Choosing a Flight School & the Airline Pilot Selection Process

What should you look for when choosing a flight school? What is the airline pilot selection process like? And how can you become a flight instructor?

Lucas Engelhardt is 25-year-old French national who completed his airline pilot training at Quality Fly, going on to become an instructor at the school.

He has become the latest Quality Fly student to be selected by Corendon Airlines and has completed his Boeing 737 type rating this year.

We sat down with him to talk about why he decided to become a pilot, why he chose Quality Fly, and how he got a job to fly the 737 with Corendon.

Finally, he talks about his plans for the future, and how he wants to give back to aviation.

 

When did you decide being an airline pilot was for you?

I decided to become a pilot in 2019. Back then, I was studying in Bilbao, a degree in the university, but it wasn’t really my thing. So, I focused on my dream and started the ATPL course.

 

Why Quality Fly?

 

I decided to do my course at Quality Fly, because back at the time when I was looking for a flight school, it was the only one that was pretty serious about things.

Also, the price was a key factor, and I some very good recommendations for the school.

Quality Fly is has a very international environment. Everything is in English, which is the language of aviation and internationally spoken. There are a lot of people that come from other countries, not only in Europe, also the rest of the world. That was one of the main reasons for joining, I’d say.

Quality Fly's classes and materials are 100% in English. Students from more than 40 countries are currently studying on our ATPL Integrated Course.
Quality Fly’s classes and materials are 100% in English. Students from more than 40 countries are currently studying on our ATPL Integrated Course.

Why did you decide to do the flight instructor course?

After I finished my ATPL, I was working someplace else, also related to aviation, but I always wanted to do the flight instructor course.

So I decided to come back to Quality Fly and start with the flight instructor course, and I have been working for Quality Fly since September 2023.

 

How did you get the job in Corendon?

In February I am starting the type rating for the Boeing 737, which was my dream.

Corendon were looking for cadets and they often look at the best students at Quality Fly. A colleague of mine got into this airline last year, and I was also lucky enough to be selected this year with some other colleagues from the school. In total, there are 5 of us starting the type rating with Corendon this year.

 

What was the interview process like?

When talking about the type rating to start in an airline, the process is normally the same. It’s a three or four phase process.

The first phase is always going to be psychometric testing, multitasking tests, and after that you will either go to a medical examination or start with an interview.

In my case, it was the tests, and then the interview. It last for around 45 minutes with HR, the CFI, and the HT of Corendon.

Following that, it was a simulator screening, which was pretty straightforward, it wasn’t very difficult. It was more kind of a masterclass to fly the 737.

It was also my first experience in a full motion simulator, which was kind of tricky. But by itself, the screening was an SID to follow. “Sevilla Sevilla”. In which the difficult point was that there was an altitude restriction with a speed restriction, and an early turn to intercept the radio.

Therefore, there was a lot of workload to manage, let’s say. But as there were two of us in the simulator, it was also about talking to the pilot, to help each other doing the 3 things at the same time.

After that, it was intercepting of the radio and then the ILS, just to follow without any flight director, thrust assistance or anything. It was you and the plane.

 

What do you consider the main qualities to become a commercial pilot?

The main qualities to become a commercial pilot and to get a job are the ICAO ones, the nine strong capabilities that a pilot has to know. The most important ones are the ones that I have been improving during my flight instructor course and my job as a flight instructor, are situational awareness, communication, workload management, and the flight skills. I would say that’s the fourth one, the biggest one, to become a good pilot.

But then during the course as a pilot, you will also train the theoretical knowledge, the flying skills, the automated flying skills.

So the sum of all these will help you to become a good pilot.

 

What are your plans for the future?

After I am released to fly the 737, as the airline has a good offer of 20 days of duty and ten free, for sure I will come here again and give something to the school.

In the end, when you are flying a commercial plane, there are not many things that you will be giving to aviation. So in my case, what I will do is either be flight instructor in the school or be an instrumental instructor, or maybe even a theoretical instructor.

 

Your top 3 tips to become a commercial pilot?

Self-discipline, study, and don’t give up. As for the don’t give up part, there will be days that it’s difficult to learn how to fly a plane or study for the exams. Just don’t give up, be straightforward and pursue your dreams.

Ah! And don’t break you ass on the hard landings. Try not to break the instructor’s ass (laughs).

 

You can see the full interview with Lucas on our YouTube channel:

About Quality Fly

Quality Fly is a flight academy based in Cuatro-Vientos airport, Madrid.

The academy boasts a highly international profile with all classes taught in English and a student base of more than 35 different nationalities.

At the very heart of their training offer is possibly Europe’s most innovative ATPL integrated program, which meets the latest and future EASA requirements and includes 40 hours in A320 full flight simulator level D, night flights in MEP, gliding training sessions and career advice. All to ensure the highest level of competency to fly as First Officer in the most demanding airlines around the world and prepare the students for real life circumstances.

The commitment of Quality Fly to digital processes and effective systems allows the school to maintain its very competitive price for the 2024 ATPL course.