Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Downtime...and lots of it!

The IR is now in full swing and six lessons in the simulator have been completed out of a total of twenty.

They're coming along pretty well with little problems established so far. The ideology is something I'm really enjoying compared to visual flying where everything is so procedural and ordered that it almost makes navigating easy!

Over the past two lessons we've experienced an increase in the workload and an idea of what is to come. It is no easy task as a single pilot operating a commercial flight under instrument conditions and I think we're all starting to appreciate that.

Alongside the 'flying' in the simulator we seem to have a lot of downtime. It's very easy to say 'downtime' and associate very little with it but there is a significant amount of theory that we need to learn and in some cases seriously review before coming to the end of the training here with PTC.

Having said that the material is hardly something that gets the heart pumping and it has become quite difficult to just sit down and go through although slowly pieces are starting to come together.

This week the plan is to have another three simulator sessions before the weekend off and see what lies ahead next week. The first internal check ride tomorrow reviewing everything we have done so far including steep turns, stalls, unusual attitudes, NDB approaches and NDB/VOR holds.

I'll be sure to explain what all of that means in the coming weeks...


  1. Mate, how hard was this whole journey? the 14 subjects are freaking me out. it looks pretty difficult. do most people ace them the first time?
    what's the most difficult thing in the whole course? silly question, but how do you watch the premier league when you're there lol? you watch games online on your laptop? isn't the timing of the games like in the morning or something? can't live without footy!

  2. Hey,

    Overall I have found the whole process quite manageable. Of course there are times when you want to hit your head against the wall both in the classroom and in the cockpit but it's something you just have to get on with! The goal at the end is definitely worth that little bit of grit and determination!

    I would say the ATPL subjects are the most tasking on the entire course but you have to understand that putting in the hours of work will bring results.

    It is an almost expectancy now for those that work hard to attain results over 90% but that is with many hours of study. Needless to say that isn't always the case and you must appreciate that the majority don't achieve this and there is a significant amount that indeed fail to make the required 75% pass rate. PTC have a policy in place where during the mock exams known as 'Consolidation' you must achieve an average of 80%. These take place the week before the IAA exams.

    Watching the football is easy with Sky Sports (UK) with their SkyGo and SkyPlayer if you or your parents have Sky. Just a little bit of fiddling with the IP address and you're away. Otherwise many of the pubs and restaurants show the games throughout the day.

    Indeed I have awoken at 7am to catch some of the games - sometimes I've been glad for the early wake-up, sometimes now!

    Overall it's all about finding that balance between study and down time that I think is what needs to be refined and mastered by those who seem to be falling behind in the theoretical examinations.

    Hope this helps!