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Software developer Nicholas Mattiello from Moyavox is currently chasing his dream to become a qualified pilot. We caught up with Nick to find out what has driven him to take on this challenge.

What made you decide to take your private pilot’s license?

It was my dream to be a pilot as a child. It’s an expensive career to train for so I went into IT instead after finishing school. I started thinking about it again and at end of 2015 I decided to book a trial flight with a flying school as kind of a new year’s resolution to see if I would actually enjoy. I loved it and decided to take it further

How long have you been doing it?

Since January 2016. Just over a year now.

How long will it take to complete?

It depends on how much time and money I dedicate to it. The PPL license that allows me to fly privately requires about 45 flying hours. As of now, I have about plus or minus 20 hours racked up. Besides the flying hours there are various other requirements and qualifications I need to pass. I need to pass an air law and meteorology exam, navigation, medical certification, etc. In short, I am about half way through my PPL. I can possibly achieve it in a year.

What does it entail?

As above. There are a number of theory courses I need to complete to understand the rules to follow in the air, radio procedures and such and I need to be medically healthy. Besides that it’s mostly practical training. The practical training covers all aspects of flying from the basics on turning, climbing and such to take offs, landings, emergency procedures and such. It’s all towards racking up those hours. Each lesson is typically 1 hour in the air.

Where are you doing it?

Coventry airport. Birmingham airspace is restricted for Birmingham international so it’s the nearest place I can do it.

What type of plane are you flying?

A Grob 115. It is a small single engine 2 seater plane. I have also done a couple of hours on a Cessna 152.

Any interesting stories from doing it?

There’s something that stuck with me when I first started. I was with a different instructor at the time and it was during one of my first lessons. He took the plane over Gaydon where there is an old RAF base that has been bought out by Jaguar Land Rover and they have turned the old runways into a test track. He took the plane right down low and right above one of the cars on the track and followed it all the way around. It was an amazing experience. I can only imagine how the driver must have been feeling though!