Ground School – Module 2 Begins!

Hello again!

I can’t quite believe it has been two months since my last update. The course is going so quickly, and all of CP110/EZMPL01 have been extremely busy. We have passed some huge milestones in the past few weeks, as at the time of my last update we were still a few weeks away from sitting our Module 1 mock exams. Two months on however, and we have completed our final EASA exams, received our results and are at the end of our fourth week of Module 2 ground school.

Many days spent here...
Many days spent here…

So, where do I start?!

The exam period began late September with three days worth of mock exams, beginning a mere four days after finishing lessons for Air Law. For those who do not know, module 1 at CTC consists of the following subjects:

  • Aircraft General Knowledge (Engines, Electrics and Systems)
  • Principles of Flight
  • Instrumentation
  • Meteorology
  • Air Law
  • VFR Communications
  • IFR Communications

As I’ve mentioned previously, the subjects are varied and cover a huge amount of theory. Personally, I found Principles of Flight and Meteorology to be the hardest of the seven due to the sheer volume of new concepts we had to get our heads around.

The few days we had before mock exams were intense to say the least, with everyone putting in long days of revision. The mocks were spread over three days and passed by extremely quickly, and thankfully I did better than I expected with all of my results exceeding my expectations. There was still a lot of work to be done though, and we then had a week and a half to revise before the final EASA exams. At first, this seemed like a long time, and the very reason why our mocks were scheduled so soon after the end of lessons was to give us the greatest amount of time before finals, but the 7am alarm on exam day was soon upon us.

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The Office

EASA treated us to a 9am start with our Principles of Flight exam followed closely by Aircraft General Knowledge, with us getting home by mid-afternoon where the revision for the next day began instantly. We had Instruments the following morning, Meteorology on the Wednesday afternoon, finished off with Air Law, VFR and IFR communications on the Thursday. That week was full of very late nights of revision, and by the end of the last exam we were all shattered. Fortunately, we then had four days free to chill out and get away from our desks, so the majority of the CP opted to return home and visit family for the first time since leaving in late July. I decided to return home on the Thursday evening, and after a four hour drive I was home with my feet up with a well deserved drink in hand. It was so nice to be home, but there was also excitement of the prospect of returning to CTC to begin the final phase of ground school.

After a relaxing weekend seeing family and friends, we were back into the thick of it by Tuesday morning with the first of nine days of General Navigation lessons. Module two is known for being a lot more hands on and methodical than Module 1, which consists of a lot of memorisation of facts and figures. We are now four weeks in and have already completed General Navigation, Mass and Balance and Performance, and with these new subjects came some new equipment for us to get used to…

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Plotting!
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The Jeppesen Airway Manual

The new equipment consists of the Jeppesen Manual and the CAA CAP manuals (used for  Flight Planning, Performance and Mass and Balance). We are also now using our Pooleys CRP-5 Flight Computers for the module two subjects, which consist of:

  • General Navigation
  • Mass and Balance
  • Performance
  • Flight Planning
  • Human Performance
  • Radio Navigation
  • Operational Procedures

So far, I have found General Navigation to be the most challenging subject as there are a lot of different concepts and methods to grasp whilst also getting used to using basic mathematics (trigonometry and angles) plus a number of new formulas. The subject includes work on charts, plotting, flight logs, time and distance, the solar system and a lot of CRP-5 work including conversions and navigation tasks. Mass and Balance is a bit more simplistic and includes a lot of basic Mechanics, however the exam is very short so accuracy is key. Performance (lovingly known as Principles of Flight 2…) has proved to be another complex subject, with a lot of graph work as well as some more advanced ‘Principles of Flight’ style questions to do with the various stages of flight.

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The CRP-5 Flight Computer

After two weeks of module 2 ground school, we received our results from the CAA via email. After an extremely tense wait, I was thrilled to find out that I’d passed all seven exams first time and averaged much higher than my personal target! The results across CP110/EZMPL01 were fantastic, but with only five weeks until the end of ground school the work is yet again building up and it’ll soon be time to do it all over again. Our next round of mock exams begin in mid December, with our EASA finals scheduled for the beginning of January. All being well, we should then be off to New Zealand at the end of January to begin the core flying phase of our course. Whilst in New Zealand, we will be flying CTC’s Cessna 172 fleet for around five months before returning to the UK to complete the final six months at CTC in the A320 full motion simulator prior to moving onto the aircraft itself at EasyJet. We will also have modules taught by EasyJet training pilots, as well as a two day trip to the Luton base in October next year – it is so exciting to think of what lies ahead when we have finished ground school!

