Welcome to the Flying Family Capt. Neil Day!
In December we welcomed Capt. Neil Day to the Flying Family! Neil is a highly-experienced Flying Instructor and Flight Examiner and we are thrilled to have him on board. This week, we learn about Neil’s journey to becoming a Helicopter Pilot.
“I am not sure when my love for helicopters started; I know that from a young age I had always wanted to be a pilot though. I took a trial flight in both fixed wing and rotary wing and that confirmed it just HAD to be helicopters.
I found myself a job as hangar lad at my local airfield in High Wycombe and began training for my PPL(H) as soon as I could. It’s not what most 17 year olds do with their spare time and money but I just had to continue with this love of helicopters.
It took me 2 years to gain my PPL(H) and was qualified in 2003, the first flight as a licensed pilot still is such a great feeling. Now though, the hard work was about to begin as I took on the 14 exams of the ATPL(H). Whilst working full time and saving hard for the next round of training I self-studied and passed all the exams over the next 2 years.
The flying during this time took a back seat but soon it returned to the fore and I took myself off to do hour building in the sunshine state of Florida, on return my CPL(H) course started almost immediately and by the middle of 2005 I was the proud owner of a commercial license.
Realising I wanted to become an Instructor didn’t really happen until this point, and mainly because I didn’t particularly want to work off shore in Aberdeen which seemed the other main avenue that helicopter pilots would take.
Once more I did some hour building to the start of my Instructor course which I completed during 2006, now with my FI(H) rating in hand I was able to finally work and be PAID to fly helicopters!!
Since then I have had various jobs around the UK and Ireland and amassed lots of different skills – recently adding an Examiner rating to the list of things I can do. The satisfaction of teaching and testing is hugely rewarding, like all pilots I will always be learning new things and flying new helicopters whilst loving every day for the variety and experiences it may bring.”