Ben Powell: First Officer at Jet2

Ben Powell: First Officer at Jet2

Ben joined the Wings Alliance in May 2017, when he enrolled with Bristol Groundschool as an ATPL theory student. Ben quickly excelled his way through the modular training route, and completed his APS MCC training in November 2018.

Ben has demonstrated that training through the Modular route can be quicker than training through the integrated route.

Shortly after completing training, Ben was offered a position with Jet2, after being offered a role with Flybe before they closed down. See Ben’s story below, explaining how Wings Alliance helped him and how modular flight training was the best choice for him.

What made you choose the modular route over integrated?

“The modular route had so many more advantages than the integrated route. The 4 major advantages for me were as follows:

Cost – Modular saved me around £40,000-£80,000. To come out with the exact same licence as an integrated pilot, and to save this amount of money was a no-brainer to me.

Course duration – I liked that I could learn at my own pace, and that the speed in which I learnt wasn’t governed by the speed of an instructor lecturing, which I have heard of in integrated training during the ATPL theory. I actually completed the course around 4 months quicker than students in integrated schools.

Less stress – A major factor that was pivotal in my decision to go modular was that I was able to book my exams when I was ready to take them. In integrated training, you are told when your exams are, whether you are ready or not, increasing your risk of failure.

Options – Modular also gave me a choice of different flight school locations that I could train at and complete the CPL/ME/IR such as Poland, Sweden, Spain, UK etc. This gave me choice over location, aircraft fleet type, living costs and timing.”

How did you manage your time studying ATPL theory?

The modular route for me meant I could study as and when I wanted. Being in the fortunate position to study full-time, I was able to structure a study schedule that worked for me. Mental fitness is just like sport and physical fitness. Some days I could study from 7am until 7pm. Other days, if I felt like I couldn’t concentrate as well, I would take more breaks as and when I needed to. This allowed me to make efficient use of my time and get the most out of my studies.

While being an incredibly intensive course, I had the flexibility to take days off when I wanted/needed to. This meant I could still maintain a relatively good level of social life. It became evident that it was very important to have ‘rest’ days to allow my mind to rest so I was ready to study the following day(s).

Why did you choose to join The Wings Alliance?

I chose Wings Alliance mainly because a close friend of mine, Si Sarker, had followed this path a couple of years prior to me enrolling. He couldn’t speak more highly of them. It was clearly a proven and tested option that had continuing success. This gave me the confidence that Wings Alliance would help me get to where I needed to be.

Having personally met the office staff and instructors, I found them to be incredibly genuine and helpful, way more than any other school I had looked at. I have maintained friendships with those office staff and instructors to this day.

Wings Alliance also offers training unlike any other, helping with interview preparation, rewriting your C.V. to airline standards, and type-rating preparation.

Which ATO’s did you complete your training with?

I completed my ATPL theory training with Bristol Groundschool, my CPL/ME/IR flight training with Bartolini Air and my APS/MCC through Wings Alliance.

How challenging did you find the APS MCC course?

The APS/MCC course was challenging, yet undeniably important and exciting at the same time. The last part of training before your interview for airlines. It’s also the first time you get to experience a like-for-like simulator. It’s a lot of information in a short space of time, just like an airline type-rating.

The APS/MCC course exposed me to twice the amount of simulator time (40 hours) to that of a standard APC course that most of my peers took. This undeniably put me in a better position for simulator checks during my airline interview.

An airline type-rating is an extremely challenging course. Going into my first-type rating with Flybe on the Embraer 175/195, it quickly became apparent that the APS/MCC provided me with the tools I needed to complete the airline training element. Without the APS/MCC course, I would have started my airline type-rating without critical knowledge, and I’d have found it twice as hard – not what you want when starting with an airline!

What knowledge did the Wings Alliance Airline Preparation Course provide you with?

The course taught me many things not found anywhere else in my previous training.

We were taught about Crew Resource Management (CRM), which is a pivotal safety factor in aviation today and heavily relied on in flight decks across the world. This therefore prepared me really well before my airline interview.

We also went through interview techniques and questions, many of which came up in both my Flybe and interviews.

To finish up, Wings Alliance advised me on how to rewrite my curriculum vitae to airline standards, something I would have had no clue about prior to the course and is an absolute must.

What advice would you give to other budding modular students from your experience?

Go modular. To go integrated is absolutely crazy in my genuine opinion. I have friends that took the integrated route and wished they trained with the support of the Wings Alliance.

  • Save yourself £40,000-£80,000.
  • Complete the course 4-8 months faster than integrated students (if full time), or have the option to work alongside your training, to help keep your debts lower.
  • Have complete control of when you take exams and not be pushed into taking them unprepared.
  • Get one-on-one help and feel like an individual (modular) as opposed to a number on an assembly line (integrated).
  • Come out of training with 200 flight hours compared to the 170 hours as seen when completing an integrated course and therefore, more experienced.
  • Come out with a Private Pilot’s License (PPL) which you do not gain when going integrated.

We are glad to see that Ben is enjoying his exciting role with Jet2, and we have no doubt that he will progress further in his career. 

Talk to one of our training advisors today if you want to know more and follow in Ben’’s footsteps.