We had a Q&A session with our FTA cadet, Davide Priamo, to try and discover what motivated him to start the journey to become a pilot, why he chose FTA as his preferred flight school and what aspiration he has for the future...
The feeling of freedom and tranquility when I surf the clouds, or look at a landscape from above is undescribable
Why did you want to learn to fly?
Since I was a child, I have always liked and enjoyed flying. The feeling of freedom and tranquility when I surf the clouds, or look at a landscape from above is indescribable. During my childhood I travelled a lot and had the opportunity to visit the flight deck of aircrafts on numerous occasions. It was a combination of all of these things that made up my passion for aviation and the pilot career path.
What inspired you to learn to fly – was there a role model or key event in your life?
I had the first opportunity to "fly" an airplane when I was 5 years old with a friend of my parents. It was an intense feeling, so intense that I still remember exactly what happened and exactly what I said during the flight. "It's pitching down!" I said to the pilot and he taught me how to keep the airplane straight and level. In that flight the pilot did not realise that he had just opened my eyes to a whole new world - a world of aviation.
What was important to you when you were choosing a flight school and why did you choose FTA?
First of all I wanted a flight school with very high teaching standards which would be able to prepare me for absolutely any situation. A modern and reliable fleet was also an important aspect for me, as well as the airport and its location. I chose FTA because it offered a training course which all took place completely in the UK and it was the right price or me.
What aspect of your training do you most enjoy?
The best part of my training was for sure the Instrument Rating phase. It is the big step towards high flying skills and in doing this I did really feel like a real pilot. I enjoyed all the aspects of it: the preparation of the flight, dealing with the weather, NOTAMS, flight plans, mass and balance and fuel calculations, the different approaches into different airports and various conditions, talking with ATC etc. It is hard work and it can be a bit tiresome but nothing compared with the all these enjoyable moments.
I did my first solo flight in 2012 in Italy...It was a very fantastic feeling and I had a big smile on my face on whole time.
How was your first solo flight?
I did my first solo flight in 2012 in Italy, where I did my PPL. I felt under a lot of pressure as I was totally responsible for the airplane. It was strange looking around me and not seeing my flight instructor - this was when the realisation kicked in that I was flying completely solo. It was a very fantastic feeling and I had a big smile on my face on whole time. The flight went very quickly and I soon had to come back down to land. Once I had landed all the instructors congratulated me for my first solo achievement.
What has been your most memorable or rewarding moment in your training so far?
The best moment in my training was when I passed my CPL skill test with the multi engine aircraft. It was more rewarding than the IR test because before the CPL I had some "difficult" flights where I did not perform as well as I wanted, but all the instructors helped me through. The day of the test I met my examiner who was a very important British Airways captain, but also very friendly, and I managed to get through the flight well. I would say it was my best achievement during my flight training.
My best tip from the beginning is don't give up, be POSITIVE and have a GOOD ATTITUDE with your training and with yourself.
Do you have any advice for others thinking about pilot training?
Well it is a hard career and there are going to be good and bad moments but it can definitely be done! My best tip from the beginning is don't give up, be POSITIVE and have a GOOD ATTITUDE with your training and with yourself. If anything goes wrong try to think ahead, revise your mistakes and improve on the next flight with the help of your instructors. All of these tips will help you not only during your training but also for the rest of your career.
What are your ultimate career goals?
My ultimate career goal is to secure a job with one of the best airlines in Europe. I then want to grow with that airline and eventually qualify to become a Captain. I'd then love to be able to help other Cadets and become a Type Rating instructor.
What do you do when you’re not training to become a pilot?
I usually spend my free time relaxing and doing different things that I can't do when i'm flying every day. FTA's location is close to one of the best towns in the UK, Brighton, so it's always great to explore. I like going on walks and doing sports such as swimming. I also love eating out in Brighton as there are hundreds of restraurants with a real mix of variety. I believe that the key to staying relaxed and on top of things comes from lifestyle choices first.