Hobby to Career

by Craig Jardine on Feb 19 2020

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” I’m sure we have all heard this quote at some point in our life. For me, its why I find myself at L3Harris training to be a Pilot.

Aviation has always fascinated me. I have no shame to admit it, but I’m a bit of a plane geek. It’s hard to put my finger on it and give one exact reason as to why I get such a buzz out of it - I just do. My childhood is filled with memories linked to aviation; watching the Tornados go screaming over head out of RAF Leuchars, my first flight when I was four going to London, to building scale models of Spitfires and visiting various Aviation museums. So, when I got the opportunity to take flying up as a hobby, there was no stopping me.

I started my PPL at the start of 2015 out of Glasgow Airport. I had flown numerous times as a passenger from there, but doing it as a student pilot was something else. I can still remember my first lesson like it was yesterday. I took off just after a Virgin 747 had landed! After just over two years and just after my 21st birthday I had my license. It was such a great thing to have. I joined a small local flying club at a small airfield not far from where I live. From there I could go off and view Scotland from above, giving me some of the most incredible views imaginable. I’ve been lucky enough to take nearly all my family and friends out on flights over some of Scotland’s most famous landmarks. I could fly to places for the day, just for lunch or do a quick sightseeing flight over castles and mountains. The highlights have to be flying over the snow-capped mountains in winter and flying at 8,000ft and being able to see both the North Sea on the East Coast and the Atlantic Ocean on the West Coast, both truly breath-taking views.

But this wasn’t enough for me, I wanted more. I wanted to be doing it all the time and not just at weekends. To quote Leonardo da Vinci, “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” That was me. I wanted to be in the sky as much as possible. So, having spent a few years working in finance after leaving school and feeling I was ready to take the jump, I successfully applied to the Integrated ATPL scheme. I have to say I was a little nervous of how I would find the course. While I knew what was involved in the course, there was a small doubt in the back of my head telling me that my love for aviation was going to be crushed when I got into the reality of doing it as a career. Thankfully though, those fears haven’t come to fruition and after nearly eight long months, I finished all 14 subjects with first time passes.

The next stage for me is flight training in Hamilton, New Zealand which I am very much looking forward to. No doubt there will be more stories to tell which you can follow them on my Instagram, @craig_jardine1, and with future blogs here.