Student Blog Part 1 – Beatrice Secchi – Ryanair Mentorship Programme

Ciao! My name is Beatrice, I’m 25 years old and from Milano in Italy. I’m a Ryanair cadet at Altlantic Flight Training Academy in Cork. Every month I will keep you updated on my progress and share my stories about my flight training at AFTA.

Nice to meet you (piacere di conoscervi) and thanks for following my journey.

So, how did I end up here?

I always wanted to become a pilot and two years ago when I started to work for Ryanair as cabin crew I fell more in love with the aviation and knew becoming a pilot was the only career for me.

Luckily for me, my friend owns a light aircraft and I had the opportunity to go on many different trips with them. If you are thinking of becoming a Pilot I really recommend taking a flight or two, I knew after each flight with my friend this is what I really wanted to do. I started to gather information on the best way to start my training. For a long time I had been looking at different aero clubs and schools but  I could not find an option I was happy with. One day a colleague told me about AFTA’s Ryanair mentored training programme. Wow! It looked like  a greart opportunity and just perfect for me! I knew from working for Ryanair what a great company they are, the training they give their Pilots and teams is first class. I researched the academy and I liked how professional they looked and how they were known for providing a great service and being attentive to every single student.

I contacted the school and booked an appointment for an assessment. From the start whoever I talked to was really nice and helpful. I practiced for a few weeks on the Compass test, which is a mix of psycho-motor and psycho-technical tests, verbal reasoning, mathematics and physics.

It is not hard but I think good preparation is the first step to success, also one might have never seen some of the exercises before, or simply need a little refresher on math and physics.

The assessment went smoothly: Compass test, simulator and interview.

There is nothing to worry about for the simulator part! It is not expected for a person to be Sully Sullenberger and land on the Hudson River, it is only important to listen carefully to the instructions and try to comply with them as best you can!

I was quite nervous for the interview but the AFTA instructor and HR assistant who were interviewing me were very nice and made me feel at ease straight away.

After this first day, I left with a great impression of the academy, both from the AFTA staff and the students that I met  at lunch, who reassured me and gave me advice and information about the school, the course and the city of Cork.

A few weeks after,  I received the news that changed my life: I was accepted on to the Ryanair mentored programme!

Shortly after I left my home in Italy and my job as  cabin crew to start the most exciting experience of my life.

Starting my training!

After two days of induction, where  my classmates and I  were introduced to the team in AFTA and to Brian Coomey, Ryanair Base captain, we started our ground school in preparation for flying. The PPL ground school was two intensive weeks of lessons in class with an engaging and knowledgeable instructor. I personally think that the course is very interesting and motivating! We went through all the different subject required, my favorite is Meteorology ..a lot of my classmates will turn their nose up at this , MET is known for beinng very challenging… 😉

After this we moved on to theoretical briefings in the morning, each focusing on the flying lesson that soon we would complete! I found these really interesting and fundamental preparation for each flight.

I recall perfectly my very first flight in AFTA, the thrill and the excitement.

The lesson focused on familiarizing me with the aircraft and the cockpit and learning the basic effects on the control. My instructor that day was great, really patient and very clear and precise in explaining and giving instructions! I will never forget that day!

Here me and my friend Matteo after our first flights! 🙂

The programme is very well structured so that every time a person is scheduled to fly they know in advance exactly what the lesson will be on and can start to prepare using the material provided.

Here I am learning basic instrument flying! The  visor doesn’t allow you to see outside (kind of a funny feeling the first time you use it!) and you must concentrate only on your instrument  to fly, it takes a great amount of focus!

It goes without saying that the flying is the most exciting part! There is a lot to learn and there is something new every time. Some lessons are more challenging than others, some require more preparation and studying on the ground, others more focus and practice in the air. All instructors are experienced and well prepared to help us learn and develop the necessary skills!

You can find more information about the Ryanair mentorship programme here:

To apply for the Ryanair mentorship programme please click here

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