Category: Groundschool

Phase 2 Exam Results

We finally got our exam results today, and I’ve passed all Phase 2 groundschool subjects and topped my previous mark, which I’m pleased with! With all ATPL groundschool subjects passed, I can now concentrate fully on the flying and aim to pass all flight tests first time! I’ll be flying again on Saturday, and I’m hoping for the weather to improve by then.

Phase 2 Over!

Phase 2 JAA exams are now over… I’ve already packed my books away to make space for my flying material! The results should be out in a couple of weeks or so and I’m hoping that the weeks of sitting in our rooms studying has paid off!  I’m flying out to UK soon for a few days and then back on Monday to continue with Phase 3 of training.

First wave of mocks

So far so good! We’ve done the mock exams for: Flight Planning, Aircraft General Knowledge – Instruments and Operational Procedures. The Flight Planning paper was 3 hours long, which I managed to finish in under 2 hours giving me plenty of time to check through my work. This is one of the exams where you’re typically pushed for time, so we’ll see how it goes in the real exam! The other two papers are no problem as far as time goes. The next set of papers to sit will be Aircraft Performance, Air Law, IFR & VFR Communications and Human Performance & Limitations. Then the real JAA exams a week after!

I’ve already booked my flight to go home for 3 days – taking the Ryanair from Jerez to Stansted and on the way back flying back via two flights, a domestic to Stansted and then back to Jerez. I wish Monarch would resume their Summer flights Manchester – Jerez! They were so much more convenient and their service is good.

Groundschool over..!

No more groundschool classes from now on..! This means the mock exams begin next week and the JAA exams are only around the corner and soon we’ll be in phase 3 of training! However, before all of that there’s a lot of information to consolidate and digest and memorise as well (especially when it comes to Air Law & Operational Procedures).

This space might be quiet for the next few weeks!


It’s been a while since I’ve actually been to the threshold, and in fact previously I never did actually go all the way there! This time we walked around the perimeter and to the threshold of Runway 20. I enjoy going out to the airport to take a few photos during my study breaks, to get out of my room and refresh myself! We went out after dinner and caught 3 commercial take-offs and one light aircraft landing. I also wanted to get my camera out to take a few photos anyway – I’ve not taken many in a while.

And MD-80 climbing away like a rocket, from runway 20! You can see the approach lights below.

The Jerez VOR is located on that hill:

This is the last week of groundschool, after which we’ll enter phase 3 of training, which is full-time flying! Mock exams are only a couple of weeks away now!

Sunset from the threshold:

Goodbye FRASCA!

I can finally say goodbye to the FRASCA – it’s a Synthetic Training Device (STD), a.k.a. a simulator for the warrior. They’ve been used as an aid to get familiar with and practice instrument flying before doing it for real. The last lesson was following an actual VOR approach plate for Jerez, which involved various procedures. We’re taught several different techniques such as following a DME arc (basically following the circumference of an imaginery circle extending from a radio beacon), holding in the air and procedure turns and then everything comes together in following instrument plates. I’m finding my computer flight simulator quite helpful in practicing some instrument procedures by myself and preparing for my lessons. The positive thing about a simulator is that a lesson with it can go ahead whatever the weather outside (unless of course a lightening bolt kicks the power out – it has happened before).

We’ll be in full-time groundschool from next week since the mock exams are only a few weeks away not. They start on April 24..! The sheer volume of information that needs to be digested is astounding, and it’s not a case of learn and memory dump, much of it has to be retained, as it is applied on the flying side and will be required later on, so things need to be constantly refreshed. On top of that we’re told that the legal document which we use for reference in Europe, JAR-OPS1 will be replaced by EU-OPS1 in July, so there’ll be plenty more reading yet!

Time to switch the air conditioning on!

It’s become considerably warm in the last week.. and I’ve not even turned the heating on once – and that’s saying something! I’m glad the Summer’s here, I hate the Winter! We’ve been taking advantage of the good weather and playing Tennis regularly in the courts outside. Unfortunately my car has broken down so I’ve not been able to make any spontaneous trips to the beach! The water reservoir is leaking, which means I can’t drive very far at all, so will have to get that checked at the garage. This comes at a very busy time for me! I’ve started to study hard for the next set of JAA exams, and that coupled with flying leaves me with very little time to do anything else!

Unfortunately, though it’s warm, the weather’s taken a down-turn lately with a low pressure system forming around us – so there won’t be much flying done anyway.  This leaves me extra time to study for the groundschool side of things.

Studying on the beach

Now that the second set of JAA exams are approaching, I’ve started to devote more time towards groundschool.  The great advantage of being in Spain, is that you can do this:

I needed a change of scenery, so drove over to the beach to relax and study.  Also, I hadn’t had the chance to watch the sunset at the beach, so I set off a few hours before sunset and took my camera with me.

Now that it’s getting much warmer outside, I’m more motivated to start palying Tennis again.  Goodbye Winter… for another few months at least!

Groundschool Progress Tests

We’ve been busy with written progress tests – this week and last week. Dividing time between flying and groundschool work was quite a challenge! This is the reason to why progress tests are done over two weeks in Phase 2 of training. A lot of the knowledge from the Phase 1 groundschool subjects now has to be applied – so it’s no good memory dumping it after exams! Progress tests went well.. but trying to get out to fly has been a bit of a challenge due to the weather.

Lately it’s been too windy to fly in the afternoon so since flights were cancelled, so we decided to make a quick trip to Gibraltar to do some shopping. A friend of mine was a BMW convertible, so we took it for a drive to Gibralatar! Never sat in a convertible before, so it was a lot of fun! I wanted to get a few home comforts, and then we went up for a drive up the rock and stopped to take a few photos.


Been so busy studying for the exams – we have our mocks in 2 weeks and then the real JAA exams the week after! That’s why this space has been pretty quiet lately. We’ve finished the syllabus in most of our subjects quite early, leaving us more time to revise and study.

Other than studying, we went out for a short field-trip a couple of weeks ago for Engines (Power Plants) class. Our class went along to the hangers to prod and touch a Piper Seneca.

It’s far easier to be shown how an engine works when it’s there in front of you!

Here a photo of the sky I took a couple of weeks ago when we trekked over to the threshold of the runway.

From my Meteorology class I know that we’re looking at a towering cumulus that’s developing into a CB (cumulonimbus) which gave us thunderstorm less than an hour later that day!

Earlier on today we went onto the apron to take a few class photos – will post them up when I get them. We also strolled over to a parked Air Greenland B757-20o and took a few photos next to it, in various poses! I also took the opportunity to take Nikki out for her first public outing (my new Nikon D80) – took quite a few photos and those will be posted up later as well.

I’ve been wanting a Nikon D80 for months now, so I’m glad that I finally own one! It will take some time to figure out how everything works, but I’m up for the challenge and I’m already enjoying the extra room this camera has given me. No doubt I’ll be out on the weekend during study-breaks taking a few more photos of aircraft!