Your Stories

Name: Gavin Storkey

Current Job: Airbus A319/320/321 First Officer.

Organisation: Air Macau

Tell us why you chose to be a pilot?

I have always wanted to be a pilot, since the age of six when our family flew to Africa I loved planes. In my 20’s I used to play a lot of Flight Sim on the PC and a mate told me I should take a flying lesson, I never looked back.

Tell us a bit about your training, where you did it, and what was a highlight about your training?

I started training at the Wellington Flight Centre where I got my PPL, then headed to Marlborough Aero Club in Blenheim for the CPL. The highlight was the freedom of the cross country flights, especially around the Mt ranges of the South Island.

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

I currently Work for Air Macau as an Airbus A319/320/321 First Officer. I have been with them for over 2 years. I chose to fly there as they gave me the opportunity to fly Airbus with just the type rating.

Tell us some of the favourite destinations you fly to? What makes these destinations special for you?

I fly all over Asia, but I do enjoy flying into Osaka and Tokyo Narita. The countryside looks a lot like New Zealand and we always get amazing views in and out of Japan especially flying over Mt Fuji.

All pilots face interesting weather challenges from time to time. Can you talk to us about some of the more challenging weather conditions you've flown in. What made it challenging?

In the summer time South East Asia and China have CB’s towering well above 50,000ft. We spend all Day and Night Navigating these. It can be quite a daunting experience. Squall lines can appear en route, finding the safest way through is challenging and requires a lot of trust and experience with your weather radar, thunderstorm knowledge and your Captain.

Tell us about a recent memorable flight. What made it memorable?

We recently opened up a route to Hanoi, Vietnam. I have flown into Hanoi many times as a passenger in the past when I previously worked for a consulting company. Flying into this destination was quite special for me, to see how far I have come as a pilot from a dream as a child.

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 found there were many challenges throughout my journey. Gaining funding for my Licences and ratings can be an initial pain, as well as seeing your money disappear. Getting my first flying job I had to travel to Botswana, though this turned out to be an amazing experience. Being out of flying work for a year was probably the toughest part of my journey. It is not always roses, but dedication, good timing and positive thinking will always bring success.

We really appreciate you being one of our students at 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 as it looked professional and offered a very convenient way to study. I cannot carry large text books with me as I fly around Asia, so having courses online and studying on my iPad is perfect for me.

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

I see myself flying as a Captain for an International Airline. My goal is to Fly for Emirates or move back to Australia or NZ and join a local carrier. 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?

I do enjoy technology and I am always using my iPad. I Study on it, use it for Internet and Games of course. It seems to be an amazing portable tool as a pilot.

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

I probably would have continued on with my Business Degree, gained an MBA and worked on further into business world. Thank God I am a pilot!! ;) And finally to finish off....

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

I would suggest, get all of the exams done within 3 to 4 months if possible, the more time you take between exams the less likely you are to finish them all. Get on a role and get that Frozen or Full ATPL.

What's your favourite movie?

I don’t have one really, but loving the TV series 'The Walking Dead' at the moment, it is Fantastic!

What's your favourite food?

I love Thai food.

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

Spending time with family and friends and working out..

What's your favourite song?

Too many songs, I love most music except for country.

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

Exams ;)  

Thanks for sending in some pics Gavin!

You can follow Gavin at: