Government joins industry to fund programme that inspires state school students to explore careers in aviation and aerospace

The Department for Transport joins Boeing, British Airways, and the William Gibbs Trust to fund a programme that aims to inspire, enable, and support state school students into aviation, aerospace, and space. 

London, 31 January 2023 – The Air League, the charity that changes lives through aviation, aerospace, and space, has today announced a major funding grant by the Department for Transport, with additional support by key industry partners for its flagship career enrichment programme.  

As part of the Department for Transport’s new Reach for the Sky Challenge Fund, launched today, the Air League’s Soaring to Success® Programme will receive a £50,000 grant. The programme is designed for students in state-funded education and compliments existing career provisions by providing accessible, in-depth information and knowledge that showcases the vast range of incredible roles and opportunities available within aviation and aerospace. 

Delivered across the academic year with support from industry, the programme comprises of three stages that provide an overview and insight into the career pathways available. The government grant will help to support up to 35,000 spaces on the programme throughout 2023. Crucially, this will include 1,100 in-person flying and engineering tasting days, as well as employability workshops for pupils from lower socio-economic backgrounds.  

The Department joins several other funding partners, including Boeing, who have donated £34,000 to cover two regional projects in the West Midlands and South Yorkshire. British Airways have donated funds, that will cover a pilot project in the Greater London area around London City Airport, and the William Gibbs Trust have also committed to supporting the scheme throughout the year in the East of England region. 

The programme will be split into three distinct stages, starting with national careers conferences open to anyone aged 13-17 in the UK, that allow individuals to gain an insight into the distinct career opportunities. Participants in eligible areas are then directed onto stage two, an e-learning enrichment course that comprises of industry led and academically designed modules. In stage three individuals can progress onto further enhanced in-person career, skill, and employment workshops combined with air experience and engineering taster days. In partnership with TalentView Aviation, participants are then directed onto further opportunities to continue their career within the aviation, aerospace, and space industries. 

To mark the announcement Ian Morrison, CEO of the Air League, said: 

“I’m extremely pleased that the Department for Transport and key industry players have recognised the potential and opportunity which Air League’s Soaring to Success programme can offer young people. 

“By financially backing the scheme the Government is not just providing vital funding for thousands of young people. They are also recognising the importance of Air League’s mission to tear down the institutional barriers within our industry, and to encourage more young people – especially those from low socio-economic backgrounds – down the paths of aerospace, aviation, and space.” 

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:  

“Innovation propels aviation and for it to face up to tomorrow’s challenges it needs an open and diverse workforce that can bring fresh ideas and ways of working.  

“Our Reach for the Sky Challenge Fund recipients will be key to that, inspiring the next generation into the sector and helping to build an aviation workforce fit for the future.  

“I was pleased to chair the first ever Aviation Council today and continue our healthy collaboration with industry, supporting it in every way we can, so it can continue to push boundaries.”  

Maria Laine, President UK & Ireland and Nordic regions at Boeing, added: 

“Boeing is proud to have supported a wide range of Air League initiatives over the last ten years. Providing entry level aviation opportunities to young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, via the excellent Soaring to Success programme, can open up career paths and unexpected opportunities which we are delighted to encourage.” 

Carrie Harris, Director of Sustainability at British Airways, said:  

“We believe that the aviation industry should be a career path open to everybody, so we are proud to support a charity that strives to inspire the next generation of aviation professionals from all backgrounds. We have supported the Air League for more than ten years and continue to do so through our BA Better World Community Fund, so we are thrilled to hear that it will have even more backing in 2023.” 

— Ends – 

All Flybe flights cancelled as airline enters administration for the 2nd time

All Flybe flights are cancelled as the airline enters administration for the 2nd time

British airline Flybe ceases all trading and cancels scheduled flights. Flybe customers have been advised not to travel to airports as flights will not be operating after the airline called in administrators.

Flybe, which has collapsed into administration for the second time, also operated scheduled services from Belfast City and Heathrow to airports across the UK and to Amsterdam and Geneva.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority made the announcement at 4am and has advised people booked on flights not go to the airports as flights will not be operating. Flights to Belfast, Geneva, Amsterdam and Edinburgh from Birmingham are all cancelled. Flybe customers who still need to travel, will need to make their own alternative travel arrangements via other airlines, rail or coach operators.

Air France-KLM orders four A350F’s to modernise the fleet of Martinair, part of KLM Group

Air France-KLM orders four A350F’s to modernise the fleet of Martinair, part of KLM Group

#Martinair #AFKLMPCargo #Airbus #A350F

Toulouse, 27 January 2023 – The Air France-KLM Group has placed a firm order for four A350Fs, the brand new Airbus widebody freighter, to be operated by Martinair Holland N.V., a Dutch cargo airline headquartered and based in Amsterdam Schiphol airport, and part of KLM Group. The A350F’s will allow the airline to retire its existing older generation freighters and replace them with a clean sheet cargo aircraft that offers a big step towards more sustainable cargo operations.

“We are delighted to make this major step forward to the A350F. It accelerates Air France KLM Martinair Cargo sustainability ambitions with significant improvement on fuel emissions and complying with most stringent ICAO Chapter 14 for noise and CAEP 8 for NOx. We are fit for the future!” said Adriaan den Heijer, Executive Vice President Air France KLM Cargo and Managing Director Martinair.

“Another A350F endorsement, and a great one too! We are delighted to see the A350F enter the KLM/Martinair world, confirming the relevance this most modern high capacity long range cargo aircraft brings to the airfreight segment. I am very pleased with the way our program is taking off. With 50% less noise, and 40% less fuel burn and CO2 emissions compared to the previous generation aircraft it is replacing, that is hardly a surprise! We thank Air France-KLM Group for their continued confidence.” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.

The A350F is based on the world’s most modern long range leader, the A350. The aircraft will feature the largest main deck cargo door and a fuselage length optimised for cargo operations. Over 70% of the airframe is made of advanced materials resulting in a minimum 30 tonnes lighter take-off weight, which together with efficient Rolls-Royce engines generate an advantage of at least 20% lower fuel burn and CO2 emission over its current closest competitor. Delivery to Martinair will be in time to comply with the latest ICAO CO2 emissions standards that will come into effect by the end of 2027 . With a 109 tonnes payload capability (+3t payload / 11% more volume than its competition), the A350F serves all cargo markets (Express, general cargo, special cargo…).

Launched in 2021, the A350F recorded 35 orders from seven customers.

easyJet filled 5 aircraft every minute, which culminated in three record-breaking weekends for sales revenue in Jan

easyJet filled 5 aircraft every minute, which culminated in three record-breaking weekends for sales revenue in Jan

easyJet delivered a strong performance in Q1, better than expected.

easyJet carried almost 50% more customers compared with the same period last year. Load factor was up for the quarter by 10 percentage points and yields were also up. easyJet had a strong booking performance, which has helped manage the effects of very high fuel prices and has ensured that their seasonal loss for the quarter beat expectations.

Here are some key numbers:

Q2 and beyond

CEO Johan Lungren said “Looking ahead, we continue to see good momentum, with early indications of a strong Easter period ahead of us. While all signs are pointing towards a successful summer, we must still focus relentlessly on controlling the controllables and delivering on our plans. We continue to progress the work we’re doing on operational resilience, and with our recruitment in line with the plan, we are on track to deliver our peak summer schedule.”

Shares are up over 39% in 2023 alone although they were one of the worst-performing shares of 2022…

Netflix is hiring a flight attendant for one of its private jets—and the job pays up to $385,000

Netflix is hiring a flight attendant for one of its private jets—and the job pays up to $385,000

Netflix is looking for a new flight attendant to join its “dream crew,” and it’s willing to pay over a quarter million dollars for the right candidate.

The streaming giant is hiring a primary flight attendant for one of its super midsize private jets based out of San Jose, Calif. near the company’s Los Gatos headquarters.

In addition to normal responsibilities such as performing pre-flight cabin inspections and conducting safety briefings, the new attendant will be responsible for maintaining the stockroom, according to the job listing.

The Role: 
As a Netflix Flight Attendant you are expected to embrace our culture, which places a strong emphasis on operating with Freedom and Responsibility, with independence and a lot of self-motivation. This is a lead position for a Northern California-based Flight Attendant, and the right candidate will be professionally trained in cabin and passenger safety and aircraft emergency evacuation. As you travel, you embrace the Netflix culture of Freedom and Responsibility, allowing you to operate with little direction and a lot of self-motivation. You also demonstrate the independent judgment, discretion and outstanding customer service skills necessary to provide a seamless experience for our passengers.

Responsibilities + Requirements:

  • The SJC-based Flight Attendant will be the primary Flight Attendant on a Super Midsize Jet. They will maintain and provision the  SJC Stockroom. The SJC Flight Attendant will support G550 trips as needed.
  • Demonstrate a  professional representation of Netflix Aviation at all times while performing the duties of the position.
  • Responsible for ensuring that Netflix Aviation’s goals for safety, security and highest quality service are continually met.
  • Performs pre-flight inspection of all cabin, galley and cockpit emergency equipment
  • Conducts a briefing of safety and emergency procedures prior to each flight and ensures that the cabin is secure prior to taxi, takeoff and landing.
  • Reports to the Flight Attendant Manager. When on a scheduled trip, the FA is responsible to the PIC.
  • Flight Safety FAA-certified training
  • Flexibility to work a varied work schedule including domestic and international travel, often requiring weekend and holiday work days and extended travel periods.
  • Must be able to assist with purchasing aircraft stock prior to trips, ability to lift and carry up to 30 lbs when loading and stocking the aircraft, capable of long periods of standing, able to help with baggage loading as necessary.
  • Availability to work ground duty days, in our San Jose hangar, provisioning aircraft and stockrooms, and attending team meetings in Burbank.
  • Ability to thrive within a team of Flight Attendants.
  • Due to the nature and scope of this role, we will need to run a background check prior to starting with us.
At Netflix, we carefully consider a wide range of compensation factors to determine your personal top of market. We rely on market indicators to determine compensation and consider your specific job family, background, skills, and experience to get it right. These considerations can cause your compensation to vary and will also be dependent on your location.
The overall market range for this role is typically $60,000 – $385,000.
This market range is based on total compensation (vs. only base salary), which is in line with our compensation philosophy. Netflix is a unique culture and environment.

