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Pilot Mike:

Hey everyone, I’m Mike and I have recently started as a first officer with Transavia. Before that I had been a second officer on the Boeing 747 at Air Atlanta Icelandic.

I was born near Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This is also where my aviation dream started, my mother took me to watch airplanes sometimes and since then I was just amazed. Have a look at my road to the cockpit below!

When I was 19 years old I started flight training at CAE Amsterdam.

In the beginning I really had to get used to the amount of readings every day. Taking 8 hours of classroom sessions, get some food and then read the books before the next day. This period of theory took about 8 months, thereafter the fun part could get started! For my VFR flying I went to Evora, Portugal. I will never forget my first Solo, and my haircut after the solo ( bald )

After getting my PPL it was time to go to Mesa, Arizona. Getting some experience with the American airspace was great to get familiar with, and overall living in America was something I’ve always wanted to experience. This is also where I’ve got my first huge benefit of travelling the world which was another dream come true. I celebrated my 21st birthday in Las Vegas! We did a road trip with some friends from flight school and drank lemonade in Vegas for 2 days.

Of course not everything is fun, enjoyable and nothing is as changeable as the aviation industry. After getting my licenses in 2011 it took me 7 years to get me my first job in the cockpit. In the meantime I’ve worked as an Account Manager to pay for the loan I had taken to be able to attend Flight School. These were busy days, a full-time job and making sure I was current in every way, to pass an assessment anytime when I would be given the chance. This resulted in two job offers in 2018 and I can now say every minute I’ve spent to become a professional airline pilot has been more than worth it!

Don’t let anyone discourage you, keep training, keep studying be determined and you’ll get to your dream job. You can follow my Instagram @pilotpotattoo to see why it’s worth giving your best, especially when it looks like it’s not going to pay off!

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