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Profile: John Selwood, Emirates

John Selwood, 61, is an instructor and type rating examiner on the Airbus A380 for Emirates. After graduating in biochemistry he gained his wings as a BOAC cadet in the early 1970s, and joined Emirates 21 years ago

What does your job involve?

I train and examine pilots on aircraft and the simulator. I'm a GCAA [UAE General Civil Aviation Authority] authorised examiner. As our A380 fleet expands, we have a lot of pilots transferring from the [Airbus] A330/A340 so I can be in the simulator or in the jump seat, checking one or both pilots. I am appraised myself by a senior examiner, who checks me checking to make sure there is consistency in the process.

Tell us about your early career

I studied biochemistry at St Andrews University in Scotland but got the aviation bug and joined BOAC as a scholarship cadet at Oxford Air Training School. I flew the Trident with Cyprus Airways and then went back to British Airways to fly long haul on the Boeing 707. I joined Swissair in 1989.

Capt john Selwood - Emirates, Andrew Costerton/Flightglobal
 © Andrew Costerton/Flightglobal
Selwood: from the UK, but regards Dubai as home

How did you end up in the Gulf?

I flew through Dubai in 1981 and could see it was going to be a special place. I decided then that if they ever had an airline here, I would join it. In 1989 I got the opportunity to come to Emirates as an A310 pilot.

What opportunities were there at Emirates?

In 1992 I went into management, spending part of my time in the office and partly flying. But in 2002 I felt I had had enough of management. I enjoy flying so I took up a training role. It's a great buzz.

How has life been in Dubai?

Like a lot of people, I was only going to stay a few years but I will stay here until they take me out kicking and screaming. I feel that this is my home rather than the UK. I own property here. Dubai is a can-do place. Things work here. It's a nice place to live and very culturally tolerant.


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