Thursday, May 11, 2017

Fire fire and security briefings. And a quick flight

The last days of training have been great. A lot of work but really good work too.
Yesterday was all about about fire and smoke on an aircraft, something that as a thought is really very serious and needs swift and correct actions if ever encountered. We practiced the various situations and putting out fires in a mock up of an airplane on the ground, filled with smoke and fire.
We were also privileged to see many case studies on incidents, accidents and fire that have happened over the years. Most of which are very thought provoking.
After fire and smoke training it was time for first aid which was in depth but quite light hearted with the other guys on the course especially when it came to dealing with child birth mid air !!!!
Today it was airport and airplane security and dealing with the myriad of incidents that can occur with aircraft and the expected responses with the various security agencies around the world.
I can't really go into too much detail over the procedures and things involved but some of what were learnt about was enlightening.
Once again we were privileged to see some of the case studies for incidents which have happened over the years, some which have been publicized some not and the see the counter measures which protect us all on a daily basis.
The other very good part to the security briefings we received a lot of good of advice for when we are abroad ourselves and how to keep ourselves secure and safe in some of the far flung corners of the world that we travel to.
At the end of the day one of my colleagues on the course had a chat with me and offered me a flight with him this evening to move an aircraft from Farnborough to Biggin Hill, the aircraft being owned by some well known people in Formula One racing. It was a great opportunity for me as the aircraft is quite similar to the one which I will be flying with my new job.
It wasn't a very long trip but it was certainly a good one.
All in all another good day in Farnborough.........




Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Splish Splash...... and a bit of Bear Grills

The alarm went off at 6am and it was day one at TAG Aviation in Farnborough today.
On the agenda was water safety and survival techniques for the morning and then fire and emergencies in the afternoon. Exams were to be taken for each section.
I met the other students in the waiting area, Nick , Brian and Simon and after a cup of tea I realized how small the world of aviation really is, as Nick has been flying with the Captain of my new aircraft for the past 5 years and knows him well and speaks very highly of him too.
Back to the training and after an hour in the classroom learning about the various styles of life jackets and life rafts we jumped on a bus and were off the local swimming pool to get wet.
Initially there was a swim test of a few lengths to make sure we were up to it and then it was testing the life jackets in the pool, these are the same as you get on any commercial flight and it was quite nice to actually pull those toggles that are always shown in the pre flight safety briefing and see the jacket burst into life as I hurled myself into the pool as gracefully as ever........
Then it was time to practice what to do if they don't inflate and also putting them on in the pool and manually inflating them.
All went well so it was time to get the life raft out and in the water. Imagine an 8 man tent with inflatable sides, inflating in a couple of seconds and then having to get into it with an inflated life jacket on.........  I only wish i was allowed to video it as I was laughing so much it hurt, looking like a large salmon trying to swim up stream and jump through the air. Infact no, I was nothing as graceful as a salmon.
Once we were all on the raft we had to set it all up and go through the survival kit onboard as we would in a real incident. We were all puffing and panting a bit by the end but it was great to put theory in to practice.
The morning was completed by sitting for a survival in the wild lecture, with lots of bear grills style information (which i loved) and then an exam on what we had learnt through out the sessions.

The afternoon session was to be SEP and SOP (Standard Emergency Procedures & Standard  Operating Procedures).
This was to be quite informative about all of the onboard procedures in case of emergency landing, ditching in water and crash landing, ending with a little about fire equipment on board the aircraft that I will be flying. (Tomorrow will see us putting out some fires)
The day although long at 10 hours has gone pretty well, I've passed each of the exams and am now a bit pooped although I have online e-learning each night of the week.
All in all a good first day and ready for some fire fighting tomorrow.







Monday, May 8, 2017

Getting my feet wet...

With all of the flight training I have completed over the years, I have yet to combine the skills of swimming , scuba and flying........
Thats what I am anticipating tomorrow.
Picture the phone call......:
Flight training starts on Tuesday Stuart.......
"Excellent" I say.
There will be 5 days in Farnborough.
"Great" I say.
Never been to Farnborough airport before I was thinking and I'm always up for something new.
"Oh, don't forget your swimming trunks Stuart"
"Of course not" I say......
"Hang on, what ?"

"Day One of  training will be emergency rafts and life jackets"

Chocs Away........

Pointy Pyramids and a windy Nile, back in Africa and a room with a view

The River Nile whilst on descent into Egypt Today was a good day in the air. Up early after a shockingly bad nights' sleep, unfortu...