The First Hurdle
Six weeks into the course, and there we have it. My first set of examinations.
Training and development is a key component in the aviation industry, and even after this 16-month course is completed, our training will continue. Every airline pilot flying today will have spent time maintaining their skill set through simulator checks, as often as every six months for their entire career.
This week proved the intensity of our training, when we sat five trial examinations to prepare us for the real thing in just over eight weeks time. When I first began the ground school phase, I hadn't realised quite how quickly this point would come around. We were already being tested on material we'd learned as little as three days before the exam, and there was a lot of it!
To me, these exams showed the depth of knowledge we'd require, and that even with many hours of revision, I'd still need to do more! However, I was thrilled to receive solid percentage passes in all of my exams. The majority of the course are very happy with their results, and enjoyed spending an evening off from studying to celebrate making it over the first hurdle.
Following our debriefs, we made immediate progress into the rest of the phase one syllabus, which so far we've learned holds some complex topics including gyroscopes and aircraft stability.
Outside the world of exam study, just over two weeks ago I was given the opportunity to take a back seat in a training flight. A student coming toward the end of his training was completing his Instrument Rating, and spent approximately two hours practising missed approaches, stalling, and upset recovery. It was great to be back in the air, and to be reminded that within 12 months, I'll be in the left-hand seat of a similar twin-engined Seneca PA34 completing my Core Phase of flight training.
Walking back from class yesterday I also managed to get a glimpse of the latest addition to the MPL training aircraft fleet at Oxford, G-MPLE, another Cessna C182T with full EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System, similar to the display used in the Airbus A320 fleet). Earlier easyJet courses, who are currently in their flying phase of training, will shortly be taking to the skies in "Echo" and "Foxtrot", the two new aircraft. I'll be flying them in the new year, along with my seven EZY07 course mates, whilst the rest of our class head out to the warmer climes of Phoenix, Arizona for their flight training.
So, a whirlwind couple of weeks, just over four months of ground school to go, and I'm still enjoying every moment. Time flies!