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 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 13 – School Finals

This is the week we have been building unto for 3 months, School Finals!

Piper Seneca VThe week began with with the final few days of study leave. Amy and I drove back from Devon on Sunday night (with me doing more studying in the car). Monday and Tuesday were both more of the same – studying! I needed to be back in Oxford on Wednesday to register with the CAA for my e-exams. I left London at 06.30 hoping to get through central London before the start of the congestion charge. The actual registration was very straight forward and only took half an hour. Following registration ‘I went back to Langford for some last minute revision.

Thursday was the first exam day. We had Instrumentation, Airframe Systems and Meteorology. The first two exams went really well, however i didn’t feel very confident with Meteorology. That night I did some final prep for Fridays exams. After Meteorology I wasn’t feeling very confident with the last few exams, which made Thursday evening go very slowly.

On Friday we had Human Performance, Principles of Flight and Comms (VFR & IFR). I left Principles of Flight feeling unconfident again. We have heard from other courses that Met and PoF are the two hardest exams so its no surprise I didn’t feel too confident.

After a short wait we were given our results:

  • Airframe Systems – 81%
  • Meteorology – 75%
  • Instruments – 95%
  • Human Performance – 82%
  • Principles of Flight – 70%
  • VFR Comms – 75%
  • IFR Comms – 88%

This gave me an average of 82%. I am really happy with these grades and I now know exactly where to focus for my EASA exams in week 15. I am now on study leave again for the next week.