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Bob Geuens

Bob Geuens

24 January 2017 - 2.6k views

Posted in Training

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    Story series: Road to the Right Seat

    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!

    Jan 1, 2016 – Tomorrow it will be exactly two months since we started our training. Phase 1 is slowly coming to an end with 4 weeks of class left before our fist exam period. The workload is increasing rapidly.


    Somewhere around the 28th of each month, we receive an e-mail with our planning and what to expect from it. In this schedule, we can find our classes, CBT’s and of course the progress tests.

    Since most of our instructors are airline pilots it isn’t always easy for management to create a planning, but they’ve done an outstanding job so far. This month we’ll have class on Saturday, two weeks in a row. Not ideal, but weekends will never be the same anyway when you’re a pilot.

    Last week we had three tests: Airframes and Systems, Electrics and Electronics and Principles of Flight. Tests took place on Monday, Wednesday and Friday which gave us the right amount of time to prepare for them. All three tests went just fine so I was satisfied. Off to the next ones!

    ATPL flight training blog, Bob Geuens

    Computer Based Training 

    Aside from our regular classes we also have online lessons which we call CBT’s or Computer Based Training if you prefer. These online lessons consist of many animations which makes it easy to visualize everything. It’s also a very impersonal way of learning which I think is unfortunate. Besides that, there’s another big disadvantage.

    There is absolutely no interaction which makes it difficult to stay alert. If there are any questions remaining there is always the possibility of asking the instructor which is often the best solution. A computer doesn’t make jokes, doesn’t ask questions and just goes on with its explanation. 

    I do have to admit that there’s a positive side to all of this. Every module is planned as a one-hour class, but the average module takes far less time than that which I use to gain more time throughout the week. I do all my CBT’s for the upcoming week during my weekend causing me to gain a morning, afternoon or a full day to spend on another course.

    Computer Based Training might not be the best way to learn new things, but if you use it wisely there’s a lot of valuable time to gain.

    2 down, 6 to go

    In the previous post, I explained that there are 8 books to study during phase 1. At this point, we have finished Human Performance and Limitations, and Electrics and Electronics. The other courses will also come to an end within the next four weeks.

    Courses like Principles of Flight, Meteorology and Instrumentation will take some more time, but we’ll get there! We’ll also receive more information about the exams very soon. Exciting!

    If you have any further questions about my training, feel free to leave a comment below. See you next week!

    This story is part of the series Road to the Right Seat

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