Your Stories

Name: Jesse Lindsay

Current Job: ATR72-600 First Officer

Organisation: Mt Cook Airline


Tell us why you chose to be a pilot?

As a young child, I travelled from Wellington to Brisbane. It was my first every jet ride and could not get the feeling at take-off out of my head. I thought at that stage, this is what I want to do with my life! Made a rough plan and did it!

Tell us a bit about your training.

I originally started my training at the Wellington flight centre as a teenager but then stopped due to a lack of funds. 4 years later I my training in two parts, PPL and CPL theory I completed in 3 months at Helipro in Kapiti. Before moving to Christchurch and completing my PPL, CPL, MEIR and C Cat instructor rating. The highlight was definitely gaining the ability to teach other people with the same passion as I had from a young age.

Who do you currently work for? How long have you been flying with them and why did you choose them?

Im currently flying the ATR for Mount Cook out of Wellington. My two-year anniversary is about to arrive which should welcome my ATPL flight test and soon my command training. I wanted to fly for the Koru and Mount Cook is a great place to start, especially on the new ATR72-600.

Tell us some of the favourite destinations you fly to?

The best destination is Wellington because its home... seriously though, it's usually the most challenging which makes it a great place to fly into. Also, the best visual approach in the country. Nothing beats a right hand turn over the city from the south onto runway 16! Auckland comes a distant second.

Can you talk to us about some of the more challenging weather conditions you've flown in.

As above, Wellington can have its moments. Any approach onto runway 34 into a gusty northerly is challenging. A 2000ft wind that is anywhere from 270 to 310 degrees is going to get rough and you have to plan how to keep out of the bumps for as long as possible before heading in for the approach.

Tell us about a recent memorable flight. 

Not so recent, but my first flight in the ATR has to be the most memorable. After years of training and hard work in GA, the time had come to fly something weighing a maximum of 23 tonnes! Day one went smoothly, lots of excitement and the thrill of knowing how much I had done to get to that point in my career was incredible!

Studying towards our flying career takes a lot of time and effort. What challenges did you face in your journey towards becoming a pilot?

I'm not the best with studying unfortunately, so trying to sit down and start was the hardest part I found! I would pack my backpack with my laptop, noise cancelling headphones, ATPL workbook and pens. Then walk to the nearest library with wifi and do nothing but focus on the task at hand. Just remember what ultimate goal you're working towards.

We really appreciate you being one of our students at ATPLOnline.co.nz. Can you tell us why you chose us, and what advice would you give to someone thinking of studying one of our courses?

I chose ATPLonline because I was based in Adelaide, Australia. I couldn’t attend any courses and I could study anywhere and whenever I liked with ATPLonline. The quizzes and mock exams helped a lot. My favourite part was being able to leave the study and come back to exactly where you were, recap and continue. The advice I would give is to just keep at it, and ask any questions you need to! The first exam is always the toughest mentally, you know theres a few to go but you’ll get through them!

Gaining your ATPL is an important part of your flying career. Where do you see yourself flying in 5-10 years time.

5-10 years can be a very big gap in career paths. At this stage id like to see myself flying something with turbofans, most likely the right-hand seat! Being able to see the world while working is such a gift and that’s something id like to aspire to!

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in our lives, both inside and outside the cockpit. What's your favourite piece of technology? And why?

Aviation technology, Three Letters. GPS, RNP or EFB. These three items have changed aviation tremendously in the last 10 years! The EFB contains all the operational documentation you need and easy to find! Where as GPS and RNP, this is the best thing that has come to aviation in my opinion. The efficiency and accuracy is amazing!

What job would you be doing if you weren't a pilot?

Two ends of the spectrum here, Either an air traffic controller or Conservationist.

What's one piece of advice you would give to someone starting their ATPL theory studies?

Do your KDR’s for your subject the day after your exam! Don’t leave them!

What's your favourite movie?

Unfortunately the aviation geek part of me comes out, Sully.

What's your favourite food?

Roast Lamb!

What's your favourite thing to enjoy doing on your day off?

ATPL KDR’s... Kidding. Being outside!

What's your favourite song?

Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

What's one thing you don't like doing?

Studying funnily enough!