“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
Most 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.
Saturday 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.
This 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!
On 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!
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!
Next week is going to become a bit more intense as we ramp up the hours of Principles of Flight and Meteorology.
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!!!
This weekend should be relatively relaxed again before another intense week of ground school.