CTC easyJet Cadet Pilot Programme – Week One

The past few weeks have passed by faster than I could have ever imagined. From finishing my last shift at my retail job just a few weeks ago, I’m now living in a new house and am officially enrolled on course EZMPL01 (part of CP110) at CTC Aviation. To be here training at last feels amazing, and pretty unbelievable!

After a relaxed week  frantic couple of days of packing early last week, I loaded up my car and set off to Southampton for our ‘Meet and Greet’ day. It felt great to be back at the Nursling centre and pretty unbelievable to think that I was there to pick up my house keys rather than attending an open day! The day was well organised, and after picking up our keys in the morning we had a few hours to settle into our houses before returning for the Meet and Greet. The day allows cadets and parents to speak with the staff and find out more about what we are about to take on, and is also where we first meet face to face, try on our uniforms and collect our equipment. An EasyJet training captain was also in attendance to present each of us with our first set of epaulettes and spoke to those of us on EZMPL01 about the course outline and our future careers at easyJet. As the course name suggests, this is CTCs very first easyJet MPL course and it’s very exciting to be a part of. Throughout the duration of our course, we have a liaison easyJet pilot (who is himself an ex-CTC cadet) on hand for any questions we have, as well as regular contact and updates from EasyJet via email. It’s pretty cool to be receiving easyJet staff emails already – it allows us to keep up to date on the latest company news, and really makes us feel like part of the airline even at this early stage!

After some refreshments and a tour of the facilities, we had our pictures taken for easyJet and we slowly made our way back to the house to finish unpacking and have a good look around the local area. An early night beckoned, however, as we were up early the following morning for APD1. This was the first of our Airline Preperation Days which target the development of key skills needed by commercial pilots, and it was extremely well delivered by a couple of hugely experienced commercial pilots who lecture at CTC. The day also aims to address any concerns about what we are taking on and put us in the right frame of mind for the start of Groundschool.

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A lot of time will be spent here…

Friday night and Saturday morning involved a meet up with the other members of CP110 in Southampton which was great fun, but what we were all really looking forward to was the official course start on Monday. It was pretty amazing to put on my uniform for the first time!

Now, when people tell you there is a lot to learn, they aren’t lying – we started off on Aircraft General Knowledge and have already started Instruments! So far, I’m finding the workload manageable and the theory is proving really interesting (but ask me again when we arrive on Air Law)! Generally, after finishing our day at the training centre, we drive back and have a half hour break before working for around three hours going over the days theory and doing some practice questions. I’m living with five other easyJet MPL cadets, and we are all getting on really well. It’s great to be in a house with like minded guys, and we are finding that talking through the days theory is a great way to get to grips and fully understand the subjects. On Thursday we were scheduled to have our first CBT day, but we were called into the training centre as the easyJet Head of Training and Chief Pilot were visiting. We had a room set aside for us to work through our theory and later in the afternoon we had a fantastic talk with them both about the airline and our training. It was fantastic to hear more about the airline, and all of our questions were answered honestly and with a bit of Scottish humour! There is a ‘buzz’ and excitement from both CTC and easyJet about both the MPL and Wings courses, and it’s great that we get the opportunity to speak to such senior employees from the airline – another advantage of training where the airlines train!

So, that is my first week in a nutshell! Next week we will be concluding Instruments before returning to AGK the week after. My next post won’t be too far off, as I’m sure I’ll have something to talk about…

Speak soon!

Nick Lee – “When I grow up I want to be a Pilot” (Guest Blog)

Share your Story!

In the very first Guest Blog, Nick writes about his love of flying and tells us how he started. If you would like to write a Guest Blog, you can contact me by commenting on the site or by tweeting me at @CJBstudentpilot 

All photos in this post belong to Nick Lee.

‘When I grow up I want to be a pilot”!

…A sentence that I didn’t say when I was a child. Flying and becoming a pilot surprisingly wasn’t something I dreamt of doing from a young age, like most people. So, how did it all start out?

