We recently heard from former FTA student, Ife Olubowale, now flying with Arik Air, West-Africa’s leading airline operating a domestic, regional and international flight network. An exceptional pilot, Ife completed his training at just 18. Read more about his journey from sea level to 41,000 feet here:


Ife Olubowale, Arik Air Pilot  & FTA Graduate

Ife Olubowale, Arik Air Pilot & FTA Graduate

What made you want to become a pilot?

For me the journey to becoming a pilot started right from the day I was born. Growing up and watching my pilot Dad get dressed for work every day, knowing he was travelling all over the world, visiting many destinations and seeing how excited he was to get paid to do something he loved doing; for me it was the icing on the cake and set the path I would follow in my life.

How did you find your training with FTA?

Starting my flight training at FTA was bliss. The instructors were very helpful and the school was like a home away from home. The modern fleet of Diamond aircraft and the glass cockpits in the DA40s and DA42s made them a pleasure to fly. Training under the glass cockpit was very useful and it helped me make an easy transition to flying the 737NG.

What do you enjoy about your job now?

Flying 737NGs is amazing; the performance of the aircraft is unbelievable. Landing and taking off from some of the longest runways in the world, like Johannesburg with over 4000 metres of runway, to very short runways in Namibia – just 1600 metres – made me really appreciate the aircraft’s capabilities. I’ve been on the 737 for over 3 years, flying to very beautiful and exciting destinations. I fly short sectors, from 9 minute fights to 6 hour flights; from clear blue sky days to days that are just on the minima. I can fly in light and variable winds or on days where it’s gusting up to 45 knots, with wind shear thunderstorms – the variety of weather conditions means that it’s always interesting and challenging, which makes me love my job even more.

Anything you’d like to add?

I’d like to say thanks to everyone at FTA, for giving me a lovely time during my training, which I completed aged 18.