Adrien’s Journey FAA to EASA Conversions
Phoenix East Aviation proudly announced their partnership with South Sweden Flight Academy in August. This partnership allows students the flexibility to start their flight training in either the US or Sweden, and then complete their conversions. Aspiring aviators gain a premium offering allowing them to learn to fly at a desirable location with optimal training weather in the US, and choosing PEA will allow just that with 300+ days of great flying conditions. While concurrently working on their European license requirements resulting in dual certification in both from the FAA and EASA.
This pathway enables students to benefit from the remarkable US general aviation infrastructure with the ease of conversion to the European license. The unique F1 Visa offered allows students to gain experience by giving them the opportunity to legally work at the completion of their program.
Adrien Nadaud is PEA’s first student pilot to complete his conversion with South Sweden Flight Academy. However, his aviation story and experience started far before he chose PEA as his flight training facility. Nadaud took the time to sit down and recount his aviation journey, including while at SSFA. Read more about it.
Adrien was born in 1999 just outside the captivating city of Paris, he was raised with diverse cultures, courtesy of his French father and German mother. Adrien’s educational voyage began at an international school nestled in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, a journey that would shape his destiny and ignite his love for aviation.
The spark was ignited around the tender age of 5 when he experienced the awe-inspiring Paris Air Show for the first time. As Adrien stood in the shadow of the mighty 747 at the Air and Space Museum in Paris, a desire to comprehend the magic of aviation took root within him. The sheer enormity of this mechanical marvel left him both bewildered and fascinated, nurturing his curiosity.
Fast forward to his adolescent years at 14, a pivotal moment when Adrien embarked on his flying lessons. The exhilaration of his first solo flight at age 16, a Friday afternoon joyride after completing high school classes, is still one of his proudest moments. Soon, Adrien found himself standing at the threshold of a crucial decision—choosing a flight school to pursue my dreams.
In the summer of 2016, fate led Adrien to Daytona Beach, Phoenix East Aviation (PEA), where his admissions officer, Joshua, guided him through the halls and tarmac of PEA. After high school graduation in 2017, he eagerly embraced the opportunity to join PEA in January 2018, surrounding himself with other future professional aviators that would propel him towards his aviation aspirations.
Under the guidance of the remarkable Instructor, Mihir Haria, he embarked on a journey to earn his Private and Instruments certifications, discovering a passion for flying that lit up his days at PEA. The camaraderie, lifelong friendships, and the sheer joy of doing what Adrien loved most made this journey unforgettable. With each flight, he honed his skills, preparing for the challenges that lay ahead.
The pursuit continued as Adrien set his sights on acquiring his Commercial Single Engine license and later the Multi Engine Addon. Flying alongside Instructor, Alexandre Bardini further enriched his knowledge and etched cherished memories into his aviation journey. Graduating from PEA in May 2020 was a testament to his unwavering dedication and the triumph of his aviation dreams.
Post-graduation, the path led Adrien to the pursuit of European EASA licenses to complement his FAA credentials. This next stage began at Bristol Ground School in the UK, where he immersed himself in EASA ATPL theory exams. The global pandemic presented its challenges, shifting the curriculum online. Yet, determination and resilience propelled him forward, and by the end of 2022, Adrien had conquered all 13 theory subjects, a milestone that was both intellectually and personally enriching.
Yet, during this intense theoretical training, a part of him yearned for the skies—the sensation of flight. His desire to apply theoretical knowledge practically remained unquenched, leaving him with an ache for the open skies.
The turning point arrived when Adrien joined the South Sweden Flight Academy (SSFA) in Malmö in April 2023, embarking on the practical segment of his FAA to EASA conversion. Those two months were a whirlwind of excitement, as he once again soared through the calming skies, completing his EASA checkrides with the talented Osmond Karim. The partnership between PEA and SSFA proved to be a perfect combination, enabling a seamless transition in Adrien pursuit.
His adventure took a thrilling turn as he got to experience aerobatics flying the Super Decathlon during the UPRT. It was a high-flying highlight, revealing a new dimension of aviation and adding a chapter of exhilarating moments to his aviation memoir.
As Adrien stands on the brink of his next chapter, the Multi Crew Cooperation Course in Budapest beckons. Here, he delved into the essence of Crew Resource Management while navigating the Airbus A320 simulator. He successfully accomplished this next stage in training in October 2023. The anticipation and excitement for what lies ahead are palpable, for this course marks the final stride before the gateway to the airlines swings open.
Reflecting on this journey, Adrien likes to share some insights and advice to other future pilots joining him in this ever growing field. Motivation and determination are the cornerstones of a successful training. The path to becoming a pilot is demanding, but the rewards are unparalleled. Overcoming challenges, multitasking, and flying over breathtaking landscapes are not only integral to being a pilot but also enriching life experiences.
Adrien’s journey might not have followed the traditional path, but it’s been a path paved with dreams, fueled by a desire to have the freedom to navigate the skies across the globe. Obtaining both FAA and EASA licenses offers the prospect of boundless horizons, and though uncertain of where he will settle, the options are expansive.
In a world where the demand for pilots continues to rise, aspiring aviators should dare to chase their dreams. Too often, passion remains unexplored. It’s a propitious moment to embark on this path, for the skies await those willing to spread their wings.
Yet, amidst the thrills and challenges, it’s the people and the memories they’ve etched that remain Adrien’s most cherished moments. Each flight, each new acquaintance, and every sunset shared with friends from the cockpit have left an indelible mark. A standout memory, the long commercial cross-country flight to Key West, painted the skies in hues of blue and bestowed breathtaking vistas, forever etched in Adrien’s heart.
As he continues this voyage, capturing these moments through videos and reliving the joy is a reminder of the profound love he has for aviation. The endless sunsets, the camaraderie of fellow aviators, and the dance with the clouds are memories that sustain and inspire him.
The journey thus far has been one of passion, perseverance, and the pursuit of dreams. As the horizon expands and beckons, Adrien eagerly embraces the chapters yet to be written. For the adventure of a lifetime, the skies are the canvas, and the aviator’s spirit is the brush, painting tales of awe and wonder.
Stay tuned for Adrien’s next chapter of his high-flying odyssey. Fly high, dream higher.
We want to thank Adrien for sharing his story!