From Cabin Crew to Future Pilot

William Nilsson is 24 years old and used to work as Cabin Crew for Tui. He is now fulfilling his childhood dream of becoming a pilot as a student pilot at OSM Aviation Academy in Västerås.

“We are basically only aircrew family,” said William with a smirk on his face and his eyes shining with pride. For a moment, it felt like we were in the sky chattering about his admiration for the aviation world.

It is Tuesday morning and William is taking a break from studying for his exam that is scheduled for tomorrow. He is a bit nervous about the test but still looks excited to talk about what he went through before he started fulfilling his goals at OSM Aviation Academy.  

How it all started

His working journey started as a bar manager on the west coast of Sweden. “I got tired of my job as a bar manager and a job opportunity as a long haul cabin crew at Tui turned up in an advertisement by OSM Aviation,” he said while holding together his hands and excited about telling more. 

William had an aviation upbringing. His father was a captain, his brother is a pilot for a huge company in Europe and his two brothers’ girlfriends and his mother work as cabin crew members. “It’s kind of rough bring together the whole family during Christmas since everyone has different schedules, but we still manage to celebrate it on either 22nd, 23d or 24th,” he said without making it sound like a problem. 

William has always loved to work in customer service and he was more than grateful to get the opportunity to work in the sky as a cabin crew member. He got the chance to combine two things that he burns for, customer service and being in the sky, he got the best of both worlds.

He was grateful for all the help that he got from OSM Aviation during the process until he officially earned the job. “I have loads of memories as a cabin crew member, it was the most fun job ever! The most memorable is all the great colleagues that I met and of course, all the amazing places that I got to visit, Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam…” he said while reminiscing back to the cabin crew days. 

“Since my mother was a cabin crew member, there was a day where you get to follow your mother to work, she took me with her for a 5-day trip to Thailand. I got to follow on board and hang with the crew, it was so awesome! I got to enter the flight deck and then I truly decided for myself that I want to become a pilot one day.”

The journey from being a cabin crew to becoming a student pilot wasn’t like a bed of roses. He was afraid of getting a “no” since he thought that he wasn’t as smart as his friends that applied at the same time.

“Actually, my colleagues from the cabin told me to do it, they always said you have to apply, you have to try it and I’m so grateful for that, for giving it a chance”.

William was at work as a cabin crew member in Thailand, the 19th of December to be specific, sitting by the beach, when he received the golden email, he received an acceptance letter for the YH-program at OSM Aviation Academy! 

“I did the first thing that any reasonable guy would do, call my mom, then we started crying together and then I called the rest of my family and we all just cried.”

Why OSM Aviation Academy?

OSM Aviation Academy was an obvious option among all the other schools for William, he said ‘’I did my research like any other person would do and came across OSM Aviation Academy, which was awarded pilot training center of the year! Also, the fact that I was hired through OSM Aviation before, I had never had a problem with them and it’s really a very good company”.

William describes the academy like it is its own mini airline with all the different systems and airplanes. “I can honestly say the academy is living up to my expectations,” he says with a smile on his face.

Work hard to achieve your goals

His favorite subject right now is meteorology, which he explains is about how the weather works and that’s something you use a lot in practice as a pilot. ‘’I actually have a test in meteorology tomorrow, so I’m going to study the whole day today” he said while seeming a little bit nervous about it.

“It is a lot of studying! It was hard in the beginning to manage my time. That has always been my biggest challenge. You need to plan every hour of your day. It is hard work, however, it’s about having your goal in front of your eyes. Every day when you go to bed you need to think, what did I do today to get one step closer to achieving my goal?”


Flying is freedom

I asked William what he thinks is the best thing about flying. He got quiet for a bit and you could see from his face that this was not an easy question, then he says: “The freedom. The freedom of doing something that we people weren’t created to do naturally, that’s an indescribable feeling.”

William wants to encourage you to never doubt yourself and give it a chance since he has been in that situation and needed a little push from his family and friends. Imagine if you also gave it a try and start fulfilling your dream?

He wants to encourage you to give it a try if you’re unsure, here is his advice: 

  • Go to a Pilot Open Day! I got all the information that I needed about how to become a pilot and all the steps that needed to be followed.
  • Do the fly tests! These tests will ensure you that you fit the profile of becoming a pilot. Examples of tests are the Pilot Aptitude Test or ”ett anpassat flygpsykologiskt lämplighetstest” (it depends on which program you want to apply for)
  • Just try it! Don’t doubt yourself, I did that at the beginning but look where I am now, I absolutely don’t regret giving it a try!
  • It’s ok to fail during the road, I did that, it’s normal but remember to never give up!

Follow your dreams

“I’m working as hard as I can to achieve my dream and all my classmates are just as ambitious and hardworking people, it’s so many people striving for the common goal, we help each other through every step and we always say: We made it if everybody made it! There is really no competition, we want everyone to succeed.”