I'm currently in the first phase of pilot training known as ground school, this phase should take six months but due to a series of unfortunate events I’m now in my tenth. I started my training with FTA Global, just outside Brighton on the south coast and soon found myself in hospital having my tonsils removed which meant I missed four ground school exams.
After a short recovery I recommenced training with FTA and did well in my next set of exams. Things were looking up, until FTA Global fell into liquidation during my final training module which meant I was unable to take my final exams and complete ground school.
The news was devastating, I’d worked so hard to get into pilot training in the first place and then again to catch-up after the operation and now I was stuck. For weeks I felt I had no way of completing ground school, the ambition of becoming a pilot felt a million miles away.
I flew back to South Africa, peering into the cockpit as I always do when I board a flight, pondering my next step. I was just 15 years old when I started my PPL, then Covid struck and I, like so many others, couldn’t fly due to lockdown. During this time, I took on two jobs and worked 50+ hours per week to save money to complete my PPL - a decision that cemented my desire to be a pilot.
It was then that L3Harris stepped in and started helping FTA students and I was suddenly overcome with hope.
I purchased Microsoft Flight Simulator during this time to continue my education on all things pilot training in the hope that a flying school would eventually welcome me. It was then that L3Harris stepped in and started helping FTA students and I was suddenly overcome with hope, which I used as motivation to get back on course to accomplish the dream I’d had my entire life of becoming a commercial pilot.
L3Harris welcomed me and gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion again. The facilities are fantastic and the Instructors and staff are great, they truly push me to my limits, and I really enjoy it. I can’t wait to complete my training, but also feel so fortunate to be in this position, so many of my friends from FTA have had to put their pilot training journey on hold.
I discovered some incredible things about myself during this process; I’m determined, I’m resilient and I’m tenacious. I just couldn’t let this dream go, even when people said it was the end of flying for me. I proved them wrong and kept going.
My advice to anyone with the desire to be a pilot is simple: NEVER GIVE UP. It can be difficult at times, but keep believing, work hard, show passion and you can do it!