Becoming an airline pilot isn’t easy. Far from it. It’s brutal, its challenging and it will make you question your deepest aspirations and characteristics. Failure at some point along the path is unfortunately inevitable. 

Churchill once said “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it’s the courage to continue that counts”. I stand by this phrase as a training commercial pilot. It’s inspired me and encouraged me through those times of difficulty and failure. Whether this be during the ground school phase of flight training or in applications for cadetships and jobs, we must bounce back.

It’s easier said than done. It can be exceptionally hard to return from some failures. Especially those that leave you feeling inferior and ‘not good enough’. I think I speak for all when saying that this does happen. The key is not to let it stop you. I think it’s acceptable to dwell for a week or so on it without moping around. When I say dwelling, I mean reflecting on what went wrong but most importantly what went well and how you can improve next time.

Whether you are a aspiring pilot or training pilot, we’ll all experience further knocks and bumps along the road. Whether this be after numerous attempts in applications for a life-changing cadetship, the medical, the ATPL ground school, the IR or job applications, you’ll get there. You will bounce back. You will develop resilience.

Resilience is key, it’s your friend on this hard and tough journey to the flight deck. Bounce back from failure with a ‘can do’ attitude and make it happen. It will only make you a stronger person and really help you in your career as an airline pilot.

We will get there. It just may take some more time…


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