It’s take off for Hassan’s pilot dream

Hassan Imtiaz (21) is living the dream in New Zealand as he works towards becoming a pilot (s)
Hassan Imtiaz (21) is living the dream in New Zealand as he works towards becoming a pilot (s)

An aspiring pilot and former Nelson and Colne College student is flying high after completing six months of intensive training in New Zealand.

Hassan Imtiaz’s childhood dream was to become an airline captain, so when he secured a place on a competitive cadet scheme with Qatar Airways a year ago, he couldn’t believe his luck.

The 21-year-old, from Nelson, has soared through the first half of his training and now has just six months left to go before he becomes a fully qualified second officer.

Hassan returned to the college to share his experiences of cruising the skies more than 11,680 miles from the UK.

Hassan, who went to Marsden Heights Community College student prior to studying business, economics and maths at Nelson and Colne, said: “The last six months have been amazing, and I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity.

“It has been the highlight of my training so far – it is one of the best countries in the world, and to fly there is something else. There are amazing views, and the scenery is spectacular. I have six months of training left, so it is all about keeping focused now.”

Hassan got his initial flying licence while studying at the college, and earned a place as a cadet with Qatar Airways after finishing.

There has been no winging it, however, as Hassan had to undergo 14 exams at ground school in Southampton to get his theoretical licence. In New Zealand, he has flown airlines in good bad weather and will take-off and land an Airbus A320 12 times in Doha, Qatar, to fully qualify.

Hassan added: “The workload I had in my A Levels helped me to prepare for ground school. The teachers at the college were very supportive and gave me the help I needed in class, and at additional workshops.”