FROM ART TO AVIATION

I became a teacher, but had wanted to fly from as early as I can remember.

I didn’t have the confidence to pursue my dream at first; not being the most academic, struggling with mathematics, and lacking finances. Becoming a pilot felt like an unattainable goal.

Undeterred

Nevertheless, I set a goal. My plan was get established in a good career, build funds – and confidence – then, someday, learn to fly. I focussed on what I was good at: art. I went to university, completed a design degree and teacher training and began working as a secondary school Art & Design teacher.

Seven years into my career, having researched routes into commercial flying for career changers, I took my first steps into modular training and began my Private Pilot Licence (PPL) with Liverpool-based training organisation, Ravenair.

ATPL theory

Towards the end of my PPL, I began researching where to complete the next phase of training: ATPL theory. I heard about a modular ground school, ProPilot, (now part of L3 Harris) which used the new Padpilot materials. I met the team, looked at the training material and knew it would be ideal.

I passed all my theoretical exams first time. This was the turning point for me.

Going into the theoretical knowledge phase, I still had concerns about my academic ability, but I was quickly put at ease with the quality of the content and training. I passed all my theoretical exams first time with an average score in the mid-90s. This achievement was the turning point for me.

With new confidence, I went on to complete the rest of my modular training: CPL, ME, IR, MCC & JOC. From my first flight to being ‘CV ready’ took four years, and I continued to teach through much of it.

Success

My first position as a commercial pilot came close to home, when I joined Ravenair as an AOC survey pilot, becoming a captain and then a training captain. Two years later I gained a position at VistaJet, where I now fly the Bombardier Challenger 350, quite literally all over the world.

I’m still pinching myself.

Padpilot

Padpilot enabled me to be fully prepared for the ATPL examinations but also ensured I gained the knowledge that I would need as a working pilot – knowledge I still draw on to this day.

I still glance at my Padpilot manuals on the iPad. Just recently, I purchased the Performance Based Navigation book to fill some gaps in my understanding of the subject as we use PBN more and more. I find the content, style and presentation, easy to navigate, read and absorb, with a good balance between text, images and animation.

I can’t recommend Padpilot enough – at all levels of flight training.

Steve_Nuttall_VistaJet