I had always been fascinated about aircraft as a young child, but I never really wanted to fly them. I liked the idea of how aircraft could defy gravity and how they could soar high above the earth effortlessly, while taking passengers around the world. I think my main aim was to design aircraft and and become an aircraft engineer.
At school I never worked to the best of my ability, because as teenagers you have so many distractions around you, therefore it is easy to get distracted by the simplest of things such as computer games and social networking sites. Having passed all my GCSEs, it was the next decision to make in life. So September 2010 came around, I went onto studying Aviation at College for two years, having decided I wanted to do something within Aviation. A good month had past and I was really enjoying the course! All the lecturers had previously worked in the aviation industry, therefore they had a lot of raw knowledge of the whole industry It wasn’t until a friend in my class mentioned the words PPL and Flying in class, would I have known anything about learning to fly or becoming a pilot. Later that night after class, I went home and searched about learning to fly and where to start, as the thought of learning to fly really intrigued me. Every night I looked up more and more information about flying and it just dawned on me that I really wanted to become a pilot!
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January 2011 came around. My parents kindly enough bought me a trial flight at a my local aerodrome and I was instantly hooked after the one hour flight in the Piper PA28 Warrior III. Exactly a month after my trial flight I startedmy Private Pilots License in the PA28 Warrior III at 16 Years Old. Training was thoroughly enjoyable and I completed my first solo on 12th July 2011. From August 2011-August 2012, I kept on having lessons every now and then. This obviously wasn’t the best for currency and training, but college and other work was really slowing me down. From August 2012, I said to myself that you have to complete your PPL before March 2013. Therefore I studied hard in order to complete the rest of my PPL exams and I finished off with a 94% average between all the 7 exams, which was very surprising! I had also started having lessons again on a weekly basis, which also benefited me a lot. I was also very lucky to have got so many lessons in during the winter period, but it was all down to my instructor pushing me in order to reach my goal. Before you knew it, I was ready for my PPL Skills Test. My skills test was on the 8th December 2012 and yes I was nervous! I won’t talk about the Skills Test too much, but all I will say is that I was tested on everything I learnt during my training. Therefore if you make any mistakes during your test, don’t feel like its an immediate fail, just listen to what the examiner has to say and take everything on-board. At the end of the day, they’re not there to fail you, but to ensure you can operate the aircraft safely and efficiently. At 1415 we landed, just as the horrible weather was approaching and I really didn’t having a clue if I passed or failed! About 5 minutes later, while taxxing back to the apron, the examiner said ‘Ill put you out of your misery…….you PASSED!’ I really wasn’t expecting to hear that! From not knowing I wanted to be a pilot until two years ago, to becoming a pilot. I just felt overwhelmed! This was really the start of the next step in life! (Word of Advice- Just treat the examiner like your instructor/friend and have fun! Good Luck to anyone that’s working towards their skills test!)
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Nick taxiing at Perranporth
A month on (January 2013), my EASA PPL License had come through the door and my word was I happy! I had also bought a share in an aircraft in order to start hour building towards my commercial pilots license. As I write this, I am still hour building and enjoying it very much so! It’s truly amazing how I can travel around the UK and Europe in order to visit different airfields and cities and build up my flying experience. Fortunately I have been able to fly a lot recently therefore have had the chance to visit a lot of airfields in the UK. I am also nearing the 100 hour mark! I am due to start my ATPLs in September 2013, this will be 6 months of hard work but it’ll mean I am one step closer towards my dream!
Once again Thank You to ‘thestudentpilotblog’ for letting me write about my experience up till now! And I hope anyone wanting to become a pilot can follow their dream! You can follow my Youtube Channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/Nickilaa or Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/hdflyingvideos for the latest updates and flying videos during my hour building and training!
 
Happy Flying from Nickilaa
Nick at the controls of a PA28 earlier this year