Week 16 (2) – Leave

OAAAfter an intense few months this is the week I have been most excited about – a week off from my books! I had a week of leave after my EASA exams with AP358, however with the problems with my results it turned out to be anything but relaxing. This week was going to be much different!

Saturday was OAA’s 75th Anniversary and with it came a family day at Oxford Airport. This was a great opportunity for me to show Amy around the school – the more exciting parts like sims and aircraft rather than my stuffy classroom. It was a great day and the weather was beautiful. Its nice to see the school and students much more relaxed than I usually do day to day.

HomeSunday was a normal relaxing day, going for a walk and a nice dinner in the evening in Greenwich. The rest of the week I spent catching up with friends. Tuesday I was in Central London, again enjoying the sunshine in one of London’s (many) beer gardens. On Wednesday I continued catching up with friends with a trip to Regents Park – the trip even included a boat trip around the lake. On Thursday I drove up to Leeds for the day for a family visit. Its amazing how tiring 8 hours of driving can be in one day! On Thursday night I got back to London just in time for the incredible thunder storm that made front page news around the country. On Friday I picked Amy up from school and we headed down to Devon for Fred and Kat’s wedding.

A & P WeddingSaturday was wedding day so after a relaxed morning we headed to Torre Abbey in Torquay. We were warned of severe thunderstorms all day but luckily we had sun, sun and even more sun! The whole day was lovely, the ceremony was held it the Abbey and the reception was next door in an old barn (which Kat had made look stunning with the help of the West End). On Sunday we left Devon early in order for me to get back to London pack up all of my stuff and head back to Oxford for the start of Phase 2!


Week 15 (2) – Phase One EASA Exams

“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” – Leonardo da Vinci

Here we go, the week my whole training has been building towards – Phase One EASA exams.

As this is the second time I had sat these exams I felt much more confident at the beginning of the week than I had for the previous exams. I already knew the process and what to expect when sitting the exams which relieved some of the fear of the ‘unknown’ (it didn’t relieve any of the pressure though!).

My schedule for the week was much nicer than the previous sitting as well:

Monday 7th July – Aircraft General Knowledge (Systems/Electrics/Engines)

Tuesday 8th July – Instrumentation

Wednesday 9th July – Principles of Flight

Thursday 10th July – Meteorology

PoFMost of the exams were at either 11.30am or 1.30pm which gave me more than enough time to go through some last minute notes before I went in. All in all I found the exams much better than the last time I sat them which I think was from a mixture of sitting in more classes and generally being more confident with the subject matter.
After my last exam on Thursday I drove back to London for the long agonising wait for results. Results were due out on Friday (11th July) and true to form the CAA maintained the pressure all day by drip feeding the results one by one with over an hour between some results. By about 2.30pm I had my final result and I can happily say that i will be progressing into Phase 2 with an average score of 86%. It is such a relief to know that I don’t have look at any of these subjects over the next few months and I can now move on to do something completely different.

Piper Seneca VSaturday was Oxford’s family day to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the company. I went along with Amy to show her around the school. Now I am on leave for the next week – I am planning a relatively relaxed week catching up with as many family and friends as possible.

Week 14 (2) – Study Leave

Met AltimetryThis post is coming a little late because its been a busy few days. I am currently in Week 15 and sitting my EASA exams. So far I have sat Aircraft General Knowledge (Systems/Electrics/Engines) and Instrumentation – so far its all going well. I won’t go into detail as I’ll ruin my post for next week!

Not much to say about the rest of week 14. I was on study leave so back in London studying 14 hours a day for 9 days. Having already sat my EASA’s once before it was much easier to structure my revision over the course of the week. With the new e-exam system the CAA give  you a report with the areas you need to improve, having this was really useful for structuring my revision. I made sure to spend a large amount of time go over and over (and over) the areas in my report to make sure that I didn’t get tripped up my them again. By the end of the week I was sitting practice exams and scoring highly – hopefully this will continue into my EASA’s!

LondonOn Sunday I went back to Oxford earlier than usual (once I had watched an amazing Wimbledon final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer). Hopefully the extra 2 months of studying will have paid off and I can pass the exams second time round!


London Skyline

Week 13 (2) – Phase 1 School Finals

This week was a big one, School Finals!

CloudsWhen I sat school finals with AP358 my results were good, which made the stakes even higher for these exams. I really wanted to make sure the results were at least similar to last time if not better.
The week went pretty smoothly, on Monday I had Instruments in the morning followed by Aircraft General Knowledge (Systems, Electrics and Engines) and in the afternoon I had Meteorology. On Tuesday I only had one exam, Principles of Flight. I found my confidence was much higher this time in all of the exams (except Met). Also all of the exams seemed much more like EASA standard than they did previously. Following our final exam our results were published and I achieved higher than my previous school finals in every subject (the finalised grades are still to be released as the school are looking at a few queries). Its a relief to have the exams done so that I now have 10 days to completely focus on my EASA exam prep ready for the first exam on July 7th.

