Tom’s modular route to an ATPL and a job with easyJet

Tom Robinson easyJet pilot

Tom Robinson took the Modular route to an ATPL and now flies for easyJet, based in Liverpool. He also recently won easyJet’s ‘Cadet of the Year’ award!

“This job has completely surpassed my wildest expectations,” says 29-year-old Tom. “There truly is no feeling to parallel landing a 60 tonne jet. It’s a role that is continually rewarding and unquestionably challenging.

“During training your non-technical skills are developed and in the line environment it’s clear why this is a focus. An airline pilot’s role is completely multi-faceted, very much team oriented. You’re always considering the crew and passengers, our partners on the ground (handling/refuelling), the weather, operational efficiency, technical issues and all whilst retaining the company’s reputation as a people focused market leader. It has been everything I thought it would be and so much more.

“I love the easyJet brand, our reputation and the effect our work has on our passengers. I believe easyJet has a genuine compassion for its employees and works to develop a just culture where we can all benefit from other’s experiences.

“We are encouraged and able to speak with our Line Training Captains at any time to enhance and further develop our operating principles and knowledge. The training system is second to none and I found line training to be immensely enjoyable.

“Winning the easyJet Cadet of the Year Award was a complete honour and I feel privileged and proud to have achieved it. My successes with easyJet have been in no small part down to the training providers on my modular journey and the easyJet training structure and captains.”

Tom Robinson pilot for easyJet

That’s my jet! Tom outside the Airbus A320 he flies for easyJet.


“I chose the Modular route chiefly because I had no access to funding for an integrated course. However, I also preferred the self-management element of choosing my own training route and providers.

“Of course, there are some risks inherent to the route. I elected in the later stages to join L3 (then CTC) on their excellent ‘Takeoff Modular’ course granting me better exposure to the job market. I guess technically you could call me a hybrid!

“I completed my PPL(A) with RAF Lyneham Flying Club where I also completed some of my hours building. The Night Rating and the majority of my PIC hours were accumulated with Horizon Aviation who really helped to shape me as a professional operator.

“I completed my ATPL Ground School with Bristol Ground School whose training material and instruction are market leading. The knowledge gained there has carried through since and still plays a huge part in my line flying with easyJet.

“I completed my CPL/ME-IR with L3 (then CTC) and also the MCC/JOC via their AQC course, having passed the entry requirements.

“Overall I loved all of my training. The learning curve at times seemed impossibly steep but the sense of achievement at each milestone kept me going.

“To fund my training route I worked full-time in IT which has always been a hobby of mine. Through this I funded entirely my PPL, Night Rating, ATPL Ground School + Exams and Hours Building. My parents were able to assist with funding for the CPL/IR and I sought a loan through BBVA for the Type Rating to complete the package.

“Motivation-wise, you need to really want this job and be prepared to work hard and sacrifice some of life’s comforts to get there. Be prepared for delays and setbacks both financially and mentally.

“Finally, absolutely fly without a GPS during hours building if you can help it. This paid off big time with my CPL! It’s also far more rewarding seeing your CRP-5 and chart planning work in the sky. GPS is a useful tool and I fully embrace the adage, ‘Make use of all available equipment’. However, the examiner also gets to choose what equipment you have during your test!

Find out about your options for ATPL training at Pilot Careers Live