Airplane Pilot Interview – Joël


4 minutes to read

Pilot Story #5



Every week a new story!

This week we have the honor to interview Mr Joël! Airliner for almost 5 years in Ryanair and currently flying for Emirates, Joël opens his heart and tell us how he made it up to here!

An Interesting career that is a good example for those who plan to dominate the skies! Enjoy!

So, Joël tell us how it all started and how you made it up to here?

Hello to all fans and aviation enthusiasts!
I am Joël, Dutch, 34 years old and where many pilots already had a passion for aviation from a young age, I never thought of becoming a pilot until I was in the early twenties. I started my career as software developer and during my studies, I got infected by the aviation virus while working at Amsterdam’s Airport. It didn’t take long and while I was writing my thesis I applied at  CAE Amsterdam to start my flight training.
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In November 2007 I started to realize my (young) aviation dream with the ATPL theory done in Hoofddorp (next to Amsterdam) and the flying part I did in Evora, Portugal. Here I learned how to fly on the Socata TB-200, TB-20 and the Piper Seneca V. When I finished in the summer of 2009, the financial crisis resulted in the worst pilot market since 9/11. I went back into IT while trying to get my first pilot job and after 2 years I received an invitation by Ryanair. I went for the assessment and in June 2011 I started my type rating on the Boeing 737-800 for Ryanair.


I flew for Ryanair for almost 5 years from various bases in the UK, Sweden, and Germany and really enjoyed flying the 737 around in Europe. It gave me a solid base for the rest of my flying career.
What type of aircraft do you fly these days and for which company?
Nowadays I fly the Boeing 777 for Emirates Airlines out of Dubai, UAE. After flying across Europe I was ready for a new adventure. I always loved the ‘triple 7’ and wanted to see more of the world.
With Emirates Airlines I was able to do both. I moved to Dubai early 2016 and I can only say I’m enjoying every second! It’s hard work, but you get a lot in return and I have already seen more of the world then I would ever imagine seeing. Besides that, the 777 is a great lady to fly around our globe 🙂

Do you hold any other license? 

Unfortunately, my piston engine rating has expired, so I’m only flying the big girl nowadays. Back in The Netherlands I helped out restoring a Douglas C-47, but since I moved to Dubai this became a bit tricky 😉
Have you experienced any type of emergency that you want to share?
Up till now, I’ve been lucky not to experience any real emergencies. Every day is different and together with the rest of the crew, you prepare yourself as good as possible. Situations like adverse weather conditions, onboard medical situations, big delays, technical issues are things you try to anticipate and/or prevent. And the better you are prepared, the lower the chance is that something will happen.

Tell us about your future plans?

Flying to all of the Emirates 100+ B777 destinations and just enjoying every day in the clouds!

People that you want to thank and inspired you?

My granddad inspired me without me initially knowing it. As captain of an ocean freighter, he traveled around the world and always had the most amazing stories to tell when I was young. Now by traveling around the world by air, I hope I can one day do the same. Besides my granddad, special thanks go to my family and friends of supporting me to achieve the dream of becoming a pilot.

Your message to the upcoming pilots?

Do your research. There are many flight schools who love to take you in as a student. As we all know doing your flight training isn’t cheap, so take your time in searching for the flight school which suits your needs and personal situation. Compare them and don’t just assume what the say is correct; dare to ask them the right questions.


Have a backup plan, what if things don’t work out as expected? While I was searching for my first job as a pilot I could fall back on my degree and previous experience in IT.
Being a commercial pilot isn’t like what it used to be in the old days. It’s hard work and you’ll be spending a lot of time away from family and friends working on days everyone else is having their weekend. But no matter what you’re flying; a Cessna, a glider, a helicopter or a jet, it’s all amazing and you will always remember your first solo flight!
Follow your dream!

Follow Joël on Instagram for more action from the flight deck!

Instagram:  @flying.dutchy