Q&A! ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM MY FOLLOWERS

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Hi Maria! You always have the responsibility of so many passengers lives when you’re in the cockpit. I understand it’s rewarding, but it looks super tough at the same time. How do you get over this big stress? Thanks.

ANSWER: I don’t see my job as stressful. Actually, when I’m at work I feel the least stressed. All pilots have done extensive training in dealing with the unexpected while keeping a cool head in any situation.

Could you give me the link of the school that you studied at (school of pilots)?

ANSWER: I did my training to become a pilot at OSM Aviation Academy. They have a very informative website with a whole section of Frequently Asked Questions (many of the same questions that I receive).  Here’s the link to their website: www.osmaviationacademy.com. You can also find them on Instagram and Facebook!

I have really bad eyesight, can I still become a pilot?

ANSWER: You will need to pass a Medical Class 1 to obtain your pilot licence, and this certificate has to be renewed every year. A lot of pilots wear glasses or contact lenses (like I do),  but you should be able to see at least 0,7 with each eye and 1,0 with both eyes, with or without correction.

What are the requirements to become a pilot?

ANSWER: To apply for a flight school in Europe like OSM Aviation Academy you’d need the following: (found on osmaviationacademy.com)

  • 18 years of age

  • Graduated from High School with grades in:
    Mathematics
    English
    Physics*

  • Pass a Pilot Aptitude Test (both part 1 and 2)

  • *If you haven't read physics in High School, OSM Aviation Academy offers a 2-week long online course. You may sign up for this course after passing the Pilot Aptitude Test.

  • Pass an EASA Class 1 medical examination (the medical examination can be done after you apply, but must be done prior to course start).

How do you afford to pay for the pilot education?

ANSWER: I was fortunate enough to get accepted into the government funded aviation program in Sweden for half of my pilot education, the other half I did finance myself. After highschool I started delivering packages for a postal service company in Sweden, worked evenings in my mom’s paint shop and did a part-time job at the Air Traffic Control Academy at Malmö Airport. Saving all my money to finish my training and to build up hours in a small engine piston airplane. It was quite a stressful time when I studied for all my exams and worked at the same time, but I knew it was only temporary and kept motivating myself by looking at pictures of pilots in the flightdeck, having my eyes on the goal at all times, and that helped a lot! A lot of my colleagues have funded their training by taking a loan for part of the cost, or saved a bit before they started the training to become a pilot.

Are you guys in the cockpit allowed to hand fly approaches in bad weather? Or does the autopilot do everything?

ANSWER: All approaches and landings are manually flown. We have the option to keep the autopilot in until the minimum altitude of 158ft but then we have to disconnect and land manually (if not a CAT3 approach, then it’s autopilot landing). Sometimes when the weather is challenging and in windy conditions we disconnect the autopilot a bit earlier on the approach just to get a feel for how the aircraft is behaving.

Is it true than an airplane can start and land with only one working engine?

ANSWER: Yes, for take off you’d need a really long runway though. But no problem to cruise around and land with only one engine, we practice it every 6th month when we are in the simulator.

Have you ever experienced hard crosswind landing and landed the plane safely?

ANSWER: Many times! These kind of approaches that are a bit more challenging (compared to the days when we have good weather and calm winds) are the most fun approaches and landings! In the Boeing 737-800 that I fly, the maximum allowed crosswind component is 33 knots, for both takeoff and landing.

Is becoming a pilot a good job in the future? Will I get a job?

ANSWER: The market for aviation has a bright future! It’s very reassuring to know that the biggest aircraft manufacturer like Boeing and Airbus are forecasting a high demand for pilots in the coming years. In fact, there has never been a better time to become a pilot! Once finished with your pilot training you will start looking for your very first job. It’s important to choose a school with good reputation and training that will prepare you for what is to come. OSM Aviation Academy offers a conditional job offer these days, you can read more about it on their website https://www.osmaviationacademy.com/airline-ready-pilot. But in the end it’s up to you how well you do in the interviews.

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THE TIME AS A STUDENT PILOT AT OSM AVIATION ACADEMY

my 5 epic reasons why you should become a pilot:

  1. It's challenging but yet so rewarding! Getting behind the controls of a huge machine, pushing the throttle forward and taking off from the runway is a blast. Every single time.

  2. The job comes with the best office views. Remember the teacher telling you that nobody would pay you for looking out a window. Well, you can do exactly that as a pilot. 

  3. Flying is a satisfying career which can take you to any part of the world - THIS is my favourite reason! Because if you’re anything like me and have an urge to travel and explore new places, then working as a pilot can give you the opportunity to do so. When you’re coming home from a day of flying, you leave all work at work, there’s no paperwork or filing reports or answering emails. Which gives you that extra precious time.

  4. The market for aviation has a bright future! Once finished with your pilot training you will start looking for your very first job. Then it’s very reassuring to know that the biggest aircraft manufacturer like Boeing and Airbus are forecasting a high demand for pilots in the coming years. In fact, there has never been a better time to become a pilot!

  5. You get to wear a uniform to work and instantly look sharp 😉

When I was 18 years old I started my aviation training at OSM Aviation Academy. I joined a class of 14 students, all eager to learn and excited for what to come. I believe that having the will to learn is the most important trait when studying, it also helped to be surrounded by my friends from class that also went through the exact same phases as I did, and together we could help each other out to stay focused on the goal - to become an airline pilot.

After having finished my pilot training it was time for me to attend my first job interview for a first officer position. I had studied for the interview for weeks and with all knowledge still fresh in my mind just having finished the excellent training from my flight school and knowing that the OSMAA is the preferred education path by most airlines, I felt confident and well prepared for the assessment. 

Today there are many flight schools out there to pick from, but when choosing where you start your flight training, consider the following:

  • Pick a school with good reputation - the truth is that the aviation world is small, and therefore it’s important to choose a school that is known for its high quality and airline-oriented training programs. This could make a huge impact on weather or not you get selected for your first airline interview. OSMAA is a flight school that has its main focus on strict SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures), these procedures are used globally with every commercial airline, so having practiced SOP’s from the very start of my flight training was a big advantage for me when I joined my first airline.

To become a professional pilot you will need the right attitude and mindset in order to succeed. It’s a challenging education and it requires a high level of dedication from you - but if you have the will to learn and are determined, then you can go from no flying experience to having all the licenses and ratings you need in order to work as an Airline Pilot in less than 2 years. This type of pilot education is called an integrated program. The advantage of integrated program is that they package everything you need into one education program.

If you are considering a career as a pilot then you should attend one of OSMAA’s Pilot Open Days, if you have questions or want to know more about what you need to do before you apply for a flight school or the costs of training then these events are great in that way that you’ll get a deeper understanding of the training and you get to ask any questions you might have.

For my next blogpost I will do a “Q&A” (Questions & Answers), so if you have ANY question about ANYTHING - write a comment and I’ll do my best to give you an answer 😊

2000+ kilometers later

That's all from this roadtrip!

In total we drove 2000+ kilometres and spent 5 days sleeping and living out of our car. It has been a wonderful trip and I would do it all over again! Except for the bloodsucking mosquitos, it's been a perfect vacation 😅 I think it's nice to mix it up sometimes between staying at nice hotels and with these kinds of affordable travel by car or by camper vans! Which type of vacation do you guys prefer?

 

BREAKFAST BY THE ROAD

The best thing about being on a roadtrip must be the freedom to go wherever you please and stop whenever you like. And the mandatory roadtrip-snacks onboard of course. And not to forget to mention thhe perks of choosing your own roadtrip-playlist and sing along (really loud) to every single song on it. 

This morning we left the beautiful mountains in the Basque Country and continue our drive into Cantabria. We stopped and refulled, boughts some crisp bread and ice coffee and had our breakfast at the side of the road overlooking the countryside just taking it in all in. 

This is better than any 5-star hotel. Without any doubts. 

After breakfast we headed to a small beach with rocky cliff formation that reminded me of the Philippines or Thailand. I swear it look like Southeast Asia, but nope. Still in Spain. Beautiful Northern Spain!

 

ROADTRIP CONTINUES TO ISLAND FROM GAME OF THRONES

 

On our second day of the road trip across northern Spain we drove to a place known to many as the 'DragonStone' from the Game of Thrones series, it's also known as Gaztelugatze! We had no idea it was going to be one of the highlights of our trip, but it was for sure!

Bilbao was our next stop on the roadtrip before we continued along the narrow countryroads along the coast to Santander! Northern Spain continues to impress us with its beauty (and how green it is everywhere compared to the south!!)

Roadtrip and living the camper life!

I've lived in Alicante now for a few months and never had I been to the north of Spain before, and neither had Viktor. I was able to swap a working day with a colleague of mine so I got an extra day off, which made it possible for the both of us to go on this little trip! The plan from the start was to rent a camper van and live the full camper life! It had all you needed, a bed, a table, a mini fridge, air conditioning and even a shower! But because we didn't book anything in advance, and they are extremely popular by this time of the year, everything was rented out already by the time we decided to go. But we really still wanted to go, so we took Viktor's car, and made it into a camper van! With the back seat folded all the way down and with a mattress on top, we made our own little bed were we where about to spend the upcoming 5 nights! 

On the first day we made it all the way to San Sebastian! (That's a drive of approximately 7 hours!)

Xx,

Maria

Window, middle or aisle?

Why do I wear my full uniform when traveling as a passenger? It's because whenever I go back home to Sweden I jumpseat with the company I work for, and when I do so, I have to wear the uniform. Simple as that 😁

What seat do you prefer? Window, middle or aisle? I tend to choose the window seat whenever I can, so I'm in control of the window shade and if I ever get bored I can always look outside. The only problem is when I have to run to the bathroom and the passengers next to me are asleep haha 🙈

 

 

SHOULD I GET A HELICOPTER LICENCE?

I think I do!

Flying a helicopter over Cape Town, above the mountains and down in the valleys was FREAKING amazing. My favourite part was when we were looking for an opening in the clouds, and then we saw it and just dove down to see all the beautiful waterfalls!! South Africa. You have my heart.

I sometimes have to pinch my arm to believe this was actually happening. And the best of all was I got to do it with my two favourite pilot girls! I absolutely LOVE to travel with you and can't wait for our next Swedish Flight Mafia adventure together! 

Pilot: Ari Kraak at the Aviation Pilot Training flight school (Congratulations to your first SOLO FLIGHT in the airplane!!)