Induction – Days 4, 5 & 6 – SEP
We spent day 4 going through the cabin safety procedures and dangerous goods. The safety procedures included items such as how to open/close doors and arm/disarm slides, cabin lights, emergency exits and their operation, location of emergency equipment and how to use them and more. The dangerous goods theory involved learning all the different classes of dangerous goods – which was revision really since we had covered this at ATPL theory, and then some company procedures in relation to dangerous goods. Once we had done the theory, and been demonstrated how to use items such as fire extinguishers and protective breathing equipment (PBE), we were then ready for the practical. This involved going into a simulated environment which required us to fight a small fire in a mock up of an aircraft cabin. We were shown how to safely fight a fire and the roles to play, which involved CRM & teamwork. This was the fun part! We had a go at putting on the PBE and using the fire extinguishers and finding our way around a smokey cabin.
On day 5, we met up at a leisure centre to conduct the practical survival & ditching exercise. This was the part I was most nervous about, as I’m not a strong swimmer. Nonetheless, the swimming I had been doing over the previous weeks, along with the support and encouragement from my other course mates, made it easy! We had to swim unaided and then were asked to rescue one of our course mates – which involved dragging them across the pool whilst keeping their head above the water. Then another exercise was to go into the pool and get a life jacket, put it on and inflate it, and then gather in a circle and sing a song! Once we had done the pool exercise, we had an hour or so to get ready and get a snack, and then we met up at the training centre once again to go through some details and information on company security procedures. Most of it was already covered in a CBT we had to do in order to get our airside pass, however we also covered some company-specific security procedures. At the end of the day, we drove down to Stansted to stay overnight and meet up at the Ryanair hangar the next day.
Day 6 was the practical cabin training and what all of us had been looking forward to – especially going down the slides! We met up at the hangar around 8.30am. The hangar is huge – space for a few 737-800′s and housed a cabin trainer and class rooms. When we were there, it had one very shiny 737-800, which was ready to be pushed back out of the hangar. We started out by going through some theory and revising some of the material we had gone through the previous days. Then each of us had a go at opening/closing the doors and arming/disarming the slides. Whilst a pair of us were being briefed on how to deal with incapacitation in the flight deck, the rest of us practiced sliding down the slides and inspecting the cabin equipment. Finally, we received more training in survival theory which involved working in teams to figure out what we’d do in hypothetical situations such as being stranded at sea, looking at ground to air signals, first aid, hypoxia, etc. The day went rather quickly, and when we were finished, I dropped some of my friends off at the airport and a few of us went out for dinner.
The week ahead will involve plenty of study – going through the SOPs, FCOMs, CBTs, etc. We then meet up in Sweden by the 22nd, which is when the course starts there.