Young Member Spotlight - February 2017
Waleed Chedid, based in the UAE is a young First Officer at Air Arabia. He has been awarded the winning title of the Young Persons’ Competition 2016 at the UAE Branch. Waleed first obtained his degree in BSc Aerospace Engineering from Emirates Aviation College, and soon took up his flying career at Alpha Aviation Academy. Being an inspiration to the youth of UAE, he has proved his passion for aviation and flying through his work and dedication in this field.
Waleed, thank you for doing this interview. Could you tell us a bit about your background and how you became interested in aerospace? How did you end up becoming a pilot?
As happy as I was to earn this certificate though, I always fantasized about flying. After I found out about Alpha Aviation Academy I signed up without hesitation and pursued my flying career. However, I would never stop at my bachelor’s degree and would love to continue taking a master’s degree in this respective field.
First of all I would like to thank you for this opportunity to express myself. I’m from Lebanon and I was born in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Since a very early age I’ve been passionate about the concept of electricity and aviation; I would always stick cockpit posters on my wall, or tamper with electrical parts of electronic toys to pc’s etc. Since there are very few flying schools in this region (which I knew of) I decided to study aerospace engineering and earned my bachelor’s from Emirates Aviation College.
Was there any specific person or event that has been your inspiration to become a pilot?
Not necessarily. My family did support me of course even though the idea was intimidating at first. What fed my passion even further was the Microsoft Flight Simulator on windows, which I highly recommend as a tool to learn and explore flying.
Can you tell us a bit about your daily life at AirArabia; What are the daily challenges that come with being a pilot? How does your typical day look like?
As our schedule’s provided for us for the whole month, a preparation is required the night prior to any flight so that the next morning (or night) would be a more absorbed and relaxed approach to the flight. As a standard flight preparation we revise everything related to our flight and try to spread a daily positive atmosphere all day long to keep everyone motivated through this mentally demanding job. Being in the aviation industry requires you to always be willing to open up books and study/revise. The information in this field is somewhat unlimited, hence experience come into place and improves upon time and energy.
What are your goals for your career? Is there any specific plane you want to fly later?
My main goal is to always evolve myself, and reach high in the realm of aviation. As a current Airbus A320 type-rated pilot, I love the experience and would look very much forward to upgrading to wide body aircrafts. Apart from that, I personally like certificates and hopefully pursue a master’s degree in the future.
What do you see as the current challenges within your profession and how do you think we as an industry can best address them?
The entire profession of being a pilot is a challenge itself. All the information that we studied, and that are yet to be studied are adapting to newer laws and rules/procedures to enhance safety all around the industry. Apart from that, the flying machine itself is a manmade design and flaws are a natural part of any product. That is why we are always trained and prepared to take action to get our aircrafts safely on ground anytime.
Since flying started decades ago and technology has changed immensely, I believe that is the best course of action and to keep experimenting, upgrading and testing new theories so that safety and flying could be further enhanced.
Are there any improvements you think can be made to the current generation of aircraft that so far have been overlooked?
From my humble experience, I think aircrafts today are where they are supposed to be in terms of automation, reliance, redundancy and safety. I always support technology and further automation to reduce pilot workload to assess failures easier, however I cannot stress enough that a minimum of two vigilant pilots are necessary in any cockpit to always correct each other’s mistakes and increase situational awareness.
Finally, a lighter question, what is your favorite destination to fly to?
As far as I can go, would be a better answer. Exploring this planet is a hobby for many, and hopefully I’ll fulfill this goal too.