I was lucky to have gotten my first choice out of my 3 given for the base to do my supernumerary flights out of. This was less than an hour away from home, and so it was very convenient. These flights also gave me a good opportunity to get to know the base and the people that work there.
I have sat on the jumpseat previously, when I was following my friends at Luton and Stansted, and those were early morning flights. However, this was the first time I got the opportunity to see some night flying. We were all rostered for a minimum of 12 sectors and I went to Alicante, Bergamo, Murcia and some shorter sectors to Ireland. I carefully observed how the first officer organised himself with the paperwork, as this was in particular, a new element to line flying and was interesting to see how it was put into the flow to ensure a quick and efficient turn around. I also got some advice on the essential items to carry in the flight bag – such as a torch to use during the night time when doing the walk-around, a print-out of useful volmet/ATIS frequencies we use to get the weather, a map of Ryanair destinations & bases and “The Pilots’ Atlas”. I also bought myself a Sennheiser headset which has active noise-reduction (HMEC 25-KA), which made the environment much more comfortable.
I enjoyed the night flying – the flight deck had a very relaxed atmosphere at night. The lighting was dim to ensure good night vision and it almost felt like mood lighting! The flight deck really does look pretty at night.
I helped out with the paperwork to gain further practice at completing it, and also followed the first officer around on the walk-around to get a better insight into it. I tried to absorb as much information and gain as much advice as I could, as I will be flying next week.