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Francesco Cantadori

When did you know you wanted to be an airline pilot?

When I was 2‐3 years old my father used to take me to the local Aeroclub to watch the airplanes instead of taking me to the park. He’s not a pilot, but he wanted to share with me his passion for aviation. So I grew up with one great purpose: to become an airline pilot. Thanks to hard work I have achieved that goal. I’m sure also thanks to VA.


When and where did you first learn to fly?

I started to fly back in 2011 in my hometown’s Aeroclub, in Parma. It was the same place where I received my “baptism of flight” when I was 5 years old.


What is your favourite thing about being an airline pilot?

I will find out soon, in the next few months my career will take off with Ryanair. Spending a lifetime at 35,000 feet will be worth it.


What challenges did you overcome on your journey to becoming an airline pilot?

Going away from home to start my ATPL was a challenging experience for sure. During the ATPL theory it was hard: but I always focussed on my final goal to complete it with excellent marks. Sometimes I happened to have a bad flight, and thousand of thoughts could run through your head. It is important to maintain a good mental balance and to learn from your mistakes. Nobody’s perfect, training is made so you grow professionally and personally: I found the very best team of instructors at VA, my learning curve became shallower everyday more and more.

Francesco (second from left) and the rest of APS MCC class 1820. who among them now fly for a mix of Ryanair and Flybe.

Francesco (second from left) and the rest of APS MCC class 1820. who among them now fly for a mix of Ryanair and Flybe.

What advice would you give yourself at the start of your airline journey if you could?

I will approach my career as I have always done: trying to learn something new everyday, enjoying my work and feeling privileged remembering that what I will do will be what I have always dreamed.


If you weren’t an airline pilot what would you be?

A spaceship pilot, of course!


When did you land your first airline job?

I finished the APS MCC at VA on 28th of October 2018. On 7th of December 2018 Ryanair offered me a job as First Officer on the Boeing 737‐800.


What aircraft are you currently flying for your airline?

I will fly the Boeing 737‐800 soon. I am actually flying on the “mighty” Cessna C150 for fun while I am waiting to start the Type Rating.


For those thinking about becoming an airline pilot, would you recommend it, and why?

Yes. and you should always believe in yourself and in the strength of your dreams. Becoming an airline pilot is a challenging and hard path, you will need a great dose of humbleness, patience, passion and self‐esteem to reach the highest peak. And least but not last: enjoy your journey!