Eva may only be 24, but she’s crammed a significant amount of hard work and adventure into her life. It’s taken her 3 years and has included some frustrating Covid delays, but Eva recently passed the Flight Crew Assessment for a European Airline and is looking forward to her 737 Type-Rating starting in early April.
This is Eva’s story:
Following her Matura graduation, Eva joined RYANAIR as part of their 737-cabin crew and was based in Eindhoven for 1.5 years. “I loved being part of a large aviation community and I got to know the many talented individuals in the flight crew and talked with them about their training and their career path,” she explains. Soon she decided that, instead of working in the cabin with the passengers of a 737 (which she loved), her dream was to fly them places as a pilot!
“My family were very supportive of my decision and were keen to help me in every aspect of my training,” she said “including financially.” Knowing some people in the General Aviation industry, Eva’s Father approached Michael Riesel (Head of Training of a flight school in Graz/Austria), and he managed Eva’s introduction into life as a PPL(A) student.
She quickly realised she’d made the right decision. “Being in control of an aircraft was as exciting as I’d hoped. There wasn’t a moment when I doubted the choice I’d made, even though I found the ground-school learning and exams quite a challenge.” Eva said. “I was not that interested in working hard when I was at school, so I had to adapt my attitude for studying,” she said.
Michael and Eva worked closely together at Absolute Pilots to create an individual plan for her learning experience. Every day, they agreed on a schedule for the goals they wanted to achieve, and luckily neither the weather nor Covid (yet) impacted her progress. “Michael helped me fast-track my training,” Eva said. “This meant it cost my family less because we were able to achieve all the flight training hours within a relatively short time. I’d have the flight training, followed by a debrief, and then a short break before we knuckled down to ground-school work. We did this every day.”
Eva’s mental health and readiness were paramount whenever the team agreed the training goals together. “The team would always check how I was feeling, but I didn’t have the chance to be overwhelmed because I felt in control of my training program throughout,” she said.
We asked Eva what other ways Absolute Pilots prepared her for her chosen career path. “I felt like I’d won the jackpot when I got into one of the aircraft,” she said. “They have Cessna 172s that are crazy well-equipped and beautifully maintained; I’ve never seen anything like it. She added, “The touch screen avionics and the weather radar helped me get familiar with the tools of my future trade!”
As a place to learn, Graz also came up as a positive. “I flew most of my hours-building out of Graz as well as my flight training hours, so I got to experience the movement of all the airline traffic. Graz ATC has high standards and I heard so many flight crew talking with ATC over the radio; it was incredibly useful,” she said.
The final exam period in Vienna was a frustrating time for Eva because Covid-19 meant that exam dates were regularly cancelled. “I found the ATPL(A) Theory very demanding, and I needed to work hard, stay motivated and apply a determined attitude to succeed,” she said. “Studying for exams that kept getting moved was hard, so Covid definitely slowed down my progress, but I just had to stay focused,” she said.
Eva was keen to share some advice for other potential students who might be thinking about training to become a pilot as a career choice: “The most important thing is to enjoy the process” she said, “even if you’re under a lot of pressure. I look back and I realise what a great time I had while learning in the cockpit. As a pilot, you are submitting yourself to a life filled with exams, so you need to get used to the idea that you’re going to keep learning and be constantly tested on what you know”.
Lastly, we asked Eva if she’d recommend us to others. Of course, she said yes! “You’ll find Absolute Pilots are very professional. They are an effective team who work hard for you as a student to get you through the training process. The location is great: the classrooms are at the Absolute Pilot office in the actual airport. It’s a good building, where all your training needs are met. Thank you to the team: my parents and I are so grateful, and we know that I couldn’t have made it this far without you!”
Talking about recommendations, with the help of Michael Riesel, Eva deciced to elevate her training experience into the next level by choosing to join SKY4u in Berlin for the Ryanair Mentored APS MCC. She passed the course with flying colours and has achieved her final goal of becoming a First Officer on the B737. Absolute Pilots and SKY4u wish her all the best for her future adventures.
Eva was interviewed by our friend and private pilot, Leanne Mills. Thanks, Eva, we are all thrilled for you and wish you all the best for your future adventures in the air!