It’s always fascinating and inspiring to hear about the success of our graduates and to hear about their exciting careers out in the aviation world. The journey towards becoming a professional pilot and to land the first job as a First Officer doesn’t always necessarily look the same.
We’ve had students who come from completely different backgrounds, but they all shared one common passion within the love for aviation and the dream of becoming a professional pilot. We want to share these stories and moments from our graduates with you – our beloved readers – we hope that you enjoy these stories as much as we do.
Sabina - A Boeing Pilot
This time I had the pleasure to interview Sabina Czach who graduated back in 2016 from one of our integrated flight training program. Sabina Czach applied for her first job directly after she graduated, and she is currently working as a First Officer with Ryanair flying the Boeing 737 for approximately 1,5 years now. She lives in Stockholm and London and has flown to multiple countries around Europe.
Want to listen to more inspiring ladies? Tune in to the Pilot Talk podcast below!
Interview - Part 1
How did you end up flying for Ryanair?
I’ve of course started with taking a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) which I did at OSM Aviation Academy. When I finished my education, I had all my licenses and certificates acquired to apply. I sent in an application and a few weeks later I heard back from them and was invited for an interview. I went for the assessment and you can probably tell that it went well.
Within a week I got an email from them telling me that I was accepted to join Ryanair as a First Officer. I was then asked to join the training center either in England or in Amsterdam, Holland. I chose Amsterdam.
How long did the assessment and type rating take?
I applied in the end of November and then I went for the interview in January. In the middle of January, I knew that I was going to start with Ryanair. I was lucky, they called me quite fast after I applied, but I went to a very good school which has a good reputation and they like graduates from OSM Aviation Academy. So, in total it was 1,5 months from that I sent in my application until I knew I was starting as a First Officer.
...then you were doing your line training and type rating?
Yes, exactly. After being admitted I had two months before I started. Everybody needs to do a type rating when you start to fly commercially. You need to learn the specific aircraft you’re going to fly by taking a course. The course started in April with an introduction week which was basically some safety training courses, information about the company, CRM (Crew Resource Management) courses, and getting to know the other people that you were going to spend the upcoming 2-3 months with.
After this I went to Amsterdam for the type rating which consist of ground school and a lot of simulator session. Over all the type rating was about 2,5 months.
After the type rating you do the base training, this was the first time I flew the Boeing 737. You don’t have any passengers on board at this time, you fly with a line trainer and a Captain and are doing six circuits around an airfield followed by a full stop landing.
When I finished my base training and type rating I had a one month waiting time until I actually started flying on the line.
How was it the first time you flew with passengers?
It was very exciting of course! When you sit there in the cockpit together with the Captain on your first day you have so much to think about, and a lot of questions like: "How is it going to be? How is it going to feel?" You don’t think about that there’s so many passengers sitting behind you. It doesn’t make any difference for me if there’s 2 passengers or 200 passengers.
It was an amazing feeling. I flew from Dublin to Liverpool which is a short flight just under 30 minutes flight time. It was a busy first day but at the same time very fun. As the first week is busy and the routines are new, you will for the first week have a 3rd pilot joining you in the flight deck as a safety pilot. The safety pilot’s job is to observe and to help out at some busy stages if needed. This is because the line training Captain is teaching and explaining a lot of things to you during your first of line flying. Always safety first.
Are you enjoying your job as a First Officer so far?
Absolutely! The best thing with my job is that none of the days are the same. The foundations are the same, transporting passengers from A to B in a safely manner. But for me the fun part is all the different aspects that you must think of and do, like a puzzle. You check the weather, the airport, the route you’re going to fly and the destinations you are going to.
All the airports have different conditions, some of the airports are small and some airports are larger. When you fly to the different airports you need to consider how much fuel you need at this specific flight and take the weather into consideration as well. There’s all these different circumstances that needs to be planed for after you’ve gathered your information and then puzzle it together into a safe flight.
