Abdelrahman Mowafi’s story is definitely a success story of someone reaching for their dream career. Currently working as a First Officer at SmartLynx Airlines and a lecturer at BAA Training Abdelrahman shares what his path to success was like and encourages not let any obstacles getting in your way.
– When and why did you decide to become a pilot?
– I have always been fascinated by aviation, I loved aircraft: both military and civilians, I was always reading news about them, collecting photos and participating in online forums. I saw the pilot profession as an amazing career opportunity. Why not to have an office in the sky and watch beautiful views every day? So I decided – I want to do this. I want to become a pilot. However, I didn’t have proper guidance at the time. I didn’t know how to do it as we did not have any aviation school in my city, so I decided to get as close to aviation as possible and started studying aviation engineering. And when the time was right I switched to what always wanted – becoming a pilot.
– Why did you choose to study at BAA Training?
– I contacted a lot of schools, I did my research on which flight school is best to start with. I knew I had to choose a credible aviation school providing training in a professional way, so BAA Training stood out. I contacted their representative, she explained how to start training and so I started the training.
– What challenges did you overcome during the training?
-Pilot studies are challenging, since a lot needs to be covered over a short period of time. For me it was 18 months and during these months you have to cover all: 14 theoretical subjects, Visual Flight Rating, Instrumental Flight Rating and Multi-engine Flight training. So you really need to manage your time efficiently so you could focus on theoretical part and flight training part. And you have to study hard in order to reach the passing bars which are as high as 75% for all theoretical subjects. And then pass your skills test, of course.
– How did pilot studies and further career change you? What personal qualities did you gain or improve?
– I became more efficient with my time. I would make my own checklist every day. Planning what I was going to do next day, I would prepare for it in advance and would put a “tick” next to the things I achieved – I managed it. Overall, I have boosted my precision – I am more precise with everything that I do: reading, or writing.
– Do you remember your first flight as a professional pilot? What was it like?
– My first flight as a professional pilot was amazing. It was a great feeling to fly a big 77-tonne-weighing aircraft with 180 passengers on board, especially for the first time after operating a small aircraft. Of course a bit of adrenaline rush, but it wasn’t a scary experience. It was a great GREAT feeling.
– In your opinion, what qualities are of vital importance for a pilot?
– I think discipline is a number one quality. You have to be really disciplined, you have to follow the producers, checklists – what is written. Number two – continuing to learn. A good pilot is the one who always strives to do better.
– How and why did you decide to become a lecturer at BAA Training after the studies?
– I was trying to decide which airline I should follow after my studies. It was a little bit difficult to decide as it brings a lot of commitment. I was offered to become a flight instructor at the academy by the Head of Training at BAA Training – so I started flying with students in summer, whereas during the wintertime I was a theory lecturer: Meteorology, Air Law, Flight Planning, Operational Procedures and VFR and IFR Communication.
– What do you like most about being a lecturer to future pilots?
– Teaching future pilots is a really nice feeling as I have a chance to share my experience with them as a pilot, as an instructor. In addition, while I am teaching them I am learning myself. I am meeting new people from different countries and of different backgrounds.
– Why did you choose to work at SmartLynx?
– SmartLynx has been a partner of BAA Training. I had some information about the airline, I knew that it is credible and has been in the market for quite a long time. Also, the ACMI business is a great business to work for, especially for people who like travelling a lot, experiencing new countries, working with new operators, getting to know standards of different airlines that you get to work with.
– What is the most exciting part of your job routine?
– The beginning of the flight is extremely amazing for me. When you start to take off, you push the thrust levers forward and you get that adrenaline rushing with the acceleration and you know you are going to fly over beautiful views, towns, lakes, oceans, different countries or maybe even different continents.
– What are your further goals in a pilot career?
– As currently, I am a First Officer of the Airbus A320 I would like to master this aircraft, build the experience and upgrade to the commander. Later on I might combine instructor skills with my flying skills and to become a Type Rating instructor or a Line Training instructor.
– What would you wish/ tell young people who are dreaming about studies in aviation but have doubts?
– Young people have doubts – this is normal – I also had some. I didn’t know how to start, or how can I get proper guidance. However, after having carried out some research I managed to make a structured plan how I should manage my career. There are always some obstacles, but they should not stop you from reaching your prime target.
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