Etihad Sponsorship Alert

Full Sponsorship Available if you have BSc degree

Etihad are offering full sponsorship to join their airline as a pilot for those who:

  • Have a BSc degree
  • Are aged between 21-20
  • Have a BMI less than 30%

(It is unclear how the question 'Do any of your family members work for Etihad Airways?' affects your application.)

Closing date 7th May.

View the job description and apply here.

Sign up for sponsorship alerts to email inbox here.

(Apologies to some of those I emailed this opportunity to. I entered a few of the emails in the To field and not Bcc. Rookie mistake. I hope you forgive me. Adam.) 

Post Maintenance Walk Round

Post Maintenance Walk Round

Air Test (Check Flight)

As a technical instructor I am lucky to be considered for other technical roles in the airline. Today we conducted a check flight on one of our Boeing 757 aircraft before an american airline accepted it to join their fleet. The check flight involves three hours of flight and ground testing by the pilots. In addition to the normal two crew a check observer is carried to record and run the check schedule (me!). A fourth crew member from the receiving airline observes the check overall. Checks in the schedule include single engine climbs, approach to stalls and recovery and overspeed flight.

Check flights are now deliberately not referred to as test flights due to recent major accidents and near accidents during such flights (see Perpignan and easyJet). Although much of the flight is outside the airline SOP the Check Flight Schedule document has been carefully written by the CAA to cater for the flight. If the aircraft doesn't behave as expected or the environment (weather and airspace) is unable to cater for the flight, the check should be stopped. When safely on the ground engineers can investigate problems and pilots and operations can re-plan and re-negotiate airspace, without the pressures of the check in the flight deck.
It is likely the check will not go to plan, the aircraft is usually delayed leaving maintenance, blocks of uninterrupted airspace can be scarce and suitable weather (smooth, day, VMC) hard to find. Check pilots must now be nominated and specifically trained to deal with these non-technical challenges and traps.
Authority gradients and group dynamics in the cockpit play a big part in flight deck CRM. When two captains fly together the CRM challenges can be even greater. However check flights present a unique unfamiliar scenario. Often some of the most senior and experienced pilots are operating in front of the same ilk of pilots but from a different airline who operate the same aircraft but in a different way using different SOPs. All whilst conducting an unfamiliar flight under commercial and personal expectations which are likely to be disrupted.

Approximately 25% of accidents involving turbine powered aircraft during the past decade have occurred during non-revenue flights
Cabin Depressurisation

Cabin Depressurisation

For me it was an awesome first check flight experience with an experienced and friendly crew.

Thank you to everyone who has tweeted and emailed since my speech in seminar last week. As soon as I can I will begin replying to your questions. In the mean time keep them coming.

Test Your Aptitude Whilst Urinating When Drunk

On a serious note, when preparing for selection, do anything you can to replicate the computer-based testing. Pilot aptitude tests always involve a hand eye co-ordination test, often with a vicious multi-tasking element. Games like this are perfect for practice. Be creative, add you own multitasking element and let everyone know what it is (and your high score) in the comments below.

Professional Flight Training Exhibition 2013

If you have any questions following my speech or anything I can help with at all, ask here. Or just email me I won't answer them publicly if you don't want me to.

Thank you for the kind tweets. Stay in touch, let me know how you are getting on.


This video was produced in 2009 for the Airline Selection Workshop for BSc Aviation Technology and Pilot Studies at the University of Leeds. At the time lecturers Adam Howey and Sam Colley were operating first officers and instructors at Thomas Cook Airlines and Aer Lingus respectively.

Stripes is for promoting professional opportunities and ideas to those who want to be an airline pilot.

professional opportunities = airline pilot sponsorship schemes, part-sponsored schemes, mentored schemes and other supported opportunities.

professional ideas = advice for wannabe airline pilots, cadets and airline pilots. Other discussions and ideas such as training and seniority. 

I want to make up for the lack of support and encouragement that motivated young people receive if they want to be an airline pilot
student presentation at leeds

student presentation at leeds

Since I became a pilot I have become preoccupied with the world of young individuals who are working hard to be part of the airline industry. As a lecturer and mentor at the University of Leeds I have done everything I can to bring the professional standards of our industry to the lecture theatre. But mostly my concern has been that I make up for the lack of support and encouragement that motivated young people receive should they choose to work towards the profession of an airline pilot.

