IATPL Testimonial

Testimonial 2019

My name is Erik, and I am currently a freshly-minted First Officer at Jazz (Air Canada Express). Prior to the IATPL program at BFC, I had graduated high school and was offered a full-time position at Porter Airlines as a Customer Service Representative, which I did for nearly three years. I always wanted to fly, and have had aspirations of becoming an airline pilot since childhood. I remember as a kid, I would always stop and look up to watch planes flying over my house while playing street hockey/basketball (I lost a couple of goals/points because of it, but it was worth it ?) . Ultimately though, what finally made me take the plunge to professional pilot training was seeing how enthusiastic and happy the pilots at Porter seemed to be, and the support and encouragement of my family, friends and partner.

I can definitely say, looking back, that everything worked out in the best way it could have. I came to BFC because I heard of the potential of being hired by Jazz after graduating, and that was the dream since day one of starting the IATPL program. It was definitely NOT easy to come out with the results I did. The IATPL program, to be honest and realistic, is intense. It pushed me to the brink of my intellectual limits, had me massively stressed out sometimes, and was very unforgiving of people who weren’t willing to give their 100%. But, all of the stresses I faced in the program have molded me into the person and professional I am today. In hindsight, I’m glad I went through it. Aside from the amazing aviation knowledge imparted on me by my instructors (shoutout to Kathleen, she’s the best there is), being in this program taught me how to more effectively manage stress and high workload situations. This is proving to be very valuable in my new role as an airline pilot. Although the program was very stressful at times, the experience was overwhelmingly postive. Judy and Kathy were great with helping to arrange extra flying when it was necessary to meet a program “milestone”, and instructors were great about picking up last-minute flights with me because I needed to get a lesson done. Help was ALWAYS around when I asked for it, and I always felt supported and encouraged throughout the entire program.

The other thing I really liked about the IATPL program, was that I finished my studies and was able to get an amazing job within two years! Yes, it was hard not to have some statutory holidays off with my family, but the benefit was that I finished everything quickly, and started living the dream earlier than I could have ever imagined. It’s also a good preparation for the airline pilot life, because realistically, you’re not going to get most stat days off for the first couple of years you’re working. This program is perfect for the individual who is willing to sacrifice some social life for a year and a half, wants to push really hard to earn their diploma, and get their foot in the airline door ASAP.

My biggest pieces of advice, based on my experiences to date, are to have a positive can-do attitude, never stop learning, and make the IATPL program #1 in your life. Keep your head up and keep strong in times of stress. Take everything one step at a time. Don’t overwhelm yourself and get stressed by looking at everything you have to do all at once and freaking out (which is what I was doing when I first started ?). Workload management is KEY! Focus on finishing the current task as well as you can, then move on to the next. Give yourself time for adequate rest and the occasional friends/family time, but make your studies your #1 priority. Push yourself to learn as much as you can, and review the most important things you’ve learned repeatedly and thoroughly. I did, and it’s definitely paid off!

I wish anyone considering this program and career all the best of luck. It’ll take guts. It’ll take determination and resilience. It’ll push you to the brink of what you think you can handle. But, for those who make the genuine effort and ask for help when needed, it will work out! I had so many doubts about myself and my own abilities when I first started, all of which vanished when I realized what I can do when I put my 100% into my passion. Remember, the end result is so, SO worth it! There’s no better feeling than walking through the terminal in my uniform, hopping into the flight deck, and flying an aircraft safely from point A to B. Knowing that I am a part of something bigger than myself. Knowing that I am connecting businesses, families, friends and significant others to one another. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. And if you share the same passion for aviation as I do, then this program is definitely your ticket to getting your foot in the door!

Safe flying and good luck in your career aspirations!

Erik Bazant
IATPL Graduate March 2019

Testimonial 2018
After a year and a half of hard work getting through the IATPL, my efforts were paid off when I received the Jazz Aviation Pathway Award for Professionalism and diversity. The award also came with a well appreciated scholarship but most importantly, with an opportunity to apply to Jazz with only 250 hours.

After graduation, I went through the hiring process which consisted of some online personality tests, an interview, a sim evaluation and finally a medical exam. The hole process lasted less then a month. I then got a job offer in May and started training in June. It was more then I ever could’ve wished for, it  really was a dream come true!

