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

My airline pilot training begins!

Hello everyone!

For once, I have some news of my own to share with you. Last month, I had the chance to sit an assessment for the easyJet cadet pilot programme with CTC in Southampton. The first of these assessments involved a day spent at Dibden Manor, the headquarters of the CTC Aviation Group. Although daunting at first, it was a very enjoyable day that went very quickly! The day included aptitude and maths tests, group exercises and individual interviews (plus an amazing lunch)! I was unaware of just how nice the CTC headquarters at Dibden are; the buildings and grounds are very impressive, and the staff instantly make you feel at home.

To my surprise, I was then put forward to an easyJet assessment at Luton which was scheduled for a few weeks later and, I’m extremely pleased to say that…..

I PASSED!

So, this means that I will be beginning my pilot training with CTC this Summer! It’s incredible to think that in a few weeks I will be moving down to Southampton to begin the ATPL theory stage of the training programme with my coursemates on CP110

Dibden Manor, CTC Aviation Ltd Headquarters

For those of you who don’t already know, the ‘MPL’ is a new type of license which will train me specifically to fly easyJet’s Airbus A320. Instead of the traditional CPL/IR in a multi-engine propeller aircraft, I will be doing a vast amount of training in the A320 simulators using easyJet operating procedures, preparing me specifically for the multi-crew jet environment. Before this there is, of course, a phase where we will train on single engine piston aircraft. With CTC, this is done out in New Zealand on the Cessna 172! If you’d like to know more about the MPL, there is a link at the bottom of this post to a CTC interview with the ‘Father of the MPL’, Dieter Harms.

easyJet A319-100

easyJet A319

So, the next few weeks will involve a lot of preparation and paperwork! Perhaps it will start to sink in soon as well, as I still can’t quite believe it. I will be sure to keep you all updated!

http://youtu.be/E60dYDaXn08 << An interview with Dieter Harms, ‘Father of the MPL’