Delta Air Lines firms order for 12 additional A220 aircraft

Delta Air Lines firms order for 12 additional A220 aircraft

Herndon, USA / Mirabel, Canada – 18 January 2023 – Delta Air Lines has firmed up an order for a dozen more A220-300 aircraft, bringing the airline’s total firm order for A220s to 119 aircraft – 45 A220-100s and 74 A220-300s. Throughout the years, Delta has reordered the A220 four times and is today the largest A220 customer and operator.

“These 12 additional A220 aircraft will help power our increasingly streamlined fleet while also providing our customers with the elevated in-flight experience they’ve come to expect from Delta,” said Kristen Bojko, Vice President of Fleet, Delta Air Lines.

“Delta Air Lines was the U.S. launch customer for the A220 and this fourth reorder in just four years by a leading carrier as Delta is a most gratifying endorsement,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of International. “The aircraft is currently connecting Delta passengers on more than 100 routes at 25 percent* less fuel and CO2  emissions. If you want to connect today and tomorrow, you can’t do any better!”

Delta took delivery of its first Airbus A220 in October 2018, and was the first U.S. carrier to operate the aircraft type. Delta currently owns a fleet of 415 Airbus aircraft, including 59 A220 aircraft, 266 A320 Family aircraft, 62 A330s and 28 A350-900 aircraft.

The A220 is the only aircraft purpose-built for the 100-150 seat market, bringing together state-of-the-art aerodynamics, advanced materials and Pratt & Whitney’s latest-generation GTF™ engines. The A220 brings customers a 50 percent reduced noise footprint as well as around 50 percent lower NOx emissions than industry standards.

With 246 A220s delivered to 16 airlines operating on four continents, the A220 is the optimal aircraft to offer operational flexibility for both regional as well as long-distance routes. To date, more than 70 million passengers have enjoyed the A220. The fleet is currently flying on over 825 routes and 325 destinations worldwide. As of the end of December 2022, some 30 customers have ordered close to 800 A220 aircraft – confirming its leading position in the small single-aisle market.

Aviation is set to thrive in 2023 with global traffic to reach pre-pandemic levels by June

Aviation is set to thrive in 2023 with global traffic to reach pre-pandemic levels by June

Dublin | 16 January 2023: The aviation sector is set to thrive in 2023 with global traffic to reach pre-pandemic levels by June, according to a paper published today by international aircraft leasing company Avolon.

After a 70% recovery in passenger traffic last year led by recovery in Europe and North America, Asia will drive growth in 2023, helped by the recent reopening in China. For every two seats of airline capacity added in the world today one is in Asia.

The traffic recovery brought the sector back to the brink of profitability in 2022, after combined sector losses of $180bn in 2020 and 2021. A profit of c.$4.7bn is forecast for 2023 as recovery continues.

Avolon’s 2023 Outlook: Climb to Cruise paper, available here reviews trends in the sector for airlines, manufacturers, and lessors. Key findings include:

Andy Cronin, CEO of Avolon commented:

“Aviation has demonstrated its resilience and is ready to thrive having come through a pandemic-driven two-thirds drop in traffic. Airlines, manufacturers, and lessors share an ecosystem that creates opportunities for all but requires collaboration to overcome key challenges including a higher interest rate environment, limited aircraft availability and the need to make further progress on decarbonisation goals.”

“The rebound in 2022 is set to continue in 2023, with China’s reopening helping to drive global traffic levels to pre-pandemic levels by June. Airlines are enjoying higher fares and load factors, and manufacturers are under pressure to ramp up production quicker. Whilst geopolitical and macroeconomic risks remain, this is a positive environment for lessors as supply constraints drive higher lease rates and increase the value of order books.”

The paper – co-authored by Avolon’s Chief Risk Officer, Jim Morrison, and Head of Counterparty Risk & Sustainability, Rosemarie O’Leary – makes seven forecasts:

Fearless Forecasts 2023

  1. China drives global passenger traffic to 2019 levels by June: Reopening of the world’s second largest aviation market will drive a rapid uptick in air travel.
  2. Manufacturers delay delivery rate targets by a year: Airbus and Boeing are targeting producing a combined 140 single-aisle and 24 twin-aisle aircraft per month by 2025. These targets will be delayed a year to focus on delivering to schedule and quality versus aspiration.
  3. A330ceo market lease rates increase by 35%: Used widebodies will be back in demand as international markets fully reopen, new aircraft are in short supply, and a pressing need for additional capacity emerges.
  4. Airline consolidation to accelerate as new airline start-ups slow: 100 new airlines started operations in the past three years, capitalizing on available aircraft and crews. Consolidation will replace fragmentation in 2023 and start-ups without competitive niches will be forced to exit.
  5. Two investment grade lessors will receive rating upgrades: Aviation has weathered the most severe downturn imaginable and yet lessor credit metrics all point positive. Ratings agencies will acknowledge the strength of the business model with upgrades.
  6. Two electric aircraft manufacturers are acquired: Start-up aerospace firms have built valuable intellectual property but require additional funding to finish the job. Larger firms will seize the opportunity to buy the most promising concepts.
  7. The volume of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) under offtake agreements doubles: Offtake agreements de-risk project financing by locking-in future revenues. ICAO tracks 40 billion litres of SAF under agreements today. This will increase to 80 billion, but more is needed.

Airbus reports 2022 commercial aircraft orders and deliveries.

Airbus reports 2022 commercial aircraft orders and deliveries

@Airbus #A220 #A320 #A330 #A350

Toulouse, 10 January 2023 – Airbus SE (Stock exchange symbol: AIR) delivered 661* commercial aircraft to 84 customers in 2022 and registered 1,078 gross new orders. Airbus’ end December 2022 backlog stood at 7,239 aircraft.

“In 2022 we served 84 customers with 661 deliveries, an increase of 8 percent compared to 2021. That’s obviously less than we were targeting but given the complexity of the operating environment I want to thank the teams and our partners for the hard work and the ultimate result,” said Guillaume Faury, Airbus Chief Executive Officer. “The significant order intake covering all our aircraft families including freighters, reflects the strength and competitiveness of our product line. We continue our ramp-up trajectory to deliver on our backlog.”

In 2022, deliveries included:

2022
2021
A220 Family 53 50
A320 Family 516 483
A330 Family 32
18
A350 Family 60*
55
A380
5
Total 661*
611
* After a reduction of two aircraft (2 A350-900 AEROFLOT) previously recorded as sold in December 2021 for which a transfer was not possible due to international sanctions against Russia.
Airbus equally won 1,078 new orders (820 net) across all programmes and market segments, including several high profile commitments from some of the world’s leading carriers. In aircraft units, Airbus recorded a net book to bill ratio significantly above one. 

Per programme, the A220 won 127 firm gross new orders. The A320neo Family won 888 gross new orders. In the widebody segment, Airbus won 63 gross new orders including 19 A330s and 44 A350s of which 24 were for the newly launched A350F.

The 2022 full year financial results will be disclosed on 16 February 2023.

Aviation Insider has partnered with North West Aerobatics to provide experience flights and UPRT training

Aviation Insider has partnered with North West Aerobatics to provide experience flights and UPRT training.

Click below to see what there is on offer.

Cornwall Airport Newquay’s epic transformation into the UK’s first ever Spaceport

From earth to orbit: Cornwall Airport Newquay’s epic transformation into the UK’s first ever Spaceport.

As the UK’s efforts to claim their ‘place in space’ ramp up, Cornwall Airport Newquay (CAN) reveals its journey to becoming a key player in Virgin Orbit and Spaceport Cornwall’s upcoming horizontal rocket launch – the first ever from UK soil.

The perfect location. The perfect launchpad.

A Spaceport transformation requires two things: the right facilities and legislation. Cornwall Airport Newquay now meets every need. As a commercially regulated aerodrome CAN already had many of the relevant facilities and infrastructure in place: a 2,744 x 45 metre long runway with surveillance systems and a secure perimeter to facilitate safe horizontal satellite launches, navigation aids, fuel storage and runway lighting.There were minimal infrastructure changes needed to make the site fully operational for space activity.

And with Spaceport’s sustainability values at the heart of their activities, CAN’s location made it the perfect contender for “the world’s responsible launch” site, offering uncongested airspace and low residential density. Its direct access to the Atlantic Ocean and segregated airspace, as well as the close proximity to world-leading satellite communications provider Goonhilly Earth Station (25 miles south) made this the ultimate launchpad for the UK’s newest space ventures.

