We recently caught up with Andy Wyatt, a Former Chief Pilot, who kindly shared what he did on an average day, challenges he faced and his hopes for the future of aviation.

 

Why did you choose to pursue a career in the Aviation industry?

I have wanted to fly for as long as I can remember. My first flight was with my primary school class when I was around 9 years old, in a Vickers Viscount. We flew from Speke Airport in Liverpool along the North Wales coast and I was hooked. I joined the Air Cadets aged 13 and flew solo in a glider when I was 16. I gained my Ppl before I could drive and have been flying ever since!

 

What has been a highlight of your career so far?

In 1989 I was lucky enough to be selected to join the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, the Red Arrows. I flew for 2 years as part of the synchro pair, where flying at 100’ at closing speeds of up to 800mph with my Moppo, has to be the most exhilarating flying I have done and the highlight of my career to date.

 

Have you faced any challenges throughout your career?

I have faced many, many challenges during my career, from some phases of my military flying training courses, to conversion courses and command courses in civilian life. No two days are the same in aviation and there are challenges every day a pilot goes to work. 

 

Give us an overview of what you do on an average day in your role?

I normally wake at around 7:00am and start my day with a 3 mile run round the Cotswold lanes near my house.

I spend the majority of my morning catching up on emails and taking phone calls. I regularly conduct new-pilot interviews which can take up half my day.

Twice a week we have company Zoom meetings to discuss the week ahead but also to analyse what has happened in the previous few days and to discuss if there may be abetter way of doing things in the future. As my company is Bermuda based, these regular meetings are essential and, despite the 4 hour time difference, they work well in keeping everyone up to date.

The rest of my day is taken up with more emails and phone calls and I am on call 24 hours a day to field questions from pilots down-route about engineering issues or t to authorise policy waivers.

We are currently operating 3 x Boeing 747 freighters and although my role as Chief Pilot is mainly ground-based, I am still current and try to fly every month to check on the Operation and to receive feedback from the front-line pilots. Our route network is world-wide but most of our business is currently in and out of the Far East to destinations in the US and Israel.

 

What’s the best thing about working in Aviation?

No 2 days are the same and each day is a challenge in itself.

 

What are your goals and plans for the future?

To expand Longtail Aviation and for it to become a world-class cargo airline.

 

What are your hopes for the future of the Aviation industry?

That post-COVID, things will return to normal soon, and that passenger confidence will return.

 

What is one thing you would like to have known before starting your career?

How the long hours that we fly can affect performance.

 

Keep that burning desire to fly going for as long as you can. I have been flying for 44 years and the flame is still alive and well.

 

What kind of skills/characteristics do you feel you need to have in order to do your job – do you think these will change in the future?

I think that in the aviation industry, it is more important to be empathetic and to get along with people than to have superior technical skills. Yes, of course aviation has a technical side to it, but it is a people orientated business and being able to deal with people is an essential skill and key in order for us to progress.

The digital age of consumerism, and social media is already reducing the amount of time that people tend to spend together as social media seems to be an acceptable replacement. I just hope that we can continue to engage with each other face-to-face and not allow digitalisation to takeover.

 

Who is your role mode?

Sir Alan Cobham.

 

Can you give 3 tips for someone who wants to join the Aviation industry:

Work hard.

NEVER give up.

Keep that burning desire to fly going for as long as you can. I have been flying for 44 years and the flame is still alive and well.

We recently caught up with Andy Wyatt, a Former Chief Pilot, who kindly shared what he did on an average day, challenges he faced and his hopes for the future of aviation.

 

Why did you choose to pursue a career in the Aviation industry?

I have wanted to fly for as long as I can remember. My first flight was with my primary school class when I was around 9 years old, in a Vickers Viscount. We flew from Speke Airport in Liverpool along the North Wales coast and I was hooked. I joined the Air Cadets aged 13 and flew solo in a glider when I was 16. I gained my Ppl before I could drive and have been flying ever since!

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