The blog of a pilot working in General Aviation, covering the places and experiences from my personal viewpoint.
Summary – I am a commercial pilot with MEIR and FI and fly for a company which calibrates airport radio navigation landing aids in twin piston engined aircraft. I am passionate about all types of flying and also have a share in a single engined light aircraft which I fly for pleasure, as well as instructing when time allows. I made the choice to change my career path in my early 40’s, something not always viewed as sensible, but sometimes one has to follow their heart as well as their mind.
I have always looked up at the skies and wished to be up there flying free among the birds and the clouds. After a failed attempt to get into the RAF when I was a teenager I thought flying was out of my reach. Despite this, for many years I yearned to be up there, always having one eye on the sky above me, yet not realising that there were opportunities open to me. This of course was in the days before the internet and widely available means of seeking out information; combined with working extremely long hours to survive, it was not until I was given a trial flight as a present that I realised that there maybe was a way I could fulfill my childhood dream.
It took a few years of scrimping and saving to start my Private Pilot Licence (PPL) and the catalyst to get it done was when a relationship ended. These are times we all evaluate and reconsider what is important to us in life. I passed all 7 ground exams and then finished off my PPL course which had been very sporadic until then.
Details on these early days can be found at a website I set up at http://www.justandy.co.uk and express some of the wonderment the joy of taking to the skies can bring, along with some trip reports from the early days and the expanding of my personal envelope through additional training in aerobatics and formation flying, as well as flying different types.
After a few years I decided that I owed it to myself to gain a commercial licence; I did not want to go the my grave wishing I had tried. Even if I failed to gain employment in the world of aviation, I could at least hold my head high and say that I had done my best to achieve my dream.
I sold my business and poured every penny I had (and more) into my training to qualify as a commercial pilot, which cost me tens of thousand of Pounds. I had help towards the end from a good friend who saw fit to assist when I was struggling to complete due lack of money. I qualified broke and with no job, as I had been working towards my licences full time.
It then took me three and a half years and thousands of applications to get the job I am currently doing as I start this new blog. It can be very hard to keep ones spirits up during this time; I shall write a blog post about these times in the future, to try and encourage those who are in a similar situation to believe in themselves and the possibility of gaining employment at some stage. Though having a mid life career change (or mid life crisis as my friends refer to it as) is always going to be a large gamble, requiring a lot of grit and determination.
The view expressed in this blog are from my own observations and should be read as such. Some will be entertaining, some will be factual and some will be opinion. I do hope they will be enjoyable to you, the reader.
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