Ian Jones, CEO of Goonhilly Earth Station, believes Cornwall is the perfect place to propel the UK Space scene towards global renown: “we’re on a peninsula, surrounded by the ocean with the ability to get into, and communicate, with space. It’s like living on our own little spaceship here. It’s also the sort of environment that makes our services exportable to the rest of the world. Like we exported mining over 200 years ago, we’re now exporting highly effective communications and that is the way forward.”

A rocket fuelled metamorphosis…

CAN’s transformation from a regional passenger airport to the UK’s first licensed Space and Air port was no easy feat. There were some key operational measures and procedures needed to get the project off the ground (and into space!) – the most challenging and integral being legislation and the CAA licensing.

The team were involved in multiple aspects of the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s licensing process. Operationally, they prepared Echo Apron for the upcoming launch activities, provided the specialist Ground servicing equipment, handled the inbound Cosmic Girl (a modified Boeing 747) carrying the equipment for launch preparations, as well as handling and offloading the Launcher One rocket upon its arrival from the United States.

Thanks to their teams’ aerodrome support, marshalling, guidance, security and air traffic control provision, both the Echo Apron and the Space Systems Integration Facility are ready for launch. With safety underpinning all launch preparations, Cornwall Airport Newquay has received the UK CAA’s approval. – On 16th November 2022 they reached a new frontier, becoming the UK’s very first airport to hold a Spaceport licence.

Speaking about the transformation, Managing Director of Cornwall Airport Newquay, Sam O’Dwyer says: “We are incredibly proud to be involved in this innovative project to enable space launch from Cornwall Airport Newquay with Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit. The team effort that has gone into developing a fully licensed Spaceport facility which will deliver safe and secure space operations for the UK’s first ever space launch has been simply inspiring and I’d like to say a massive well done to my team.”

Delivering twice as much.

CAN says the aerodrome will continue to provide quality commercial airport services, after their teams worked hard across the business to develop safe Spaceport facilities alongside a busy summer schedule. The fantastic display of teamwork ensured business targets were met – with a wide range of flight destinations on offer this summer. With 7 new destinations and 3 further airline partnerships on the way – Bringing their offering up to a huge 21 destinations, with 10 airlines in total for 2023. – CAN’s significant network expansion is a solid foundation on which they hope to build successes far exceeding their pre-pandemic status.

A symbiotic relationship borne to benefit life on Earth:

Underlining the importance of deep collaboration, communication and trust when it comes to delivering such an ambitious project. CAN worked with a number of key stakeholders within the Spaceport Cornwall consortium, whilst keeping much of their activity in-house –
a distinctive feature of the organisation’s operational processes across the board. CAN is proud to be so self-sufficient and says this unique framework reduces their need to subcontract, thus increasing work efficiency and speed.

A training plan was developed for all Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) to ensure new terminologies (for types of fuel, new roles, responsibilities and regulations) were clearly understood. The Rescue & Fire Fighting Service (RFFS) also supported Spaceport activities throughout, managing staffing levels and fire appliances in preparation for the arrival of Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl and Californian colleagues. Various in-house teams also revised the Spaceport Cornwall Safety Case for CAA licensing requirements and developed the Launch Day Airspace Plan. – Alongside updating the Hazardous Operations Procedures & Checklists, Spaceport Manual, Aerodrome Manual and Emergency Response.

Melissa Thorpe, Head of Spaceport Cornwall added, ‘Working with our partners at Cornwall Airport Newquay is key to the success of this mission. The collaborative spirit between our teams and the sharing of expertise will result in history being made, and we couldn’t be more proud!’

Looking to the future – what happens once we’ve claimed our place in space?

Access to Space for all, commercial small satellite launch activities, and sub-orbital spaceflight operations define the UK’s National Space Strategy. Working in tandem with Spaceport Cornwall and Virgin Orbit, it’s hoped that Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (CIoS) Space Enterprise Zone will lead the way, exploiting “physical, digital and intellectual assets and using satellite data to overcome local and global challenges such as the impact of climate change.” According to CIoS LEP, the region will have “contributed to an additional £1 billion of economic value for CIoS through increased productivity, jobs, and turnover” by 2030.

Spaceport Cornwall has the power to propel socio-economic benefits into infinity and beyond…

Valued at £16.5 billion, the innovative space sector already supports 47,000 jobs and it’s not going to stop there. From inspiring young people, tackling the digital skills gap and enhancing academic research, to monitoring climate change, attracting further investment and supporting the county beyond seasonal tourism, the projected socio-economic impacts are bountiful. Here’s to a new and exciting chapter in Cornwall Airport Newquay’s 88 years of operations! And most importantly, here’s to Cornwall, home of the nation’s first Spaceport.

END

British Airways unveils its new uniform to more than 30,000 employees for the first time since 2004

British Airways unveils its new uniform to more than 30,000 employees for the first time since 2004

Press release from BA:

British Airways has today unveiled a new uniform to take the airline into its next chapter. The collection of garments, created by British fashion designer and tailor Ozwald Boateng OBE, will be worn by more than 30,000 of the airline’s colleagues from Spring 2023.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: “Our uniform is an iconic representation of our brand, something that will carry us into our future, representing the very best of modern Britain and helping us deliver a great British original service for our customers. From the very start this has been about our people. We wanted to create a uniform collection that our people are proud to wear and with the help of over 1,500 colleagues, we are confident that we have delivered this.”

The collection features a tailored three-piece suit for men with regular and slim fit style trousers and dress, skirt and trouser options for women, as well as a modern jumpsuit – which is an airline first. A tunic and hijab option has also been created for the global carrier.

Boateng took great care in designing a truly original collection, taking inspiration from the airline, its people of the art of flying.  The airwave pattern that features across the entire uniform collection including jackets, t-shirts, buttons and ties was inspired by the movement of air over an aircraft wing. The jacquard fabric across all of the tailored garments features a variation of the airline’s iconic speedmarque.

To make sure that each garment is fit for purpose, the airline has been putting the uniform to the test over the last six months in secret trials. Cabin and flight crew uniforms have been put through their paces on cargo flights across Europe while engineers have been secretly wearing the new uniforms while maintaining aircraft out of sight in Manchester and Cotswold Airports. Many of the outdoor garments have also been tested in deluge showers and freezers at -18 degrees Celsius to ensure they’re water resistant, durable and fit for extreme weather conditions, like some of those seen recently.

During the trials colleagues gave feedback on the practicability of the garments, resulting in amendments ahead of the rollout. For example, engineers requested easy access tool pockets for when they’re working on aircraft, while ground handlers asked for touch-screen technology fabric in their gloves so they can use their devices in cold climates without having to take them off.

Emma Carey, British Airways’ cabin crew, who was one of the colleagues who carried out secret trials of the uniform, said: “It’s been a real honour and responsibility to help test the new uniform and put it through its paces at 35,000ft to make sure it’s fit for purpose, with thousands of my colleagues counting on me. It was great to see that adjustments were made after our feedback. The pockets on the apron, for example, were widened after the trial so we had more room for everything we need during meal services on board.  I can’t wait for our customers to see the new collection.”

Sustainability and quality have been front and centre throughout the uniform design process. More than 90% of the garments are produced using sustainable fabric from blends of recycled polyester. As part of British Airways’ BA Better World commitment to work with sustainable suppliers, the airline is only working with manufacturers that are members of the ‘Better Cotton’ initiative, the world’s leading sustainability initiative for cotton, whose mission is to help cotton communities survive and thrive, while protecting and restoring the environment.

The airline’s engineers and ground operations agents will be first to wear the new uniform from Spring 2023. All British Airways’ cabin crew, pilots and check-in agents will have a switch over date from their current uniform to the new one in Summer 2023. As they pick up their new items of uniform, they’ll hand in their Julien MacDonald garments, which will be donated to charity or recycled to create toys, tablet holders and more, with a number of items gifted to the airline’s museum.

ENDS

Wizzair has announced they are hiring Direct Entry A320 Type Rated Captains

Wizzair has announced they are hiring Direct Entry A320 Type Rated Captains

Take your career to new heights with Europe’s fastest-growing low-cost airline. With the expansion of Wizz Air destinations across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, pilots will be joining Wizz Air at an exciting time rich in opportunities. The rapidly growing fleet of Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft is young, modern and sustainable, carrying passengers on 800 routes to 191 destinations in 49 countries. This fleet is expected to triple over the next 10 years, providing career progression to ambitious and talented pilots, first officers and direct entry captains. Wizz Air is committed to the development and well-being of its pilots, providing competitive salaries, industry-leading training, an indefinite and secure contract, and a flexible and fixed flight rosters for improved work-life balance. Open up a world of opportunity with Wizz Air.

Airline Operator Certificate/Location is selected during the application process, this job advertisement is valid for all Wizz Air job locations.

If you would like to join our Flight Crew team as an Airbus A320 Type Rated Captain, please see below the requirements for applying:

  • Unrestricted right to live and work in the EU or Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, North Macedonia, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom
  • Valid EASA / UK CAA/ GCAA UAE Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL)
  • Valid ICAO Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) – only for pilots applying to Wizz Air Abu Dhabi
  • Valid Class 1 Medical Certificate
  • Valid Instrument Rating (IR) on Airbus A320*
  • ICAO level 4/5/6 English proficiency
  • Minimum 3.500 factorized hours**
  • Last commercial flight within the preceding 6 months (preferable, not hard limit due to COVID-19 effects)
  • Minimum 500 hours of actual flight time as Commander on Airbus A320 aircraft***
  • Minimum 300 hours actual flight time on Airbus A320 in the last 12 months*** (preferable, not hard limit due to COVID-19 effects)

Notes:

*The type rating must have at least 6 months validity on the date of joining, as new candidates only complete an OPC on starting

**Factorized hours:  Wizz Air applies factors to pilot flying hours to determine minimum requirements for Commanders. A pilot’s hours flown in each category are multiplied by the applicable factor from the below table. The sum of all groups after factorization will be used to determine whether the pilot meets the minimum required experience.

