Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Yearly update :)

When I started this blog I didn't plan to post yearly.2011 has been a very busy year for me in terms of work and studies. The first sets of the ATPL exams were finally passed in August. I kind of expected these passes I think I was also a bit lucky. I had to put the work in but I needed a bit of luck too. And the school. was probably the best choice for me. I went down to Cheddar for two weeks in July for the brush-up just before the exams. The course structure just works perfectly. 2 weeks intensive studies in the classroom plus the amount of homework was incredible however it paid off at the end. I spent around 15 hours with the studies per day and there was no Facebook, no drinking and chilling and no life at all.Sleep and study.Simples. It sounds very demanding but it works. The first week was a killer we went through the whole material within a week and than we've done more practise exams on the second week. The instructors are brilliant. All very well prepared and experienced and surprisingly, entertaining!Most of them are ex-RAF and ex-Airline pilots navigator and engineers.
Tom's Airbus-Boeing comparison is the best of all!
You get all sorts of jokes and experiences during the classroom sessions.It probably the only way to resist it. I stayed in Brian's B&B (availability on the school's website) for the whole 2 weeks for a reasonably price. Cheddar is nice and quiet just what a student needs.
In the meantime dropped both of my part-time jobs in May to make some more time for the studies and then in July I finally left the catering industry behind after 8 years. I joined to a well-known financial institution's call centre as an adviser. It's not a rewarding job at all but it pays the bills and I can just as much as I used to when I had 2 jobs. And most importantly less physical work and even a day-off at the weekend. I'm looking for an aviation related job like a ramp agent or in ops but it is quiet hard into somewhere.
Unfortunately I haven't done any flying in 2011 which is a shame but I had a good reason: money. This year is going to be different because my loan application has been approved 2 weeks ago (still with a crap APR but I push it down.I've got 4 years for it:)). It looks like once I'll be over the February exams I start to look for an hour building place somewhere close around Edinburgh possibly in Perth.
The Etihad guys didn't get back to me regards to the cadet application and also my other cadet  application was turned down by Atlantic Airlines too. There is not much I can do I just have to get on with it...
Otherwise not many changes, I moved to Stockbridge in March (it's probably the nicest part in Edinburgh) and I love it.I should have done this earlier. And I still don't have a driving licence but I'll need to start working on it after March.
That's all for now and here my results too, I just scanned them:

Monday, 17 January 2011

New year,new wings,old plans

Happy new year for everyone,hopefully a better than the last one,obviously,moneywise too:)I disappeared little bit,december was just incredibly busy,then I went home(after 15 months) for 2,5 weeks for Christmas,which was just great.So I came back now,ready for action:)Carry on with all of my 3 jobs(1 full-time,2 part-time,),I know it`s sounds crazy,but in my case that`s the only way to fund my flight training.
Flying.Still cooking my brain in the ATPL theory`s sauce:).I think the deeper you go in the study material the more enjoy it,that`s my experience.Finished off maps and charts,I memorized and understood everything apart from the grid navigation.I`ve got a rough idea how it works,but in the progress test I constantly failed a few questions,beacuse my heading was 180 degrees different,which could cause some problems in the real life flying if you miss that...Grid navigation is all about overlaying a map with a grid of lines,which are indicating gyro north,the direction to which you align the direction indicator,so you can just fly the gyro heading,which is extremely useful when overflying the poles,due the constant change of true heading and variation.
Then went onto Communications,that`s kinda stuff I like.A basic understanding of how radio waves are genarated(need an oscillating electrical current and an aerial),calculating frequency and wavelength.Did anyone know that the speed of light is 162000 nautical miles per second?That`s cracking:)Probably faster then my junky road bike...Then also familiarisation with the cockpit equipment in terms of communications,and mentioning the distress frequencies(hopefully I won`t need to use them).Then a progress test.Easily done.The first time,that I can say that.
The next one was back to nav again,calculating temperatures(TAT and SAT),heights and air density.I was lucky enough to be introduced to the famous CRP-5 flight computer:)I met with the little brother before during my PPL course,the CRP-1.This how the Big Bro looks like:

It`s a good one isn`t it?The eqipment you need for most of the nav. calculations,for example,rate of descent,air speed,machnumber,fuel calculations,converting nautical miles into kilometres or feet or statue miles.And a lot more.It took a while for me to understand the  use of CRP-1,so I was more confident with this one.
At the moment I`m working on the first part of Meteorology.Which it`s never been my favourite,and I can guess already,it won`t become:)
I`m still waiting for reply from Eihad Airways,I applied in september for their Etihad International Cadet Programme.Which is still one of those few cadet programmes in the world today,which pay all your training costs,even get paid during the training,then sign a  72 months contract with the company and start your job on the line,in the right-hand seat of a big shiny jet!So they didn`t get back to the applicants yet.There are lot more  rumours on the PPRune(,but no one knows what`s happening...
And I also plan to apply for the Atlantic Airlines Cadetship Scheme( in the next few weeks.The UK`s only existing fully funded scholarship at the moment(50 percent of the initial traing costs paid back by the pilot later on but I still find that a good deal).The requirements are:a class medical 1,be between the age of 18-26,having logged 150 flying hours total and night rating(which I don`t have,but the website says it`s not necessery for the right applicant),a PPL,a driving licence(I haven`t got one yet).I might be just one of those few guys in the world at age of 25ish who can legally fly an aeroplane,but can`t drive a car...:)But I started work on it anyway,will obtain it soon.
I was going to do my night rating in Inverness in February,but it seems to be I can`t because of I`ll be off home again for week in March(got some leftover holidays to be used by the end of March),so the money will  be needed for that.
Most people say I suppose to do my hour building during the ATPL theory,I opted to do it probably in the States where aircraft rental is much cheaper.At moment I don`t have any particular chosen flight school,but these guys seem to be offering a fair price with a fair deal:`m looking forward to do that in next year probably in May.
Right,that` s time to sleep now,I had a tough football game today(spiced with some hangover),I feel a bit tired.Went out last night,have been completely hammered:)Had some fun with other hungarian friends in this newly-discovered pub on George street,called Alexander Graham Bell.What a great pub...

