Ailsa

Dash 8 Q400 First Officer

Current location/base: Glasgow 
Previous airline/s: Flybe
Previous role: Cabin Crew at Eastern Airways
Do you speak any other languages? I have a basic knowledge of German. 
Airline training route: Integrated, MPL route but I now hold an ATPL licence
ATO/s attended: CTC Aviation

Why did you want to become a pilot? 
Flying has always been a passion of mine. From a very young age I was very fortunate to go on many family holidays so I was exposed to the hustle and bustle of an airport and aircraft environment. I fell in love with it and the urge just kept getting stronger. I have always known that I belonged in the sky and that I wanted to fly. If you ask anyone who knows me they will say that a pilot has always been my dream job.

 

How did you fund your training? 
I was very lucky to be chosen as a cadet on the part sponsored MPL programme through CTC Aviation and Flybe. The rest of my training was self-funded.

Was training a breeze or did you find it a challenge? 
I definitely found my training challenging. I had to overcome a lot of self-doubt and accepting failure. A weakness of mine is that I can be extremely hard on myself but I have learned to manage and work on this throughout my training and pilot career.

 

What was most challenging? 
I would have to say the ground school and completing my ATPL exams. It was a stressful time in my life but I was extremely proud of my results and that my hard work and study had paid off. It was definitely information overload in such a short space of time!

 

What do you enjoy most about your job? 
The flying! There is no other feeling like it. This may sound cliche but every time I took off I felt the sky is where I belonged and my dream was becoming reality. The flying experience I gained at Flybe was second to none and I will always be forever grateful for Flybe for giving me my first flying job. I felt so privileged to be part of the team that flew our passengers to and from their destinations. I enjoy the ever changing environment and how every day is never the same.

 

What is most challenging about your job? 
I would have to say the frustration of delays. A delay could be caused by anything from weather to a baggage discrepancy but each one came with its own set of challenges. You had to manage many issues at once, communicating with lots of individuals from all aspects of the industry, and having to make difficult decisions that may not be too popular. However, safety is always our number one priority. No one likes change but we as pilots have to be adaptable and flexible to be able to deal with every situation. 

 

Which Pilot Competencies are of most interest to you? 
I feel every competency is just as important as each other as they are all interlinked. However, I do find if you can balance your workload management it allows your mental capacity to increase. You are then able to become more situationally aware of your surroundings which allows for better decision making and problem solving. You are then able to contribute more to the team and further improve your communication.

What else?: 
I was selected by my base manager to be put forward for the peer support programme at Flybe but unfortunately I did not get to complete my interview as Flybe went into administration. I was very fortunate to be awarded a 12 hour NPPL flying scholarship through the Air League with Tayside Aviation that I completed in September 2014. I was a trained flight deck observer and conducted line flights for the Flybe Line Observation Safety Survey programme. I am an active volunteer with Project Wingman at the Glasgow Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.
 

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