Week 8 (2) – Deja Vu

Ground School LessonWhen I was looking for a flight school to train for my ATPL I spent a lot of time reading blogs from cadets studying at all of the big training academies. I found them incredibly useful but was also impressed with the honesty of the author. When you are about to embark on such an intense journey a truly honest account of the process is incredibly useful in knowing what you will be faced with. At the beginning of the week I considered ending my blog posts due to me changing courses and redoing some of phase 1. In the end I remembered just how much I valued the honesty and feedback of other cadets who had had the perfect training and others who had been in a similar position to me. So, here we go….. Back to week 8!

Shed A&PAfter a lovely weekend away with friends for Amy’s 30th Birthday it was really tough to go back to Langford at the beginning of the week. I got back late so once I had unpacked it was time for bed with little time to really think about being back. When my alarm went off in the morning it was no different to any other day at COAA – I fell back into my routine like I hadn’t even been away. Once I had made it into school and met my new course mates (AP360) any kind of apprehension disappeared and I was once again focused on my EASA’s.

The week was pretty simple as everything we are now studying I have already done with AP358. In Met we looked at thunder storms, visibility and microbursts, In Instruments we began the inertial navigation system, in Principles of Flight we looked at controls and in Aircraft General Knowledge we looked at the effects of icing on an aircraft and engine combustion chambers.
As I am only studying the subjects I am re-sitting I have a lot of free time to catch up on personal study. That sounds like a great idea however I am finding it quite difficult to motivate myself for so much time. I am sure this will improve as I get closer to my exams in July.

BrightonThis weekend was a bank holiday so I have had an extra day in London. On Friday evening we went to Canary Wharf to continue Amy’s birthday  celebrations for anyone who didn’t make our trip last weekend. On Saturday I spent a lot of the day studying, as well as doing some housework (in the garden of course!). On Sunday we went to Brighton for the day – making the most of the sun before it disappears…

This week (week 9) I have a full timetable with no free time during the day! It will be the first time I have had such a week since I finished phase 1 with AP358 in April.

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Week 16 – Leave

This post is coming rather late as my week of leave actually became a little bit stressful – certainly not as relaxing as I would have liked!

As I mentioned in my last post I had slightly disappointing results in my exams which were published on Monday. I achieved an average of 79% (just 3% lower than my school finals average), however I did fail 4 exams. In each of the failed exams (Principles of Flight, Aircraft General Knowledge, Meteorology and Instruments) I was only one questions away from passing (between 2% – 3%). Getting these results was pretty gutting especially after such strong school results. On Wednesday I had to go back into school for a meeting about how I will progress with the course. The last thing I wanted was to change courses in order to prepare for my re-sits, however after a bit of thought this seemed like the best option. Ultimately I am at COAA to ultimately get a job as an Airline Pilot and spending an extra few weeks concentrating on the failed exams is much better than trying to juggle 11 subjects in total. Therefore I have now joined AP360 and will continue the course with them.

Olympic Swimming PoolThe rest of the week I tried to keep my mind off of school and make the most of a week off. On Monday my mum and sister came down to London for the day and we went for a walk around the newly opened Olympic park in Stratford. On Tuesday I had lunch with an old theatre friend in London – a great excuse for some afternoon drinking! Wednesday I had my (fun) trip to Oxford. On Thursday I met up with some more friends for what was planned to be a few drinks and turned out to be quite a few (I got home at 2am!).  Friday was the start of Amy’s 30th birthday celebrations in Dorset – 12 of us were there in total. It was a great weekend which consisted of quite a bit of drinking, beach games and cheesy entertainment!

London EyeNow I am back in Oxford preparing to start from week 8.

Week 15 – Phase 1 EASA

After 14 weeks of intensive studying this was the week we had been building up to, phase 1 EASA exams.
Phase 1 EASA’s consist of 7 exams; Airframe Systems, Instruments, Principles of Flight, Meteorology, Human Performance, VFR Communications and IFR Communications.

Oxford Aviation AcademyAfter our second week of study leave I went back to Oxford on Bank holiday Monday feeling that I had done as much as I could do for the exams but I didn’t feel massively prepared. As we had never sat an EASA exam before I feel like this was why I didn’t feel so prepared. Tuesday morning was our first exam; Principles of Flight. I left the exam feeling like it was really difficult, which is something the instructors have told us happens with most people after the first EASA. Later that afternoon we had Human Performance which seemed to go a lot better. On Wednesday we only had one exam which was Meteorology. This was by far the hardest exam I have ever sat in my life! As the exams are on computer everyone gets a different exam, which makes it difficult to compare how we found it. From talking to others on my course it seemed like I had a really difficult exam. Thursday was a busy day with Instruments first followed by both Comms papers. Instruments seemed ok with a few tricky elements – quite a lot of questions I hadn’t seen before. Both Comms papers were very straight forward. Finally on Friday we had an early exam; Airframes/Engines/Electrics. Again this exam seemed pretty straight forward and I left feeling relatively confident of my results.

I-Cant-SingFriday night was nice a relaxed evening at home (after a trip to the pub!). On Saturday Amy and I went to see ‘I Cant Sing’ – the X Factor Musical, written by Harry Hill. It was the final night so it turned out to be a very interesting performance (quite a bit of ad-libing from the cast). It is always sad to see that a show is closing in the West End especially as i know first hand just how much works goes into making them work.

I started writing this post over the weekend and ran out of time to finish it. Since I began I have had my results from the CAA. I am disappointed overall with an average of 79% and a few fails which means I will need to rest them in a few weeks.

Week 14 – Study Leave 2

This week has been pretty dull in terms of writing a blog post so I’ll keep this one brief.

Me and AmyAfter last weeks school finals we were back on study leave this week preparing for our phase 1 EASA exams in week 15.  The weekend was nice and relaxed! On Saturday I spent the day with Amy trying not to think about studying before I returned to my books for a ‘light’ study session on Sunday. We went for a lovely walk through Oxleys woods to see the newly growing bluebells. In the evening we went for a nice dinner at the O2 in North Greenwich.

 

Bluebells I went back to Oxford late on Sunday night as we were timetabled for a day of debriefs on Monday. The debriefs were pretty straight forward and were useful to see the areas I need to concentrate on for the next set of exams (and my study leave). The rest of the week was similar to my last study leave; up at 7.30am and studying from 8.30am until 9.30pm. There is a lot more material to get through for the EASA exams so this week has been pretty intense. I have also gone through stages of feeling happy and confident with the exams and feeling like I am going to fail – I guess most people feel the same this close to such important exams. Fingers crossed for a successful week and then I can look forward to my well deserved week of leave!