‘When there is a will, there is a way, a famous quote by Pauline Kael. Aviation Geeks is proudly presenting you with the story of a young man who has abided by this quote. Noman is a flight instructor at Rabigh Wings Aviation Academy, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Early Childhood

Noman was born and raised in Saudi Arabia. He has completed his high school education at Pakistan International School, Jeddah. Noman was an average student in school. Like many expatriates, Noman traveled back and forth to Pakistan, and that is when the aviation bug bit him. ‘ I dreamt of being a pilot ever since I remember.’ Becoming a pilot was his childhood dream since grade 2.

Taking off his dream

Noman comes from a working-class family where nobody belonged to the aviation industry. Therefore, he did not know how to become a pilot. During his flights to Pakistan, he would often visit the cockpits and ask the pilots. On one flight, the captain told him about flying schools. That is when Noman started gathering information about flight schools in Pakistan. At that time, the flights were charging approximately 2 million Pakistani rupees, which was not affordable. He joined the University of Lahore upon his father’s wish and graduated as an Electrical Engineer. During university, Facebook became a common social media platform. Noman started expanding his online circle by adding pilots and various aviation personnel. He kept on gathering information about licenses and flight schools. Now that he was a graduate, his childhood dream was still on hold. He went back to Jeddah and started working as an engineer. During his job as an engineer for a year and a half, he saved money for his dream.

Hani Ansari, the first officer in Serene Air and a close friend of Noman, advised him to go to the United States for his flight training. It took the effort to convince his dad for a green signal. Luckily, he got his visa and went to the states. This was going to be a life-changing experience. He had no family or friends there, and so he had to start his life from scratch.

Flight Training

Noman joined Alpha Tango Flying Services, in San Antonio, Texas. He completed his Private Pilot License in 6 months. As he was training, he realized he was running short of money. The financial situation of his family got weaker, and his expenses were increasing. Noman worked various jobs to support his training. For example, he worked in the hangar to gain credits for his flying. He washed planes to earn his flying hours. With great dedication, Noman completed his Commercial Pilot License and Instrument Training at the same flying school. During his training, he realized getting into the aviation business was not easy, and the Instructor rating was a must to build up hours and experience. After completing his CPL and IR, Noman joined American Flyers in Dallas to gain his Instructor rating. He rejoined Alpha Tango Flying Services, but this time as an instructor.

Aviation career begins

Noman came back to Jeddah after training in the USA for two years with sheer determination. He started working as an instructor at Rabigh Wings Aviation Academy. While working as an instructor, he started converting his Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) license to the Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) license in the hope that maybe someday he will join as an airline pilot in Pakistan. Noman contacted Airborne Aviation in Lahore for his license conversion. He gave written exams in Karachi and flight checks in Lahore. After a lengthy process, he gained his PCAA license as well. Rabigh’s wings started facing internal disturbances, which forced Noman to leave the company. Luckily, he got appointed at Prince Sultan Aviation Academy as an on-ground instructor on a contractual basis for a year.

Noman worked as a ground instructor on Flight Training Device (FTD) for Airbus A320. He received Jet Orientation Training (JOT) and became a JOT instructor as well. His job included preparing students for type rating before they sit with check airmen and start type rating. After a year, they did not renew his contract since it was a government job and prefer Saudi nationals.

Noman joined Aviation Pioneers as a ground instructor for PPL, CPL, instrument, and ATPL. Noman is very keen to learn as much as he can. As soon as he got an opportunity to do an aircraft dispatch course, he studied to gain an aircraft dispatch license from aviation pioneers. This time, Noman gained CPL (FAA and PCAA), Ground instructor license, and aircraft dispatch license. After working in aviation pioneers for a year and a half, he got a call from Rabigh Wings to join back as an instructor. This time, he had to convert his license to General Aviation and Civil Authority (GACA) license. Rabigh wings got his license converted, so now he has a GACA license in addition to his long list of licenses.

Future Plans

Noman Ahmed has been working as a senior instructor for Rabigh Wings since early 2018. He has more than 2,000 flight hours and is hoping to enter an airline soon. His inspiring story proves that when there is a will, there is a way. No matter how hard the situation is, nothing can stop your dreams from taking off with faith, discipline, and hard work.

Team Aviation Geeks wishes Noman Ahmed all the best in his future endeavors.