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I can't quite believe it!!!
AHHHHHHH!!!! - Buzzing, Buzzing, Buzzing!!
After two years of ups and downs, extensive studying, emotive flying and the writing of over 100 blog posts, I'm pleased to say I have some incredible news to share with you. At approx 2pm today I received a life changing phone call informing me I had passed the L3 selection process with easyJet and that later this year I will be sat in the right hand seat of their Airbus fleet. I've been on cloud nine all day and there's nothing that comes close to the emotion of getting this first job!
This news brings to a close the somewhat hideous job hunt process and takes the huge weight of uncertainty from my shoulders. I can certainly relax a bit now knowing that I'll be able to meet loan repayments into the foreseeable future.
For those readers who will no doubt ask, in total I applied to several airlines. I sent in applications to pretty much all of those airlines who happened to be hiring low hour pilots at the time. Here's a few of those and the results next to those I'd heard from:
- easyJet UK/Europe -- Interview Offered & Offer Given (L3 Hold Pool)
- easyJet Swiss
- Eurowings -- Interview Offered
- Jet2 -- Declined My Application
- Logan Air
- Thomas Cook IAGO Scheme
- Turkish Airlines -- Interview Offered (L3 Hold Pool)
As you can see this is quite a number of applications and in the timeframe of two months I'd only heard back from four of them. It literally is a waiting game for Whitetail graduates. How long you wait for that first response can vary too. Take Ryanair for example, a coursemate and I finished on the same day and he had heard back, been interviewed and offered a job inside of four weeks whereas I'm still waiting to hear back at this point. It's just a game of luck at times I'm sure of it. Or, right place right time. L3 CTS will tell you that the average is about 6 months across all of their graduates and I would agree with that given my experience and the experiences of my peers. Let's not forget of course, even if you hear back in a week of graduating, some airline recruitment processes can last weeks in themselves so that's something for future cadets to bear in mind.
When easyJet recruit Whitetail cadets from L3 CTS the placement team will send emails out to those towards the top of the hold pool list. Said cadets can then decide if easyJet is for them and if they fancy going through the recruitment process with them. A little outline of the selection process is provided as part of this email as well as an indication of the expected type-rating cost.
Prior to the assessment day easyJet required us to complete four motivational questions such as Why easyJet?, What makes us so successful?, How will you contribute to it? and Why should we select you other cadets? (a tricky one to answer well). We're also asked to complete an online behaviour survey handled by Cut-E. This consists of numerous questions on typical pilot behaviours and you needed to say whether the statement on screen applied more so to you than everyone around you, less so than everyone around you or about the same. Once these were submitted it just came down to lots of research into the airline as you'd expect for any job interview in the history of job interviews.
The day itself was hosted at Dibden Manor and run by both easyJet and L3 selection staff. I was fortunate to secure a room the night before at nearby Dale Farm House. I stayed there for my original selection process back in 2015/2016 and it was lovely to see the Chris & Pete once more. In terms of what we had to complete the structure was like this:
Intro into the organisation we were to join, the role itself, the training we would undertake, the opportunities available to us within our careers and more. It was nice to learn that FlexiCrew was gone and we'd all join on permanent contracts from day one.
- Group Task
The 15 candidates were split into smaller groups and completed two group exercises. I can't share the content of these as we were asked not to but they were certainly thought provoking and got the discussion going. In the past easyJet have used physical group tasks like tower building and things but ours were more discussion based.
Following the Group Task we had a short break before our interviews. The interviews were split between L3 staff and those of easyJet which I suppose highlights how closely the two companies work together when the schools own recruiters are allowed to screen candidates on the airlines behalf. I was interviewed by one of easyJet's Gatwick Based Cabin Crew Managers. She was lovely and put me at ease incredibly quickly. The interview lasted about an hour all up but it didn't feel like it. It was more like a calm chat with your friend more than a stress and sweaty palm filled affair. The questions were fairly standard. There was no technical focus and it was about me as an individual. easyJet said they wanted to get to know me and if I would fit the mould. They know I can fly as i've got the paperwork to prove that. I thought that was a nice touch.
L3 provided lunch for the day. Those of you who have attended Dibden's lunch will know what to expect- lots of choice. After this I was free to go and the candidates who had yet to interview had theirs after lunch. I stayed behind for a bit chatting to the other candidates in the lounge. I head home shortly after the last person went in for their interview.
That was it. No sim check, no ATPL test paper, No flying related questions. Just a nice and relaxed people focussed day. If you're applying to easyJet Swiss or easyJet UK/Europe directly, as opposed to via a large school, then I'd imagine you would follow a more typical airline selection process including technical assessments and sims etc.
