Darren Williams, 20 years of flying experience from ultralights to fighter jets.
your youtube videos are just awesome. They inspire those who want to
strive for that big jet job, but as they say, "Yes, it's all about the
journey......Not the destination".
A little about me and my journey.
many, my dream was to fly a jet airliner. In those days, here in
Australia, the path to the airlines was to take general aviation route
in its numerous forms. Charter, instructing, crop dusting, the list goes
on. You needed 2000 hours plus just to get a job flying PA-31 in those
days. In later years, some of my students were getting those same jobs
with less than 500 hours. How times have changed.
first job was flying charter in a Cherokee 6 and Tigermoth joyflights
before taking the instructor route. From there progressed to become a
very passionate chief pilot and chief flying instructor of a flying
school. I also flew adventure flights on the weekends doing aerobatics
in ex-military aircraft including jets as well as many other flying
experiences like fire spotting during our bushfire season and meat
bombing...uh, I mean parachute dropping.
was fortunate to fly over 40 aircraft types from ultralights through to
combat jets, teach 377 people to fly and experience the many wonders
and delights that only flying can provide. The only thing I never got to
do was to fly that big jet.
lifelong love affair with nearly 20 years of it flying was ended by a
mild stroke which saw me lose my medical. That was nearly 2 years ago
which to this very day is still hard to overcome.
the last couple years of my career, I saw a change in the type of
students we had. It went from those who enthusiastically wanted to learn
to fly to those who only just wanted to do the bare minimum for the
licence. They had no desire to experience other things in aviation and
looked down on anything that wasn’t a Cessna with glass or a new piper
because it was either inferior to them or that was not going to be any
use to them working towards the shiny jet.
I have no doubt that most
wanted to fly but it is sad to see that the majority had no real passion
and a lot had a very limited knowledge of aviation outside of a Boeing
or Airbus. I ask new CPL holders of today what are their plans for
their careers only to get a quick “Cadetship, don’t want to do GA”.
MPL will only make things worse. No real depth of knowledge or
experience, and an over inflated ego to boot. The title of airline pilot
will become less prestigious than a bus driver (no offence to bus
OK to dream of being a captain of a modern jet airliner, but sadly most
of today’s pilots don’t want the journey
anymore, and have a huge sense of entitlement to the shiny destination.