Harry Pinder

My name is Harry Pinder. I am 24 years old and from the UK. I recently completed the Ryanair Mentored Gateway 1 modular course with AFTA in November 2020.

Prior to joining the AFTA team I did my research and saw they had a terrific modern fleet of aircraft, experienced instructors and a very high graduate success rate with airlines, in particular Ryanair. I was truly excited at the prospect of joining AFTA and I was not disappointed. I commenced my training with AFTA in July 2020 and, during my time at AFTA, I had frequent lesson bookings and was able to complete the CPL, MEIR and MCC in less than 5 months. The instructors were very professional and they put lots of time aside to put you in to the best shape possible for the flight tests. They gave informative briefings, a good input to what could be improved on the lessons and taught us Ryanair briefings. My final part of training was the APS MCC. AFTA’s Ryanair mentored APS MCC uses a high quality B737 simulator and teaches many Ryanair SOPs and ultimately gives you the best possible preparation to be ready for the airlines.

Shortly after I had finished training, I was called for an assessment at the Ryanair HQ in Dublin.To prepare me for the assessment, I made sure that I availed on AFTAs Graduate Development Program. This program provides simulator and interview preparation conducted by experienced instructors at AFTA, who know the ins and outs of how to prepare students best for this assessment. AFTA worked with me to make sure I was 100% ready before going to the assessment.

The Ryanair mentored APS MCC, along with AFTAs Graduate Development Program allowed me to be full of confidence when I attended my type rating assessment. I was able to display many of the skills and SOPs I developed through training with AFTA during the interview and simulator assessment, and subsequently, I was accepted on to the Ryanair type rating program. I am due to start my type rating with Ryanair in April 2021 and I am very thankful to AFTA for their dedication and hard work which has helped immensely in me being able to achieve this. I would highly recommend AFTA to anyone serious about becoming a commercial pilot

Cathal Smullen

My name is Cathal Smullen. I am 21 years of age and I completed my flight training in Atlantic Flight Training Academy as a Ryanair Mentored student in November 2019.

Becoming a pilot has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember. When I was researching flight schools, the personal approach to flight training from AFTA really stood out from the others. After arranging a visit to AFTA to see the facilities, I knew enrolling at AFTA would be the right choice for me. This decision was reinforced by qualified pilots and airline recruiters who I got to know while I was working on the ramp in Dublin Airport. Now graduated, I would have no hesitation in recommending AFTA to anybody considering flight training.

Flight training is both exciting and daunting, as there are frequent exams and checks which must be passed to progress. This is where the team at AFTA come into it. The standard of training that AFTA offers is second to none. From the outset AFTA maintain airline standards. AFTA’s skilled and experienced flying and ground instructors truly enabled me to reach my full potential. Training on AFTA’s modern fleet of aircraft, amongst airline traffic out of a live international airport in challenging weather conditions is exposure that cannot be rivalled and I strongly feel this will greatly benefit me throughout my career.

I was thrilled to be accepted onto the Ryanair Mentored Programme as it gives an incredible insight and preparation for a career at Ryanair. The APS/MCC course was one of the most enjoyable parts of flight training for me. Like everything else, there is a lot of information and new skills to learn which although challenging, it is also extremely rewarding. Using Ryanair procedures and actual flight plans definitely gives an edge and provides a true level of reality.

I graduated from AFTA in November of 2019, they had been in frequent contact since graduating organising interview preparation sessions thereby proving their commitment to help place students, Q&A group calls with Mark and team and a couple of months later I was successful at my assessment at Ryanair and was due to start my type rating on the Boeing 737. Unfortunately this occurred simultaneously with the COVID-19 pandemic but I hope to get flying as soon as some level of normality returns.

 AFTA’s commitment to their students is evident, organising complimentary recurrency simulator sessions to graduates ensuring that our skills are continuously kept up to standard and in times of such uncertainty, it is comforting to know that I am best prepared for when we can all get flying again.

Cathal Byrne

My Name is Cathal Byrne. I am 29 years of age and I completed the integrated flight training course in Atlantic Flight Training Academy in October 2019.

Having spent quite a lot of time researching and visiting flight training schools worldwide, my initial impression of AFTA really stood out. I had been given many recommendations from students past and present, so I was eager to visit the school and see it for myself. AFTA were extremely welcoming and took their time to show me around all their facilities on that day and answered any questions I had for them.

