Life as a Wizz Air cadet

by Jago Seymour on Oct 02 2019

Training to be a pilot is hard work. There is no denying it and I would be lying if I said I haven’t faced any challenges on this course, however if all goes to plan, by early 2020 I’ll be fulfilling my childhood dream of flying the Airbus A320/321 in the bright pink of one of Europe’s fastest growing Low Cost Airlines: Wizz Air.

I started the Wizz Air Integrated ATPL Cadet programme in April 2018, completing ground school in Southampton. Whilst academically challenging, I look back fondly on my six months in ground school and thought that the standard of teaching I received gave me a good platform to achieve the results I wanted. I met a great group of mates who have become friends for life, and whilst not all following the same path, we all have the same end goal. It was this dream of becoming commercial pilots that made the hours of studying worthwhile. There’s more to ground school than work, and it’s important to take time to enjoy yourself, this is something that my mates and I were good at, so much so, that I admit I missed ground school after I left.

I didn’t miss it for long though as a few weeks later I was on a plane to New Zealand to start the foundation flying phase of my training. Having spent a good amount of time in New Zealand previously I was excited to get back out there and once again New Zealand has not disappointed. Flying out here is brilliant. I can’t speak highly enough of my foundation instructor, Pattrick, who took me from someone with no previous flying experience through to nearly 100 hours on the Katana DA-20. In my opinion one of the big benefits of the Wizz Air course is that it is an ATPL course rather than an MPL course which a large number of the other airline programmes offer. This was a big factor for me when it came to choosing the Wizz Air programme.

I could talk all day about the VFR flying which I have done around New Zealand as there have been so many memorable flights, however one which will stick long in the memory is my Cross Country Qualifier. A flight which consists of two full stop landings at aerodromes other than

Hamilton, and more than 300NM in distance; I flew a route to New Plymouth and around the Taranaki Coastline to Whanganui. New Plymouth is one of my favourite airfields to fly into since it is controlled, with domestic Air New Zealand and Jetstar traffic, and an approach over the sea. I had visited New Plymouth Airport two years previously when travelling around NZ so to walk through the terminal two years later in my uniform and go airside was a special moment for me.

Having finished the VFR stage I moved onto the advanced phase. Once again my instructor, Milan, has been fantastic. The IFR stage is a steep learning curve, but once you start to understand the procedures IFR is very enjoyable and rewarding. With over 110 hours in the air, I am now only three flights away from flying the DA-42 Twinstar, something which I have been looking forward to flying since I started the course.

I have faced several challenges whilst on this course and I think it is important for me to say thank you to the handful of friends who really helped me through. Challenges are a part of everyone’s training be it big or small, but with the right people around you it is easier to overcome them and be successful in your training.

To finish I’d like to write a little bit about the Wizz Air Integrated ATPL cadet programme. Being a Wizz Air Cadet at L3Harris is a unique experience and I’m incredibly proud to be on the course.

The prospect of flying with Wizz Air is hugely exciting! As a company they have experienced unrivalled growth; Wizz Air also have one of the youngest fleets worldwide with an average age of 5.43 years. This coupled with a delivery of 74 A321 NEOs between 2021 and 2026 and a recently announced order for 20 A321 XLRs for delivery from 2023, provides huge opportunities to progress through a career as a commercial pilot with the company. As I said, I am incredibly proud to be on the Wizz Air Cadet Programme and I can’t wait to start flying on the line with them as a first officer in the near future.

All the best,

Jago Seymour

Find out more about the L3Harris Integrated ATPL with Wizz Air course