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!
May 23, 2016 - America is waiting for us, but first we need to finish our theoretical training. Besides passing for our final exams, we also need to prepare for our departure to the US. Our last few weeks promise to be busy ones!
The second phase of our theoretical training is great! We learn a lot more about the practical aspect of flying and the theory is much easier to study. We have some very theoretical courses such as Air Law and Operations, but in the end, it's still doable!
In the past few months, our planning has been basically flawless. Tests were spread out nicely with plenty of time for us to prepare for them. That's going to change in the next two weeks with 7 scheduled progress tests. Wish me luck!
Once our classes are finished we'll have one weekend to prepare for our School Finals. This time we won't have a full week which does raise the pressure on shoulders quite a bit.
Last week we received a briefing about observation flights and our accommodation in the US. We also visited Antwerp Airport for a briefing about safety on the ramp.
As part of our training, we can sign up for observation flights. These allow us to fly along with a Belgian airline in order to learn more about the job as a pilot. An interesting opportunity which I will take advantage of for sure! If I'm lucky I should be able to squeeze an observation flight in before leaving to the US.
When we come back from the US we will fly in Antwerp. To gain access to the airport we need a badge and to obtain this one, we had to go to the airport for a briefing and a test. We learned more about safety measures taken on the ramp to make flying operations run smoothly in the safest possible way. Nothing too special, but interesting and important nonetheless!
Photo: Wouter Cooremans
When we came back from Antwerp we had another briefing. This time about our accommodation in the US and all the documentation which we need to obtain before departure. A lot of administrative work, but the schools helps us where possible so we can still focus on studying.
We're young, we're student pilots and we're going to the US for flight training. A combination which has very strict procedures and safety measures linked to it since 9/11.
In a few weeks, we'll hopefully say goodbye to our theoretical training and to Belgium! We'll have to work hard and I will put the blog on hold for now. A full report on the exams will follow very soon!
Wish me luck!
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!