By the way,we`ve never won this football competition,what I mentioned in the previous post,actually,we couldn`t even win a game,and only scored four(3 was mine):)The A-Team will try again in next year...

One more thing.I went home for holiday after a long time and having just realized,what a brilliant country I am from,Hungary.All I can say this place is just getting better day by day,maybe because I left:)I`m sure I`ll return home on one day,for good.If you never heard of that place there are two links here for you  to watch.
Keep you posted.



Tuesday, 23 November 2010

week 1 and 2

Finally,the ATPL theory course has started 2 weeks ago.Books arrived,course fee paid,pants checked...The course prepares you to succesfully pass the 14 JAA ATPL exams which are required before you start the CPL course.Most people who choose the modular way(I will write about that soon) complete them during the hour building phase(you will need at least 150 hours,which 100 Pilot-In-Command includes 20 hours cross-country before you jump onto the CPL course).You can either do it full-time or distance learning.The full time way takes a bit less than a year,the other way is more flexible,you can set your own schedule and goals,so probably suits better with your job.I`ve chosen the distance learning way,however,I`ll be still required to spend at least 2x2 weeks in the classroom in Cheddar just before the exams.I`ve been hesitating between Oxford and Bristol,then I was told both are great, but the Bristol notes are unbeatable...And this is just what I`m looking for:)The module 1 package includes a software(the centre of the course),the notes in 8 different  subjects,the Jeppesen student manual and 2 CAA publications.
The computer software guides you through the first steps and contains the same study material on your PC as well as in the notes in the folders.I prefer to you use both of them for my studies.A short quiz to be completed at the end of each lesson(with a 100% pass rate...).There are also regular progress tests to be completed weekly and the results will be sent to the school,so they can track your progress.You can set your start and finish date and the program will designate the optimum amount of lessons to be completed for the actual week according to your pace.I gave myself 8 months for the first module,I hope this will be more than enough:)
The 14 subjects are divided  into 2 modules.

Module 1:Mass&Balance,Instrumentation,Flight Planning,General Navigation,Meteorology,Human Performance and Limitations,VFR Communications,IFR Communications.

Module 2:Principles of Flight,Aircraft General Knowledge,Performance,Operational Procedures,Radio Navigation,Aviation Law.

On the first week I started with a basic understanding of positions and distances,lines on the Earth.And MATHS,MATHS,and MATHS again:)I really need to referesh my knowledge in that,and also I should buy a scientific calculator too.Calculating routes using only latitudes and longitudes could be challenging at the beginning.
I passed my progress test on that for 2nd attempt.Could be better.
The last week was a real biology week:)Having started Human Performance too,I familiarized myself with the with circulatory and respiratory system again.The Gas Laws(Boyle`s,Charles`,Dalton`s,Henry`s and Fick`s law).For me it sounds like players in a 5-a side team use to play down at Portobello`s Power League...:)
Hypoxia,acceleration and hyperventillation,in fact,there are sh*t lots of questions about these in the progress test.Passed it.Second attempt again...

That`s all in a nutshell just now.I started my new job in a different department on last monday.What can I say?Harder.Faster.Scooter:)
And also it looks like I`m getting back to footbal again.I played on last week after long time(I felt a bit rusty,but scored).And tomorrow there will be also a 5-a-side charity cup in the campus,.Our team is called A-Team,the team with the worst name I played in ever.Shaun`s got told off because of the name choice...Anyway will see how it  goes.

This week takes me back to Nav.Maps and charts.Sounds easy,but doesn`t look like when you open it up...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The very first one

So here I am created my first blog:)I`m starting this blog as an experiment to share my experiences of becoming a commercial pilot,so my family,friends and everyone who is interested about flying could follow that.See how it goes then,since I`m planning to build up my own website,I thought it would good to get some practice before actually start it.
Well,let me introduce myself.I`m a 25 years old hungarian guy,having lived in the UK for 3 years now,currently in Edinburgh.I work in hospitality and catering,and I`m also studying towards to obtain my commercial pilots licence.
And when I say zero to hero,I actually mean it!I`ve decided exactly 2 years ago to start my training along with £20 in my bank account.The costs will be around 30-35k over 5-6 years. No financial support from family,no loans(I still can`t get any,thanks for the credit crunch:)),I didn`t even have a credit card.Most people say I`m crazy or silly or just dedicated...I don`t know,be very honest.
It will be tough but will make it happen....
I got my PPL in August 2010,having 51 hours in my logbook just now.I started  the ATPL theory distance learning course on monday,so you will get a chance to read about all that stuff.
I have a lot more things to write,but leave it for the next posts...
Happy flying