*** Ultra-light aircraft, power gliders, simulator and helicopter hours are excluded. PIC hours are pilot-in-command hours. This does not include PICUS hours.

Aircraft Group

PIC

Other

Wizz Air

1

1

Airline Short-haul Jet

1

0.8

Airline Long-haul Jet

0.8

0.7

Airline Turbine (multi-crew)

0.8

0.7

Military Fast Jet

0.7

0.7

Non-airline multi-engine

0.7

0.5

Multi-pilot helicopter

0.5

0.5

Single engine/rotary single pilot

0.3

0.3

Airline cruise pilot (above FL200)

0.2

0.2

During the application process, you will need to have your:

  • Resume/CV prepared in DOCX, PDF, Image, or Text format
  • Cover/motivational letter prepared in DOCX, PDF, Image, or Text format if you wish to upload (optional)
  • Passport scanned
  • Flight Crew License scanned
  • Class1 Medical License scanned
  • Pilot Logbook prepared, so you are able to enter your previous experience

Aviation Insider offers a comprehensive Wizzair Simulator preparation Guide and our other simulator preparation guides for all airlines. We also offer simulator preparation. Our preparation simulator sessions are the perfect preparation for any airline assessment and can be tailored to your experience and requirements, but we always train on competencies and skills rather than what previous clients received so you are able to deal with all eventualities.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY DIRECTLY TO WIZZ AIR

Condor takes delivery of its first A330neo to modernise fleet

Condor takes delivery of its first A330neo to modernise fleet

#Airbus  #Condor #A330neo

Toulouse, 20 December 2022 – German Airline Condor Flugdienst GmbH has taken delivery of its first A330-900 widebody aircraft out of an order of 16 A330neo aircraft. The A330neo will replace previous generation aircraft in their fleet to reduce Condor’s operating costs as well as fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 25 percent. Condor’s A330neo will offer unrivalled passenger comfort and will accommodate 310 passengers, featuring 30 seats in Business, 64 seats in Premium Economy and 216 seats in Economy class.

The A330neo features the award-winning Airspace cabin, providing passengers with a high level of comfort, ambience and design. This includes offering more personal space, larger overhead bins, a new lighting system, and the ability to offer the latest in-flight entertainment systems and full connectivity. As with all Airbus aircraft, the A330neo also features a state-of-the-art cabin air system ensuring a clean and safe environment during the flight.

Condor has selected in July 2022 the A320neo Family to modernise its Single-Aisle-fleet. By operating the A320neo and A330neo aircraft side by side, Condor will benefit from the commonality economics these two aircraft Families offer.

The A330neo is the new generation version of the popular A330 widebody. Incorporating the latest generation Rolls-Royce Trent 7000 engines, new wings and a range of aerodynamic innovations, the aircraft offers a 25 percent reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The A330-900 is capable of flying 7 200 nm / 13 334 km non-stop.

At the end of November, the A330 Family had registered a total of over 1,700 firm orders of which 275 are A330neos from 24 customers.

TUI launches Airline Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Cadet Programme

TUI launches Airline Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) Cadet Programme.

This is an exciting opportunity for those with little, or no, flying experience, and it’s also fully funded!

If you require interview or simulator preparation get in touch. We work with industry-leading AirlinePrep Ltd who are the only interview preparation company that work with BALPA. Together we can help you prepare. When it comes to the simulator assessment preparation we are on hand having helped over a 1000 clients in the last 7 years. We also offer a comprehensive TUI Simulator preparation Guide  and simulator preparation. Our preparation simulator sessions are the perfect preparation for any airline assessment and can be tailored to your experience and requirements, but we always train on competencies and skills rather than what previous clients received so you are able to deal with all eventualities.

Click Here to see our list of airline recruitment websites. Or, Apply to TUI using the following link here.

 

BA Euroflyer are hiring Non Type Rated Direct Entry FO’s.

BA Euroflyer is hiring Non-Type Rated Direct Entry FOs. Do you have a minimum of 500hrs or 100 sectors on a ZFT-qualifying aircraft?

British Airways Euroflyer has opened recruitment again, but this time it’s for low houred pilots.

Aviation Insider offers a comprehensive British Airways Simulator preparation Guide and our other simulator preparation guides for all airlines. We also offer simulator preparation. Our preparation simulator sessions are the perfect preparation for any airline assessment and can be tailored to your experience and requirements, but we always train on competencies and skills rather than what previous clients received so you are able to deal with all eventualities.

Click Here to see our list of airline recruitment websites and links to apply for the BA Euroflyer job.

More Travel Disruption Feared As Passengers Take To The Skies This Holiday Season

More Travel Disruption Feared As Passengers Take To The Skies This Holiday Season

Following the news of the impending issues at Heathrow this Christmas, we’ve got some new data going live this morning. IBS Software asked 2000 recent travellers about their travel disruption experiences and it paints an equally bleak story for people getting away over the festive period:

London, UK, 7 December 2022: New data from travel technology company IBS Software reveals that despite more than two thirds (68%) of passengers being inconvenienced by disrupted journeys since COVID travel restrictions were lifted and 66% expecting more of the same during upcoming trips, most (83%) still plan on flying for a break in the next six months.

The research, which polled 2000 recent travellers in the UK and US*, warns that holiday providers have one more chance to get it right; if holidaymakers experience disruptions again during their upcoming trips, over half (55%) will avoid booking with the airline in the future. When asked who they blame for their poor experiences, 50% said it was the fault of the airlines when flights were delayed, with just 13% blaming the airport. However, when it comes to lost luggage the jury is out – 42% say it’s the airport’s responsibility and 40% are seething at the airline.

Delayed flights or missed connections was the most common holiday hurdle, affecting over a third of all passengers (35%), followed closely by waiting in longer than normal queues (31%) and cancelled flights (15%). Lost luggage, which dominated the news headlines in the Summer, is confirmed by the research as a major annoyance, blighting nearly 1 in 7 passengers’ holidays over the last 18 months.

Despite a clear desire to travel, passengers won’t accept more disruption without protest. If passengers find out their journey is going to be disrupted, 53% will complain to the airline and 38% will use social media to broadcast their annoyance. And if an airline doesn’t have a reputation for punctuality they’re likely to lose out with 93% of travellers saying this is an important factor when deciding which airline to buy from.

However, there is still an opportunity for airlines to win back the loyalty of their passengers. When terminal turmoil occurs, passengers can be placated by automatic refunds when eligible; proactive customer support to suggest alternative routes; and automatic alerts on their phone when something goes wrong. As one passenger who took the survey commented: “Just actually organise yourselves properly, there’s no excuse for all the disruption”.

Philip Hinton, SVP, IBS Software, comments: “The pent-up desire to travel was always going to put airlines and airports under extreme pressure – and so it proved, with widespread disruption plaguing many long-anticipated journeys. Airlines know this is a major issue and we are seeing them prioritising on-time performance and customer satisfaction because the widespread issues have directly impacted business performance.”

Etihad Airways and Cathay Pacific are hiring pilots

Etihad Airways and Cathay Pacific are hiring pilots

Etihad are on the lookout for Flight Crew and Flight Instructors who will embrace their pillars while embodying their personal, thorough, creative and caring values. Join the young fleet of 71 Airbus and Boeing aircrafts, including 15 A320, 5 A350, 39 B787, 13 B777. Job Description includes (but are not limited to):

Etihad needs:

At Cathay Pacific, our Second Officers are our future captains. If you have a passion for flying and the ambition to develop a career in aviation, we want to hear from you. By joining the Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme, you will receive sponsored training to obtain a Commercial Pilot License and become a pilot to operate regional, long haul and ultra-long haul flights. Cadets will undergo ground training with leading institutions in Hong Kong and around the world. Flying training will be conducted at world-renowned flying training organisations in the United States or Australia. Applications for the Cathay Pacific Cadet Pilot Programme are open year-round.

If you’re thinking of applying, Aviation Insider offers simulator preparation. Our preparation simulator sessions are the perfect preparation for any airline assessment and can be tailored to your experience and requirements, but we always train on competencies and skills rather than what previous clients received so you are able to deal with all eventualities. Contact us for more information.

Apply to Etihad: Click here

Apply to Cathay Pacific: Click Here

 

Aircraft charters booming in Southeast Asia as region leaves the pandemic firmly in its wake

Aircraft charters booming in Southeast Asia as region leaves the pandemic firmly in its wake

World-leading aircraft charter specialist, Air Charter Service, says that it has experienced a huge increase in demand for charters across Southeast Asia, especially when compared to pre-pandemic levels, as it currently stands at more than double that of 2019.

Stephen Fernandez, Director for ACS in the region, commented: “Across Southeast Asia, travel has been made significantly easier over the course of this year as the last few countries that had some form of Covid restrictions are allowing people to now travel more freely. This has meant an influx of enquiries for our offices in the region, and the booking figures for Southeast Asia are far higher than we have ever seen.

“For the year so far we have seen a 166% increase in enquiries and bookings on the pre-pandemic levels of 2019 for our passenger charter divisions. Part of our enhanced growth can be attributed to our Singapore office, which only opened its doors just prior to Covid, but we have also seen huge increases across the region, in particular in Philippines, Cambodia and Malaysia.

