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Luke Woolfenden

After graduating, I was selected for a pilot cadetship scheme.

Luke Woolfenden

The first year's training was conducted in New Zealand, which as you can imagine was fantastic! Then the real hard work began back here in the UK, completing my licences and getting my type rating on the Airbus 320 family of jet aircraft. Even so, I was only 24 when I first piloted a flight to Faro (Portugal).

Career progression

I've been doing the job for three years now and am a Senior First Officer and soon to be Commander. The only downside to the job that I can see is the strange hours. Other than that it is great fun, the people I work with are great and I really enjoy the flying.

Being in a complex machine in complex airspace with often challenging weather gives infinite instances where you have to think on your feet and subsequently there is a constant learning and training element to it. Plus you get to see some great places. Within a working week I may go to 18 destinations from as close by as Edinburgh to as far afield as Istanbul.

Astrophysics at Cardiff University was great. The subject is interesting and getting a good grade in it certainly opened doors for me. At the time, I was keen to complete the degree and get into a plane! Looking back, I wish I had appreciated it more as they were good days with good friends.