Week four is now complete and with it the first month of Ground School. We are now a third of the way through Phase One and a sixth of the way through Ground School. AP359 started yesterday (Friday) which means we are no longer the newbies.
On paper this week seemed a lot simpler than week 3, however the work load seemed to step up this week making everything a little more complex. In Principles of Flight we began to look at stability – the subject everyone has said is the most difficult! At the moment it seems pretty straight forward however we have only scratched the surface. Looking ahead the whole of stability is 100 pages of a 700 page text book (a large percentage of PoF). In Piston Engines we looked at propellers, again probably the most complex part of the subject. Propellers would fit much better in PoF rather than Piston Engines as it is all about aerodynamic flow, with the prop being a regular aerofoil (similar to a wing). The other subject causing problems this week was Meteorology. We started to look at Wind, lower winds to be specific. For some reason this subject just didn’t click with me this week, I spent a lot of time going over and over the subject with very little success. On Friday we had a double lesson to finish the day and I feel like the whole thing finally clicked. The subject is actually a lot simpler than I first thought and therefore I feel like I have been overthinking it!
In Airframes we continued to look at Landing Gear, Wheels and Braking systems, all very straight forward. We were scheduled for a lot of Human Performance this week which meant we finished the subject (for Test 1) and were able to do 3 practice papers! Next week we have been scheduled for another 6 hours so I have no idea how we are going to fill that time! In Instruments we also finished everything we need for Test 1. The final section was the Direct Reading Magnetic Compass, an instrument which I understood straight away (possibly because it has limited maths involved!). Finally, in DC Electrics, we finished looking at the Generator for both single and twin engine aircraft and began to look back at what we covered in the first few weeks.
All in all this was probably the most difficult week so far, mainly due to the amount of work we covered. By the end of Tuesday I felt I had reached saturation point and very little would go in after that.
My free time this week was a bit more eventful than the previous weeks. On Monday we welcomed our course mascot Captain Cam to the class. He is a penguin from Build a Bear with a pilots uniform on! On Monday night i decided to pop to Sainsbury’s to stock up for the week and ended up breaking down on the way back! After a 90 min wait for the AA I found out that the clutch was broken and the car was taken away to a garage to be fixed. Tuesday was pizza night and we were joined by some of the Emirates cadets, who had come to watch the football. I didn’t plan to stay in the pub for too longer, however in the end it ended up being a late night (not my usual London late, I was back and in bed by 11.30 – crazy!). Wednesday night became study catch up time, I managed to work solid for about 5/6 hours, which felt good on Thursday! On Thursday evening I went to pick my car up from the Garage in a small village to the north of Oxford. The sun was shining so it was nice to drive around the countryside and forget about work for a bit.
This week we were also given the confirmed date for our Test 1’s (COAA progress tests), which will be 4th & 5th March – Week 6. This means we get a reasonable amount of revision time for most subjects, however i think a few subjects will be crammed into next week in order for us to finish on time!