Friday, November 25, 2011

The week ends well

Its Friday evening, its been a good week. Interrupted by the US holiday of Thanks Giving, but it was a nice experience as the school here put on a Thanks Giving lunch for all of the students. A really nice touch and pretty much the first "social" I have seen since starting here 6 weeks ago.
Its the one thing I am a little surprised at here, having so many people in one place with flying in common that there are not more get-togethers even fly outs of one way or another, but then there are a lot of students here on site who are mid ATPL's and we are all too aware of how tough a period that is.
Today I have managed to finish the week on a positive note, for once I came away from a teaching flight feeling like I had done a decent job of it, and I think my instructor was pretty pleased with it too as he seemed happy too. Almost in my mind that I have managed to step up to the next level of this, by no means on the ball but I can say in the right ball park. Things are starting to flow better and the correct vocabulary is becoming second nature rather than bumbling nonsense which ended up with me wanting to poke myself in both eyes at the same time.
The part of this that really is making me smile is my flying seems to be on a continual upward curve and that is taking my confidence with it. I thought my flying was OK 8 weeks ago upon my arrival, that then went through the electric shock treatment of the CPL which in reflection it really did need and thanks some decent training I got through that CPL now things have become more technical.

Not so much "you should do this or that" but "if we do this the aircraft will do that, because......" and as I have said before it really is like peeling that onion, and due to that each flight there are those light bulb moments. Which I suppose I will look back upon and will form many of the building blocks of being able to teach the trainee pilot and be able to teach with the confidence because I understand the theory of the core of that onion.
I am starting to feel that after 2 weeks of the course things are going to crank up a notch or 2 this coming week, I have been tasked with putting together a 30 minute technical briefing with the class over the weekend as well as the normal study and consolidation of whats happened this week, so a fair few hours in the briefing room as well as head in the books over this weekend to come. I was hoping to be doing some flying over the weekend with a colleague but unfortunately all of the Piper planes we have the use of here are down this weekend for servicing so we'll have to wait for that.




Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Maybe it should come with a health warning

A funny one today.
We had a good flight today the lesson went well, the flying was pretty good, I managed to get myself less in a tongue tied and there started to be more flow to the lesson, hopefully a sign of things to come.
Its the thanks giving holidays here so we have a break tomorrow after a busy few days and lots of practice in the classrooms with the briefings and they are improving day by day.
As each day passes my flying seems to be improving as well, just little things here and there that I am learning through the process of doing this course, and yes each day when I land and walk back in I am still smiling so all is good.
I have realized that as its the holidays that makes it a year since I first went to the ground school class for the CPL Theory up at Ormond beach, what a busy year thats been. All of the theory exams passed, the hour building and flights down to Key West and all over Florida done, then some good revision flying in the summer in France then recently I have been here 6 weeks and have now passed my Commercial License.
One of my classmates has turned paparazzi....
I woke up yesterday and had a really sore shoulder having slept strangely on it and today it was still pretty sore, so after class I managed to get an appointment locally with a therapist to try to help sort it out for me. After 5 minutes of prodding and stretching the therapist asked me how hard the car accident had been.
No car accident I said, its just been a tough 12 months of study and flights tests and travel the wide eyed therapist looked at me doubtfully and asked " What on earth do they put you through to become pilot these days to end up on my table ?" as my back went crunch.
After yelping like a drop kicked puppy dog, I started to wonder the same thing..... maybe it should come with a health warning.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Week 1 of 4 done of the instructor course

The apron at EFT today.
The first week has been a good one, I really do like this course, there is a lot of home work required and time thinking through your lessons/briefings. The thing I do like is day by day also seeing the improvement in my own flying. Precision has become the name of the game as you need to lead by example when teaching.
Doing this though from the right seat sets you back a little as you need to get the feel for the plane from a different perspective, and as for the passed 3 years I have been flying I have been bringing the plane into land visually from one place the idea of swapping hands to fine tune the controls doing something as defined as landing takes some practice. But another challenge to get the old head around.
At the end of the week I managed to relax with a few of the other students who live on site here at the airport and the week has been a success for another few newly instrument and commercially rated pilots. We toasted their success and good health. One thing about this school, since I have been here that's around 6 weeks now, I have yet to see a pilot here fail a skills test, and one thing I have seen is plenty of new pilots taking their first solos and are due to have their PPL wings shortly.
 This weekend has been spent mainly infront of that white board practicing the briefings we have been taught and trying to get them into some kind of shape that is understandable, at the moment they resemble a pretty rough diamond that's going to need a whole lot of polishing, but its an enjoyable process to get them into shape. I pity all of the poor people around here whom I have been asking to have a look a part of the brief or for a bit of advice as they are all very busy, but everyone seems happy to help, even the instructors seem happy to pop their heads around the door and see where its at. The thing I like is most of the instructors around here whom I ask for help seem to say the same thing: that the Flight Instructor course was one of the toughest courses they have done but each one says it was their favorite by a country mile.
Tomorrow first thing I will be, weather permitting, I will be teaching "Mr Blogs" my student how to fly straight and level and if he's a good student he might be allowed to do a bit of climbing too. I will keep you appraised of his progress.

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...