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  • Kazakh Rugby Star Takes off with Air Astana

    16 August 2011

    Air Astana’s ab-initio pilot training programme is well established, with newly qualified pilots continuing to join active flight crew ranks every year. Amongst the group of nine most recently recruited candidates is Timur Mashurov, the ex-captain of the national rugby team of Kazakhstan. Following Timur’s successful completion of the requisite language, health and psychometric selection tests, he will soon commence his cadet course at the Pilot Training College (PTC) at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), USA.

    “Having played so many matches and as a professional experienced sportsmen, I know how to stay confident, calm and keep clear mind during tense situations, which helped a lot when undergoing enrolment processes at Air Astana. Becoming an Air Astana pilot is clearly demanding role, but I’m inspired by the challenges ahead. It’s a childhood dream come true,” comments Timur.

    Air Astana has selected a total of 42 cadets this year, who are already in training or like Timur, will commence training on the next course in late September. Eighteen more cadets are to be selected by the end of the year.  Since the beginning of the programme in 2008, Air Astana trained and introduced 93 pilots into service.

    Air Astana’s ab-initio pilot training programme is intended to help solve the problem of finding enough qualified Kazakhstan pilots with requisite English language skills, who can fly western aircraft types.

     The programme ensures that Air Astana will be able to meet the demand for extra aircrew as the fleet grows to 43 aircraft by 2022. Air Astana’s programme is the largest airline pilot training projects in the CIS. Training of up to 60 Air Astana cadets is conducted at Pilot Training College (PTC), one of Europe’s leading pilot training providers, with bases in Waterford, Ireland and Florida, USA.

    A major advantage of the Pilot Training College is the location of its training centres. PTC Waterford gives trainee pilots ‘four seasons in one day” and is perfect for instrument training, whilst the Florida Training Centre gives PTC students the broadest flying education possible with over 300 days of near perfect visual flight rules conditions.

    Candidate selection is open to all Kazakh citizens age 18 to 29, who are interested in becoming a pilot. Candidates need to demonstrate to a good knowledge of physics and mathematics, as well as an excellent health record.