The lack of updates here is some indication of how busy we’ve all been on Course 68! Since my last entry, we’ve taken our JAA Phase 1 examinations, got our results and now have started Phase 2!
We managed to get through Phase 1 groundschool quicker than what you’d expect normally, so we ended up having a few days of extra for study – so our study week was extended by a few days. Everyday was pretty much the same for me – get up early in the morning to get a headstart on my studying for the day, and then finish up around 8 – 9pm and relax for a couple of hours. I usually went out for pizza or kebab in the evenings just to get out of my room for a bit. I’d usually get out onto the apron just before dinner to play around with my new Nikon D80 and watch the planes coming in and leaving… and look forward to the exams being over and to do some flying! Both the mock exams and the JAA exams went very well, and I’m glad to have gotten Phase 1 of groundschool done with! I found the 9 – 5pm groundschool far too routine and mundane towards the end, even though the subjects themselves are interesting… so I’m glad we’re now adding flying to the mix!
We were given 6 days off after the exams, which most of us spent going back home and spending time with family & friends. It was a good break and it did go very quickly! First day of Phase 2 involved collecting all the manuals for the next set of groundschool subjects: Air Law, Operations, Human Performance, Aircraft Performance, Flight Planning, Instruments. Air Law & Ops seem to be huge subjects.. very large, scary manuals! The Operations department also had a few things to give us – aircraft checklists, maps, flying reference material, syllabus, logbooks, headsets, etc. We’re in two or three person groups and have the same instructor so we can learn from each other and by observation and to also work together when preparing for flights.
The CAA exam results just came out yesterday and then we got the afternoon off groundschool to celebrate our results. It’s good to finally have our results in front of us – we’re all a bit more relaxed now and can really enjoy and get on with the next phase. Unfortunately the weather was awful on the first day allocated to flying.. so nobody went up! Nevertheless, we met up with our instructors and went through the brief to make good use of our time and then we were timetabled with some groundschool. The point of that being that we can do some groundschool when the weather is bad and we can’t fly anyway, so that some time can be given back for flying when the weather is good. Initially we weren’t keen with having to made to go to class on a flying day.. but it makes sense to get ahead on groundschool and make good use of our time!
I did manage to fly yesterday though – the weather just about cleared up in time for me, and so I was lucky. It was a pretty simple, albeit important lesson – looking at the effects of controls and how the aircraft reacts to the pilot’s inputs. It was a lot of fun – we got to see some Spanish Army helicopters doing a formation flight, got to do most of the radio calls and also managed to land the aeroplane in a 10 knot crosswind!
Now, time to memorise some checks and prepare for the next flight!