From zero to Captain

C112F46B-AB78-40C4-B683-034A76D4DAC3The ultimate goal of every flight student is to become a Captain. I guess it’s something that we all motivate ourselves into achieving.

I have been asked many times about how I took on flying and personally speaking, my story might be a little different.

Ever since I have decided to follow my dream and to become a pilot I have started flying for the Aeroclub in my hometown Pitesti on a small aircraft IAR 46 and later on Zlin 142.

One evening I was out having dinner with some friends from the Aerospace Engineering University and one of them said that there will be a new class of pilots at the Superior Civil Aviation Flight School but it will be a helicopter pilot course and not airplane. As I heard them speaking and discussing who would like to take this chance, a voice in my head rushed in : Yes, me! I have already started making plans of how one day I can combine climbing with helicopters and than the idea of doing Search and Rescue with the helicopter in the Alps seemed quite legit.

Consequently, I have started gathering all the information so I can apply for one of the twelve available vacancies and be part of the first ever Romanian helicopter class that was civil and not belonging to the army.

The first step was to obtain the Medical Certificate Class 1 which is mandatory for any commercial pilot flying, on either helicopters or airplanes.

I went at the Aeronautical Medical Institute in Bucharest, and after two long days of different kind of tests: neurological, ophthalmological, pshycological, barometric chamber and many other tests I have become a Class 1 Medical Certificate holder.

Next step was passing the interview tests which consisted in : english written and spoken, mathematics and physics.

It was feeling kind of unease regarding this interview since there were a lot of candidates and only twelve spots. I was lucky enought to be the last one on the list of accepted candidates. It was the first time in my life that I cried tears of happines for making it last on a list.

That thin line beneath my name changed my entire life, and it’s been more than 15 years ever since I joined the wonderful world of aviation.

I started flying on Cessna 172 on which I did my first solo flight ever. I guess many of you who are reading this, know already this famous airplane as a first love airplane.

Afterwards I have started flying helicopters: Eurocopter 120 Colibri and later on the wonderful Eurcopter 155 which is a state of the art helicopter just like a mini Airbus helicopter.

It had the time of my life flying helicopters. The pure joy and freedom this flying gives you , I have been trully blessed to have this chance. I also met amazing instructors and people. Right there in that flight school, the whole aviation world opened up for me.

After finishing the three years of flying helicopters with a CPL ( H) license, I decided to convert it into an ATPL (A) license. This was the beginning of a new journey ahead and my way towards airline aviation started with a simple: What if?

To obtain the ATPL (A), I started again flying small airplanes and  enjoyed flying Diamond 20 on an airfield at the seaside called Tuzla. At Tuzla, I have also met a fantastic team, and it was a real pleasure to fly with them.

Later on, I have continued with Piper Seneca, and soon enough I have obtained the most wanted license ATPL (A) frozen.

It has been quite of an exciting adventure, but now it was time to meet my next challenge flying the jet: Boeing 737.

Going directly from helicopters and Piper into the 737 was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Honestly speaking aviation, was always meant to be for me. Whatever I had my mind set on, with hard work and determination it would be accomplished.

I flew 737 for almost 2 years before I have decided to join my current pink company in 2011 as a First Officer on Airbus 320. It has been one of the best decisions I ever made.

Having the chance to fly both Boeing and Airbus at such an young age ( I was 23 years old when I started on Boeing 737) gave me the oportunity to build up experience and sum up hours which led to my biggest dream of all or, at least that’s what I thought back then: becoming a Captain.

I still remember continually counting the hours until I could reach the minimum requirements and apply for the Captain position. I will never forget writing down the e-mail in which I was kindly requesting to be taken into consideration as a possible candidate for an upgrade.

It was 2013 when after many months of being tested : technically, in the simulator and flying under supervision with an instructor, that I have gained my four stripes and became a Captain at almost 30 years old.

The memory of  my first flight as a Captain will never fade away. I was flying to Luton, on a November evening knowing that my dream came true.

 

 

 

Published by

andreealitescu

When I was 17 years old I dared to dream about flying after my heart went completely crazy watching as a small aerobatic aircraft took off from my home town’s airfield. That was 17 years ago and now I’m back as an airline captain on Airbus 320/321 in Wizz Air after giving birth last year to my baby girl ,Sara❤️.

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