Cadet Pilot at Barcelona Flight School
My name is Matthew Chua,I am 20 years old and I am from Malaysia.
Well I think the choice of why I want to be a pilot wasn’t a question,it came naturally as a passion through curiosity. I was always curious and fascinated by planes,about how it works and how’s it made. So when it came down to choose on what I wanted to be in the future,there certainly wasn’t a question about it other than to be pilot.
I am currently a student pilot at Barcelona Flight Schoo(BFS) doing the integrated ATPL course. Over here, we have ground school for about 9-10 months and simultaneously we have our flying lessons as well.
I am currently in phase 3 of the 5 phases of the practical part,a few more hours and then I will move onto IFR phase. As for the ground school theoretical part,I have done 12 official exams and 2 more to be completed in the few months to come.
As to why I choose BFS,simply because I wanted the EASA ATPL license and also it’s rather cheap here relative to other European countries.I wanted to try out for the cadet pilot programme at Air Asia and as well at Singapore Airlines (it wasn’t open at that time) but I couldn’t wait for the openings,though now it is open but I do not regret coming here. I have met so many different people from different countries and culture,an opportunity for me to grow, learn and widen my network that hopefully will come in handy in the near future.
As a trainee pilot,I am enjoying every single moment flying solo. I am just grateful be here,to be able to fly throughout beautiful Catalonia and enjoy the Iberian peninsula bordering the sun soaked Mediterranean sea,it’s been great so far.
But it is also tough especially when it comes to the theoretical exams,everybody wants to ace it at first attempt,thus far it has been likewise for me and hopefully all 14.
Advice I would give is to be ready to work hard. I guess the public perception of being a pilot is that it’s all blue skies and such, but they don’t see the hard work and the endless hours behind the books and at the back of it a huge flight training cost debt.
I am not complaining though,just saying because it’s all worth it.
So this brings me to the question of how I finance my training cost,well basically I am funded by my parents with no job assurance whatsoever... a huge sacrifice but again worth it,well at least thats what I hope it is.
As for the selection process in my school,BFS it is rather easy, it isn’t like L3 or at Oxford I suppose. On the first day we come in sit for a couple exams, Maths, English and a bit of Physics, pass and you are in.
It is easy to get in hence,I must say it brings about quite a few of students with deep pockets that are in flight training for all the wrong reasons. They’re not serious and are only here to mess about and have some fun. So it is important that you choose the correct school with the correct mindset,environment and goals.
As for my career ambitions,I am rather interested in corporate flying.I also do like to stay here in Europe but I am not an EU passport holder so I don’t know if it will be possible. If not I will head back to Malaysia and the region for flying opportunities. But flying in Europe one day will certainly be on my radar. May it be in the sand pits of the middle east or the tropics of the equator I am just open to anything and anywhere honestly.
The thing I love most about aviation is that you don’t have to be anywhere,you can always go around.
If you would like to contact Matthew and ask him any further questions, you can email him at: