We were in mid-June 2002. The entrance for the first time on a plane, would change the course of my life in many ways. It was a trip to Madeira, of which I have some memories - my uncles frightened as hell trying to sleep, the landing with the lights off for us to be accustomed to the darkness and that base leg that was way steep. After this week, some sad events made us all forget this trip, but something was certain: whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be, the answer was clear and incisive: I want to be an airline pilot. Years passed on and some wishes of other professions also occasionally but this has always been the main idea of career I’ve had. Confirmation was given one afternoon (or night - it was an intersection of time zones) in which I was traveling to Mexico (2009) and suddenly the windows on one side show a purple tint - night - and the other side amber, as if he’d dawn. From that moment on I took it more seriously. I have been researching more and more about it, I spent money on flight simulators, went to various flight schools and even a military air force base. It was really my deepest dream! Still is today! During the coming years, my mother always gave me an annual trip - as a reward of good grades, good character, of another year … - and during these trips we experienced some very unpleasant flights. I went to the cockpit a few times and contacted with several pilots and crew. I even remember going to the airport just to be in touch with that world! Something that I came back to do quite recently. (Haven’t travelled this year) Regarding taking the license itself: at the beginning, I always considered the Air Force - which was free, paid me for being there and I had good grades to match it. But soon I realized that this was not the way: my personality does not match anything with the military one; UAVs will eventually dominate this branch of aeronautics; They had three vacancies for over 900 candidates - that would be superhumans without any fault or flaw; the course would take six years and required a 12-year contract basis, which meant 18 years left to be unhappy doing stuff I don’t believe in (nothing I could not bear were it not for the following aspect) and in the end, I would have to take the civil course for the same price like a newbie. Since then I have come to opt for flight schools, and quickly picked the old Gestair - now G Air. I exchanged several emails with them and visited the school more than once.. I realized that yes, this was it. The atmosphere was great, the staff was the best and quite similar to me. I felt perfectly integrated. With the opening of a G Air Aeronautical Campus in Ponte de Sor, I did the same and that same day turned out to be magical. A curious order of events made me fly almost solo. I took off. I did the cruise. I landed. Perfect. This was at the beginning of this year, January 4th. It was all arranged. In September, there would I go flying. Missing only to handle one thing: the payment. Our plan has always been to take a family home as collateral for the bank loan. Of € 69,500. Yes, that was the price. Off costs of accommodation and transport. A middle-class family. Always dreamed big. And always will. Would be left with a debt of € 900 from 19 to 29 years of age. I had to find a quick job at 19 (when the course ended). But this did not seemed a problem to me. One day before a funny surgery, I do not know how, we ended up at the University of Aveiro. Fate’s plays, I guess. I felt something in me trembling, as if it was making me pursue a mission higher and bigger than myself or anything rational. Something grand. I decided to take a degree course first, did not know what, but I knew I wanted to take advantage of my school grades, wanted prestige, wanted to enhance the curriculum, wanted to have a backup and foremost wanted to affirm my plurality of goals. Something grand. I never wanted to be just one thing, far from it. I ended up choosing Engineering Physics at the Higher Technical Institute (IST), which is something that has always fascinated me. I postponed the planes for five years, but I will never give up on them. I actually feel more accomplished with this order of events in my life. Do not ask me why I want to be a pilot because it’s something very personal that I could never put into words. I really like the profession in all aspects and dynamics. Like the weather, the swtiches, the PNC, the CRM, contacts with ATC, the crazy hours, pragmatism, the routine and the lack of it, the nomadism. The approaches - ah yes - is there something more beautiful than an approach? This is my biggest dream and the shield of my flag. It’s something I always loved at the most intrinsic level and that only I can see the size.
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