We had to convert our UK CAA licenses to the ones issued by the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) for administration purposes, and I had started that process earlier in the year, just before I began the type rating. My license had been ready the day after I did my LST, but without the 737 rating on it, since I still had base training to do at the time. I decided it would be more convenient to wait to get base training done and then pick up the license with the rating on it, so I delayed the pick-up till today.
Last week, we got all the necessary paperwork for rating issue completed and we were given original documents to present to the IAA in Dublin. This meant that we had to take great care not to lose theses very important pieces of paperwork, otherwise our line training (when you first start flying passengers) could be delayed for months! I did intend on going to Dublin right away, however I was really exhausted from all the travelling and early mornings with little sleep in between, so decided to get rest on the weekend. I flew out from Liverpool John Lennon Airport on a very short flight to Dublin, to meet up with a friend of mine who was also there to pick up his license. We had the privilege of travelling on the jumpseat without charge, as it was work related. We are allowed to use these privileges provided it is for work, and we follow the guidelines that are set out for us.
We both took the early flight out to Dublin, and so met up around 7.45am. It felt a bit like deja vu, since only a few months ago we were at the same place & time, meeting up just before the type rating to go to a conference our accountants had set up for us, except this time we were here to pick up our licenses. We had breakfast and had a nostalgic look back at our experiences during the type rating and what was to lie ahead of us. We’ve been to Dublin once before, so we knew our way around, so it didn’t feel as daunting to be there this time around. I was glad that it wasn’t dull and raining this time! We reached the IAA office in the centre of Dublin, and within 20 minutes, my license was issued! I was excited to see the 737-300 to 900 rating on my license after all the hard work put in the type rating.
We took the opportunity to meet up with our accountants again, and then I went to meet up with a friend of mine before flying back. I’ve been rostered for supernumerary flights over the next 3 days – to learn and observe before I’m on the line myself!