Many pilots knew from a very young age that they wanted to become a pilot when they grew up. For me, it was a little bit different. I always admired pilots, I looked up at the sky when a plane passed and one of my earliest memories is waving my grandparents goodbye at Schiphol’s panorama terrace as they were leaving in a plane to Jordan. I loved seeing the big airplanes preparing for departure and watching them take off. I must have been 3 or 4 years at that time. From that moment onwards, I was always excited to go to the airport or just pass by and see the planes taxiing, being curious how it was possible that such big and heavy airplanes could fly. Once or twice I asked my parents if it was possible to become a pilot. Even though my parents always supported me in all possible ways, they also raised me with a positive but rational mindset. They told me that it was very difficult and expensive to become a pilot. They told me about the pilots aptitude tests to be accepted to flight school, medical checks and education. Based on this, I assumed it was very difficult and for that moment I did not continue to do any research. Press on the READ MORE button to read how I went from high school to flight school!
At age 15 I had to visit a career fair with school. Many different universities and private schools were at this fair to excite us for their courses. Even though I liked various professions, I didn’t feel extremely excited about any in particular. Until I got to the Flight Academy stand. Students of the flight school were present and told us all about the course, the profession and the life of a student pilot. When I asked them about the financing, they told me that one bank in The Netherlands was providing loans to student pilots. The average cost of the flight school from 0 to fully licensed is around €100,000. It’s a good investment in my future, but I would need a bank to provide me the money. I came home that day with a huge smile on my face and told my mother: I want to become a pilot!
I told my mother all about the things I had been told and my mother, who works in the banking/finance industry, started to help me by doing research online. We found out that it was not so impossible to become a pilot after all. In the weeks that followed, we learned more and more about flight school requirements and locations. We visited various Open Days and a flight school exhibition where schools from all over Europe came to give information.
A few months later, July 2010, in my summer holidays, I went to Madrid to do the flight school selection. It consisted of a psychological test, various capability tests as English, Maths and Physics, a flight in the simulator and an intensive medical check at the military hospital.
In August 2010 I went on holidays to Cuba with my parents. I was waiting for the results of the test and tried to regularly check my e-mail. We did not have smartphones yet and therefore I had to go to the internet cafe in order to check my e-mail. But every time I checked, there was no new e-mail. But one day, when I was supposed to buy postcards for my friends, I decided to use my pocket money to check my inbox instead. I had received an e-mail with the subject: Results. When I finally managed to open the e-mail, it said: Find attached the results of your selection. Medically you are approved. Well done! I didn’t know if with these phrases I could assume I was accepted to flight school, so I had to open all attachments. It felt like hours before they were fully loaded, and all of them gave a positive result. I couldn’t believe it: I was going to become a pilot! I ran back to the apartment, forgot all about my plans to buy postcards and was crying of happiness when I told my parents about the positive news. I could not believe how my life was going to change, I was going to become a pilot!