mercredi 18 septembre 2013

IR Test... Passed

Friday 6th Spetember I did my last flight with CTC in a light aircraft during my IR test which took me from Bournemouth to Cardiff and back.
I flew the procedural ILS in Cardiff and I got radar vectored for the asymmetric NDB approach back in Bournemouth. The flight went really well, ATC were really nice with me, thanks to my magic call sign Exam 09... so I don't have much to write about! I'm just relieved, happy and also a bit proud of myself.

The last weeks have been really hard in term of pressure. It's hard to know the truth about all of this but it seems that a first serie, first time pass is very important for your airline placement, so I was really stressed to get even a partial, but fortunately I managed to get it done at the first attempt!
I can now relax a bit during 10 more days before my AQC starts. I don't know yet if I'm going to do it on B737 or A320, but it's going to be fantastic and a hell of work in both ways! 
Because it's more likely that I'll get a job with EasyJet, I'd rather to do it on airbus to prepare myself for the type rating but who knows!?

lundi 22 juillet 2013

Back to IFR

To begin with, the trip back to Europe hasn't been very pleasant. I had such a great time in NZ, either in flight or during my days off, so I didn't really want to go home. I knew, family and friends were waiting for me and I looked forward to catch up with them but still, I was gutted to go home!

After a week in France, it was already the time to go back to school in Bournemouth to finish the instrument rating phase. The instrument rating phase down here is mainly composed with sim session.
Thomson B737-800 which you can see in BOH.
 We've been told during our introduction day that the partner airlines have raised up their standards meaning that the instructor's expectations have also to be higher. A fail in the test or even a partial doesn't seem to be an option.

The first few sims are called UK Orientation. They are design to get familiar with the UK IFR procedures and the R/T which is slightly different from the Phraseology in NZ. Also, as the airspace is a lot busier here, there are much more frequencies and radio calls to do. It reminds me the French airspace.
Then the following sims are called LOFT. These flights are proper routes between major airports such as Manchester, Birmingham, London Heathrow... The aim of these flight is rather to focus on all the non technical aspects of a flight such as decision making during emergencies, weather diversion...

This part of the training is very demanding, intense,  and not necessary rewarding because when you think you did a good flight, your instructor manage to give you a massive list of points to improve, but it's very interesting! I love it!

lundi 1 juillet 2013


This is it... I'm now a commercial pilot!

My CPL flight test has been the most demanding flight I've ever experienced. I had already cancel one flight test due to weather, and the second day, even if the weather was still really bad I decided to go to get it done.
The ceiling was about 1000ft lowering to 800ft at some points so I had to do diversions after diversions to get to my destination, because I obviously had to remain clear of clouds but also keep 500ft from the terrain, which often rises in New Zealand forcing me to make track adjustments to fly over flatter terrains and maintain VFR.

I had hard times during this navigation leg, but I managed to do it safely and legally. The rest of the flight was more conventional with all the general handling exercises and the circuits. I had only two emergencies. One engine fire in flight leading to a full engine shutdown, and one alternator failure.

I did four circuits, one normal, one flapless, one asymmetric go around and the last one was the asymmetric landing for a stop and go with a rejected take off due to a bird strike.

After 2.2hrs, I finally parked the aircraft on the "bravo" stand, took all my belongings and jump into a briefing room to get the good news that I had passed my CPL!

My GPS trace of this flight
I'm leaving NZ in two days, I wish I could stay here a bit longer, but everything has an end... 
The IR training in Bournemouth starts in 14 days so the break will be quiet short. I know it's gonna be really stressfull, but I really look forward to fly in the English's busy sky!

vendredi 7 juin 2013

ILS in Wellington Intl' Airport, NZ

Another thing wich will stay in my mind forever... my first ILS.

I always dreamt to land in an international airport with lot of traffics, half a dozen of frequencies, and where your flying has to be really accurate to meet ATC requirements.

All of that happened yesterday in Wellington, the actual capital of New Zeland. The route down there was pretty straight forward, switching from GPS to NDB and VOR navaids all way down to get finally vectored to intercept the localiser for the ILS LOC DME approach for runway 16.

I flew down there at night, so the 12DME final gave us amazing views over the city and all its lights. Unfortunately the quality of the Gopro is not good enough to reflect the reality but still, this video will remind me this fantastic experience for ever!