Personal Stories

From Caravan After-sales To Flying One

Flight training

I had wanted to fly from a young age, but was told by a careers advisor that because I had history of asthma as a child I wouldn’t be able to be a pilot.

So when I left school, I trained as a telecom engineer and worked for 3 years until I was made redundant due to the credit crash. I needed a job quickly and worked in after-sales at a local caravan company. Around that time I was taken on a trial flight in 4 seater at Retford Gamston and was hooked.

In February 2010 I started my Private Pilot Licence at Truman Aviation at Nottingham Tollerton Airport. Initially I was only planning on doing my PPL, never dreaming I’d be able to take it further. But 5 months later I’d done my first solo; aviation had created a monster and I was hungry for more!

I got a job at Nottingham Tollerton Airport as ground crew and shortly after that, Manager. Working in the industry was a great catalyst, I had so many opportunities to hour build and do ferry/positioning flights, which definitely shaped the pilot I am today.

I couldn’t believe how lucky I was – it was the job I wanted.
Wanting to go commercial, having achieved my PPL I signed up for the next step; ATPL theory with Padpilot (which became CTC Aviation, then L3 Harris) on the distance learning course in October 2015.

7 months later I took my first set of ATPL exams and completed had completed all my exams by August 2017. Such a relief! I then completed my CPL with Aeros, Nottingham and my MEP/MEIR with Central Flight Training at Tatenhill. Finally, in December 2018 completed my MCC/JOC course with Simtech in Dublin.

The next month I landed my first job with RVL Group Ltd at East Midlands Airport. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was – it was the job I wanted and I was happy to be able to stay close to home. I passed my type rating for the Cessna 406 Caravan ii and I really enjoy the single pilot survey work. It offers a different kind of flying to airline operations.

I sometimes look back to how far I’ve come in the last 9 years. I still can’t believe I’ve done it and I couldn’t be happier!

About Padpilot

The Padpilot books provided me all the information I needed to complete my ATPL exams. I was never a typically ‘academic’ student, but found their explanations really helped make things clear as I studied while working a full time job.

During my Instrument Rating, I downloaded the Padpilot Performance Navigation book from the Apple store. It was great to have the familiar style of content again but in a new context. As Padpilot books always are, it was easy to read and set out so well.

I would recommend Padpilot for all your aviation theory needs, from Private Pilot Licence all the way to commercially qualified.