“This increase is significantly higher than the market average, with WingX’s latest figures confirming a 58% increase between January and September across the region. To put things into perspective a little, the US’s growth compared to pre-pandemic, over the same period, is just 11%; although the private aviation market in Southeast Asia is smaller than some of the rest of the world.”

Ryanair Europe’s Favourite Airline are continuing the recruitment of B737 Rated First Officers for their European network

Ryanair Europe’s Favourite Airline are continuing the recruitment of B737 Rated First Officers for their European network. According to their careers page, they offer the following terms and conditions:

  • Local contracts
  • Outstanding earnings potential (including guaranteed min. hours for contractors)
  • The best roster in the business; stable 5 on 4 off pattern
  • No planned overnights and rosters published 4 weeks in advance
  • Unrivaled career progression – new aircraft and bases create opportunities for promotion to SFI, Captain, LTC, TRE, Base Captain, etc.
  • Job security – permanent and contract positions available in one of the most successful airlines in the world
  • Industry-leading training
  • New modern fleet – our fleet consists entirely of next-generation Boeing 737-800s and the newest B737 8200s
  • Great base opportunities available at many locations across the network

If you’re thinking of applying, Aviation Insider offers a comprehensive Ryanair Simulator preparation Guide and our other simulator preparation guides for all airlines. We also offer simulator preparation. Our preparation simulator sessions are the perfect preparation for any airline assessment and can be tailored to your experience and requirements, but we always train on competencies and skills rather than what previous clients received so you are able to deal with all eventualities.

Click Here to apply to Ryanair directly.

The Airline Pilot Club (APC) announces partnership with Skyborne Airline Academy

The Airline Pilot Club (APC) announces partnership with Skyborne Airline Academy

The Airline Pilot Club and Skyborne Airline Academy create new pathway to being an Airline Pilot.

26th June 2022: APC and Skyborne Airline Academy are today announcing the launch of a partnership that will provide aspiring airline pilots with professional guidance and high-quality theoretical and practical training as they progress on their route to the flight deck.

APC’s free membership allows anyone who registers with APC at Airline Pilot Club to have access to a free AON produced, Pilot Career Psychometric Assessment and free access to airline training department standard e-learning. APC webinars are designed to improve awareness of, and preparation for, the airline pilot career. A key element of the APC process is to connect its members with high quality Approved Training Organisations (ATO) such as Skyborne Airline Academy. The partnership with APC also means that Skyborne students will avail of great preparation for their flight training, giving them the best possible chance of succeeding in become an airline pilot.

Skyborne has a well-earned reputation for providing high-quality training which is why it is the APC ATO of choice for UK based future airline pilots. With two training locations at Gloucestershire Airport, UK and Vero Beach in Florida, US, Skyborne’s state-of-the-art facilities provide airline-focused pilot training to its students from day one of their course.

APC founder, Captain Andy O’Shea FRAeS along with Skyborne CEO, Lee Woodward share unique experience and connections in the airline industry. This partnership will allow the organisations to leverage these wide-ranging resources so that APC members and Skyborne students benefit from introductions to well-known airlines throughout Europe and the best possible start to an airline pilot career.

Commenting on the announcement, APC founder and CEO, Captain Andy O’Shea said “We are very pleased to announce the launch of our partnership with Skyborne. I am very aware of the quality that Lee and his team provide their trainees. We are excited to give our members access to Skyborne’s training services. With our new free membership and access to great preparation for airline pilot training we are confident that this partnership will provide a superb service for APC members and Skyborne students.”

On behalf of Skyborne, CEO Lee Woodward, adds: “I have over 30-years’ experience in this wonderful industry both in the airlines directly, and latterly as a supplier of training services as a director of CTC Aviation Group, and now as CEO of Skyborne. Our academy currently has partnerships with nine airlines across Europe and the US; providing career development opportunities for aspiring cadet pilots.

“I have known Andy O’Shea for a long time and have always admired his skill and judgement when it comes to working with FTOs to offer pilot career pathways. As such, Skyborne is delighted to partner with APC. We recently underwent an audit by the APC team in order to be approved. We found the whole review and audit process to be professional, fair, and constructive. I really am delighted with the way things went and am pleased to be working with APC.”

ENDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virgin Atlantic have opened recruitment again, but this time it’s for low houred pilots

Virgin Atlantic have opened recruitment again, but this time it’s for low houred pilots

Virgin Atlantic is recruiting for Second Officers to join their B789 fleet.

This is a unique opportunity to advance your career and become a Long Haul pilot flying with UK’s only 5-star airline. You will enjoy Virgin Atlantic’s full set of benefits as well as slot into their seniority list earlier in your career.

Aviation Insider offers a comprehensive Virgin Atlantic Simulator preparation Guide and our other simulator preparation guides for all airlines. We also offer simulator preparation. Our preparation simulator sessions are the perfect preparation for any airline assessment and can be tailored to your experience and requirements, but we always train on competencies and skills rather than what previous clients received so you are able to deal with all eventualities.

Click Here to contact Zenon.

Air Partner and Antonov team up to successfully transport oversized Aero Engine and AOG components to remote Island

Air Partner and Antonov team up to successfully transport oversized Aero Engine and AOG components to remote Island

Air Partner, the world leading aviation services group, provided an urgent AOG cargo charter solution to move an oversized aircraft engine and critical tooling to a remote island in the Azores.  

This ambitious undertaking utilised an Antonov AN-124 and a Boeing 747 Freighter to transport a replacement aircraft engine, empty stand, tooling, lifting beam, including a 48-ton mobile crane to load and offload the high value and oversized aircraft engine into and out of the AN-124 cargo cabin.   

Air Partner offer creative solutions for cargo projects of all sizes and has a 24/7 support team to manage urgent enquiries. Aircraft access can be organised for part or full charter service across small jets to oversized cargo suited to Antonov aircraft. 

This complicated logistical challenge took weeks to plan, four days to execute, and required close cooperation between Air Partner’s UK and US offices. These charter flights between airports in Miami, Luxembourg, the Azores, and London also included the deployment of Air Partner personnel to oversee all aspects of the load and offload procedure on-site, at each location. 

The Antonov AN-124 aircraft was selected to better facilitate the oversized load and, as a self-loading aircraft, circumvent the smaller loading capabilities of the remote destination. 

 A B747-F was used to transport the serviceable engine from Miami to Luxembourg. The cargo was then loaded onto an AN-124 for transport to the Azores.  A 48-ton mobile crane was sourced and also loaded on the AN-124, along with a driver and rigger, due to unconfirmed availability of suitable mobile lifting equipment on the island. This was a value-added solution to provide capability for loading and offloading of the aircraft, as well as assisting with lifting and installation of various engine components onto the AOG aircraft. 

Following the successful operation, the AN-124 was flown to Stansted airport with the unserviceable engine, empty stand and mobile crane onboard. The mobile crane was repositioned back to the base in the EU, and the unserviceable engine and tooling trucked to Amsterdam for onward scheduled flights. 

Robert Jubb, Head of Freight UK, Air Partner, said: 

“This complex operation highlighted the value of our joint UK and US cargo offerings. Our team of cargo experts are available 24/7 for situations exactly like this. Air Partner’s clients can rely on our swift and bespoke approach to cargo charter in urgent situations.” 

“The all-inclusive, value-added project was a prime example of our above and beyond service that is tailored to a client’s needs, and at a level expected by the most demanding and informed buyers. This also cements our position as the market leader for AOG aircraft recovery, especially in traditionally difficult and remote geographies. We are trusted by the global Aerospace market to deliver when every minute counts. 

Jack Burt, Vice President of Freight US, Air Partner, said: 

“Air Partner can access any size cargo aircraft to solve any size logistical issue.  The Antonov AN-124 aircraft was ideal for this charter flight and the service provided by the Antonov airlines staff and crew was world class.  We are proud to have worked with such great partners and delivered such a great product for our client with this project flight.” 

Serhii Bilozerov, Commercial Executive, Antonov Airlines, said: 

“It was a very interesting and unusual project. Thanks to Air Partner`s and ANTONOV`s highly professional specialists we successfully delivered the sensitive cargo to the destination.”  

Vueling expands its onboard menu with more vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options

Vueling expands its onboard menu with more vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options

The menu includes 12 new options to better accommodate customers’ culinary preferences. 

The airline offers customers the opportunity to donate to Save The Children with every purchase they make on board.  

The Shop on Board catalogue, as well as its range of exclusive gastronomic products, is also expanding, from 8 to 28 pages.

London, 17 November, 2022.- Upholding its commitment to customer experience and quality of food available on board, Vueling, part of IAG, is introducing a new and updated menu for the winter season with a larger range of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free products, as well as expanding its Shop on Board catalogue.

The new menu responds to calls from coeliacs to make a varied selection of gluten-free products available. For customers suffering with coeliac disease, for example, new gluten-free options include beer, almonds, chicken noodles, jellybeans, chocolate brownies and Spanish omelette.

For vegan or vegetarian customers, the airline has added the Vegan Box, with black olive tapenade, houmous, breadsticks, caramelised pecan walnuts, and the vegetarian wrap, with Cajun mayo sauce, white rice, red beans, corn, red cabbage and cheddar cheese, both as new alternatives to its conventional menu.

