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"The hours spent on handling, CRM and procedures with VA ensured that I approached the British Airways assessment with the best-possible preparation... ultimately, the hard work paid off and I have now started in my dream job!"

After completing the AirlineReady MCC+JOC with VA, Tom was offered a First Officer position with British Airways.

I have a life-long love of flying. I did a Royal Air Force flying scholarship at age 18, then flew with a University Air Squadron during my degree before joining the RAF.

It took a great deal of resolve and determination to succeed through a very demanding training regime in the RAF. Preparation was key, as was the sharing of knowledge with course mates. I came to realise that we all struggle at some point; its how you deal with setbacks that determines whether you will ultimately succeed. 

I decided to do my MCC with VA because I wanted to combine an MCC with experience on a proper Boeing simulator, before my assessment with British Airways. 

My most memorable memory with VA was realising that the training was indeed working, and that my confidence and familiarity with the operation of a large aircraft was improving.

We flew a simulator detail which involved a route from Manchester to Gatwick, during which we were exposed to a number of demanding and unexpected events. We dealt with each one using the techniques we had been taught and remained safe throughout, ultimately landing the ‘aircraft’ at a diversion airfield. That was a very satisfying moment!

The advice I would give to future pilots is to research the various routes and decide what you want to achieve, then work hard to reach your goal.  In short, do your homework before you commit to the long and demanding road to becoming a professional pilot. 

The team were all extremely friendly and professional. We were guided through the course work and allowed access to the facilities to practice in our free time.

I would recommend VA to anyone considering spending time in a Boeing simulator before going for an airline assessment. The hours spent on handling, CRM and procedures with VA ensured that I approached the British Airways assessment with the best-possible preparation.

I worked very hard to adopt the right style of non-technical skills as well as gaining the accuracy of handling that I would need. Ultimately, the hard work paid off and I have now started in my dream job!