Returning to the skies

It’s been two years since I last flew an aircraft solo, and it’s been almost a year since I’ve flown one with an instructor so, needless to say, it has been absolutely amazing to get back in the sky after all this time. Nothing quite beats the feeling of waking up on a sunny morning for a flying lesson, and I’m feeling very privileged and thankful to be out here doing just that. As it has been a while since I flew regularly I was well aware that I could be quite rusty, but thankfully after a few lessons it all started to feel very familiar and it has been great to learn new skills and improve on things that I covered during my flying back in the UK. Now, this post is quite picture heavy so you may have to scroll for a while (I promise that it’s worth it)!!

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Awesome views whilst flying at 6500ft over the coast near Raglan

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Me on finals for Runway 18L!

As is always the way, the course out in New Zealand is passing by very quickly. After completing our Air Law and NZ Differences exams, the flight training started with four simulator sessions looking at the basics of flight, the G1000 system, as well as a brief introduction to IMC flight to allow us to appreciate the differences even at this early stage of training. After that, we began lessons on basic control, steep turns, stall, stall recovery and circuits and circuit emergencies in the Cessna 172. The lessons are all 1.3 hours in length, and cadets usually report to the training centre around two hours before the off blocks time to allow time for flight preparation, which includes: Continue reading

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Flyer Exhibitions: Vital for aspiring Airline Pilots

I’m writing this post after yet another brilliant day spent at the Flyer Exhibition at London Heathrow. For those who do not know, Flyer Exhibitions are bi-annual events that take place at Terminal 5 (Others take place abroad in places such as Brussels and Milan) and are essential for anyone thinking about embarking on a career as a pilot. I first visited Flyer at the age of 14, and I cannot express how helpful the events have been for me.

Essentially, the event gathers together FTO’s (Flight Training Organisations), Airlines, Universities and various aviation groups, allowing you to find information on everything from training with a particular FTO or University, to bursaries and scholarships that are available, right up to information on recruitment and industry outlooks. It was here that I first had a face to face discussion with staff and cadets from CTC, Oxford Aviation Academy, BCFT, ProPilot, and many more FTO’s, and the format adopted by most allows you to speak face to face with Instructors, Students and Managers – all of which gives you an honest and well informed insight into the various training courses on offer.

Seminars from airlines, cadets, as-well as various aviation organisations are dotted throughout the day and serve as a great way to learn about such things as recruitment. This year for example, Ian Baston, Director of Flight Operations at Flybe, delivered a detailed presentation on the airline and how they recruit, as well as giving an outlook on the airlines’ future growth and on the Industry as a whole. Other seminars included a cadet talking about his experience training for West Atlantic under a scheme run in conjunction with ProPilot, a Coventry based ATPL ground-school provider. British Airways also gave a seminar on their Future Pilot Programme, and there was also an earlier seminar discussing Higher Apprenticeships.

In short, if you are trying to decide where to undergo your training and haven’t already visited a Flyer event, I can hand on heart say that you must attend one before deciding where to train. It’s from Flyer where you can get a true feel for the various organisations and the courses they offer, and most importantly, it’s a place to get all of your questions answered. From here, it is easy to arrange visits and to attend open days offered by many FTO’s (a vital step to allow you to get a feel for the facilities and the course/s on offer). I should emphasize that all methods of training are represented at Flyer; be it Integrated, Modular, Degree courses, Hour building courses or Groundschool training. It really is a great opportunity to contrast and compare the different ways that training can be done, all in one place.

Even now, when I am very close to starting my commercial training, Flyer provided an informative, reliable and enjoyable day out that allowed me to get the latest updates on training and recruitment straight from the horses mouth: the guys providing the training and the airlines recruiting.

Information on future Flyer Exhibitions can be found on the official website at http://exhibitions.flyer.co.uk/ .

Speak soon!