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What advice would you give a young person who is interested in becoming a pilot?
There is no better time to get into the industry! Follow your passion and remain persistent. There will be highs and lows along the road to becoming a pilot however each moment will build on your portfolio of experience, confidence and personal milestones.
What’s the best part of being a pilot?
The people you meet. I have been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to fly throughout many parts of the world. In doing so, I have met so many interesting people, worked with a multitude of different co-workers, visited many countries and experienced different cultures.
What is the biggest challenge you had to overcome when you first became a pilot?
When I was looking for my first job as a pilot, my experience was low but my confidence high. The conundrum, one needs experience to be hired but no one would hire me to get that experience. My persistence prevailed, I was able to finally find an operator who would take me on and this launched my career.
Do you have a good story about an on board experience?
As a corporate pilot, I had the opportunity to fly for an owner of a NHL hockey team. The plane I flew was offered out for use by the owner to many famous NHL stars including the “Great One”.
When you think of safety, what first comes to mind? Why is it so important for our seats to be in the upright position when the aircraft is landing?
Safety is a team priority. As a pilot I am one of the many frontline crew members who are entrusted by the travelling public to uphold safety. That being said, I am only one of the visible links in a strong chain of safety. There are many behind the scenes not seen day-to-day who are an integral part of the team entrusted to ensure passenger safety.
What’s a common misconception?
We don’t sleep on the airplane when we overnight somewhere. The company provides every crew member a hotel room.
What career opportunities exist when you are a pilot? What is some career progression a pilot can expect?
As a Pilot Selection Team member for Swoop I conduct interviews on candidates hoping to join our group. I am always thrilled to hear the various paths pilots have taken to gain their experience. There is no defined path in the progression as a pilot and that is what makes this career so unique. I hear amazing stories of flying in northern parts of Canada to a heart-stopping career in the military flying fighter jets. Humanitarian work overseas, corporate flying, flight instructing and flying for an airline are all some examples of the endless possibilities in the opportunities available. Each provides a logbook full of experience and memories. Visit your local flying school and see what opportunities exist is an excellent place to start. Get involved or volunteer at the local airport if that is available. You never know who you will meet and what doors it may open in your career path.
Are we supposed to clap when the aircraft lands? Do pilots like that?
A good round of applause is always appreciated. What we do like to do is show off our “office”. If time permits, come up to the flight deck on the ground and if we have time we would love to talk more about our job, the aircraft or even our landing.
What is your favourite destination?
I have a few but my hometown of Victoria would top the list and New York for the vibrant scene of food, art as well as the people.