Friday 20 September 2013

One down, twenty-five to go...

As the title says, one week down and twenty-five to go. Or at least, the teaching element is over for this week; there is still the personal reinforcement/revision to do over this evening and the weekend.

This week has been brilliant. Set aside the massive feel good factor of the fact that I'm on the road to my dream and this week has still been brilliant. Being not long out of uni I'm more au fait with classroom based learning than some on my course, but we've all been helping each other. Individual study in the evening usually turns into tea/coffee (and occasionally beer) and biscuits powered group study where we give it large bouncing questions off one another and having a good old laugh.

On the subject of laughs, lectures continue apace and with no sign of a let up in the number of anecdotes, wisecracks and jokes. Having sat through countless dry hours of death by powerpoint (not lovin' it) I cannot describe how much more conducive this environment is to rapid learning of a lot of material - this also applies to the previously mentioned group sessions in the evenings.

For those thinking of treading this path, or who are just interested, the subjects covered are:

Phase 1
Airframes and Structures
Human Performance and Limitation
Principles of Flight

Phase 2
Flight Performance
Flight Planning and Monitoring
General Navigation
Radio Navigation
Operational Procedures
Air Law (Air Bore, as it's known)

Phase one covers the period from the start of the course through progress test 1 (in week six) and on to school finals in December and JAA/EASA ATPL exams in the new year. Phase two starts after two weeks of post exam leave and goes through progress test 2 after four weeks and on to school finals and JAA/EASA ATPL exams at the beginning of April (right over my 22nd birthday..!). Then a short spot of leave and on to America for basic flying training. The phase one modules are generally the groundwork theory that will allow us to take apart any system on the aeroplane, fix it and then fix any passengers broken in the process (HP&L). Phase two is the practical side of things (except air bore, kept there so we don't get too ahead of ourselves) and readies us for the practical training in America, of which more as time goes on. You may also have noticed that phase two is rather shorter than phase one; there's just as much to learn, they just reckon you're fully spooled up into learning mode by then. (Sorry, had to get in an aircraft based play on words somewhere...)

And on that note, it's time to sign off for this update. I'll try to update about once a week, probably at the end of the week at about this time. Lovin' it!

p.s. If you're interested in the experience at other flying schools, may I recommend the blog of a friend of mine who started at CTC about three weeks before I started at Oxford: Chris Burrows CTC Wings Blog
p.p.s. For those who aren't fully conversant with the wonderful world of acronyms...

ATPL - Air Transport Pilot's License
EASA - European Aviation Safety Agency
JAA - Joint Aviation Authorities

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