Week two of ground school phase one is now complete and the pace of the course is starting to increase!
The start of the week felt much more settled and we are starting to feel less like the new kids (a feeling that won’t completely go way until AP359 start in two weeks). It has been a relatively straight forward week as we continue to work through the EASA syllabus and get ready for Test 1’s (a progress test after 6 weeks).
In Aircraft Instruments we continued to look at the pressure instruments, focusing on the Altimeter and the Mach Meter. Both of which are relatively simple, although they will involve a bit of maths in the exam. The importance of understanding the pressure instruments became apparent when we watch a documentary about Air France flight 744, which disappeared over the Atlantic in 2009. During the flight the pressure sensors became blocked and therefore the pilot was receiving incorrect information from his instruments. As he was unable to spot the problem the aircraft stalled and ultimately crashed. In aviation an incident is never caused by one single element and this is also true of AF744, however it really shows how important our ground school training is!
In piston engines we began looking at methods of cooling and lubricating an engine as well as the fuel it needs to run. In Airframes we began looking at aircraft hydraulics, which play a massive part in the automation of modern aircraft. In Electrics we looked a fuses and batteries, which is much more basic than my degree knowledge (at the moment!). In Meteorology we looked at Pressure Systems, Density and Temperature – yes it is as interesting as it sounds! In Principles of Flight we looked at how an aircraft stays in the air – this time it wasn’t due to PFM (Pure F*cking Magic). And finally in Human Performance we continued to look at the effects of flying on the human body. All in all a busy week!
The week wasn’t all work – its really important to take some time out of studying (as our instructors keep telling us). Tuesday night was our usual 2-4-1 pizza night in Kidlington. Its always a nice relaxing atmosphere and so far we have had a different group of people turn up each time. This week we banned anyone from discussing the course as we had already had a pretty intense day. That didn’t quite go to plan, however the balance of conversation worked well!
We aso discovered that someone on our course (who shall remain nameless) has an obsession with penguins… This has lead us to create a course mascot – a penguin in a pilots uniform. He has been named Captain Cam (after our Piston Engine instructor who has an obsession with cam shafts!).
On Thursday it was Happy Hour in school – an evening for all courses to get together over a few (free) beers. Unfortunately a lot of our course decided not to come along so we were only a small group – we still had a great time though. That night we went into Oxford with AP355 (who had just completed phase 1) and AP357 (the course above us). It was a great night!!!