Vueling is also bringing a new range of exclusive products to its menu, made up of three new options: a Ramón Bilbao D.O. Rioja red wine, a savoury egg and cheese muffin and banana bread. Together with the increase to its Shop On Board products, 12 new culinary options have been added to the Vueling menu in total, expanding the airline’s catalogue to 28 pages, compared to the current 8.

For more social and sustainable onboard purchases  

In addition to expanding its culinary offer, Vueling is giving customers the opportunity to donate to Save The Children with every purchase they make on board. All donations will go towards the NGO global emergency fund, which fights to save the lives of thousands of children.

All this comes as part of Vueling’s latest sustainability initiatives, focused on introducing eco-friendly materials into its cabin packaging and providing ways to help customers reduce their use of single-use packaging on board. To this end, Vueling has successfully eliminated the use of more than 1,276 tonnes of plastic since 2021, and a total of 443 tonnes in 2022.

About Vueling 

 Vueling, a company belonging to the IAG, is a key player in connections in Spain, the largest domestic market in Europe, and contributes to the economic and tourism development in the region.  Vueling has carried out numerous initiatives in recent years with the main objective of becoming more sustainable. Its sustainability plan includes strategies to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere, waste management and noise reduction.

Among the latest actions are the implementation of segregation processes on aircraft with the aim of recycling 100% of the waste on board, or the possibility for its passengers to make a small contribution, on a voluntary basis, so that on the day of their flight, sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is supplied through collaboration with Avikor.

UK Law firm Stewarts on the MH17 trial following verdict

Thursday 17 November 2022: On 17 July 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down by a Russian BUK missile as it passed over Ukrainian airspace while en route from Amsterdam to Malaysia. Following the disaster, UK law firm Stewarts was instructed by some 30 families of passengers who had perished in the shooting down, including nearly all British families as well as families from South Africa, the Netherlands and Malaysia.

Today, the District Court of the Hague found Sergey Dubinsky, Igor Girkin and Leonid Kharchenko guilty for their role in the shooting down of Flight MH17. All suspects have been tried in absentia. This trial which has led to this decision lasted two and a half years, and followed a technical investigation by a specially formed Joint Investigation Committee which itself lasted nearly four years. The trial offered a unique opportunity for families to address the court on the suffering that was inflicted on them by the perpetrators of the shooting down.

Peter Neenan, Partner in Stewarts’ Aviation team said:

“The judgment released today by the District Court of the Hague marks an important step in the families of the victims of the MH17 disaster’s fight for justice, truth and accountability. It is a long and difficult road, and our clients, and all families of victims, have shown amazing strength and resilience as they continue to seek answers about what happened and why.

“The finding of guilt today is just one part of that fight for justice and truth. Those who actually fired the missile remain unknown. While the BUK missile launcher was traced back to 53rd Anti-Aircraft Brigade in Kursk, Russia, those specific masters who authorised its deployment remain unknown. Nevertheless, critically, the judge said today, that the court found that the Russian state had overall control; coordinating the military actions, providing financial support and providing instruction to the separatists.

“In 2018, the governments of the Netherlands and Australia held Russia publicly accountable for the downing of flight MH17. They have sought to diplomatically discuss Russia’s responsibility and they have sought to legally enforce Russia’s responsibility through legal proceedings brought before the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

“There were 10 British nationals on board Flight MH17. As one of the five permanent members of the United Nation’s Security Council, the UK must now use this moment to offer its weight and support to any diplomatic discussions, alongside the governments of the Netherlands and Australia, and bring legal proceedings against Russia before ICAO.

“What comes next for the families will in many ways depend on how the nations of the world, not just the Netherlands and Australia, show their citizens that they truly wish to deliver justice for this atrocity.”

Bose is not standing still, and remains a company committed to thinking beyond what could be imagined

Bose is not standing still, and remains a company committed to thinking beyond what could be imagined.

 

More work to be done on gender representation in aviation and aerospace, says 2022 IAWA Woman of Excellence

More work to be done on gender representation in aviation and aerospace, says 2022 IAWA Woman of Excellence

10 November – Katherine Bennett CBE, CEO of the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, has been named 2022 Woman of Excellence by the International Aviation Women’s Association (IAWA), in recognition of her ‘unwavering commitment to the advancement and support of women’ in the sector.

The annual award recognises women who are leaders in aerospace and aviation, have demonstrated a commitment to the advancement of women in the industries and are respected by all.

“Katherine’s unwavering commitment to the advancement and support of women in this field and the development of the next generation of leaders is unparalleled,” said IAWA President, Kathleen Guilfoyle. “I cannot think of a more deserving candidate for this prestigious award.”

Bennett was given the Award for her commitment to women in the industry across the world, including her work founding the UK’s chapter of Women in Aviation and Aerospace, and her involvement in the Royal Aeronautical Society. The former Senior Vice President for Airbus in the UK is the eleventh recipient of the IAWA Award. Previous recipients include the pioneering NASA mathematician and engineer Dr. Christine Darden and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Rolls-Royce North America Inc. Marion Blakey.

Katherine Bennett CBE said: “I am honored to receive the 2022 IAWA Woman of Excellence Award. When less than 15% of global leadership in aviation and aerospace are women, there is clearly more work to be done. I will continue to work on improving gender representation in the industry.”

Bennett joined the HVM Catapult as CEO in June 2021 following a 16-year career at Airbus, including as Senior Vice President leading the company’s external engagement and strategy in the UK. Ms. Bennett’s previous employment was with Vauxhall Motors where she headed up their government affairs function and prior to that worked for Hill and Knowlton Public Relations in London, working with a range of industrial clients. Bennett was awarded the Order of Commander of the British Empire in January 2019 for services to the aerospace and aviation sector.

 

About the International Aviation Womens Association (IAWA)

IAWA is a nonprofit association providing a worldwide network dedicated to promoting the advancement of women in the aviation and aerospace industries at all levels across the globe. IAWA sponsors informative meetings, hosts receptions, and connects, publishes newsletters, and keeps its members updated on the latest industry developments. Information related to the Association, its programs, studies and NextGen opportunities can be found at IAWA.org.

Large commercial aircraft powered by hydrogen could be in the sky earlier than thought

Large commercial aircraft powered by hydrogen could be in the sky earlier than thought

Hydrogen electric propulsion technology could be scaled up more quickly than originally thought, enabling a new generation of sustainable aircraft – according to Max Brown, Vice-President of Technology at GKN Aerospace, a Hydrogen South West partner.

The demand for zero emission solutions to air travel has placed aviation on the cusp of its biggest transformation in decades. Hydrogen is expected to be at the heart of this new era, with both hydrogen combustion and hydrogen electric propulsion technologies critical to unlocking zero CO2 emissions. However, a significant challenge for both types of hydrogen propulsion is scalability – engineering systems with the performance, weight and hydrogen storage capacity to power larger, longer range aircraft.

Scaling hydrogen propulsion systems

GKN Aerospace leads the ATI supported hydrogen electric propulsion programme ‘H2GEAR’. While this began by targeting a 19-passenger hydrogen aircraft solution, the ambition has now shifted.

We found that efficiency of the electrical power distribution and electric motor were extremely important, and that more conventional fuel cell based propulsion systems would not be attractive for regional size aircraft and above. However, by using the on-board liquid hydrogen to cool our electrical system and motors, we gain substantial efficiency improvements, enabling us to reduce the on-board power generation, motor size and mass, as well as the mass of our distribution cables.

The H2GEAR team now has confidence that hydrogen electric systems could scale to aircraft with 96 passengers, and are presently studying the technology enablers for larger aircraft.

The benefits of cooling

Thermal management – dealing with waste heat from the fuel cells and due to losses in the electrical system – is a major hurdle for developers in this space. The GKN Aerospace system cools various elements of the power distribution and motor systems to less than -200 degrees, which offers significant benefits in the overall operational efficiency of that system, thereby reducing waste heat. This approach means electricity could be distributed at a lower voltage, and through conductors at least 50 times lower in mass than would otherwise be required.

Hydrogen South West

H2GEAR is on track to deliver a ground-based demonstration of a scalable hydrogen electric propulsion system by the end of 2025, with the aim of entry into service on regional platforms in the early 2030s. The headquarters of this industry-leading work is GKN Aerospace’s £32M Global Technology Centre in Bristol, in the heart of the UK’s South West.

However, while H2GEAR is truly ground-breaking, no single company or project will be enough to achieve the UK’s net zero goals. This is why GKN Aerospace has joined forces with other major companies in the region to form Hydrogen South West – a cross-sector partnership which aims to act as a catalyst to create a hydrogen infrastructure ecosystem in the South West. Collaboration such as this is essential for the UK to succeed, and for aerospace to secure hydrogen supply at airports.

World leader in hydrogen development

The South West is home to the world’s leading aerospace cluster, outside of the United States, and provides 100,000 jobs and around £7 billion to the UK economy.

Becoming an early adopter of hydrogen aircraft will encapsulate Hydrogen South West’s ambition and go a long way to mark the South West, and the UK, as a world leader in hydrogen development.

Find out more: www.hydrogensouthwest.com.

 

Max Brown, Vice-President of Technology at GKN Aerospace,

How helicopters are helping keep Britain’s electricity flowing

National Grid’s eyes in the sky: how helicopters are helping keep Britain’s electricity flowing

National Grid’s fleet of high-tech helicopters is patrolling pylons and power lines across the country – a high wire act they have been performing for over half a century to keep the electricity network in good health all year round.