Just before I sign off, I’d just like to say a couple of other things…

  • Firstly, CP110/EZMPL01 are taking part in Movember and although there is more chance of me growing a second head than a decent mo, many of my course mates are more talented in the facial hair department, so there should be some fantastic mo’s on display! It’s all for a great cause, and you can check out our Mo Space at the following link: http://uk.movember.com/team/1298389
  • Finally, I’d just like to say a huge thanks to my family and friends for their continued support. The interest in the blog has also been overwhelming, with nearly 9000 views already! It’s great to see so many people interested, I just hope that my ramblings prove useful in some way. Thank you. As ever, you can contact me using the mail icon on the left sidebar of this page

Speak to you soon!

CTC Uniform

Time flies…

It’s pretty unbelievable how fast the past few weeks have gone. Next week will be the sixth week of groundschool for CP110/EZMPL01 and, with only Air Law and VFR/IFR communications left to cover, the work is piling up fast!  We are no longer the newest CP either, with CP111 (including EZMPL02, the second intake of easyJet MPL cadets) already at the end of week two.

The simulator hall
The simulator hall

So, groundschool….

Over the past few years, I have been told about the work involved with ATPL groundschool, but it still hasn’t prepared me for the amount of work we have to get through! We have already finished Aircraft General Knowledge, Instrumentation, Principles of Flight and Meteorology which may not look like much, but there is a LOT of theory contained within those four subjects. We have four or five days worth of lessons per week, with scheduled CBT (Computer Based Training) days which allow us to review what we have been taught, read through our CBT, complete progress tests and go through questions on the online question bank. We are the first CP using a new system called PadPilot, whereby our 14 ATPL theory books are all in the format of interactive iBooks on the iPad. It’s huge leap forward from the traditional pile of printed books, and allows us to take our work with us anywhere.

Out of the four subjects we have covered so far, I would say that Aircraft General Knowledge has been the one I have found the most interesting. The subject is broad, and is split up into Systems, Engines and Electrics which each cover a huge amount including hydraulic systems, fire protection, pneumatics, AC and DC electrics, gas turbines, propellers, piston engines……..I could go on! It’s nice to finally know more about how aircraft work, and just what is involved in keeping them in the air! For me, Principles of Flight has been the most challenging subject so far simply due to the number of graphs and formulas it involves. It really is hard work, and a lot of effort is required to stay on top of it all. Despite the sheer amount of theory, a lot of the subjects are really quite interesting and I’m not finding it too hard to sit down at my desk and study (unlike A-Level maths)….

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Principles of Flight Revision

The simulators at the Nursling training centre are a great resource for those of us in the Groundschool phase, so the instructors book us in for flights in the fixed base 737 to help reinforce the theory. A few weeks ago, myself and three of my housemates had a four hour simulator session and it was a fantastic experience which not only helped to boost our motivation, but reinforced some of the theory we have been covering. I found that it helped me get to grips with the concept of stability, and allowed us to have a closer look at some of the advanced Instrumentation used on the flight deck. We each did a number of general handling exercises and did manual approaches and landings at Gatwick. We also set up and executed a CATIII fully automated landing, and had a closer look at some of the complex systems on board the 737. We were at the training centre until around 9pm, and it was a great feeling to come home after having flown a 737 into Gatwick….

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The Boeing 737-700 flight deck!

Away from the 9 to 5, we have managed to fit in a few days out to help us relax and take our minds off of the theory. We have been Go-karting, had a couple of BBQs, the odd poker game and most recently, a day at the Bournemouth Airshow. I’ve never visited the airshow before, so I couldn’t get over the size of it and how many people were in attendance! The weather was perfect, and we saw a number of displays including the Red Arrows, the Blades and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight; another great motivation boost!

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The Red Arrows at Bournemouth
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The crowds on the beach…

So, that’s pretty much all I have to say! We have our mock exams two weeks on Monday and final exams just two weeks after that, which is a scary thought at the moment! It may be a few weeks until my next update but in the meantime, if you have any questions then you can contact me by clicking on the email icon on the left side of the screen.

Back to work I go….. speak soon!

Chris