FTA Graduate Michael Weeks, now flying as a First Officer at Monarch Airlines

FTA Graduate Michael Weeks, now flying as a First Officer at Monarch Airlines

Former student Michael Weeks talks about his training experiences at FTA and a bright future in aviation.

Early challenges

At first, everything was alien to me and I wondered if becoming a pilot was out of my reach. Thankfully, with the support of the ground school teachers, friends, family and other staff at FTA, I ploughed through and did a lot better than I thought – getting passes and good grades in all subjects. I loved flying the DA42 Twin Star and still love flying it today! I enjoyed all the courses at FTA but, like most people, I found the instrument rating great fun. Although intense, it really helps you focus in a single pilot operation. I also gained a real sense of variation – as there were so many different places to fly, both in the simulator and on actual flying routes. By changing the routes regularly, you feel challenged and learn not to simply memorise! I was lucky enough to fly to Paris-Pontoise for a flight leg, which takes you over the very busy and congested Paris control zone. It really opened my eyes to true commercial flying and the intensity you can experience with ATC. It taught me to expect the unexpected and was great practice for the future, because – as we all know – not every flight will be the same!

BY CHANGING THE ROUTES REGULARLY, YOU FEEL CHALLENGED AND LEARN NOT TO SIMPLY MEMORISE!

Next steps

I am genuinely excited about the future, as I have been offered one of the best first flying jobs with a great airline, Monarch. I couldn’t have asked for better and it’s certainly a company that was always on my mind from the start, even before I began training. Despite being quite nervous about fulfilling a new role, my time at FTA has prepared me well. And I will have a number of experienced pilots on my type course, from whom I plan to learn as much as I can. Work hard and you will achieve. I’ve never been very academic, but from experience I know that if you put the time in – and study and practise during the flying stages – you can get where you want to be in aviation.

DESPITE BEING QUITE NERVOUS ABOUT FULFILLING A NEW ROLE, MY TIME AT FTA HAS PREPARED ME WELL.