Hovering near the high voltage cables that carry power around Britain is all in a day’s work for the helicopter teams, who are closely monitoring the condition of the thousands of towers, poles and cables that get electricity to where it’s needed. With so much critical infrastructure being monitored each year ahead of winter, the aircraft collectively clock up around 4,700 hours of flight time and cover 32,000 miles of network annually on their patrols. It’s a job the helicopter units have been doing since the 1960s when the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) first took to the air.

Today the company operates eight helicopters across its networks – three to monitor the 22,000 pylons, 300 substations and 4,300 miles of high voltage overhead line that make up the transmission network in England and Wales; and five to cover the 60,000 miles of lower voltage overhead line on its distribution network that connects to homes and businesses.

You can’t miss them – the distribution network helicopters operating in the Midlands, South West and South Wales are bright yellow, and the transmission network helicopters covering all of England and Wales are in National Grid’s white and blue livery.

What are the helicopters looking for?

A skilled team in each helicopter is looking for damaged parts, wear and corrosion on the pylons and cables – but they’re also looking for other potential issues in the area like vegetation growing too close to a line. They have even helped rescue livestock they have spotted stuck in bogs and ditches, by calling it in to local landowners.

An experienced pilot keeps the helicopter’s movements steady while specialist observers gather the imagery needed by network engineers – so you might see one of the aircraft flying close to an electricity line briefly before moving on. The teams also have state-of-the-art electro-optics such as thermal imaging cameras at their fingertips to help identify issues like ‘hot spots’ on overhead lines – a rare occurrence but an indication of an overheating joint that will need fixing to avoid future faults.

 Why are the helicopter checks important?

Aerial surveys are safer, more cost-effective and less resource-intensive than climbing the entire network of pylons or inspecting the wood poles by foot. It might take three lineworkers on the ground several days to carry out inspections on a handful of towers that would take an airborne observer just hours to inspect.

Crucially the helicopter teams’ work can spot potential issues before they go wrong, feeding back insight for National Grid’s overhead line maintenance teams to take action on if needed. It is estimated that for the cost of running the transmission network’s helicopters, there’s a tenfold cost saving in refurbishment and fault prevention on the high voltage grid.

 What if a helicopter can’t be used?

In some cases pylons and lines can’t be inspected by helicopter, for example those in areas that may distract drivers or disturb livestock. National Grid has a fleet of drones in its arsenal – and a team of skilled operators – for use in these situations. The drones are equipped with similar technologies to the helicopters to help identify issues on the network; the company is even trialling autonomous drones.

While drones have benefits in terms of cost and efficiency, helicopters have their own advantages – they can cover longer distances, and they don’t require access to the land close to powerlines.

The teams behind the helicopter operation

Across both National Grid’s transmission and distribution networks, the helicopter teams are operated by 25 full-time staff, including eight pilots and eight observers.

The transmission network unit is based in Oxford, while the distribution network operation is based in Bristol and has an in-house maintenance engineering team. John Rigby is chief pilot at National Grid covering the transmission network, bringing to the role 32 years flight experience with the Royal Air Force, Air Ambulance and National Grid. He said: “Our priority is to check the condition of the network’s overhead lines and substations to confirm they are shipshape all year round.

“That means flying closer to the electricity infrastructure than general aviation are allowed, which concentrates the mind – but it’s a very safe and controlled operation, one that our experienced teams have been carrying out for decades.

“Predicting where we will be on any given day is difficult as we can be quite weather dependent. We’re a small, flexible and nomadic team, staying overnight where the weather and work takes us rather than going back and forth from our Oxford base.”

Simon Richards, helicopter observer team manager for National Grid’s distribution network, said:

“As an observer on the distribution network it’s our role to navigate the pilot and aircraft to inspect the overhead network of wood poles and towers across the Midlands, South West and South Wales.

“Our yellow aircraft are normally spread across that area, so can reach anywhere on the National Grid distribution network within 30 minutes.

“Spotting issues from the air is easier said than done – at normal patrol speeds we will pass a pole every 10 or so seconds, so it can be quite intense and at times challenging. But we have technology to help us, including thermal cameras and a LiDAR system.”

Both the helicopter operations and regular nationwide ground-based patrols by overhead line teams are crucial in making sure electricity networks are in prime condition ahead of winter. The teams are part of over £1 billion worth of annual investment by National Grid in maintaining and upgrading its infrastructure to ensure a resilient network for homes and businesses in England and Wales. Overall a 4,000-strong operational field staff works 365 days a year across National Grid’s transmission and distribution networks to keep the grid safe and reliable.

Airlines Show Pent-Up Demand, Rising Costs: Q3 Preview

Airlines Show Pent-Up Demand, Rising Costs: Q3 Preview

Bloomberg Intelligence has today shared its thoughts on European Airlines’ Q3 results previews, discussing IAG, EasyJet, Ryanair and Wizz Air.

Commenting on European Airlines’ Q3 results, Conroy Gaynor, BI Industry Analyst for Airlines at Bloomberg Intelligence said: “European airlines’ Q3 results could show that pent-up demand has a bit further to run after positive updates from full-service (IAG and Lufthansa) and discount (EasyJet and Ryanair) carriers. Yet management teams must show preparedness for mounting costs and the squeeze on consumer budgets, with our scenario analysis suggesting an abrupt hit to leisure demand in 2023. The spot price of jet fuel has softened since June but is still up about 70% vs. the 2019 average, so it remains a threat to profitability as more hedges expire. Network carriers rely heavily on corporate and transatlantic travel, potentially providing some protection against a strong dollar. Budget airlines continue to capture market share and increase competition within short haul.”

Next Year Should Drive More of Airline Conversation

Current-year earnings expectations for Europe’s three key legacy airlines — IAG, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa Group — have been resilient since Q2, yet the 2023 outlooks remain uncertain amid deteriorating macroeconomic factors. The expiration of fuel hedges and rising wages may be hard to fully offset with higher yields as leisure customers cut discretionary spending, so a recovery in corporate travel is key for profitability. Finnair and SAS are among the worst hit by Russian air space closures and need restructuring, while Turkish Airlines is benefiting from more passengers, lira-denominated costs and cargo.

IAG is overcoming capacity cuts using higher yields, with transatlantic operations ramping up and pent-up demand likely enabling conditions to deliver higher sales. While partially hedged this year, rising fuel prices on top of airport fees could mean further fare hikes and uncertainty to the more price-sensitive passenger segments, albeit with no weakness in bookings indicated yet for 4Q. The extent of corporate travel returning on certain routes is key for margin as the seasonal dip in leisure travel approaches. Media reports suggest IAG are in talks to buy a remaining 80% stake in Spanish carrier Air Europa, which along with capital spending requirements would put further pressure on net debt. If no equity is raised, net debt could remain above that of legacy peers Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.

Discount Airlines Face Volatility, Rising Rates

The war in Ukraine, a resulting energy crisis, dollar strength and rising interest rates threaten to jeopardize European discount airlines’ revenue and costs, with many unable to offset the effects with activity from outside the region. Ryanair’s profit looks the most resilient, while Wizz Air’s fiscal 2023(ending March) margin expectations have cratered amid disruptions and limited hedging, particularly for jet fuel. EasyJet’s recent update suggests cancellation and delay costs are under better control, and initial bookings for the quarter ending December look respectable, yet it has significant exposure to the deteriorating UK economy. Norwegian Air is getting its downsized operations back to normal conditions under a new management team and strategy after facing financial difficulties during the pandemic.

Ryanair’s utilization and load factor through the important summer period points to much greater operating efficiency vs. peers, driving profit higher, assuming good yield-management and cost-control. The airline has been cautious and refrained from guidance thus far, but the cited adverse news flow risks on Covid-19 or war haven’t developed. Bookings also appear strong for the Autumn and Christmas holiday periods despite the cost-of-living crisis. The UK’s political troubles damages confidence further, though Ryanair seeks to benefit from these customers trading down to budget carriers. Ryanair enjoys some natural hedging on the pound as the carrier employs a large number in bases such as Stansted to offset the revenue impact. The company has been negotiating post-Covid-19 pay improvements with unions.

Q2 was Wizz Air’s busiest period but expectations were already slashed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, limited fuel hedging and disruption. Staff shortages and operational snags meant buffers had to be built in, which lowered capacity but eased costs. The carrier’s fleet size is now about 40%larger vs. this time in 2019, so utilization appears even more key for profitability, and analysts may be looking for comments on forward demand after encouragement from EasyJet’s trading statement. The Middle East is part of the Hungarian carrier’s eastward strategy, as it stretches its reach to new markets with limited low-cost competition. Wizz Air Abu Dhabi is ramping up, while in Saudi Arabia Wizz’s inbound flights commenced on Sept. 28; a national partner is needed for outbound.

EasyJet’s capacity cuts helped bring disruption costs under control during fiscal 4Q (ending September), with stronger demand driving a jump to £470-490 million in headline pre-tax profit. Plus EasyJet Holidays is starting well, generating more than £35 million in fiscal 2022 pre-tax profit. Yet the budget airline faces different challenges after a busy summer period, albeit with passenger caps still in place at Amsterdam Schiphol. While UK seats are planned near pre-covid-19 levels for the October and Christmas holidays, demand may be fragile in non-peak times as real incomes are squeezed. EasyJet has reasonable cover as costs rise. Fuel is about 69%% hedged for 1H23 at $802 per metric ton and 44% for 2H23 at $897 vs. a $1,100 spot price. There is also some cover on dollars, with these lease payments hedged for three years.

