Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Twin flying

The past week has been pretty intense. Coming to terms with a new aircraft in such a short space of time is quite challenging.

Since the last update I now sit with seven flights remaining, five with my instructor, one mock check ride and then the real thing, hopefully next week at some point.

The thirteen flights in which we take to the air in the Seminole are designed as followed.

The first four are called MEP flights including an internal check ride on the fourth. The 'MEP' stands for Multi-Engine Pilot rating. It mainly consists of flying the aeroplane and understanding how it works. What to do when an engine fails, what to do with an engine fire, flying with only one engine (asymmetric) and coming to terms with a different type of power-plant (not to mention there being two of them!)

It has been a steep learning curve and I hope I'm more settled in the aircraft moving forward over the remainder of the course. My instructor is the Chief Pilot here at the flight school and he is notorious for expecting extremely high standards from the moment you arrive to the moment you leave the Flightline and I think this will certainly put myself and his other students in good stead not only for the check ride but for future flying.

The second stage of the training in which I am currently completing is advancing on that already set in stone in the single engine aircraft - the Piper Warrior. The Commercial Pilot's License (CPL) will allow the holder to fly for reward which is certainly something we shall need when sat in the right hand seat of a large passenger aircraft when we're expecting a pay cheque at the end of the month!

This involves a lot of 'under the hood' instrument work and planning navigation's to grass strips quite literally in the middle of nowhere. I've completed one of each and although there is an increase in workload it is easy to appreciate the similarity between both aircraft. Hopefully I'll be able to build on the feedback from my instructor over the coming days.

So...with less than two weeks until I'm due to report in Waterford for the beginning of the next stage of training there is so much to do I wouldn't know where to start.

Although Melbourne, Florida doesn't have the excitement of Miami South Beach or the thrills of Orlando's theme parks; spending ten months in one place does bring it's affections (however small they may be) and in compliance with Newton's third law grievances which will most certainly not be missed! 

The state of Florida, as I've said in previous posts, is the world leader, without a shadow of a doubt, of the best pilot training facilities (both man made and natural) there is on offer not only in the United States but across the world. Global gateways accepting small aircraft travelling at barely half the speed of those around them being an everyday occurance for those talented enough to be sat two hundred feet in the air overlooking the fields from the control towers. Their common courtesy and professionalism knowing no bounds.

Closer to base at the Florida Institute of Technology where one of the busiest and most well run flight schools is operated. It is something that we in the UK especially can only dream of. The money invested and the options available to anyone who wants to learn to fly are truly world class.

I don't want to get too sentimental just yet as there is a lot of work to be done before I can turn my back on this small city on the eastern coast of the sunshine state.

Seven more flights, packing, checking out of the university and then preparing for the next stage of training lie ahead over the coming ten days or so.

There will be time to reminisce over the past ten and a half months during the journey home. And with what I have planned ahead before the end of the year there will be little time to continue living in the past when those wheels touch down on UK soil.

With my journey in the aviation world moving fast so too are those of my two previous instructors, both who are currently enjoying great success in their new jobs. I hope both continue to prosper and I thoroughly look forward to seeing where they end up in a few years time!

Exciting times lay ahead both with PTC and my future employer.However, the sun still has to set over the horizon in Melbourne first...


  1. Hey mate. keep the blogs up. you inspired me to want to join PTC. so I'd like to know quite a few things, but I have no idea where to start.
    I'm 17, turning 18 in 2 weeks. just graduated high school.
    is it a 2 year course? what do you do in Ireland and what do you do in Florida? and where will you be staying while doing the course? also what about the cost? and when can I apply? I'd like to start as soon as possible!
    I'm going alone not with a special program or anything. I just don't know who to ask these questions to. I've never been to Ireland or U.S before, I'm from Greece. Thanks mate, great blogs.

  2. Hey,

    Thanks for the post.

    You can apply for PTC at the age of 17 via their website www.ptc.ie. Assessment days are held in the UK, Ireland and Sweden.

    The course lasts around 14-16 months on the integrated programme and longer on the modular route.

    In the US we started from day 1. We have gone from knowing nothing about an aeroplane to hopefully finishing up with a CPL license.

    It's then back to Ireland to complete the IR and JOC/MCC.

    I would recommend you get in touch with the company and I'm sure they'd be happy to answer all of your questions!

    Thanks again for the post, hope you enjoy the blog!