Behind the wings: Alex Schgör, training assistant

Meet #DreamTeam member Alex Schgör, training assistant

Alex helps our pilots be on track with their annual trainings

Read our exclusive interview with training assistant and future GlobeAir pilot Alex Schgör as he gives us an insight into the GlobeAir training department. Alex is 23 years old, and he joined GlobeAir in 2019. Despite the short time he's been at GlobeAir, Alex is now the backbone of the training department making sure that our pilots are on top of their annual training sessions.

1. When did your passion for aviation begin?

Alex is a paramedic and a future GlobeAir pilot

I remember watching a lot of aviation documentaries during my childhood. That's when the spark was ignited, and the passion for flying began. After I graduated from high school, I was still uncertain about my professional future, so I gave myself some time working at the local Red Cross association as part of the mandatory civilian service. After I joined the Red Cross, I came to realise that the qualities of a paramedic are not dissimilar to those of a pilot. Both jobs require stamina and the ability to stay calm during a crisis.

Alex schgoer plane
Alex schgoer plane view
Alex schgoer flying

I took my first steps to becoming a pilot in January 2019 when I started studying for my private pilot licence (PPL). Living close to the airport of Linz undoubtedly made it easier to get things started. I was very motivated to get my licence done, and I remember studying day and night as well as taking every available chance to fly. After six months into my education, I could call myself a pilot! I collected 100 hours in four months, which is quite a record.

2. What’s your current role at GlobeAir?

Tell us about your experience as a #DreamTeam member

Since it has begun, my passion for the aviation world has never left me. At GlobeAir, I am now a part-time training assistant with a future contract as a first officer as soon as I have completed my studies.

As a training assistant, I am in contact with many different people and departments at GlobeAir. The VP of flight operations is the head of the department, and my direct manager is the nominated person crew training (NPCT).

What I love most about flying is the feeling that you have everything under control and that the passengers who sit next to you trust you. The flight is a real journey that starts with preparation of the flight plan to the very end after landing. I like the feeling of a perfect execution of the whole journey from the beginning to the end. And of course I am a fan of checklists – they make me feel like I am following a solid process.

My daily job includes being in constant contact with the VP of Business operations, GloebAir’s crew support team – to cross-check pilots’ availability – and finally directly with the pilots. To make things work, you need clear communication and transparent processes.

When I am at my desk, I mainly focus on making sure that everything is on track when it comes to training; I check and take care of expiration dates, renewals and updates. Planning is vital at this stage.

Another aspect of my job is keeping in contact with our simulator’s partners who are in the UK – something which created several challenges for our department during the lockdown months. In March 2020, the UK was not accessible. My team and I had to make decisions on how to perform training which generally happens with the simulator and finally organised them on board. I have to admit I was very impressed to see how we managed to adjust so quickly to such an unpredictable scenario.

3. What does the training department do in detail?

The training department is responsible for arranging and keeping track of all pilots’ training sessions. Training sessions are the pillar of safety measures for every airline; without an updated and valid training certificate, pilots are not allowed to fly without having performed eight training sessions a year.

Dream team
Dream team group picture

Amongst the many training sessions that our pilots need to perform are the simulator checks which occur twice a year, the LPC or licence proficiency check – once a year and the OPC or operator proficiency check – which takes place every six months and is dedicated to the understanding of all company-specific procedures. Additionally, we have all CBTs or computer-based training, as well as first-aid classes.

4. What do you like about private aviation?

Fascinated by the speed and flexibility of business aviation

I was never fascinated by big aircraft, to be honest. As a pilot, flying a big plane does not give you the same adrenaline rush as a private jet does. Flights are often not very challenging, as the routes are more or less fixed. I like private aviation because the idea of visiting three countries in one day or seeing your plan change keeps me motivated and brings my morale up while working. There is always a learning factor – GlobeAir has the advantage of flying to smaller airports which are hard to reach for bigger aircraft. Those smaller airports have shorter runways, and sometimes you fly in mountain areas or where it is harder to take off and land and that's the fun part of the job!

Alex schgoer training department free time
Alex schgoer training department head set

5. How did you experience the COVID-19 lockdown and how did it make you grow professionally?

Of course, the lockdown back in March had a substantial negative impact on the economy. Nevertheless, I kind of enjoyed the time I had for myself. The past few months had been very hectic, and so it was good to step back from the routine and slow down. During the months I spent working from home and not having as many social contacts as usual, I managed to strengthen the connections with some of my close friends and colleagues.

Although GlobeAir has managed to keep us significantly united, one of the most challenging moments was having to communicate with the authorities. Even if EASA is a European association, local authorities have handled training and regulations differently, making it challenging for our team to understand how to move forward. Luckily we were able to put our strengths together, and our international team has helped me handle authorities in those countries where they speak a foreign language I don’t know.

6. GlobeAir is international, what do you like and what can you learn from it?

It is a pleasure to be working together with people from different cultures and learning from everyone. You indeed feel some cultural differences, but after all, we are all united by the passion for aviation. At GlobeAir, we support a no-blame culture which also means that everybody is taken seriously and listened to. As a young employee, I see this happening directly; I always receive the support I need.

7. The future of aviation is ….?

Very bright for me. Despite the covid-19 crisis, I think private aviation is in a better position than airlines. I personally feel blessed to have a seat in one of the GlobeAir jets as soon as I finish my studies because I believe that flying is one of the most beautiful things in the world and as they say – if you do what you love you will never have to work a day!

Aviation will become safer and safer. Year after year, safety is improving a lot; if you look at the yearly statistics, incidents and accidents are both decreasing with time. Some of the most relevant topics nowadays include self-flying aircraft with autonomous flying aircraft being highly discussed amongst aviators. I personally think that there is a small chance for this to happen and it is in the cargo industry. It will take much longer to convince passengers about the safety of a self-flying aircraft, I believe.

What about electric planes?

I am not a fan, personally. The problem is that batteries have to be scrapped somewhere and this is not handled in an environmentally-friendly way. The hybrid solution is good but this would also mean you have more weight in the aircraft so we shall see how far the technological progress will go.

Alex Bio

Alex is Austrian and he is 23 years old; he has joined GlobeAir in 2019.

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