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My Success Story Daniel Mackey

What stood out for me was VA’s aim to not just provide the minimum mandated training, but to ensure their course thoroughly prepares students for airline assessments."

After completing his MCC+JOC with Virtual Aviation, Dan secured a position with one of Europe’s largest carriers flying a mainstay of the world’s short haul fleet – the Boeing 737-800.

Dan has a defining childhood memory of visiting a 747-400 flight deck on a flight to Orlando. Despite gazing into the cockpit with fascination, it didn’t occur to him that he might one day end up on the controls of such a machine. It took a trial flight lesson to set in motion Dan’s unstoppable drive towards a career in the cockpit – “I knew there was nothing else I wanted to do but become a pilot. You hear it so often, but the ‘flying bug’ is truly infectious!”

Dan’s modular route to the right-hand seat took him to a number of locations. After completing his PPL at Liverpool airport, Dan studied for his ATPL exams in Oxford and undertook his practical flying training in Sweden, making flights to Germany and Denmark, joining Virtual Aviation for his MCC+JOC in 2017. According to Dan, although setbacks during the training process are inevitable, you shouldn’t let them dishearten you – “Stay motivated by continually reminding yourself why you started in the first place.”

About his MCC+JOC training Dan said, “Training on Virtual Aviation’s 737-800 was a huge help as it meant I was already familiar with the flight deck when I came to my simulator assessment. It freed up mental capacity to focus on other important areas of the assessment such as crew resource management and decision making.” In particular, Dan found that having completed his MCC+JOC at Virtual Aviation, he was well prepared for the intensity and complexity of the 737-800 type rating – “anything that helps to flatten out the learning curve is beneficial.” Dan was highly complementary of his instructors, Rob S and John B, and enjoyed the invaluable industry insight they were able to give, particularly about the criteria airlines look to satisfy in low-hour cadet recruitment. According to Dan, “It’s clear with VA that you’re not just another customer, which was really refreshing.”