We've all had a crazy childhood dream and mine was becoming an airline pilot. Many young people who aspire a flying career are unaware of the content of flight training and the preparations which are needed. On November 23rd, 2015 I started my ATPL(A) training. Time to realize my childhood dream. I'd like to take you along on an adventure and I'll happily answer all your questions on the way. Let's do this!
August 9th, 2016 - Ahh, flying! Our new chapter in Arizona has begun. On July 29th, I took off for the very first time in one of the Piper Archers, an amazing feeling. We'll have to keep up the pace because the first progress test is already on its way. Up up and away!
After having survived the briefing week, the waiting game began. Most students received their first planning after about five days. Our first day was a general introduction to the flying operations and we got to meet our instructor as well!
The next day, we stepped into the airplane for the very first time. I wasn't stressed, but suddenly everything felt very real.
“Runway 22L, cleared for take-off, Oxford 132”
Falcon Field is located about 40 kilometers East of Phoenix. All the surrounding airports result in quite a busy airspace, but I see it as good practice. Small airstrips, regional airports and international airports, there's nothing you can't find over here.
Our airport is mostly used by student pilots, but we've already seen many private jets passing by in the past few days. At this stage of our training we will fly with the Piper Archer TX, but in a few months time, we'll switch to the Piper Seminole, a multi-engine aircraft.
The school's fleet also exists of DA-40's and -42's, but these are used by all the Chinese and Japanese students.
In order for us to learn quickly, we always fly with another student in order to observe their flying. It's the perfect way to learn from each other's mistakes. As an observer, we listen to all the communications, follow the checklists and procedures and of course, we get the chance to enjoy the nice views. A big advantage if you ask me!
Our training is split up into different missions. The first ones are quite simple: straight and level flight, climbing, descending, turns... Nothing too special, but the basics are essential!
In about two weeks we'll be doing our first progress test. We'll be asked a few theoretical questions and then it's time to head into the circuit. We have to show the examiner that we are able to fly alone in a professional and safe way. Once the test has been successfully passed we'll be very close to our first solo!
If you have any further questions about my training, feel free to leave a comment below. See you next week!
Story series: Road to the Right Seat
Follow student pilot Bob's journey to the right seat of an airliner!