Childhood Holidays Inspire Pilot’s Career
Published on 12 March 2020
When you reflect on your childhood, you most likely remember family holidays.
However, for Harry Miles (22), from Livingston, near Edinburgh, his family holidays didn’t just provide happy memories but directly shaped his future career.
Each year, Harry and his family holidayed in a caravan park in Oban, just a short distance from the town’s tiny airport. Often found staring upwards, mesmerised by the aircraft taking off and landing each day, his holidays sparked a life-long passion for aviation.
Harry said, “Oban was like a second home to us, as we had a static caravan permanently sited there. I was amazed watching the aircraft coming and going and, by the age of nine, was becoming really interested in everything about them. Then, aged just 12, I enjoyed my first flight in a microlight out of Oban, a big moment for me which really sealed the deal in terms of what I wanted to do as a career.”
Fast forwards a few years to 2013 and Harry received a gift voucher for a flying lesson at Tayside Aviation, a very welcome Christmas present. Little did he know that his instructor on the day is now a Captain at Loganair, his future place of work!
With his eyes firmly set on a career in flight, Harry left school in 2015 and began his Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) training at Tayside Aviation in October, a pre-requisite to the BSc (Hons) Professional Aviation Pilot Practice degree which he began in April 2016. The programme is run by Tayside Aviation in conjunction with Middlesex University and Aviation Skills Partnership.
Harry added, “I was one of the first students on the degree course and, for the first two years, was combining study with part-time work as a supermarket delivery driver. It was a lot of work but really rewarding and, because it’s a small family business, everyone knows each other and there’s a really supportive environment where they work not just on your technical skills, but also your people skills. There’s a perception that you need about £120K to become a pilot but, through the Tayside Aviation degree, it’s less than half of that. You leave with a degree and a job, a real win-win.”
After passing his Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) exams at the end of 2017 and his Multi-Engine Piston (MEP) rating and Commercial Pilot Licence, Harry began working as a Flight Instructor with Tayside Aviation in the summer of 2018.
He is now completing the final part of the degree, building up his flying hours as a First Officer with Loganair, flying the ATR42/72 out of Jersey, and will graduate from Middlesex later this year.
Having clocked up 1,000 flying hours in Dundee, Harry now only needs 500 to ‘unfreeze’ his ATPL, part of his remit within the next year at Loganair. All going well, Harry will progress to the role of Senior First Officer and could become a Captain within two years.
Summing up, Harry said, “I absolutely loved my time at Tayside Aviation and can’t praise them enough for my training, and the care they give to their students. I’d urge anyone with a passion for flight to give it a go – we’re in a very competitive industry and airlines will need to recruit more pilots in the years ahead – it’s a fantastic, rewarding and exciting career – I’m definitely on course to landing my dream job!”
For more information, visit www.taysideaviation.co.uk