Avion Express is offering an Intern Programme which provides great opportunities for students to discover the aviation industry from within while still at university. Domantas Paičius joined Avion Express in the spring of 2018 as an intern, but once his internship was over, Domantas was offered to continue his journey with the company, and now he is as a Junior Flight Documentation Officer. He is at the beginning of his long and exciting career path but has already made impressive steps towards this goal.
“Everything started 6 years ago with a flight simulator game,” starts his story Domantas. „To be honest, I knew very little about aviation and couldn‘t tell Boeing from Airbus, but I got hooked and started expanding my knowledge – reading books and magazines about aviation, developing an interest in aircraft,“ says Domantas. His parents saw his passion and took Domantas to a local aerodrome for an observation flight. „This was the breaking point for me. It was when I understood that I wanted to become a pilot,“ he admits. But passion is not enough. Domantas started spending most of his summers at the aerodrome flying a ULO (ultralight) aircraft, and even built a radio-controlled airplane as one of his school projects! When the time to choose a university came, it was a no-brainer – Domantas entered VGTU AGAI (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University Antanas Gustaitis‘ Aviation Institute) to study Aircraft Piloting.
„I was very happy to take such an important step towards my goal, but I also wanted to get my hands on aviation right away, so I asked for an opportunity to do an internship at Avion Express during my first year of university. And I got it!“ tells his story Domantas. „Originally I wanted to do an internship as a Flight Operations Assistant, but I was too young (you need to be at least 21 years old to apply), so I decided to switch to Flight Documentation. It was a great experience because I had to perform tasks in various fields – crewing, flight operations, flight documentation, training. So I could really see different sides of the industry which was exactly what I wanted – to discover aviation from within,“ he shares.
Did the internship live up to Domantas‘ expectations? „I learned so much about the industry! From the outside, everything looks pretty simple – all you need for an aircraft to fly is an aircraft itself, crew, and engineers. But there are hundreds of hard-working people standing behind it every day, solving dozens of problems from aircraft maintenance to crew rostering. I never thought that I would say it, but the greatest challenge in aviation is…to read. For instance, Airbus A320 flight crew operating manual has around 6600 pages! While operations manual (only part A) has about 1000 pages,“ says Domantas.
Although Domantas is no longer an intern, he doesn‘t stop learning professionally and showing how determined and curious he is. His willingness to learn is what attributed to Domantas‘ success. „I love the dynamics of the industry, and there is still something new that I learn every single day. I was very excited to continue being a part of Avion Express after my internship. Experience and knowledge is what inspires me. I am even more determined now to follow the path I have chosen.“
Working and studying at the same time can be overwhelming. How does Domantas manage to do both things successfully? „Nothing is impossible,“ says Domantas. „If you have a goal and set your mind on something, you will always find time and energy to achieve it. Avion Express is a flexible company, and people are very understanding and supportive, so I don‘t have any problem combining work and studies. Additionally, I was able to participate in the exchange programme in Germany, and once I returned to Lithuania, I continued working at Avion Express.“
Domantas is now a second-year Aircraft Piloting student who has recently celebrated his 1-year work anniversary at Avion Express, and such an ambitious person like him must have ambitious long-going plans. „I see myself as a commercial pilot, but there is a long and hard path I need to walk towards this goal,“ shares Domantas.