Their very modern fleet of aircraft including Cessna 172, Piper Seneca PA-34 and Diamond DA42 are all maintained to the highest of standards, with their onsite maintenance department being a huge and important factor for the smooth running of the school as a whole.

Throughout training I believe AFTA have given me a strong insight into what life will be like in an airline. The excellent standard of training from extremely experienced instructors throughout the academy set them apart from any other. The location at Cork Airport was another huge factor, flying amongst major airlines in challenging weather conditions enhanced my skills rapidly and I believe this will stand to me for the rest of my career.

I completed my APS MCC course in October 2019 in the B737 simulator, 6 weeks later I secured a position as First Officer with Stobart Air and started my Type Rating in February 2020.

I would highly recommend AFTA to any aspiring pilot. With the correct attitude, work ethic and commitment Mark and his team will assure to provide you with the very best training from day one right up to interview preparation for your very first job.

Very many thanks to Mark and all the team at AFTA.

Frances Quinn

My name is Frances Quinn, I’m an AFTA graduate and First Officer with Ryanair flying out of Dublin.

I visited a number of flight schools before starting my training to try and find the best school for me and after visiting AFTA I knew that it was the school that would suit me best. I completed the assessment back in August 2017. I was a little apprehensive about passing the assessments but having put in some preparation I found that they were very manageable. I commented my training in October 2017 and started into my PPL training. This involved 2 weeks of groundschool with PPL exams and then on to flying the Cessna 172. I then began 6 months of ATPL groundschool in January 2018 and this was followed by CPL and MEIR training in the Piper Seneca aircraft and simulator, with the last part of my training done in the Diamond DA42. This was the most exciting part of my training.

I found the standard of training excellent throughout my time at AFTA, both the theoretical and flying instructors were very helpful in every aspect of the training. I found it very good preparation for the airline industry as a lot of the instructors had airline experience.

I finished in December 2018 with an MCC course in the B737 simulator, and after one month I was very happy to secure and assessment with Ryanair in Dublin. AFTAs connection with Ryanair and the airline industry is very evident with regards to the extremely high standard of training I received and I felt this gave me a huge advantage as an inexperienced cadet starting off my airline career.

Mark and all his staff really went above and beyond to help me get through my training and get me to where I am today. Above all, it was a really enjoyable experience and I would highly recommend AFTA for anyone who is thinking of a career as an airline pilot.

Evan Tully

My name is Evan Tully. I am currently 20 years of age & completed my integrated flight training course at AFTA in April 2018.

It had been a dream of mine to become a commercial pilot from a very young age. I started researching flight schools whilst still in secondary school and came across Atlantic Flight Training Academy. I decided to visit the school during one of their open evenings, as I had heard very good things about the school from previous students.

All the instructors & staff at the open evening were very helpful & informative, and a few weeks later my family and I paid another visit to the academy, to check out the simulators, aircraft etc. We left very impressed with the facilities and I knew AFTA was the school for me.

I came to AFTA with very little flying experience, however it was never an issue due to the level of training I received at the flight school. I noticed myself improving after every flight and it continued like this throughout my entire training thanks to the friendly and knowledgeable instructors I met at all stages of my training. The challenging weather conditions, and operating from a busy international airport also had an integral part to play in how my skills as a pilot developed over time. The course is very well structured and the attention to detail paid to both the technical & non technical aspects of flying is one of the many reasons I feel AFTA students go on to have such amazing careers in the aviation industry.

Once I had finished my training I felt confident about taking the next big step and applying for a job as a first officer in an airline. Through hard work, determination & the amazing help and support from AFTA I am delighted to say that I am about to embark on my first job as a first officer with Ryanair. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for AFTA and I would highly recommend the academy to anyone who is interested in a career in aviation. It was an unforgettable experience and I have made friends for life

Tomás Curran

My name is Tomás Curran and I completed the integrated course in Atlantic Flight Training Academy in April 2018.

From a very young age the only aspiration I had was to become a pilot. During secondary school there were no subjects that appealed to me in any way as much as pilot training did. In transition year I had a few introductory flights in AFTA and this confirmed for me that pilot training was 100% what I wanted to do.

During 5th and 6th year, I investigated around to find the best integrated course for me and in the end it was a simple decision that AFTA was the place for me. The fleet of Cessna 172s and Piper Seneca along with the challenge of operating out of an International Airport really helped sell the school to me.

