What a journey – AND I’M ONLY JUST GETTING STARTED.
Interested in aviation from an early age, I spent a lot of time researching and saving to put myself through training. I chose an integrated route with a world renowned English based FTO. It wasn’t cheap but with their connections to some of the larger, more reputable European airlines and dedicated graduate services offering assistance after the course it seemed like the safest option.
Upon finishing my training my FTO was bought out by a larger organisation with a number of flight schools and their students were brought under the umbrella of my training provider. This lead to an increasing backlog of unemployed pilots with no clear support. I was out of training for a year, staying current by flying light aircraft, trying to network into the industry, and applying for opportunities but hearing rejections or nothing.
I heard about Kura. I learnt that this new company was run by an experienced and professional team. After a phone call I visited their training centre. From my first meeting with the team, listening to what they were achieving, I could see that Kura was not another training provider that was unethically chasing your money. I committed to Kura that day and, following a successful aptitude test, continued on to the technical training. I then spent two weeks in a classroom gaining an invaluable insight into the role of a First Officer from a range of motivated, experienced, and active aviation professionals.
I returned to my FTO with a new sense of self-confidence and wanting to utilise all my employment avenues. Sure enough it was not long before my FTO, recognising the work I had done with Kura, considered me for airline opportunities. I was successful in selection for a British based regional carrier; however, the package, with hindsight, was not good and I felt it relied on desperate graduates paying large sums of money.
A few weeks before I was due to commit to the regional carrier, I received a call from Kura telling me that Flybe had invited me to attend selection. I passed the interview and subsequent simulator check, and was offered a full time role with a bonded type rating. I accepted and am now a First Officer on the DASH 8 Q400 based in Belfast. My Kura experience was amazing and I would not be here now without them!
I loved my time at Kura and enjoyed visiting socially and for further training, free of charge, after my course. Being a Community Interest Company (CIC) further underlines Kura’s ethical intentions and direction, they are here to break the “large FTO” influence deeply rooted in airline selection and indeed ‘bridge the gap’ between aspiring pilots and airlines. Had Kura been here 3 years ago my training costs could have been halved, but I would still have had support that is second to none.