Sunday, 17 June 2012

Countdown to the skies begins!

There isn't much to report this week actually! It's been quite productive in reducing the number of simulator sessions remaining but apart from that quite uneventful.

The football is obviously hotting up in Poland and the Ukraine and we've been lucky enough to see a few games including the second half of the England game the other day. A great forty five minutes which showed signs of what we can hopefully see in coming games! Just the small matter of finishing top of the group and avoiding Spain now! Having said that, with last night's results (Russia and Poland being eliminated) anything could happen!

Since the last post I've been in the simulator again and I now have two more to complete this coming week. The current stage of simulator training is based around flying flight planned routes between airports across the UK and Ireland. Today for example was a short hop from Guernsey to London Gatwick. Obviously, as ever, nothing went smoothly and with a number of failures (including an engine failure only a couple of hundred feet from the runway) I managed to put the plane down on Gatwick's long piece of tarmac in relatively one piece.

With the ground based training coming to an end and we can finally look back above us to the sky it's getting quite exciting. Initially during the first part of the course here in Ireland it was quite refreshing to be able to do something different. Experience different scenarios that only a computer can provide. However the fact that we've been on the ground for a couple of months it's starting to niggle away and will be liberating getting back into the plane once more.

Last week, as part of the course structure we spent a couple of hours looking around the aircraft here in Waterford and familiarising ourselves with the older and less 'computer based' Piper Seminoles they operate here in Ireland. They're all very similar yet I'm sure they all offer something very different. It was also a good opportunity to have a look around the maintenance facility they have here at PTC. There wasn't much work going on when we had a quick peek but it's clear by the state of the aircraft sat in the hanger that they're very well looked after.

I'm hoping I'll make it into the aircraft within the week and get underway with the five flights we have to complete before the all important check ride.

Finally, the weather over the past few days has been nothing short of appalling. The winds have been strong and the rainfall equally so. When flight planning a couple of days ago in the Planning Room we became aware that the based Aer Arann aircraft was due in from London Luton. With the weather being so horrible we thought it'd be pretty interesting to see the aircraft make it's approach and landing. We duly headed up to the top floor which overlooks the airfield.

Below is a video of the aircraft landing and I must compliment the flight crew who made it look extremely easy!


  1. Great Read! Keep up the good work and best of luck in the MEIR Skills test!