Back to the Classroom
My course is now two weeks into ground school, and I for one cannot believe how quickly these last two weeks have gone.
We've made strong progress into the first phase of subjects covered by the ATPL (Airline Transport Pilot License) theory syllabus, these are:
- Aircraft General Knowledge - Instrumentation
- Aircraft General Knowledge - Systems
- Human Performance and Limitations
- Principles of Flight
- VFR Communications
- IFR Communications
Ground school lasts approximately 26 weeks, and is split into two phases. For my course, the seven subjects above are due to be examined around the beginning of October (now in just 13 weeks time!), whilst the remaining seven subjects are taught and examined over the latter 11 weeks of ground school.
As you may have seen, CAE Oxford Aviation Academy provide each of us with the necessary text books and equipment required for the exams.
So far, I've found each of the subjects to be interesting, even though some classes can be demanding. To put just one of the exams into perspective, the "Aircraft General Knowledge - Systems" exam lasts for two hours and is comprised of 80 questions from three textbooks (over 1100 pages of theory!)
The syllabus is taught over seven 1-hour lessons per day, five days per week. The classes progress at a fast pace, although the highly-motivated instructors ease our understanding. Some of the lessons during the week are known as "Computer Based Training", where we follow interactive video clips in one of the computer suites, to reinforce our knowledge of a subject before taking a short quiz.
During the past week of glorious weather (largely due to blocking anticyclones - as we learned in Meteorology!), I've been fortunate enough to spend time with my course mates outside school, as well as admiring the various aircraft operating out of London Oxford Airport. It's easy to remind ourselves what the hard work is all about.
It's also becoming very apparent how important working well as a team is to our course's combined success. Even in these early stages, we're helping each other out where we can. I've met 22 great people over the last two weeks, and I'm glad to be sharing a course with all of them.
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My class has now got just over four weeks until our first set of internal exams. Which for me, means spending less time smiling for photos and more time revising!