Stripes will make the resources I have gathered as a mentor available to more people.  The goal is to be a positive source of professional information and guidance. 

Unqualified negative opinions are too frequent on the internet.

Common questions from wannabe pilots are as simple as:

the job of an airline pilot

What does an airline pilot do? Which pilot flys the aircraft? How does an airline pilot contribute to the success of the airline? What is involved in a typical day as an airline pilot? What does a pilots roster look like? What destinations do pilots fly to? How often do pilots stay down-route? What is CRM? What are non technical skills? What is the difference between a short-haul and long-haul pilot? 

your career

Which airlines do cadets start in? What does it take to become a captain? What is the difference between two stripes and three? How much do airline pilots get paid? How often do pilots work? Which airline is the best to work for? How many aircraft types do airline pilots fly? What is a training captain? When do airline pilots retire? How do I become an astronaut?

the training 

What training do you do to become an airline pilot? How long does it take? What licenses are required to become an airline pilot? Why does most training take place outside the UK? What is the hardest part? What is the MPL? What is integrated and modular training? How hard is the ground school? What mark in required in the ground school? What happens if a cadet fails training?


How do I get sponsored? Which airlines run pilot sponsorships? What is part-sponsorship? What is a mentored scheme? How do I find sponsorships for application? How much money do I need to be an airline pilot? Which route is best to become an airline pilot? Is integrated training a rip off? 

airline pilot selection

What qualifications do I need to be an airline pilot? What is involved in airline pilot selection? What skills are assessed? What is aptitude testing? What is involved in pilot maths tests? How can I prepare for aptitude testing? What is asked in an airline pilot interview? What is a competency based interview? Will I be asked technical questions? How do I pass pilot selection? What should I prepare for a group exercise? How do I answer 'why do you want to be an airline pilot?' 

Information and guidance from stripes should:

  • Positively influence.
  • NOT be anonymous.
  • Be fiercely unbiased.
  • Be Referenced.
  • Use Data.
  • Gather Data.
  • Be a point of contact.

Simply put it should be Professional and Positive.

Stripes is an Open Source. Contribute advice and help.

How did you become an Airline Pilot? All pilots are asked this question. However there are few online sources to turn an aspiring airline pilot to. Of course it isn't me that has all the answers. The best and most inspiring advice is contained in the heads of the first officers and captains operating on the line today. 

Set an example and represent your industry. 

It doesn't matter if you are an airline pilot or are just applying to be one. If have something to say, create content, no matter how large or small,  contact me and join in.



My name is Adam Howey and I work as an Airline Pilot (Senior First Officer). At my airline I also work as a Technical Instructor across both Airbus A320, A330 and Boeing 757, 767 fleets. After graduating the University of Leeds BSc Aviation Technology with Pilot Studies I returned to the university to lecture. Since then I have become a passionate member of staff at the university. The intake of motivated students who want to become airline pilots have helped me create a successful graduate society an 'airline selection workshop' event which connects the students with the industry and career.

My airline began its own cadet scheme in 2010. My role is be the day to day coordinator and mentor for the cadets. The scheme is an example of the supported opportunities which the airline industry needs more of. Read my CV here.

My experience mentoring students and cadets has helped me gather resources and knowledge which I want to move from the lecture theatre to this open source. More importantly I want to open my ideas into a conversation, for criticism or support. 
Working as an instructor and a mentor is of benefit to my personal development and my contribution on the flight deck as I work towards my command. And it is important to me that anyone who comes across this blog agrees that I am not motivated to earn any money from this. You can judge whether or not I am capable.

i am not motivated to earn money from this blog

I am not a talented writer but I intend to use anything I can to keep my message clear. I will share some of the day to day of my job to connect this blog with the flight deck. Using twitter, instagram to do this will mix my personal and professional life but will prove that I am real, and reinforce that this is NOT anonymous, is positive and is a point of contact.

Stripes has been nearly two years in the making at the time of writing this

This idea has gone through as many iterations as possible to get to this start, which is the most basic of all ideas, a blog. From a network of pilots, logbooks and data to help recruit pilots and create a positive career path, to a society to regulate the profession.

I have got many ideas I want to discuss. But what is important to me is what you want. And if you want to be an airline pilot I hope I can convince you that this profession is worthy of you and that this is the best job in the world. Pursuing it, in the right way, like any dream, is worthwhile.