Stephen Rice 

When did you know you wanted to be an airline pilot?

I’ve wanted to be a pilot from the age of 9 when I first visited a flight deck. 


When and where did you first learn to fly?

I started my PPL in January 2016 at Coventry airport. I attended the club every weekend for lessons, however due to the weather progress was very slow and so I completed my PPL in July 2006 in the USA. Once back in the UK, I later added the night rating, IMC and a basic aerobatic certificate.


What are you looking forward to the most about being an airline pilot?

I am looking forward to working with different people and experiencing a truly dynamic working environment. 


What challenges did you overcome on your journey to becoming an airline pilot?

Self funding the training has required careful financial planning and management. Finances aside, I had not really studied since completing university in 2007 and so starting the ATPL distance learning after such a break from studying felt like a huge task, but concentrating on one module at a time made the experience manageable. 



What advice would you give yourself at the start of your airline journey if you could?

Enjoy it. I have met some great people already through my learning and training and it has been a predominantly supportive and enjoyable environment to be in.


If you weren’t an airline pilot what would you be?

I worked in construction management for 15 years prior to this but I simply did not have passion for construction. If I was not an airline pilot then I would look to find a route into flight training. 


When did you land your first airline job?

I attended two assessments within 5 weeks of completing the APS MCC with VA and I was offered positions with both airlines. I signed my contract for the type rating training in May 2019, 6 weeks after completing the APS MCC with VA.


What aircraft will you be flying for your airline?

Boeing 737-800


For those thinking about becoming an airline pilot, would you recommend it, and why?

I have not gained any experience of life as an airline pilot yet, however the experiences I have gained getting to this point have been challenging but ultimately rewarding and positive. If you have a passion for aviation and you are fully committed to achieving your objectives, then you should start researching your options for routes into the industry.