Would you say that working as a Pilot is like you had expected?
It’s a tricky question because it is both yes and no.
I would say that it is not how I viewed in when I was a child and first wanted to become an airline pilot. I think a lot of people who are not in the aviation industry still believe that as a pilot you get to visit all the places you fly to. Large airlines in Europe today operate differently than back in the days and usually the turnaround times at destinations are short.
But on the other hand, yes. Being and working as a pilot is a dream come true. I do get to work with my passion and besides that I have a great schedule and the benefit to be able to travel a lot on my own. I also get to meet a lot of new people from various parts of the world and during the last 2 years I have been living in several countries in Europe. Of course, the most fun part is the flying. It’s a feeling like no other. You have the world beneath you, meanwhile you are in control of this aircraft and the feeling of freedom.
Of course, the most fun part is the flying. It’s a feeling like no other. You have the world beneath you, meanwhile you are in control of this aircraft and the feeling of freedom.
Would you try to describe a regular day at work?
Either I start very early, or I work until very late. But a regular day would be on an early week where I go up around 4 o’clock in the morning and get ready to go to work. At the airport I go to our crew room where I sign in. Then I start with the paper work, there is a lot of paper work that needs to be done before a flight. Looking at our flight plan, which destination and which route we are going to take, checking the weather and checking the alternate airport. We always have an alternate airport in case of something happening. Basically, doing a lot of paper work and deciding upon how much fuel we will need.
The Captain usually arrives just after me. The Captain will start looking at the paper work and then we will decide together upon the fuel figures and our thoughts about the weather and any other consideration that need to be taken into account that day.
After this we meet up with the cabin crew, we talk a little bit and tell them about the conditions for the day and then we walk to the aircraft.
One of us is going to be the pilot flying and the other would be the pilot monitoring. As the pilot flying for the first sector of the day I start by setting up the aircraft to the flying conditions from the inside of the cockpit (because it probably been standing all night at the airport). Meanwhile, the Captain will do a walk-around and check if the aircraft is fit to fly from the outside. When he comes back we’ll do more paper work, talk to the tower (ATC), check the weather again to have the latest update, and welcoming the passengers on-board.
Hopefully we don’t get anything in our way before we are about to go, so we push back and start our flying.
Usually a day consist of flying either two long sectors or four sectors. A sector is flying from London to Madrid (that is one sector) and then Madrid back to London would be two sectors. I’m scheduled for about 50/50 of two long sectors and 4 short sectors. It is great to have a mixture of both.
Do you like the diversity and flexibility?
Yes, I really like the diversity. It can be a 12-hour day or a 2-hour day. But as a pilot you are limited to how many hours you can fly within a certain amount of days.
Now that you brought up the relationship between the First Officer and the Captain, I would like to ask you what is a great Captain in your opinion?
A great Captain in my opinion is someone that is open minded in the way that he/she includes the First Officer in what he’s/she's doing and someone who enjoys what they do.
I like to learn new things and I really like when the Captain share things with you that you can only learn by experience. It’s important that you get along with your Captain because you’re sitting in a small area for a long period. Sometimes you enjoy flying with someone more because you click better then with someone else, but I always try to keep a good spirit.
Next up ...
Read the second part of the interview where Sabina will talk about the best part of working in the aviation industry, her favorites destinations she have flown, and the very reason she wanted to become a professional pilot. And much more...
You can also follow Sabina when she is taking over OSM Aviation Academy's Instagram account for the next couple of weeks.
Visa det här inlägget på Instagram
For the upcoming weeks I will take over the instagram account @osmaviationacademy where I did my flight training. Take a look and follow if you want to know more about the journey from flight training to working as a pilot. #osmaviationacademy #flygutbildning #cessna172 #flighttraining #femalepilot
Ett inlägg delat av Sabina - A Boeing Pilot (@pilotsabina)
If you're curious about the flight training and education that Sabina did at OSMAA you can continue to read these blog posts: