Meet pilot Michelle Gooris. She tells us about her training experience, lessons learned, and following!
Sam: Thank you so much for taking part in this discussion. Would you please share why you became a pilot?
Michelle Gooris: Thank you for the invitation, I’d be glad to share some information. My grandfather was the reason I became interested in aviation. He is an avid aviation enthusiast and he thought it might be something I would be interested in as well. After some deliberation, I figured I should give it a go. It turns out to be the best job in the world!
Sam: Wow, so how lengthy and difficult was the aviation training?
Michelle Gooris: I followed an integrated flight training, which takes around two years to complete. The huge amount of study material to be learned in only a few months is what makes the flight training intense. During the theoretical part of the flight training, the life of a student pilot consists of studying, sleeping and eating. There is simply no time left for anything else like a normal social life or a simple side job.
It all comes down to proper preparation. When done correctly, it’s a lot of fun. Especially the actual flight training!
Sam: What has been your most memorable flight experience?
Michelle Gooris: A tough question since I have so many memorable flight experiences! The most rewarding flight experience was probably an emergency situation due to a ’sick’ passenger.
We were flying over France at 36.000 feet when the cabin crew informed us about a sick passenger on board. Since the situation rapidly deteriorated, the Captain went to speak with a Doctor while I obtained the local weather and prepared the cockpit for an emergency landing at a suitable airport, just in case.
A few minutes later it was deemed necessary to divert so we declared a medical emergency and set course to a nearby airport. Fire brigades and medical assistance were waiting for us upon arrival. Due to the quick handling of the crew and the airport services, the passenger could receive the required medical care in time.
Sam: What has been the most important lessons that flying has taught you in life?
Michelle Gooris: The most important lesson is that the aviation industry is a tough industry. Nothing is certain in life, the situation today might be completely different tomorrow. Another very important one is to always listen to your gut feeling. I was taught this lesson countless times during the flight training. Listen to yourself and do whatever you think is best.
Sam: Do you have any future plans & a place where people can learn more about you?
Michelle Gooris: Most people find me through my YouTube Channel, Instagram, or my website. I am also known for my eBook on how to become an airline pilot as well as some aviation apps.
There are a couple of exciting future projects which, unfortunately, I can’t share with you just yet!
Disclaimer: All Photos Provided Courtesy of Michelle Gooris. Potential minor edits for transcript's length, flow, grammatical/formatting.
NEXT: If you enjoyed this, please read our interview with outdoors and fitness sensation Becca Bowen