The instructor standard in AFTA is sky high and it really sets you up to be more than ready for the CPL, MEIR tests and any future interviews. With the ever changing weather in Cork, you also get the opportunity to fly in real life IFR conditions which you probably would never get a chance to in flight schools abroad. This really does prepare you for your future as an airline pilot.

The MCC/JOC at AFTA is of a very high standard. It’s a great step from single pilot operations to Multi Crew and I was amazed at how fast I started to pick up all the procedures and techniques on how to fly the Boeing 737. By the end of the course I felt confident in my abilities to fly the jet and also my interpersonal skills to work in a Multi Crew environment.

After completing my course, AFTA didn’t stop helping me. I was given some interview preparations with the AFTA HR team, and they also helped me make my CV look more professional. They put me through an interview as it would be, with many questions covered to really have me prepared for my Ryanair assessment and interview. I also did sim preparation in the days running up to my interview with Mark Casey and Pat Harris. Their experience and help really went a long way to having me prepared to a very high standard and confident walking into the Ryanair headquarters on the day of my assessment.

I couldn’t recommend AFTA enough to any aspiring pilots as they give you all the help you need. I was an 18 year old with little flying experience and no theory knowledge when I started my course. I only had dreams.

I am about to start a career with one of Europe’s largest Airlines, Ryanair and I believe I wouldn’t be in this position without Mark Casey and the team from AFTA.

Tomás Curran

AFTA Training Programme - 2018

Kathryn Kennelly

My name is Kathryn Kennelly. I’m 22 years old and completed the integrated flight training course in Atlantic Flight Training Academy in May 2018.

I always had a keen interest in aviation but when I finished school I pursued an accounting degree. I could never get the idea of becoming a pilot out of my head so I decided to go for it. I thought choosing a flight school was going to be a very difficult decision but once I visited AFTA and met Captain Mark Casey and his team of highly trained professionals I knew this was the place for me. AFTA’s motto is ‘Training ordinary people to become extraordinary pilots’ and that’s exactly what this flight school does. What you see is what you get. I was told by the team that the integrated programme was extremely intense, which is 100% true. AFTA was completely honest with me from day one. As a student pilot you have to be very dedicated and work really hard, but it is so worthwhile!

I chose AFTA because of its modern, well maintained fleet, the chance to train at Cork International airport (lots of commercial traffic and sometimes tough weather conditions), it’s highly trained instructors and job prospects for students, just to name a few.

I can honestly say that choosing to become a pilot and attend AFTA was the best decision I have ever made. I cannot express my gratitude enough to every person in the team at AFTA. There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. If you are contemplating on becoming a pilot, you will have difficult days during training, there is no doubt about that, but the team in AFTA will give you every resource possible to help you succeed. I was extremely well prepared for my PPL, CPL and MEIR skills tests as a result of the high standard of instruction in AFTA. I had limited flight training experience before starting the integrated course, but they help you in every way possible, from initial training all the way to your MCC course.

When I completed the integrated course the after service I received was excellent. I did lots of interview and sim prep here. The school went out of its way to ensure I was well prepared for my airline assessment. I think this is a major asset to AFTA students.

I completed a Ryanair assessment just over a month from finishing my training. I am trilled to say, with the support of Mark Casey and his fantastic team that I am about to embark on a career with Ryanair, my first choice of airline and goal from the beginning of training.

I would without any hesitation recommend AFTA to anyone deciding on aviation as a their future career.

Thank you Mark Casey and all the team at Atlantic Flight Training Academy for making my dream come true

AFTA Training Programme - 2018

Steven O’ Brien

My name is Steven O’ Brien and I completed the integrated flight training program at AFTA in June 2018.

Since I can remember, I have always wanted to become a pilot. Coming from a farming background, I was drawn to the mechanical side of aviation from an early age. Following a few voucher flights when I was sixteen, I had no doubt that being a pilot was all I wanted to be.

I began researching which flight schools would offer the best training and give me the best career prospects once I had finished. I visited many flight schools throughout Europe, but the integrated course at AFTA stood head and shoulders above what any other flight school could offer and was the best choice for me.

As soon as I walked through the doors at AFTA I knew this is where I wanted to train. Their fleet of Cessna 172 and Piper Seneca are well maintained and in excellent condition. All the staff at AFTA made me feel very welcome, which makes for a great learning environment. The instructors are very experienced and very knowledgeable and go above and beyond in any way they can to help.

