High-flying Steven jets off to Australia for chance of a lifetime

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A FREQUENT flyer who earned his pilot’s licence before even passing his driving test has landed his dream job.

Steven Kelly (21), whose family recently moved to Bishopbriggs from Lennoxtown, originally featured in the Herald four years ago after gaining his wings from Cumbernauld Flying School – at the age of just 17.

Fast forward four years and Steven is set to jet off to Australia to train as a commercial airline pilot for Cathy Pacific.

Initially he had wanted to fly with the RAF, but funding cuts forced him to look elsewhere while studying for a degree in physics and maths at the University of St Andrews.

The former Kilsyth Academy school captain said: “In third year I started looking at commercial flying. I’d continued to fly out of Dundee Airport throughout my degree and had even done a bit of aerobatics which was good fun.

“I ended up applying for Cathay Pacific in June last year and was invited to Paris in September for an hour-long interview and some tests.”

But that was just the start of an intense recruitment process which took Steven across three continents over several months.

He explained: “In January the next interview was in Hong Kong – luckily they paid for my flights and accommodation!

“It was two days of interviews, tests, teamwork challenges and flight-planning exercises.

“Then in March I travelled to the training centre in Adelaide for two weeks of flight grading so they could be sure I’d be able to cope with the training.”

Steven passed every test with flying colours and on Sunday he hopped onto a plane back to Australia for an intensive 14-month training programme, after which he’ll fly around the world from Cathy Pacific’s base in Hong Kong.

The delighted jet-setter said: “Usually you have to pay for your own training and then apply to airlines. That’s what I expected to do, but I was lucky enough that Cathy Pacific were looking for people.

“If you’d have told me four years ago I’d be doing this I wouldn’t have believed you.”

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