Pilot Profiles: Stuart Bayliss

Once you decided you wanted to follow a career in Aviation, what were your initial steps into turning this ambition into reality? How would you advise somebody who aspires to do the same?
I got a job outside of aviation during the week to fund training for a private pilot’s licence at the weekends.  Having a pilot’s licence isn’t crucial, but doing some flying training will show both yourself and potential employers that you’re serious about a career in flying.

What general advice would you give to aspiring Pilots?
A huge part of the job involves working well in teams, both as a leader and a team member.  Team sports, adventurous travel, volunteering and fundraising can all help improve teamwork skills.

How long has it taken you to get to where you are now?
My whole life!  But more specifically, once I started applying for flying jobs, it was 2 years before I was successful.  Since getting offered a place on a training course, it’s been another 2 years, and I’m just about to start flying the Airbus for real.

Which aspect of your journey into Aviation did you find to be most enjoyable?
Flying light aircraft around the Arizona desert with friends during commercial flying training is pretty hard to beat.

Which aspect of your journey into Aviation did you find most challenging?
Getting rejected when applying for cadet schemes is difficult.  You need a certain amount of resilience to keep trying – an attribute that the airlines value.  Keep at it!

Why Virgin Atlantic?
Great aircraft, great destinations, but above all, great people.  Virgin feels like a big family.  There are a lot of people still in the company who’ve been there since the early days. That’s a real testament to the great atmosphere at Virgin.

Which aspect of your future role and career are you most excited about?
Aside from the obvious (flying!), I can’t wait to meet more of the pilots, crew and ground staff.

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