“During my type rating, the instructors were very impressed with my CRM skills, which I have VA to thank for. With the intensity of VA’s course, my CRM skills became second nature, giving me and my sim partner significant spare capacity to focus on learning to fly an Airbus”
Lewis is now flying the Airbus A320 with Titan Airways after being selected for the Titan Airways First Officer Programme in partnership with VA.
The Titan Airways First Officer Programme attracted over 600 applications and Lewis was one of the final six cadets selected by VA and Titan Airways after passing a rigorous multi-stage selection process.
In November 2017, just a few weeks after his success in the selection process, Lewis and the other cadets came to VA to undergo the multi-crew training element of the programme, before going on to complete an Airbus A320 type rating.
While Lewis and one other joined the A320 fleet, two of the cadets went onto the Boeing 737, and two onto the Boeing 757.
Lewis thinks family holidays to the USA spurred his interest in a commercial flying career: “The best part for me was always the flying. I was never interested in the holiday!”
Lewis took the modular training route, flying out of Breighton and Netherthorpe for his PPL, before completing his ATPL theory exams at CATS Aviation Training, and then his CPL ME/IR at Diamond Flight Academy in Sweden.
“The ATPL theory exams were definitely the toughest part of the training, especially when working a full-time job. You just have to live and breathe ATPL theory for the 7 or so months it takes to complete them."
Lewis believes the industry is beginning to favour modular cadets more, but added that it’s important to invest in quality training at the right schools.
“For the modular route in particular, it’s important to do lots of research into the schools and their instructors. If you can, go for a visit. Reputation is everything when it comes to that first airline job."
“Without VA, I wouldn’t be in the position I am today. The team is so helpful, and the instructors are fantastic. With the new simulator, I don’t think there’s any better multi-crew training package in the industry.”