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!

Georgie Sweeney – “I just wanted to fly big metal tubes through the sky” (Guest Blog)

My name is Georgie and I’m a 19 year old cadet pilot at CTC wings. As I write this I am at the stage between finishing my Module 1 ATPL theory exams and starting the second set. I started my training in February and should hopefully be finished around summer 2014.

I haven’t had much flying experience at all; in fact, I’ve only had an hour! For my 18th birthday, my parents bought me a trial lesson at Shoreham Airport in a Diamond DA40, which I thoroughly loved. I was able to take control of this machine and finally get a feel of what it is like to soar through the air high above the ground. This merely confirmed to me that I needed to get into the skies as soon as possible!

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Georgie on his trial flight at Shoreham

Even before this lesson I had never considered any other career. It has always been a pilot – and always an airline one; military flying has never particularly appealed to me. Give me an A320 over a Eurofighter and day of the week! Remember when you wrote little stories in infant school, and your family patronisingly asked what you’re going to be? Instead of replying “I want to be a rockstar”, or “I’d love to be superman”, I just wanted to fly big metal tubes through the sky. As I grew up I researched various ways to make this dream a reality, although I never imagined that I would be able to make it a reality. I researched plenty of flying schools, the RAF and any other way possible, although decided that the way for me was an integrated course with a flight training organisation. After finishing my GCSEs and A Levels I finally applied to CTC Wings, and to my surprise I was asked along to assessment, where I was offered a place on the course. I was over the moon – I had finally opened to door to my dream career!

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One of CTC’s full motion simulators

As I mentioned, I began training at the end of February, where until now I have been studying seven of the fourteen ATPL theory subjects, and I begin the final seven in a few days’ time. This phase of ground school is by no means easy, and it has made me realise just how much I want this. Once I have finished these exams in a few months’ time, I make my way out to New Zealand for nine months to gain my CPL, flying both DA20s or Cessna 172s, before moving on to DA42s. After this I fly back to the UK to complete my instrument rating at Bournemouth in more DA42s, followed by my Airline Qualification Course. Writing it down makes it all sound so easy! After this, I end up in the big wide world of commercial aviation, finally getting to fly my Airbus, Boeing, or maybe even Embraer at 36,000ft and Mach .78.

I still have to pinch myself that this is actually happening, and I honestly don’t think it has still sunken in! If you have the flying bug, and dream of spreading your wings – do it, because if you don’t? Well, you’re bound to regret it!

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Looks fun!
You can follow Georgie’s progress over at his own blog – http://georgiegotwings.blogspot.co.uk . Good luck with the rest of your training Georgie!
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