Pilot with major European airline following career in IT / Business Change projects/programmes.

About me

Chris P.
Computer Science
IT, Business Management & Language
BSc (Hons)
United Kingdom

About this profile

BA CityFlyer
United Kingdom
Transport and logistics
Large business (250+ employees)

About the job

What I do

Pilot (First Officer) and Theoretical Knowledge Instructor with major European Airline.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Primarily being able to safely fly and operate the aeroplane efficiently coupled with effective team working, communication, customer service, problem solving and decision making. Developed through a combination of formal training courses - e.g. flight training and theory courses - extra-curricula activities at university, and career in IT delivering technical and business-change projects and programmes.

What I like most

Learn something new every day while having a great view from the office and meeting lots of interesting people.

What I like least

Occasional very early morning starts... but only because I'm not used to them yet!

What surprised me most

How much wearing the uniform changes how people interact with you...

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

Internet searches, online applications, email/face-to-face contact, and networking at pilot careers events.

How I found out about the job

Personal contacts

The recruitment process

Online application form, computer-based assessment, psychometric testing, numeric reasoning, inductive reasoning, technical test, group exercise and interview.

My career

My career history

13 years working in IT initially in System Analysis and Design and Application Development, but moved towards Project/Programme Management in Organisational Change and Outsourcing programmes. Started to learn to fly from 2007 onwards and, following redundancy from IT in 2013, completed airline pilot training. Following pilot training, worked in Aviation Compliance Monitoring and Safety Management, and Theoretical Knowledge Instructor. Obtained a First Officer role with the airline in 2016 and became a Theoretical Knowledge Instructor late 2017.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Have the right Knowledge, Skills AND Attitude. Early on in your career you might not have all the right Knowledge and Skills, but with the right Attitude anything is possible...

My advice about working in my industry

At present, you will have to fund your own training - even sponsored schemes involve some sort of financial commitment (albeit underwritten) and may not guarantee a job at the end of the training; read the small print! Choose your training school carefully and even if you are contemplating going to one of the integrated schools, buy a trial lesson (or 3) at a local flying school to see if you like the whole flying thing. Work hard throughout the training to achieve first-time passes in all examinations and flying skills tests but be aware that it's not only about the flying!

Contacting me

Get in touch if you're interested in learning to fly - whether for fun or as a career. If I can't answer the question, I'll try and help find someone who could...

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