Student Profile - Meet Daniel Morkel

Daniel came from from Australia to join HAA in 2018 and is working on his professional pilot training. Read more about his experience at Hillsboro. 
  1. Why do you want to be a pilot and what’s your dream job?
    After working as a flight attendant in the Middle East for 5 years, I knew it was time for me to consider more long term options for my career. I fell in love with the aviation industry and hope to eventually be an airline pilot in Asia (closer to home in Australia).Daniel Morkel
  1. What can a potential student expect when starting school?
    Flight training at HAA is definitely a holistic experience. Not only will you learn to fly planes, but you will learn to think like a pilot about everyday situations. I’d suggest a new student come to HAA with an open mind and be ready to change their way of thinking. It’s one thing to think of the syllabus as a checklist, it’s another to think about building your knowledge as a whole.

  2. What is the daily time commitment to becoming a pilot?
    I’d say, while the training does require consistent study and effort throughout the whole training course, you will find that there will be times when it is more laid back and times (especially just before checkrides) when it will consume a lot of your life. In short, you need to be ready to commit to get the results!
  1. What is your favorite part of the training at Hillsboro?
    I’m a bit of a control freak, and I like the fact that HAA makes the whole syllabus available on the intranet so you can prepare and know what to expect before you even turn up to a flight with your instructor. I also really love the tight knit community of HAA. It’s nice to know everyone and train with other like-minded people!
  1. Why did you choose Hillsboro?
    I chose HAA because I wanted to challenge myself to do flight training in a non-traditional environment and also take advantage of the unique visa/CFI work options that are available through the school.
  1. What are some of the biggest challenges when learning to fly?
    While also a unique factor of the school, the weather of Oregon is an undeniable point of frustration at some points throughout the year. However, I think this challenge will lead me to be a better pilot in the long term.
  1. Outside of school, what does Oregon offer as far as social life?
    Oregon is a great place to live. Not only is downtown Portland just a 20 minute drive from the school, but Seattle is only 3 hours away for a quick weekend trip. I think the fact you can have a good social life outside of school is an important part of the balance that will help anyone to be successful in their training.