Saturday, 27 October 2012

Head full of flying facts

British Airways Future Pilot Program group BA04 (CAE Oxford Aviation Academy division)
Those who don't know me will have to guess which one I am!
I'm back home with my lovely wife after my first week at flight school, catching up with much-needed sleep and waiting for my head to stop spinning — it is so full of flying facts I'm even starting to dream about them.

The school day goes something like this; up at 7am, smart uniform on, breakfast at 7.30, bus to school at 8 and time for coffee and chat before classes at 8.30.

There are typically four or five taught lessons per day and one or two computer based training sessions, all which last an hour. With breaks we are finished around 4.30pm. Head back to the digs, uniform off, and time for exercise, snooze or study until dinner at 6pm. There are a couple of hours in the evening for more study or a perhaps a quiet pint before hitting the sack and then up to do it all over again.

Getting in enough sleep is not easy (especially for those missing their 'other halves') and by Friday lunchtime the eyelids were certainly drooping.

There are 26 in our class, and we even sit in the same places; very school-like. But we are not kids and there is no need for the instructors to maintain perfect political correctness. There are plenty of laughs and lots of strong characters which makes the work more fun and more memorable. How does a flight data computer work? Pure Magic. Make sense? Yes, we are lovin it, lovin it a lot.

The content of the lessons is (so far) only moderately complex, but the volume is relentless. For me, it's great, I can hoover this stuff up all day. Admittedly I have a big advantage that I have seen a lot of it before and I am extending existing knowledge; without this keeping up with the material would be a huge challenge.

We are studying seven subjects in parallel which can sometimes be confusing, for example it is very difficult to understand how pressure instruments work before you understand the theory of flight. But soon the overlaps between the subjects becomes clear and they start to re-enforce each other giving a deeper understanding.

The expected standard is high; it has been made clear that we are to achieve at least 85% average in our final exams, with a first time pass in all subjects. Sounds daunting, but the groups ahead of us have been consistently scoring in the high 90s and I see no reason why we can't beat that!

Working and living together means getting to know each other quickly and becoming fast friends — sharing lifts, helping each other out with study questions and so on. Already it feels like we've been doing this for weeks. My classmates already trust me enough to let me lead them blind over pitch dark muddy fields with only the promise of a decent pub at the other end!

That's all for now, I have some important chilling out to do before it all starts again at 7am on Monday...

1 comment:

  1. You're the spiffing chap with the tie, no less!


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