Hopefully that provides a little insight into it for those of you still in training or just about to embark on your Whitetail course.
For those of you interested, at the time of writing the requirements for Hold Pool cadets are:
- 75% Ground School Average (recently down from 85%)
- No more than 3 ATPL resits
- First Series CPL
- First Series IR
- Normal score at AQC/MCC/JOC
- No more than 20 additional training hours (X hours)
- 5 GCSEs (or equivalent) Grade C or above to include English, Maths & Science
- Fluency in English (Verbal & Written)
- Right to live and work with unrestricted access to EEA, EU or Switzerland
- A clean basic disclosure (DBS)
Medical / Fitness:
- Minimum height 5' 2" (157cm) as per Airbus requirements
- Valid EASA Class 1 Medical without restrictions
- Licence must be valid and current at the point of Type-Rating
Anyone who falls marginally outside of these requirements may at the sole discretion of L3's training review board have their file put forward to the airline for consideration. With a failed CPL I fell into this category and am very fortunate that easyJet asked I be booked onto the next available selection event.
- L3 Airline Academy
Thanks so much to all of the instructors and training staff who believed in me. Despite feeling a failure at times you pushed me to be my very best. I've got so much to thank so many of you for in that organisation that it's impossible to reach out to you all. Without every single one of you I've come into contact with I would not now be able to say I'm a future easyJet pilot. I'd like to pass a special thanks to my flying instructors Katrina, Mark, Wayne, Simon and Daryl for the imparting of your knowledge. I'm super pleased to hear some of you have since secured your own airline careers. Thanks to Karen and Chris for all of the events I've been a part of. Thanks to the L3 Marketing Team both former and present up in Crawley for allowing me to create this blog to the level of detail I've gone into. Finally, I would like to pass a special thanks to both Colin (Head of Training) and Kevin (Placement Executive) for without both of your support easyJet would not have become a reality.
I've thanked all of you loads already, but thanks once more for your support be it financial or just an ear to moan to during times of stress. This process certainly isn't possible without a support network behind you and I couldn't have asked for a better one.
Both at home and within L3. To my CP, to Zak, to Joe, Siobhan, Harry, George and every other person which has been there for me during my struggles out in New Zealand. Thanks to each and everyone one of you for helping me get back on the saddle and eventually end up where I am today. To those of you on the easyJet courses, who knows... we may even be based near each other. Can't wait to start a career alongside some incredible people.
Finally, thanks to you. Thanks to you for taking part in ITV's Airline many years ago. This TV show inspired me to become an easyJet pilot. Right from a young age I had my sights set on flying your aircraft and now it's becoming a reality. Thanks to your cadet recruitment team for offering me the opportunity to attend a selection event despite being outside of the initial requirements you set. Thanks for giving me the chance. I'm looking forward to starting my career with you and honestly can not wait. Bring it on!
easyJet have told us to expect to start our inductions with them in either September, October or November. This means L3 - who are to provide our type-ratings - will work backwards from these dates to slot in our type-rating training. The placement team will be in touch with me in due course to confirm my start date. It will then be time to don that L3 uniform once more to complete a few further weeks of study on the Airbus before hopping in the full motion simulators to put it all into practice. It's likely my type-rating will be in Southampton or in L3's Gatwick centre. So it's just a little bit of a waiting game to find out the next step. I've also got to start finding the funding for the estimated £30,000 type-rating. Where this will come from we'd already pre-planned prior to starting on my Whitetail course we now need to speak with the bank to finalise things.
Those of you wondering where I'm going to be based, the answer is your guess is as good as mine. easyJet asked us our preference in our interview but said they can not always guarantee it but will try their best. Also, if three people want a given base and easyJet only have two spaces there, they look to L3 to allocate these based on hold-pool seniority. With that in mind, I was the latest CP in this selection being from CP149 and as a result everyone else there would have first choice if it came to that. Ultimately, I'm happy to fly wherever and as we join on permanent contracts from day one we can join the transfer list soon after which is a plus.
So there you go. It's only few months now (I hope) until I find myself climbing those steps to the Aircraft and turning left for the first time. Thanks to everyone for following along with my journey. This blog will continue throughout my type-rating and into my first few weeks at easyJet. Beyond that I suppose is down to the airline's public relations team. I'd like to hope I can continue it, but we shall see. Thanks to all of you for your kind words over these past couple of days and weeks. The emails i've received from parents of both current and aspiring cadets have been lovely-- many bringing a slight tear to my eye. Still can't quite believe the reach of this blog!
For now then, until I have some more news...
All the best,
Future easyJet Pilot
^^ Feels weird writing that!!