Training at Cork airport, a busy international airport, you can experience all four seasons in a day. Looking back, while at the time I found it challenging training in these conditions, I’m glad that I did as it has prepared me in the best way possible for my career ahead. The MCC/JOC course which AFTA provide is excellent. It was a great stepping stone from single pilot operations to working in a multi crew environment and really laid a great foundation for any future assessments with an airline.

Once you complete your training, I believe that AFTA really separates itself from other schools. AFTA went to great lengths to make sure that I was as prepared as I could possibly be for my Ryanair assessment. I was provided with great interview and sim preparation and I felt very confident walking into the Ryanair headquarters on the day of my assessment. I am delighted to say that I am about to embark on my career as a first officer with Ryanair and I could not have done it without all the help I received from everyone at AFTA. I can’t thank Mark and his team at AFTA enough, and I would highly recommend AFTA for anyone considering training for a career as a pilot.

AFTA Training Programme - 2018

Kevin Brooks

My name is Kevin Brooks and I am a First Officer with British Airways.

I joined Atlantic Flight Training Academy in November 2015 on an integrated course having come straight from secondary school. Having looked at a number of training organisations around Europe AFTA stood out to me.

From the outset it was clear that AFTA was run to a very high standard, similar to a real airline. The fleet of Cessna 172s and Piper Senecas were well maintained and proved to be ideal for flight training. Many of the senior instructors were very helpful and would go out of their way to make sure the flight training progressed smoothly. I found everybody in AFTA to be approachable and friendly which made for a very nice training environment.

Being based in Cork Airport was a bonus as we mixed with commercial air traffic every day. I believe this forced students to maintain extremely high standards of RT and operational procedures at all times. The weather in Cork proved challenging at times however it sharpened my skills and decision making process.

The MCC was based on the 737 simulator and I found that it set me up for a type-rating. AFTA also provided high quality interview/assessment preparation which stood to me when I went during interviews.

When I completed the training I kept in contact with Mark and the team in AFTA. They were always on hand for some advice when searching for the first job.

Shortly after finishing in AFTA I secured a job with Stobart Air flying the ATR 72. I spent a year and three months in Stobart flying in challenging conditions and I believe the experience I gained there will stand to me for the rest of my career.

AFTA Training Programme - 2018

James Couldridge

My name is James Couldridge and I am 26 years old. I have just recently completed the integrated flight training course, in Atlantic Flight Training Academy in March 2019.

I always had a keen interest in aviation and took my first flight experience when I was 15 and quickly decided it was a career I wanted to pursue. Having finished school/university and gained some life experiences, in 2017 I made the decision I would now go ahead and take the necessary steps to become a pilot. I spent some months researching schools all over Europe and the USA to find one that suited me. I would regularly see reviews and reports on AFTA from previous students and professionals in the industry, so I made the decision to come down and have a look. Before I had even left Cork I had made up my mind that AFTA was going to be the place for me. Their high quality training facilities and how the course was run made it for me.

I arrived in Cork to begin my training with a little bit of previous flying experience, however; that was not a requirement to join as they take you from no experience and build you up and develop your skills into becoming a fully qualified pilot and ready to apply to airlines in 16 months.

From the outset you could see the course and academy was run to a very high standard, something that reflected what you could expect in an airline. Their modern aircraft fleet of Cessna 172s, Piper Seneca’s and Diamond DA42 were very well maintained and provided the perfect training aircraft. All of the staff and instructors were very helpful throughout the course and took their time to explain things you didn’t understand, as well ensuring you were progressing smoothly through the different stages. One of the nicest aspects was that everyone was incredibly supportive, and wanted to see you do well. This made for a great training environment.

With the academy being based at Cork Airport brought its own challenges, as you were exposed to busy airspace and unpredictable weather conditions. This not only provided challenges but also pushed you to improve your skills, which I know will stand to me in good stead in my career.

The last part and one of the most enjoyable was the MCC course on AFTA’s Boeing 737 NG simulator. I was lucky to be the first group to complete the Airline Pilot Standard (APS) MCC, the course was intensive and set over a month period but I feel more ready having further experience to apply to airlines with confidence.

My time in Cork has been an amazing and unforgettable experience; I have made some great friends and would not hesitate in recommending AFTA to anyone who is considering a career in aviation.

Thank you to Mark Casey and all the team at AFTA.

AFTA Training Programme - 2018