Airline Pilot Interview – Yannick


3 minutes to read


Pilot Story #12


Every Monday a new story!

This week we ”fly” through the West skies! To get into the Airline Industry, it’s not always an easy option. But trust in your goals is the best way to accomplish your dream! Yannick a Belgian pilot flying the Airbus A320 shares his story about how he made it as a 1st Officer!

So Yannick, lets start from you! Tell us a few words about you and how you made it up to here?

Hello aviation enthusiasts!

My name is Yannick, I am 27 years old from Belgium. I had my first real taste of flying way back in 2000 when my uncle bought me a flight initiation for my 11th birthday, it was amazing! Shortly after that I had the chance to ride along in a glider for the first time.

Since then, all I wanted to do was to be a pilot. 

When I was a teenager I spent some summers in the Ardennes to learn to fly gliders in the summer and I also flew solo there. When I graduated high school in 2008, I started my flight training in my home town for a while but due to some personal problems I was forced to stop, which was very difficult. In 2010 I restarted from 0 in a new school called Hub’air Aviation Academy in Brussels. With them I flew the Pa-18, Pa-28 and the DA-42, where in 2012 I graduated with a Frozen ATPL and my commercial pilot license.

Yannick during training days

Around that time the recession in Europe was still in full swing and it seemed near impossible to land a pilot job anywhere. So I decided to keep myself busy, I tried to fly as much as I could taking friends and family up for short sightseeing flights and I got a job at Brussels International Airport as a Loadmaster (ramp agent), which I did for about a year.

One day I got an e-mail inviting me to join the interview process with Freebird Airlines to fly the Airbus A320 in Turkey. I got hired and got rated on the Airbus in April 2014, where I operated charter flights to Western Europe and the Middle East for 2 years.

What type of aircraft do you fly these days, and for which company?

These days I still fly the Airbus A320, but after my adventures in Turkey, I decided to look further than Europe. I got a great opportunity to join HK Express, where I currently work based out of Hong Kong.

Flying the A320

Do you hold any other license?

No, unfortunately I do not hold any other licenses anymore. I use to have a Single Engine Piston rating which expired as well as a Glider licence. 


Is there any emergency that you want to share?

I have had some minor technical issues and two medical emergencies over the last 3 years but nothing I ever considered to be a major problem. I like to think that my colleagues and I are very safety minded. We rather be safe than sorry. Let’s hope I can keep flying without a hitch ^^

People that you want to thank and inspired you?

There are a lot of people that I owe much to, friends, instructors, fellow pilots… But the people I would like to thank the most are my family, who helped me realise my childhood dream and who have always been there for me. I couldn’t have done it without their support.

So, tell us about your future plans!

I’d like to keep flying this beautiful machine and hopefully get my command one day. 

Landing the ”Lady”

What is your message to the upcoming pilots?

Every pilot is going to tell you the same thing; Work hard, persevere and don’t let anyone tell you can’t be what you want to be. You love aviation for the same reason we do, never lose sight of why you fell in love with it in the first place. I hope to see you guys up there one day. Trust me, it’s worth it!

Office view

Yannick, thank you for your story, we wish you all the best,  a lot of hours in the air and we hope soon to see you Captain!

enjoyflying logo gold black bgYou can reach Yannick on Instagram @yankee.kilo.november

The team.