By Jennifer Cairns 01 Feb 2023 5 min read

Life as a 22 year old Pilot at Ryanair

Meet Patrick, a 22 year old Pilot at Ryanair.



Where did the journey start for you?

Becoming a pilot at this age unveiled quite a lot of challenges. Other than the theoretical exams, flight checks, applying for pilot jobs, early mornings and late nights studying, I noticed that throughout my training, a recurrent question popped up in my head: "what next?"

Becoming a pilot has always been my dream since I was a very young kid, my parents, friends and even my elementary teachers told me that I could not help but talk about planes, and I do not even know where it comes from since I am the only one in my family with the aviation bug. My mother's answer to my question was that since I was born in Canada and flew back to Italy only 50 days after I was born, aviation has flowed in my veins since my first days of life.


Once deciding you wanted to become a Pilot, where did you start?

Since no one in my family ever took this path, I had to figure everything out on my own. After graduating high school, the first step I took was attending various flight school open days and researching online.

The winner was a flight school in my city equipped with brand new planes, operating in a very busy airspace and with some excellent Ground and Flight Instructors.

Throughout my training, I faced many difficulties, the pandemic being one of them. It would be useless to tell you how I overcame my personal challenges, as everyone faces their own and it is an essential step of our training to develop ways to overcome them. What I can and would like to share as a piece of advice is that no matter how difficult the challenge might be, passion, self-discipline and curiosity play a leading role in achieving a positive outcome.

Passion is obviously crucial, having passion makes us more resilient when facing difficulties. Self-discipline is fundamental for taking that extra mile, studying one more day, and sacrificing hanging out to achieve a great outcome. Finally, curiosity will undoubtedly help you find the answer to the "what next?" question before applying for pilot jobs.


What advice would you give for Pilots or aspiring Pilots? 

Some more functional bits of advice I feel like sharing are the following: learn to be proactive, this is a skill you will have to learn if you want to become a professional pilot, and it can be beneficial throughout your training: those times when it feels like you have a low workload, don't just sit back and wait for something to happen. Get out there, get in touch with your colleagues that are further on with the training, ask them what you can do to prepare for the following phase.

Find someone to study with or someone in need of a bit of help. First, learn to share mistakes with others, and most importantly, listen to them. There is an old aviation quote which states: "you will never live long enough to make them all yourself" also, helping someone out really allows you to see if you truly understand a particular topic.

Last but not least, do not be afraid to ask questions. This is one of the most substantial pieces of advice I can give you. The life of a cadet pilot is full of significant milestones, unfortunately, very often, they happen to be separated from one another, and the only way to get through is by asking someone else about the path they took. Not necessarily to follow it but to know there are ways to connect the dots, and the more you ask, the more ways you will find to link everything.

Looking backwards, I see a rollercoaster rather than a straight line, which is how it should be. Do not be scared to make mistakes, keep going, you will reach your goals, and always look for the next step to take.

Finally, I would like to leave you with one of the most repeated quotes in our industry, just this time read it twice and repeat it to yourself: "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that airplanes takeoff against the wind, not with it"


Blue skies, sincerely,



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