Stuart

A380 Senior First Officer

Previous Roles: Secondary Mathematics Teacher and career pathway mentor

Uni Degree: MSc Airline Management, BEng Aerospace Engineering

Airline Training Route: Integrated

ATO/s Attended: CTC Aviation


Why did you want to be a Pilot?

My Grandad used to take me to The Airport Hotel at the threshold of what was then Runway 23 at Manchester Airport every Saturday afternoon. We would go to watch the BA 747 Classic depart for Islamabad. I got hooked! Dad bought me a flying lesson at age 11 and a family friend who was a 757 Captain for Caledonian Airways, invited me on a return trip to Alicante just before 9/11. All these experiences culminated in a great passion to fly.

How did you fund your training?

With HSBC Pro Study unsecured loan in collaboration with CTC 2006


Was training a breeze or a challenge?

Having to relocate to NZ was exciting but also a real change for a northern family man. The volume of information to absorb was very intense coupled with my world literally being turned upside down. However, I learned to adapt and create a structure involving good habits to manage the workload, and it turned out to be a very enjoyable challenge over 18 months.


What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really love interacting with our customers and, on the odd occasion, may give them a little song. Our role is far more than managing the flight deck: We must inspire our next generation and instil confidence in our customers to create an enjoyable experience.


What is most challenging about your job?

Jet lag has a significant impact on our performance. Managing sleep and maintaining fitness is key to counteracting the negative effects of time-zone changes and flying through the night. Well-being is at the heart of ensuring we are resilient when the time comes that requires intense alertness and performance.


Which Pilot Competencies are of most interest to you?

All nine competencies are of equal importance, but I think communication is linked throughout. Effective and efficient communication is key to ensuring good performance.

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