It’s hard to believe that as we begin 2020, I’ve now been flying professionally for 10 years. It’s gone fast! On the left I’m the cadet still sporting my flight school lanyard, back in 2009, and on the right I’m sat in the left seat in my current role as a Captain.
I started as a cadet with no airline experience and only 150 hours of flight experience on piston aircraft. I still remember my first day with 4 flights and two destinations – Murcia and Dublin. That feeling of excitement, and nervous energy of your first flight can never be forgotten. Before that day, I had no more than one or two other persons sat in the aircraft with me, never mind almost 200!
Since then I’ve gained 6500 hours of flying, progressed through to Captain and taken on roles within the training department which involves training other pilots in the simulator, on “the line”, which means on passenger flights, and also examining pilots on the line and in the simulator.
Flying is all I’ve ever wanted to do since I was 6 years old and if I told even my teen or 20-something self studying at University what I’d be doing today, I’d have never believed it. I wasn’t connected to anyone in the aviation or airline industry, so it seemed quite distant and an almost impossible path to me. However, I had the drive, motivation and the will to succeed, and a supportive family. Even though I never thought I’d make it this far, I followed my dream anyway and here I am doing what I love doing and travelling as much as I can. I was also lucky enough to meet so many amazing people in the last 10 years that have been amazing mentors, colleagues and friends.
I am now incredibly fortunate to be part of a world-class training department and be able to exercise various roles, which keeps my job as interesting as ever and most importantly allows me the opportunity to contribute to my colleagues’ and airline’s success. I’m still hungry to learn, progress and of course continue travelling and investing in my personal self-development. I’m excited to see what the next year and next decade brings!
I wish you all a happy and healthy 2020.