I do understand the benefit now.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Being part of a complex network that makes the flight possible. Even though on the forefront, the flight crew is a link within a vast network. On the day of the flight, the pilot connects many people’s effort and hard work to get the flight done and anticipates in order to have all links connected seamlessly. Even though they are satisfying, this job is about more than just making nice landings.

What is most challenging about your job?

The long night flights. I am a morning person and my brain “shuts down” at night. A good conversation and many cups of coffee are needed to remain sharp.

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

1. Leadership and Teamwork, because successful outcome of operations is a team effort and I believe that effective leadership is key to have an efficient team.

2. Situational Awareness, because it involves anticipation. When you perceive and comprehend all relevant information it is possible to create contingencies for any situation.

Additional info

My MSc thesis topic was: “the impact of gender diversity on airline leadership”. It made me very passionate about both “(gender) diversity” and “leadership”.
I am optimistic, pragmatic and focused. I think these characteristics are helpful when mentoring peers to help with whatever they need: From a mentally supportive chat, to assistance in preparing for recurrent sims, or interviews.