I’m writing this and I’m in Ottawa on my first layover, I just landed a CRJ 900 for the first time a couple hours ago and I still cannot believe that I’m here and how far I’ve come.

I couldn’t have asked for a better program and school to get me to were I am now.

Sarah Azrak
IATPL Graduate March 2018

Testimonial 2018 #2

Prior to getting back into aviation, I had a career in the emergency services and a Recreational Pilot Permit and Glider Pilot licence for over 6 years. My enrollment in the Integrated ATPL program at Brampton provided me with the theoretical and operational competencies that have allowed me to succeed in my career. I currently work as a Flight Instructor in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan; a position offered to me through my participation in the Webster Memorial Trophy Competition. At 560 hours of flying time, I was offered a position as First Officer with Jazz Aviation. I will be starting on September 10th and couldn’t be more excited!

My Advice: Don’t just aim to succeed in flying; aim to succeed as a team player who values diversity, safety, and service orientation.

Thulasiram (Tom) Kumaran
IATPL Graduate March 2018

My Advice: Don’t just aim to succeed in flying; aim to succeed as a team player who values diversity, safety, and service orientation.

Testimonial 2017
However I had it in my head that I really wanted to land a position that was actually flying a plane, rather than working the ramp. And of course as fate would have it, the opposite happened, and the first position I was offered was for a ramp job in Winnipeg.

Now I’ll admit, I was extremely torn on what to do, I hadn’t heard from any other companies, and one part of me was cheering that someone actually wanted me to work for them, and the other was saying well its anywhere to 6 months to a year and a half on the ramp before I even think about flying a plane again, which was a prospect I wasn’t overly thrilled about. So, I called Brampton’s fearless and wise flying guru Scott Chayko, and he put me in touch with one of his old students that was working for the company.  The guy was amazing, we spoke on the phone for multiple hours and he gave me all kinds of information on his thoughts of the company, his experiences, how the company has changed over the years and what I could expect from them if I accepted the job. In the end, speaking with him just reaffirmed that it wasn’t what I had set out to find in the first place, and after discussing the position with friends and family, I opted to turn it down.

Now we’ve all heard the aviation clichés: “don’t burn any bridges”, “everyone knows everyone in this industry”, “you never know who will help you get a job”… but if I’ve learned anything over the last while it’s: don’t burn any bridges, everyone knows everyone in aviation and you never know who will help you get a job. And for me that started right out of the gate, my first job, working as a photo survey pilot for a company called First Base Solutions, which I only got because of one of my friends that I graduated from Brampton with.

I didn’t know it at the time, but FBS hires almost entirely from internal references. And my friend, who had completed the 1 year program here, had been hired on and flying for them for a number of months as I was completing the integrated portion of my schooling.   Now when a position came around he put my name forward and essentially got me the job.   The hiring process was something along the lines of, “Is this guy good?”, “are you sure?”, “Because its on you if hes not”.  So when I actually went in for my interview I already had the job, barring saying or doing anything foolish.

This ended up being what I believe to be the best job and company to work for as a new pilot, and yes, I may be slightly biased there. We were paid well, which is a rarity, we gained all kinds of experience, flying anywhere from the Florida keys, to the east coast of Canada or the mountains of BC, and we flew a lot, allowing us to build time very quickly.

Which in the end has led me to where I am now, flying a Q400 for Porter. I was hired through the destination Porter program, which was spearheaded by Julie Beverstein. I suggest anyone who is eligible, to apply to it.  You get matched with a mentor, get brought in to meet other pilots in the program and are given leads on potential job opportunities… along with the side benefit of having a foot through the door at Porter once you have some experience.  Earlier this month I passed my line check with Porter to be released on the line.  The training was rigorous and thorough, starting in November and only ending this month, although really its never ending and I continue to learn every time I go up.

Porter has been an amazing company to work for thus far. They’ve really gone out of their way to make a positive and enjoyable environment to work in. Not to mention that the people there are top notch and amazing to be around.

Looking back I would never have expected to be where I am this soon, but really it just goes to highlight the opportunities that are out there these days. It is an amazing time to be a pilot, and whatever path you guys choose as you move forward, just make sure you enjoy yourself, and that it’s the right fit for you.  Don’t make decisions based on what other people have done, or are doing or think that you should be do.  There are so many different routes that you can take in this industry, just make sure you pick the best one for yourself.

Darren Moorcroft
IATPL Graduate March 2017