After finishing Universtiy and working in restuarants, I finally realized my dream of becoming a commercial pilot in August of 2000. At that time the canadian aviation industry had taken a downturn and there werent many jobs for newly qualified pilots. With a little help from The Right Approach Pilot Career Centre, I found a new resume and started sending it out across Canada. I also applied overseas to Air Seychelles due to my dual citizenship. The Seychelles are a beautiful island chain off the east coast of Africa (abeam Tanzania and Kenya). With some luck I received a letter and a job interview. The interview must have went well - I got the job and moved from Vancouver to Mahe. I started in January of 2001 flying the DHC-6 Twin Otter on the Air Seychelles inter-island routes.
Currently I am coming up to 1000 hours - a figure I never thought was in my grasp a few short months ago. The flying here is fantastic. We operate the Twin Otter on wheels to paved and grass strips with hops ranging from 20 minutes to 2 hours. I fly regularly to Pralisn Island, Denis, Bird, Desrouches, Darros, Alphonse, and Fregate Islands. The Seychelles International Airport (Mahe) Runway 13 has some the toughest winds during June to September and some say it is classed in the top 3 hardest to land in the world.
Generally speaking our schedule is 4 days on and then 2 off.
Currently I am working at the Domestic Level for Air Seychelles and have just completed my Type Rating on the BN2-27 Islander. I will be getting some command hours in the Islander before moving to the left seat of the Twin Otter. Also, the company is in negotiations to receive a Shorts 360 for domestic flights and who knows.... I may be flying the "Box" before the end of June.
Progression to the Air Seychelles International operation usually takes place after two to three years on the Domestic side of things, and may either be on a 767-300 operating to routes in Europe and Asia or the 737-700NG to destinations around the Indian Ocean.
I work with a fantastic group of young pilots, both men and women. My cousin had been a Captain on the Twin Otter for three years before qualifying through the selection process for the B767. Currently she flies right seat on the B767 at the age of 24. Unbelievable by Canadian standards! With a little hard work I hope to follow in her footsteps. Flying overseas is an incredibly eye opening experience and I recommend to those brave of heart and thirsty for adventure to give it a try.
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