B737/787 Training and Base Captain
Current location: England
Most recent airline: Qatar Airways (Captain)
Previous base: Doha
Previous airlines: Ryanair B737 Base and Training/Check Captain, Astraeus B737 F/O. Flight Instructor (SEP/NIGHT/IMC- PPL )
Uni degree? No – I left Uni after the first year to start an Integrated ATPL.
Do you speak any other languages? Romanian (Very Basic)
Airline training route: Integrated
ATO attended: Oxford 1998-2000 (AP178)
Why did you want to become a pilot?
I really became interested in aeroplanes and flying around the age of 10. Dad used to take me to the local air show at North Weald, and I enjoyed visits to Duxford and the IWM in London. My grandfather and great-uncle served in the RAF in WWII (ground engineer and air-crew respectively) and the tales they used to tell were certainly memorable (and perhaps even a little embellished!). I maintained my interest in flying during secondary school and had a trial lesson as a 17thbirthday present. I was totally hooked from that point onwards, eventually commencing full time flying training aged 20. I always had more of a fascination with larger aircraft (favourite aircraft – Avro Lancaster) and so the airline route was always the more attractive one to me.
How did you fund your training?
Inheritance, savings, parental generosity (especially with living expenses) and multiple loans from HSBC
Was training a breeze or did you find it a challenge?
I found initial training quite challenging.
What was most challenging?
I think a big part of being a pilot comes down to confidence, self-belief and so on. I think in the early stages I found it difficult due to lack of confidence (I took a while to solo), but once I came “out of my shell”, things went fairly smoothly. Learning to develop the focus required to complete what is a demanding and intensive training course is half the battle.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I enjoy almost every aspect of flying, but I still love the take-off and landing. Even as a passenger. I still love the sunrises and sunsets, and the amazing views.
I even enjoy landing in a max limit x-wind. (but not too often, please)
What is most challenging about your job?
Maintaining a healthy personal/professional balance is tough (as it can be for any vocation). Most pilots are passionate about flying and aviation and can be overly self-critical when things aren’t going as well as we would like. I don’t think anyone really ever gets used to a middle of the night wake-up call from standby. Managing rest/fatigue whilst maintaining high operational standards is certainly a challenge.
Which Pilot Competencies are of most interest to you?
Problem Solving and Decision Making
I believe that good Situational Awareness and Decision Making is critical in achieving desirable outcomes in flight safety.