Saturday, July 16, 2011

At last back in the cockpit.

The PA28

I was asked by my work to go and photograph a house down here in the south of France where I am currently working. So I managed to get the local club to let me rent their Piper PA28 for the trip which took  a couple of hours.
Presque Isle Gian
To be back in a heavy plane after the delights of the light-sport in Miami was certainly a shock to the system, in a good way as I need to get back into Piper mode for the next part of my training, the CPL as a lot of this will be in the PA28 before moving onto a more complex plane.
Six-Fours

The airport at Cuers is uncontrolled yet is also a military base, so there are all sorts of local rules and regulations, the main one being that all of it is in French here, but its not to tough to understand. Also getting back into the overhead joining of the circuit which is obligatory on uncontrolled fields like this one.
The best bit about today was being up in the air for my job I had my camera with me, so on the way to and from the job I had to do I got to take some pictures of the gorgeous south of France scenery:


Les Calanques

Les Calanques

Les Calanques

Les Calanques

Les Calanques

Les Calanques

Casis

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Its been a little while but I've been a little busy.

So here I am. Apologies for the delay, I have been in Spain for a month, studying like crazy.
I'm at Gatwick airport Holiday INN, and not really on a holiday. I am at the end of 2 days of exams at Caa HQ Gatwick.
Yesterday I had the Principles of Flight exam. A horrible subject and equally horrible exam. I have never got my head around it and have studied like made for it. I left the exam feeling as though i must have failed it.
Next it was Flight Planning Mass and Balance yesterday afternoon. A 3 hour marathon exam which I only just finished 5 minutes before the end. There were 3 or 4 people who didn't get to finish. Very very tough, I felt I had the knowledge to get through but it was a very difficult exam but I think the most positive of the 3 I have done this week.
A funny side note to this exam sitting was, we havea study manual that we have to have for this exam, containing maps and terminal plates. Normally one of the students has theirs taken off them to be checked incase you have marked you maps with cheating notes etc. Low and behold I was chosen and the lady took my book off me, no problems there as I don't want to pass the exams by cheating. The lady then gives me a replacement version of the book whilst she checked mine over.
On the first question I opened up the map to do the plotting and what do I find.... Only all of the answers had already been written out on the CAA's own maps. So I had to get the official's attention pretty quickly whilst remaining quiet in the exam room, and when she came over she was pretty red faced at what she saw and then had to give me my own book back to complete the exam.
The final one was this morning, General Navigation/Radio Navigation. Now, I was pretty confident walking in there, right up to the point where I opened the exam paper when the blood rushed from head to my backside.
The paper seemed to be trying to trip us up at every turn, with multi layered questions all over the place. This is fine when you have time to work them out, but the exam was only 1h30 mins long. For the first time in all 9 exams I was still sitting there right at the end of the exam. I didn't feel out of my depth with the subject matter, but I felt very rushed and was unable to check what I was doing over again, so if I made any mistakes they will have slipped through.
I suppose in summing up, I have done 3 huge exams over 2 days and I haven't got a clue if I passed them, nearly passed or failed them with bells on.
Tomorrow its medical madness with my initial class 1 medical, which takes all day and probes the places that other beers cannot reach.
I am hoping the blood pressure has dropped after all this nonsense.
If I have failed any of these exams, I will be back here in September to re-take them. If I have passed it will mean I am off to flight school at some point in the future for my Commercial Pilot course then my Instructor rating.
For the moment I have to wait to have a celebration beer after doing the final exam as I have the medical, but tomorrow night all being well, the Guinness will flow.

Up and away again..... heading North, a long day and then home.....

At Starbucks in Beirut, thinking about where I'd like us to go away holiday this year The phone rings..... "Can we leave to...