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Lewis shares how he has found his flight training so far, including his experience of ATPL Theory during the lockdown

We spoke with Integrated student Lewis, who has just finished his time in Ground School. He spoke to us about his experience with learning remotely during quarantine and his motivation for becoming a pilot.


When did you decide embark on your flight training?

About two years ago working on my dad’s farm, I hit an emotional wall not really knowing what path I wanted to take with my life and started to feel quite down and lost. After a month or so I realised that there was no reason I shouldn’t try and pursue my dream job of becoming a pilot. I started looking into the world of commercial aviation and found out it was more than possible to pursue a career in it and then after a lot of research I came across FTA and haven’t looked back since. 

When was your interest in aviation born?

Growing up my dad has always had a passion for anything machines, planes being one of them and it’s definitely rubbed off on me over the many years. Now even if I hear the faintest sound of a rumbling engine, my eyes are straight up in the sky scanning for a glimpse of that hunk of metal. I’ve always imagined being up there in that pilot’s seat feeling weightless and free, it’s been my dream job ever since I was young and now it’s becoming a reality!

The atmosphere here at fta is second to none, it's friendly, welcoming and it feels like a second home.   

What did you study before you enrolled at FTA?

Before I started flight training back in October 2019, I worked on my parent’s farm in a small village called Burwash where I learnt life skills such as repairing engines all the way to plumbing and electrics, an invaluable experience. I also went to college back in 2010 and studied Music Tech, Animation and Computing but at the time I was unsure of what career I wanted to pursue.

Why FTA?

After researching through all the viable flight schools and attending several open days and seminars I knew straight away that FTA was the option for me. The atmosphere here at FTA is second to none, it’s friendly, welcoming and it feels like a second home compared to other flight schools where you feel like a number in a book and it had a bonus of only being 25 minutes from my partners house which is great!

Look for what suits you not other people, everyone has different requirements and views. Personally, I was looking for flight school with more of a family feel and a sense of community/belonging and FTA ticked all the boxes.

How has your experience of ATPL Theory been?  

My experience with ATPL theory has definitely been an interesting one to say the least, from Brexit to a worldwide pandemic. The lessons have been tough but more than doable and the instructors have been extremely helpful and friendly throughout. I can’t thank them enough.

How did the COVID-19 outbreak affect your training?

COVID-19 has meant that the last module of our training was done remotely over Microsoft teams and the last two sets of exams have been postponed to a later date.

FTA were quick on the ball to setup online training and the whole class settled in very quickly to the new routine which was great. The training has been much more difficult for me as I find it hard to get motivated trying to work from home, especially because I’m such a hands on learner. Despite all that we all got out the other side and the lessons have gone smoothly apart from a few hiccups because of Microsoft teams.

What advice do you have for people about to start their training?

My advice to you is that I would invest in a crystal ball to be able to see the obstacles before they happen such as Brexit and a Worldwide pandemic... But all jokes aside, my advice is to find a school that suits your needs and do as much research as possible. I would also recommend brushing up on your maths and physics, using the books you're provided when you start the course. Also you have tonnes of resources available to you such as YouTube and BBC bitesize, this will make your ground school time a little easier as a lot of the theory all comes back to basic physics and maths. 

How do you find the right flight school?

Research, research, research. There’s lots of information out there from YouTube, blogs, forums and Reddit. Go check out some flight schools, attend some pilot career events and before you know it the ball will start rolling and everything will fit into place.

Lewis' home learning ATPL workstation

You can fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love

What are your plans for the future?

My plans are very open for the future. I’m very interested in turboprop aircrafts as I feel they’re a bit more hands on and I LOVE the noise of those murmuring engines. I’m eager for what’s to come as I believe aviation is at the tipping point of becoming much more ECO and being at the forefront of renewable energy and electric powered flight which I'm a big fan of!


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