After about 10 months of studying a lot, I was ready to go for the theory exams. First, I had to do internal exams at the flight school to show that I was properly prepared and as I passed them all, I was allowed to go for the official exams.
After three months of theory classes, we got the Cessna course. One week of learning all about the Cessna 172, the airplane we were soon going to fly! After the Cessna theory exam, it was time for the simulator sessions. The simulator had all the features of the Cessna cockpit, so we could practice well and simulate flights on ground.
In October 2011 I finally started flight school, as you could read here. All was new for me. I moved to a different country, lived on my own for the first time and started a course that I honestly did not know much about yet. All the courses were given in English and although my English was fairly good, I did not know many technical words and expressions that were used a lot during the course. Slowly but surely I managed to find my way and I was lucky to have roommates that were in the same situation.
So there I was, about to start my last year of high school, at age 17, knowing that I was accepted to the flight school and going to become a pilot. It felt like a dream! All I had to do, was graduating high school and prepare for the pilot course!
The first day of school I immediately made some changes. I used to do Science at Gymnasium level, which had classic languages included. I decided to drop Latin (I had already dropped Ancient Greek) as it was taking a lot of my time and I preferred to focus more on the science subjects (Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology) that were quite difficult. I did need to choose another subject, so I chose Spanish. My classmates had chosen Spanish 2 years before, so the course I was going to join was already quite advanced. I therefore had to study everything that I had missed in the previous two years to keep up with my classmates. Knowing that I was going to study in Madrid, I had the perfect motivation and I loved studying the language.
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!