Meet Kwame Yeboah, Senior First Officer and Fatigue Manager at West Atlantic AB.
Where did the dream start for you?
My passion for flying stemmed from my first flight on a British Airways aircraft from Ghana to the United Kingdom. I was eight years old at the time and on a visit, with my brother, to see my parents who had emigrated from Ghana. I had the opportunity to meet the pilots and see the flight deck. This was a surreal experience and I was fascinated by how it all worked. This was the moment that I knew I wanted to be a commercial pilot.
For me, there was no second option or “back up plan”. This meant that I did a lot of research into this field during my education journey. Prior to completing my GCSEs, I did extensive research on the different routes to becoming a pilot. This revealed different pathways from integrated and modular routes, to joining the military.
How did you decide on a route into the industry?
I recognised the advantages and disadvantages of all the different pathways. I liked the integrated pathway as it is the quickest route to becoming a commercial pilot. I also liked the military route as it alleviated my concerns regarding funding. However, I was particularly drawn towards the modular route due to its flexibility- it meant that I will have more control over my training programme. This route allowed me to have a degree together with my flying license as well as making me more attractive to airline companies.
After completing my A Levels, I opted for the university route. I attended Buckinghamshire New University (Bucks) and studied Air Transport with Commercial Pilot Training. This was a 3-year course which I completed with honours. I was also able to complete my initial flight training at Booker Aviation. I progressed on to Simtech Aviation in Dublin to complete my APS MCC course.
Two months later, I was offered a role at West Atlantic U.K. flying cargo across U.K. and Europe on the Boeing 737 Classic and NG.
Did you face any challenges?
Yes, although a seemingly straightforward route to achieving my dream, I have also had my fair share of challenges. The biggest challenge was always staying resilient even when things seem bleak. Having a strong support system was extremely helpful and I am forever grateful to my family and friends for their words of encouragement, and for never doubting my abilities.
Moreover, the instructors I had during my training shaped me into being the best version of myself as a professional pilot and I owe a debt of gratitude to all of them.
Additionally, I found that drawing on skills developed from my hobbies allowed me to appreciate my journey more. My interests in playing basketball and playing the piano at a high level showed me that practice makes perfect. This is a statement I stand by in my current position. Spending time in the flight simulator, practicing a variety of failures allows me to perfect my technique and thereby having the utmost confidence walking into a flight deck. I would advice aspiring aviation professionals searching for a job to never doubt your abilities, to appreciate how far you have come in your aviation career and most importantly, to never give up!
You are closer to achieving your goal than you might think.
Apply for Pilot roles now!