We spoke to the owners of Jet MASTERCLASS, our partners in pilot training and airline preparation specialists. Director and co-founder of Jet MASTERCLASS, Frank Jukes, explains why they started the business, which is already proving extremely popular, supplying pilot training for major, UK-based airlines.
We managed to get some of Tim's time, a modular student from FTA who since completing his training, has been pretty much non stop.
Soon after finishing his advanced pilot training at FTA, he went into a role as a calibration pilot and travelled around the world. He's now secured a First Officer position with easyJet and realised his dream of becoming an airline pilot.
Tim has worked extremely hard to be where he is now. He once worked in Air Traffic at Brighton City Airport while completing his training, a job which is in itself a demanding role. However, he made it work and completed his training at the end of 2016 before swapping his headset in air traffic control for a seat in an aircraft as a commercial pilot. It's been our pleasure to be part of his story and we hope to stay in touch with Tim as he progresses through his career.
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Steve worked at our school as a flight instructor before moving on to a role with the airline.
He reflects on his early days learning to fly, life working as an instructor before sharing his exciting news about a promotion with his employer, Loganair.
Have you ever been curious about what skills and abilities are required to become a flight instructor? Perhaps you've never given it a second thought, our suggestion is that you should.
Why did you train to become a pilot?
When I was 19 and a student I started to work as a secretary in an aviation company. Within months of working there, I grew a passion for aviation and fell in love with the idea of being a pilot. I started in flight operations and became exposed to pilots, hearing their stories and how they explained things.
Despite my growing interest, I knew the cost and felt like it was impossible for me, something that was entirely out of my reach.
No turning back
I saved every penny I could and eventually saved up enough money to complete my Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL). For me, it made sense to start by only focusing on that aspect of the training. I told myself that the PPL was financially a lower risk than enrolling straight onto an integrated course. It gave me time to save just enough money and was an excellent place to start my training. I felt that if I succeed at this stage, it will give me the knowledge and confidence to decide whether I could progress on to the more advanced training required of airline pilots.
The problem was there would never be any turning back after experiencing what it was like to fly – I instantly became addicted. I knew that I would never be happy if I didn’t now follow my dream.
Finding the right flight school
I researched all the pilot training, and my boss who is also a mentor to me said to go to the states and train over there. It was a UK certified flight school but based in Florida, and you gained an EU licence at the end of your training. It was only possible with thanks to funds from my parents and a personal loan. After I had completed my commercial training, I had to find somewhere to complete my IR (in the US you cannot do your instrument rating).
I looked around Europe and the UK and first looked at a few, large flight schools based in the South of England and their prices were well out of reach. I was also very disappointed by their customer service. Through further research, I discovered FTA and everything felt happy. I got a response within hours and had all the answers to my questions. Stuart (the Admissions Officer at the time) was friendly and helpful.
Earlier this year we were contacted by a company looking to place a work experience student with us for 6 months. It's important to us that we only take on work experience students that we can properly accommodate and support through their time with us. Joeri is from Amsterdam and is studying Aviation Management at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. We had an interview with Joeri through Skpe and were instantly impressed. We devised a project for him to work on during his time with us and placed him in the heart of the business, in the operations team. Here he proved an asset to the business and it was hard to see him go. Before he returned to Amsterdam to complete his final year of university, we asked him if we could interview him about his time here, as with everything with Joeri, he happily obliged. Read on to discover what it's like to work in operations in a flight school, and for a behind the scenes description of life working at FTA Global.