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Stephen Slater

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

For my 7th birthday we traveled with Virgin Atlantic on the 747 Jumbo. I was invited to the Cockpit miles above the Atlantic Ocean. From the moment the cockpit door opened, I was inspired by the buttons, the view and the friendliness of the crew. “One day, I want to be sat there” I thought to myself. That set off my passion to becoming an airline pilot.

When and where did you first learn to fly?

I started flying as part of a Gliding Scholarship at RAF Linton-On-Ouse on the Vigilant. Years later when finances permitted, I took up powered flying to gain my PPL at Sherburn Aeroclub.

What are you looking forward to the most about being an airline pilot?

The thrill of travelling across Europe with my local airline and representing them as a Pilot and as a member of the team for a very successful airline. I hope that in this position I can be someone who inspires the next generation of pilots, as I once was inspired when I was young; including with this very airline.

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

Becoming a pilot is certainly something that requires direction, focus and dedication. I have overcome many challenges along the way. ATPL’s for me were the hardest part because my role at work is demanding as it requires a lot of learning and is mentally draining. When you come home on an evening fatigued; it took a high level of commitment and a strong mental ‘can-do attitude’ to achieve success.

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

I would tell myself not to worry about how long the journey is and how many different steps there are. Things will work out with the right attitude. To enjoy every moment of it as I develop as a person, and as a Pilot. Although I know in reality, we never stop learning and each time we get airborne, it is truly remarkable and a feeling like no other!

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

I would take up teaching at a School as I enjoy the thrill of inspiring people towards success.

When did you land your first airline job?

Monday 24th June!

What aircraft will you be flying for your airline?

The Boeing 737.

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

I would definitely recommend it. It is a truly unique role that involves travelling, operating an aircraft with great responsibility and some of the most stunning views that can be offered on the planet. I cannot think of another career that comes close to this!