Wednesday, 28 September 2011


A surreal weekend - one I'm going to find hard to describe; certainly the most difficult post to date and most likely the most difficult for some time...

Since the last update six more days have passed and I'm guessing it's getting a bit boring me repeating the usual "it's going so fast" comment but it really is! We finished ground school last Thursday and headed out for a meal on Thursday night to celebrate the birthdays of two on my course - benefit being two cakes!

I was in fact hoping to fly early on Friday morning but having checked the internal scheduling system on Thursday evening nothing was showing hence I stole a few extra winks the following morning. Waking around 9.30am I found a few messages both in my email inbox and on Facebook. Quickly reading through the information in front of me it was clear that all students at Pilot Training College (PTC) had been grounded by Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) Aviation until further notice. So whether I was to fly that morning or not - we shall never know!

With hundreds of students out here now not able to continue the training in the way that they would have liked to, the rumours in turn obviously began both on line and off. A statement was quickly issued to ourselves via PTC's internal portal and we were told it would be resolved as soon as possible. Come early evening another statement was made that we would indeed be able to return to the skies first thing on Sunday morning. I don't think it is my place or indeed necessary to go into the details that we have been told concerning the grounding other than that it was a disagreement between the two respective companies which was quickly resolved. I am aware that a joint press release will be issued by the companies in the coming hours - something I will hopefully be able to attach a link to.

Friday was therefore spent revising and trying to avoid the rumour mill as much as possible.

Saturday was again a day of revision interrupted by FIT's Aviation Day. I didn't in fact attend although arrived as the proceedings were coming to a close to conduct ground instruction with my flight instructor. Along with ATPLs and flying I'm still (slowly!) working towards the American FAA PPL which I'm hoping to attain in the coming weeks. This involves covering quite a bit of theory material with my instructor for the oral part of the check ride before the flight. A couple of hours later it was back home to the books.

The same evening over twenty new students arrived from both Kazakhstan and Europe to start their training here in Florida over the next ten to twelve months.

After an 'eventful' Friday and indeed Saturday; Sunday was certainly the worst day since we have been here in America.

The day again was full of revision (I hope you don't get bored of me saying this over the next four months as it continues!) and then I had a cross country flight planned in the evening. Come 3pm I set off for the Flightline. The weather wasn't looking promising and I was almost certain the flight would be cancelled. As expected, the weather was not playing the way it had been over the past couple of weeks and it was time for more ground school with my instructor.

With regards to what happened later that evening back at Southgate I do not want to go into any detail whatsoever yet as it would be very unfair of me to say anything. However what I will say; what did happen certainly puts life into perspective.

I would also like to point out, as stressed in the replies to emails I received, this blog is very much the experiences that I personally am experiencing during my training. I try not to make political points and focus mainly on what the course of instruction is like here at PTC Florida and in the future Ireland. What has happened over the past few days is for those who use forums to discuss, squabble and argue over. I want this to be a place for those wanting to know about what life is like for a 20-year-old training to be a pilot with PTC here in the US.

Yesterday class was cancelled this morning due to the previous evening and started promptly again at 1.15pm in the afternoon.

Today two of the final weekly tests were complete in AGK and Performance followed by the other two tomorrow. Today was also the last Performance lesson ever (I hope!)

Yesterday evening we received two emails detailing both the consolidation exam timetable and the real IAA exam timetable for three weeks time.

Soon they'll be here - just one more hurdle in each subject to reach them...


  1. Hang in there - you'll make it.

    BTW, my head spinned a bit with your use of the word "revision" to mean "study". Here in the US, "revision" means "to change" or "update". My first thought was "what is he changing?" Then I remembered my school days in England and got your drift.

    One that always gets me is "let's table that"; which means in the USA "to put to the side for later", and in the UK "to take out and deal with now". Or is it the other way round?

    As Mr. Churchill once said, we are two people separated by a common language....

  2. D.B.

    Thanks for the comment.

    Yes by 'revision' I do in face mean 'study!' I forget it's for a global audience. Being here in the US it's very clear how close together our nations are but in many ways far apart.