About your flying instructor:
This is my story about how the flight simulator helped me to become a pilot and with it I hope to inspire and assist others to follow their dreams and learn how to fly.
It all started with Microsoft Flight simulator 5.0. and I learned the basics of flying by trial and error. In the early 90’s, computer development was in a rapid acceleration and the next versions became more and more advanced. With every new version I studied the extensive manuals and practised procedures, manoeuvres, navigation, aerodynamics and aircraft technique.
For my sixteenth birthday, my parents gave me a 20 minute introduction lesson on a Cessna 172, this was my first time in a real aeroplane but I was comfortable and familiar in the cockpit from the start.
I also thank my first part-time job to that study, It was at the Aviodome museum Schiphol. There I learned more about the history of aviation and discovered my true affection for these old-timers. The next year I attended a PPL-course and flew my first solo on the Tecnam P92E before I could drive a car. The year was 2001 though, so at 9/11 I saw my dreams shattered and I had to quit flying for a while.
With aviation out of the options, I enlisted in navy and ‘flew’ a submarine for a few years. I saved some money and attended night-school classes to get my physics papers.
In 2006 I passed selection for the Integrated ATP course at the Dutch Flight Academy and finished the course in under 18 months time. The multi-crew course was in Germany on a 737-500 simulator.
It is now 2008 and the next financial crisis had just started so airlines were globally not recruiting.
I flew (unpaid) as a safety co-pilot on on a corporate jet for a while and in the weekends I made as many hours as I could, flying with skydivers on Cessna’s 182 and 206.
In 2009 I had enough hours to become a flying instructor and did the 5 months course at Wings over Holland. I chose this school for their high quality standards and good reputation. The instructors: a former F-16 display pilot of the Royal Netherlands air force, a chief pilot on Boeing 767 and two aerobatic champions.
Before even finishing, I received a job offer from the Dutch Flight Academy for a full time job. Besides flying as an instructor, I gave ATPL class room training and a radio telephony course.
In 2012 I moved to England to fly the DA42 and the BN-2A Islander, in a broad mix of operations, including Passenger and delicate cargo transport, Flight inspection and calibration of ILS/VOR/DME/PAPI installations, Oil spill response including low level dispersal spraying, joint-military sensor based OPS and police missions,
In three years time I accumulated over 2000 captain hours, flown to more than 120 different destinations in Europe, Africa, the middle east and Asia, including multiple sorties in active war zones.
After a few years of excitement I settled down in Scotland where I worked as a Captain on the Twinotter. Based out of Glasgow airport, I served the destinations of Campbeltown, Tiree and the famous beach airport at Barra.
When the opportunity arose in early 2019, I moved back to the Netherlands where I am now a first officer on the Boeing 737-NG
Using the flight simulator as training tool has helped me to pass every exam, prof-check, OPC or flight-check to date.
Due to the pressure and time constraints that came with the type rating, line training and in general the first year of flying a jet airliner, I had too little time to work on the FIO project.
Fast forward to 2020 and the Covid-19 malaise has put me on furlough, at the time of writing I have been grounded for two months and with no realistic end date in sight.
On the positive side, I have now some more time to work on my hobbies, including the website.
By teaching and sharing experiences on line, I hope to maintain and improve my own proficiency and that of others at the same time.
The best way to contact me if you have any questions or you’d like to chat about aviation or simulations is to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Every day is a school day…