Tonight (Friday) I am having a relaxing night – dinner and cinema, after a a whole day of Meteorology (including 3 hours of Altimetry!).


Week 12 (2) – AND, OR & NAND

AGKWeek 12 was our final week of Phase 1, which means next week (week 13) is our school finals.
When I was with AP358, week 12 was study leave to prepare for our school finals, however the school have now changed this so that class takes place all the way up until the end of week 12. Also, as the recent bank holidays fell during class time for AP360 we have been slightly further behind in the syllabus.

The school gave us Friday off as independent study which was really useful, if not a little stressful!
The rest of the week was finishing off the remaining subjects; Principles of Flight, Engines and Electrics. The rest of the time was spent doing revision. Piston EnginesRevision sessions vary depending on the instructor. Some instructors ask you to bring questions to the class and they talk you through them. Other instructors start from the beginning of the subject and talk through the whole thing.
Personally I prefer the former….. certain areas are simple and don’t really need extra explanation, however i am incredibly grateful to have any revision session no matter what form it takes.

I drove back to London after class on Thursday, just on time to see England lose to Uruguay 2-1 and subesquently get knocked out of the World Cup after only 2 matches played!

CRP-5The rest of the weekend (including Friday) has been given to revision. I have pretty much spent the whole time focusing on the Oxford question bank, which is much smaller than the Aviation Exam bank that I use to prepare for my EASA exams. The exam schedule for next week is pretty tough with 3 exams in a row on Monday (Instruments, AGK and Meteorology). The final exam, Principles of Flight, is on Tuesday on its own. I then have a day of debriefs on Wednesday before I head back to London for 11 days of study leave before my first EASA on July 7th. Lets hope the sun continues to shine!


Week 11 (2) – GPWS, Fuel & VOLMET

PoFThe penultimate week of phase 1 is now complete (again) and I am hurtling towards exam season. The first series of exams will be school finals which take place over two days in exactly a week. Then after 11 days of study leave we will be into a week of EASA exams. Things are a little different this time around as we don’t have a week of study leave before our school finals. Next week (week 12) will be our final week and we still have a reasonable amount of the course to finish. Its going to be a busy one!

This week we began to wrap up more subjects. We have now finished Meteorology, Instruments and Airframe Systems. Principles of Flight is almost finished with only one chapter left in the book – propellers. We still have quite a bit of material left to cover in Electrics and Engines but I am sure we will get this done by the end of next week, hopefully with time for some revision! I don’t really have much to say about the actual content we covered this week as it is pretty much the same as the previous week.

ElectricsThis week I lacked any kind of social life – all of my free time is now dedicated to the question bank and my text books. This is how the next few weeks will be.

Next week I have quite a lot of free time which I will be using to finalise my school finals preparation before I head into a crazy week getting ready for my EASA re-sits.

Hopefully my posts will become more interesting again once the exams are over!

Week 10 (2) – EFIS, METAR & Combustion Revisited


Another week gone and another step closer to my EASA re-sits on 7th July 2014.

Tropical StormsThis week was much more laid back than the previous week. I ended up with around 8 hours free on the timetable to keep myself on top of the exam preparation.
This week I could feel the pressure mounting for the whole course as we are now only two weeks until school finals (exams are in week 13) and this time I don’t get the week of study leave that I had with AP358. The end is in sight it a lot of subjects and (hopefully) by the end of week 11 we will have finished most things and we will be concentrating on revision lessons.

FMSIn Meteorology we covered a large section of the text book finishing of Fronts and Tropical Storms, we then moved onto Climatology and METARS. Next week we only have TAFFs and Weather Charts led to finish the course. In Aircraft General Knowledge we looked at fire and smoke detection and began to look at fuel systems. We also looked at gas turbine lubrication. In Instrumentation we started engine instruments, looking at ways of detecting pressure and temperature on either a gas turbine or piston engine. We also finished auto flight and even managed to squeeze in a revision lesson. Next week we begin Warnings and Recording, which is the final section of the instrumentation exam. Finally, in Principles of Flight we started to look at high speed flight, where you basically take any theory we have learnt so far and throw it out of the window!

On Tuesday evening I met some of my old course mates for a pizza in Kidlington. It was nice to have some time away from the books and to catch up with how phase 2 is progressing…. it sounds difficult!

After a lot of discussion at school I created a survey to see what aircraft people prefer – its basically an extension of the Boeing v Airbus debate. At the time of writing this (Sunday 8th June) just over 200 people had voted and the results were:

  • Airbus A380 – 43%
  • Airbus A320 – 22%
  • Boeing 777 – 17%
  • Boeing 737 – 9%
  • Other – 9%

Looks like Airbus are leading! The poll is listed below for an last minute votes!