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CAPT. PJ (Priya Jain) WELCOME YOU ALL ON BOARD FLIGHT PJFLASHBACK 001

I would love to share my story with all of you. My fairy tale is not about once upon a time instead it starts with I have come a long way.


I have come a long way from that blue coloured tunic uniform to white shirt and black pants. From no wings to one full wing. From handbag to flight bag. From high heels to flying shoes. From killing my self respect to fulfilling my dream.


I, CAPT. PJ WELCOME YOU ALL ON BOARD FLIGHT PJFLASHBACK 001


There was a day when I was standing at the other side of the boarding counter. It was my first day at Indigo and I joined as a customer service officer. And I was good with the computer system but physical work of applying the baggage stickers was painful for me. Once a passenger shouted at me. And I had to swallow my pain, anger and helplessness which in future worked as a medicine for success. I used to wear that Indigo cabin crew blue uniform when I used to work at the boarding counters. I used to work an 8 hours shift. I remember how I used to tie my hair in a bun and apply makeup and wore those gray coloured heels. And the days were even more painful when I used to see pilots at the airport. I used to feel jealous of them. I so wanted to wear the pilot uniform and fly that flying machine that I was killing my self respect little bit each day working on the boarding and ticketing counters. I was working there as  God has not dropped the pilot's job yet in my bag of ambitions. And Indigo gives opportunity to pilot license holders, that is-  if anyone has a pilot license, they can join Indigo as ground staff for an year and then the company will give you an opportunity to appear in internal pilot vacancy. 



So that’s how I started my aviation career. And suddenly after writing this, so many realisations ran through my body.

I feel where have I reached? And how? And how I could’ve done all that? And is the struggle really over? Will I always make it? 


I should embrace this. I should never forget my roots. I should never forget the journey behind this. 


And I always remember my father telling me that whatever you become in life never forget to be a good human being first. And I love him for his preachings.



A short haul of 10 months  Indigo chapter of my life has taught me the most. How to turn your helplessness into zeal to achieve? How to look directly into the eyes of your far fetched dream? Why is struggle important? I learnt the value of money. Importance of professionalism. And the best is to never let the fire sleep in you. Keep running behind your goals until you achieve them. Even aircraft have to reach takeoff speed to get airborne. So keep running until you reach your takeoff speed and then only you will fly.


I ran for seven years until one fine day, Maharaja welcomed me. I pulled out all the stops to get to work for National carrier. It took my blood, tears and sweat.


So what was I doing for seven years?


I joined Yash Air Ltd., Ujjain, MP, immediately after completing my 10+2, in October 2007. I cleared all the written exams conducted by DGCA for pilot license in one go. I completed my flying in 8 months. And in February 2009, I got my Commercial Pilot License. ( fastest in my flying school)


As and when I got the CPL, Kingfisher airlines closed down in India and aviation market was hit by recession. There were no jobs available for inexperienced pilots.

I went to Sydney for learning flying on multi engine aircraft as CPL which I got was after flying single engine aircraft Cessna 152A. 

I wanted to improve my professional profile.


After coming back too situation has not improved. I got enrolled for BSc. Aviation Studies, graduation program from University of Petroleum and Energy Studies in Dehradun. 


I got the degree in 2012.

But after 3 years also, there still were no jobs.

I, then went to CAE, Bengaluru for Airbus A320 family flight training.


I got the type rating in 3 months and I applied in all the airlines. Now my professional profile was very good. But no airlines came up with the vacancy.


Finally, I thought of giving aviation ground classes to new aspiring pilots for free. As this will enhance my knowledge in my field.


I have classes for an year. 


And then I got to know about Indigo airlines hiring pilot license holders for ground job. So, I applied for the same. 


There I got the best in technical knowledge award.

Finally after working for 10 months there, I got the call from Air India and I was so pleased to know that I was third in my batch.



Meanwhile when J was not having any job, I used to write poetry and my poems got included in Anthologies like Crossroads, Let's Trance and More Perception on Vanity.


I wrote 4 blogs named


First one being about poetry.



Second being out aviation love and poetry.



Third is about my dilemmas on life. It's an intellectual blog.



And last one is all about English Haikus.




I never stopped no matter what. Thank God that I had the talent to write and express. That helped me ease all the stress and be at peace.

My hobbies other than writing is to travel places and explore the world and its people. I love learning new languages as language takes you near to the culture and people.


I believe my purpose in life is to explore the world, it's people and to erase all the pain there is by my writing. 


Maharaja was always my dream company. I still remember when I was 3 years old, my parents took me to Kathmandu in summer vacations. We chose Air India then. As and when I saw the Maharaja maniquine at the airport, I ran towards it hugged it and gave him a peck on the cheeks. Maharaja was my first love.


When I finally ended up in the cockpit for the first time, I had mixed emotions. I had watery eyes, and my heart was pounding hard of delight and excitement. I got goose bumps when I saw the magnificent runway while landing. That was the first landing which I saw sitting in the actual cockpit. 


When I was released as the first officer. I got printed for my first flight. And that was from Mumbai to Indore. 


I did my pilot training from Yash Air Ltd, Ujjain. And I did my first landing in Indore while I was getting trained on Cessna 152 A.


And after joining the airlines and getting released as a first officer, once again I got Indore as my first airport to land. 


That's how I completed the full circle. 


I was stopped by my near and dear ones. Even they doubted me but yes one man who was and is always there for me and who believes in me more than myself is my father. I owe this life, this job and my never die attitude to him.



The hope of getting into the cockpit, sitting on that seat and flying that beast never let me stop from trying again and again. Hope had given me wings. Hope had ignited the fuel in me to fetch my dreams.

Never let the hope die in you. If I can do it, anyone can do it. 


Today, remember to trust your gut. You know more than you may give yourself credit for.


But, when you get still... and listen to your gut... and make a choice from that place - no matter how scary - you will be guided to something even better.



I have written a poem which is about my journey to the dream and dream was always to fly the aircraft.


JOURNEY TO THE DREAM


I was running 

and sweating

The path

 was thorny

I was burning 

and bleeding

The path 

became shiny

The more I was 

going towards it

The more it 

was running away

I kept moving

 without a say


People called 

me insane

Some called 

me a loser

Some laughed 

like a snoozer

Some tried

 to give me hope

Some forced me

to elope

But I kept moving

I kept running

 and sweating 

I kept bleeding 

and burning


Why have I 

dreamt so?

Life is always

 GO NO GO

I chose to GO

People pulled 

me back

Time told me 

to go and pack

Circumstances 

broke me down

I cried,

I screamed, 

I frown

But I kept running

 and sweating

I kept bleeding

 and burning


They laughed first 

and they copied

They had 

to pay heed

The fire inside me 

was growing

each day

Keep judging me

 in every

 possible way

I’ll reach the target

 I have set

Let me burn, 

bleed and 

become wet

The path is

 chosen by me

I am not your

 responsibility

I’ll keep running

 and sweating

I’ll reach

 the target 

And the bell

 will ring


© Priya Jain


Loads of hope and courage


Capt. PJ

@udaanfederalaviation

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1 Comment


Wow, your blogs on obtaining a commercial pilot license are truly invaluable! Your detailed insights and personal experiences provide aspiring pilots like myself with a roadmap to navigate the challenging journey of acquiring a commercial pilot license. 

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