Ana, a qualified Flight Instructor turned pilot explains what life as First Officer for airBaltic is like, and how she and her partner make it possible to both work as pilots and still enjoy a happy family life.
Why did you train to be a pilot?
After experiencing my first flight in a light aircraft in my late teens, I immediately developed the desire to become a pilot. Nearly twenty years later, after a career in an unrelated field, I decided it was time to follow my dream.
How did you go about choosing a flying school and what aspects were important to you?
I canvassed opinions of pilot friends and on general aviation flying forums. Then I visited the schools in person. I was looking for a school with a modern fleet of aircraft and an excellent reputation in the industry. Secondary considerations were a location that was commuting distance to home and an airfield with instrument approaches.
We spoke to integrated student Mark, who will soon complete his pilot training with FTA. Mark came back to pilot training after realising that the time simply wasn't right in 2011 when he first wanted to embark on his dream.
Mark explained to us how timing was crucial and how his burning desire to become a pilot would simply never go away.
As the demand for pilots has rapidly increased, cadets are often questioning ‘what is the likelihood of securing a job after completing your pilot training?’ In addition, after gaining the qualifications and skills desired to land your dream job in the airline industry, one of the most common questions is ‘who is recruiting low hour pilots?
When did you decide you wanted to become a pilot?I was about 6. The seed was planted when I learnt there was a pilot in my family two generations back flying in the 1950’s! I made a entirely committed decision to become a pilot after my A-Levels when I identified Bucks New University offered Air Transport Management with Airline Pilot Training degree.
For many people, the love of aviation starts at a very young age. This could not be more true for FTA Modular graduate Alessandro who, at the age of just 23 years old, has already achieved his dream of becoming a Commercial Pilot. Here we spoke to him about his training and early experiences flying the line for Europe's largest airline, Ryanair:
Integrated Flight Deck Programmes
If you want to complete your training in under 2 years and can access the funds to pay from £63,950 over 12 months then this is absolutely the right option for you.
The quicker you can complete your training, the quicker you can apply for roles within airlines and start earning from £25,000 as a First Officer. Students that choose this route are typically able to fund this with finance from parents, inheritance, secured loans – or a combination of the above.
With FTA you have the option to pay for your course over 12 months. If you were to enrol on one of FTAs Integrated Flight Deck Programmes today, for example, you pay an initial payment of £14,000 and the remaining balance over 12 months.The course fee includes all your airport fees, uniform, books, instruction, tests and flight time. The only items you need to fund separately are any repeated phases, and tests. Your accommodation is funded by you too, although support is given to find the right arrangement for you whether it’s a student house, hotel, hosted family or apartment. If Option A (priced at £63,950) or the alternative, Option B (priced at £77,950) of the integrated training is not viable for you, you can elect to study on a modular basis and it is practical.
We had a very busy Wednesday this week with a visit from students of Bucks University. FTA forged a partnership with the university in 2014, which has successfully grown over the years. In the last 4 years we have welcomed a number of Bucks University students who have gone on to complete their modular training, at various stages within our flight school.
Estimates from the International Society of Women Airline Pilots (ISA) in 2015 suggested that there were about 4,000 women pilots worldwide that's just 3%. Another estimate, by easyJet, puts the balance at 5%, with 6% of its own flying staff female.