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Grew Tired of the 9-to-5 and Decided to Learn to Fly

Íslensk útgáfa

Shortly after graduating with a degree in Business from the University of West Florida, Marteinn Urbancic started to feel the nine-to-five was not for him and decided to change course. He applied and got accepted into the IATPL (Integrated Professional Pilot Program) at Iceland Aviation Academy.

"I had my heart set on flying for a few years but had always continued on with my studies in business despite finding it uninteresting. I decided to make a change and learn something that excited me and applied for the IATPL program. I fell for piloting straight away and do not regret changing course" Marteinn says of the decision.

Received his pilot license on an unprecedented day

Marteinn started his studies in November of 2017 and finished the theoretical part of his studies in May of 2019. The practical part followed and was completed in March of 2020, resulting in Marteinn receiving his airline transport pilot license the day restrictions on gathering were put in place for the first time here in Iceland.

Despite bad timing Marteinn has used the time well this past year. He registered in a flight club, started clocking in flying time and looks hopeful to the future. “Aviation has a lot to offer, not only here in Iceland. You can apply for positions all over the world and there are many interesting locations to gather experience” Marteinn says. He will be ready once demand starts to pick up again and hopes to pilot a Boeing 737 Max for Icelandair within the next three years.

The most memorable flight was a part of the training.

The most memorable flight to Marteinn was a 300 Nautical Mile solo flight, which is part of the practical training at Iceland Aviation Academy. There the student pilot maps a long flight which he goes on his own.

“My flight was on a beautiful winter day when everything was covered in snow but great flight conditions, clear skies and little wind. I set course for Rif which is situated on the Snæfell peninsula and got an aerial view of Kirkjufell, Icelands most beautiful mountain. From there I flew to Sauðárkrókur and followd that with a long approach to Westman Islands, where the coolest airport in Iceland is. It was a great day with great views”

Marteinn recommends applying to Iceland Aviation Academies pilot program despite current conditions in the aviation world resulting from the pandemic.

“This line of work always has its swings. Many say the best time to learn to fly is during a downturn because you will be ready once things start to pick up again around graduation and there is always demand for good pilots.”

Pilot shortage on the horizon

A recent analysis by Oliver Wyman, covered by CNN Business,  indicates an imminent shortage of pilots worldwide, which airlines may start to feel the effects of as early as next year. A shortfall of around 34 thousand pilots is expected by the year 2025, though that number may become higher if limitations are lifted sooner than current predictions indicate and go as high as 50 thousand pilots.

Global shocks have in the past discouraged potential candidates from becoming pilots and the analysis projects that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a similar effect. Taking a further toll on the number of pilots available to meet the growing demand.

Iceland Aviation Academy has opened for applications for all Pilot Programs next fall Further information can be found here.

We thank Marteinn for the interview and wish him the best of luck in the future.