Norton Rose Fulbright advises Jet2 on $3.9bn order for 35 A320 neo family aircraft

Norton Rose Fulbright advises Jet2 on $3.9bn order for 35 A320 neo family aircraft

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright advised airline Jet2 plc (Jet2) on its $3.9bn incremental order for 35 A320 neo family aircraft, as it expands its fleet to meet a growing passenger demand for air travel.

All aircraft are anticipated to be delivered by 2031. The airline also has the option to extend the order to up to 71 additional aircraft, in the future, for an approximate cost of $8bn at list prices.

The transaction comes more than a year after Jet2 placed its first order in August 2021 – on which the firm also advised – for 36 A320 neo family aircraft (enhanced to 63 A320 neo family aircraft after subsequent orders). With this order, the airline now has a total of 98 ordered A320 neo family aircraft, which could eventually extend to up to 146 aircraft.

Norton Rose Fulbright partner Dan Cowdy, who provided advice with support from senior associate Georgie Field, said:

“It was a huge pleasure to be able to extend our long working relationship with Jet2 and advise on this order, which will continue to deliver to Jet2’s passengers a high quality flying experience.”

Norton Rose Fulbright’s market-leading, global aviation practice is comprised of over 200 lawyers who deliver in-depth knowledge of the global aviation industry. The practice holds 11 Tier 1 rankings in the leading legal directories, Chambers and Legal 500, rankings based on the feedback of our clients and peers.

Baines Simmons Awarded Contract with the UK Civil Aviation Authority

Baines Simmons Awarded Contract with the UK Civil Aviation Authority

Baines Simmons, part of the global aviation services group, Air Partner, a Wheels Up company, has been awarded a contract with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) to develop and deliver a comprehensive eLearning program for the entire UK flying display community. The fully supported closed course, titled ‘Human Factors in Air Displays’ is to be delivered to 350+ individuals across the UK and is mandatory for all personnel involved in flying displays.

Baines Simmons’ bespoke eLearning program delivery will include expert-led webinars, videos and eLearning that focuses on key Performance Influencing Factors (PIFs). Baines Simmons adapted a bespoke virtual Learning Management System to meet the specific needs of the CAA. With user experience being a priority, the platform has been optimized for use on tablet and mobile, allowing individuals to access and complete the course at their own pace, in any place.

The eLearning package incorporates use of Baines Simmons’ Flowchart Analysis of Investigation Results Just Culture tool (FAiR3) within the flying display environment. The use of FAiR3 helps users and organizations to establish and maintain effective processes and practices to drive safety culture across the flying display community. FAiR is an innovative management tool that enables users to review investigation details to determine the nature and causes behind events so that appropriate and effective actions are taken to prevent reoccurrence. Aviation regulations recognize the importance of Human Factors within safety management systems to contribute towards safe operations. FAiR3 provides powerful functionality to Baines Simmons’ bespoke eLearning package.

Ian Holder, Managing Director, Baines Simmons, said:

“Baines Simmons is incredibly pleased to be awarded a contract with the UK CAA. To provide a training solution for the UK regulator is a fantastic endorsement and a testament to the hard work and expertise of our team.

The Human Factors in Air Displays package demonstrates that Baines Simmons’ expertise and reputation for safety is guaranteed across both in-person and eLearning format. The mandatory course will prove an invaluable tool for the display flying community, improving safety, and ensuring the public is able to enjoy such demonstrations for the years to come.”

Aircraft provides vital support to NHS thanks to Paragon funding

Aircraft provides vital support to NHS, thanks to Paragon funding

Northern Ireland-based SERE Holdings is providing further medical aviation transport services to the NHS and patients throughout the UK, thanks to funding from Paragon Bank for a new specialist aircraft.

Awarded a Blood and Transplant Transport contract by the NHS, the acquisition of a Pilatus PC12 NGX enables 247 Aviation (part of the SERE Holdings group) to quickly transport organs and teams of medics and other healthcare professionals throughout the country.

Thanks to the addition of the PC12, 247 Aviation’s Air Ambulance Service fleet is also now capable of providing specialist transport worldwide, including the recent repatriation of a patient from Portugal to the UK.

Paragon Bank was pleased to work closely with SERE Holdings to understand what was needed, advise on the funding terms, and provide the best resolutions to complete the application to ensure the PC12 was available as soon as possible so it could start delivering essential services.

Commenting on the acquisition of the PC12 Claire Grist, FBO Manager for Jet Assist (SERE Holdings’ fixed base operator) said: “The acquisition of the PC12 is paramount to providing first class emergency care when it’s needed most, 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

“We’re immensely proud to be able to support the NHS Blood and Transplant Transport contract as well as aiding in patient repatriation efforts. We are part of something special and hope to continue to support patients in their times of need.”

Stanley Edgar, Chairman of SERE Holdings, is one of Northern Ireland’s Top 100 SMEs. Stanley’s passion for business, and, as a qualified pilot himself, for aviation has driven the already established success of his aeromedical transport services through subsidiary companies Jet Assist (Aviation) Ltd, IMT Medical Transport, and 247 Aviation.

Commenting on the funding support provided, Alison Jones, Paragon Bank’s Head of Aviation, said: “I was introduced to Stanley Edgar by Ravenair, the first UK operator to receive UK CAA AOC Approval for the PC12 aircraft, as we had recently financed an aircraft for one of their clients.

“On speaking with Stanley we learned that he was interested in receiving a quotation on their forthcoming Pilatus purchase, and we were keen to support both his ambition for SERE’s growth and the vital work they would be doing with the NHS.

“Stanley stressed to me that the timescales were very tight but, thanks to the support structures within Paragon, we were able to promptly confirm that we would be able to assist.

“I am tremendously proud of not only how quickly we were able to provide the funding for the PC12, but also the exceptional work it is doing throughout the UK supporting the NHS and patients at their time of greatest need.”

ENDS

Flight School Assessment Process ✈︎

Flight School Assessment Process ✈︎

The assessment process into Flight Schools can be daunting. This is a common topic I get asked about and would love to share some tips/advice with you 🙂

Flight school assessments aim to filter out those unmotivated and to select those who can prove they are willing and capable of completing the training. It will show you your strengths and weaknesses as well as test you to see if you’re making the right decision and ready to embark on the long, tough journey to the cockpit!

Pretending I can already fly the A320
You’ve applied for an assessment day and you’re wondering what to do next?

Most schools will issue you with a pack to prepare and a schedule of how they run their day/’s. The usual set-up is several online aptitude tests looking at your multitasking, reactions, problem-solving, memory, maths skills and more, then you’ll join a group interview with prepared tasks for the subject matter then progress onto a 1-1 interview. The day then ends with a debrief and results. Hopefully the results you want if you’ve prepared well!

Testing your aptitude. There are many online aptitude sites to which you can sign up and pay a small fee to test your skills. One I used was https://www.jobtestprep.co.uk/cut-e-pilot-test. This pack also includes interview preparation which I found very useful! It’s a good idea to test yourself on these sites so you can see any weaknesses and work on them up until your assessment day. Practise, practise, practise it’s what you’ll forever hear through your aviation career and will make you a better pilot and that starts now!

The group interview can be nerve-wracking if it’s not something you’ve done before. It was the first time I’d done something like that and I told myself to enjoy it…and I did! Something I got credited for in my feedback so heads up on that ;). The tasks will vary but the main principle stays the same, it’s how you work in a team and how you bring that team along with you to the final conclusion to the task. A few tips I’d say…

✈︎ Speak up. Show confidence but WITHOUT speaking over anyone. Make valid points and participate well but please make sure not to step over anyone else.

✈︎ Timekeeping. This one you’d like to think is an obvious one, but even though our ground school group assessments (oh yes you’ll be doing plenty more of these) people would forget! You’ll have assigned time limits announced at the start by the interviewer’s so please keep an eye on this, it’s very important and will score you some good points! Our careers will be very strict on time so get used to it! 🙂

✈︎ Include others. Some people in the group may be a little timid, include them, mention their name and ask what they think or if they’d like to add anything. If you can get others to speak up and improve their confidence then that’s a great life skill and shows great leadership.

✈︎ Lead the discussion to a conclusion. If you’re able to draw the topic to a conclusion within the allocated time then that’s exactly what the interviewers are hoping for. Even if it means adapting/working with your role to accommodate a more likely solution to the problem then do it. Work a solution that can perhaps work in some way for all roles.

✈︎ Teamwork. The main point of the exercise is to see how you work with others. Compliment others ideas, build upon them, say what you do or don’t agree with (within a polite way) and propose a solution. Have fun, enjoy the task and work WITH the other participants, try not to see yourself as being better than all the others, rather lead by example.

1-1 interview time! This is an exciting time to showcase yourself, show your passion for aviation, what skills you have and what you’re aiming for. Good knowledge of aviation is crucial, know your main airliner aircraft types, the future of aviation, fuel concepts being tested, sustainability of the industry and really any knowledge that a passionate pilot aiming for captain would know. Also knowing as much information on the course you’re applying for, how it works, why you’ve chosen this route and why this school. The interview is to test your knowledge, skills and drive for the career. So show it!

I won’t go into all the interview techniques in this post as I feel there are loads I could mention. Perhaps let me know if you’d like me to do a separate blog on that? You will however find helpful information on the site I linked earlier or any similar ones! Please feel free to fire away any questions in the comments or message me, I don’t mind testing you! 🙂

My final advice to you is to be as well prepared as you can! Dress smart, set up a quiet workspace with good wifi and ideally a fast laptop with a mouse not just a trackpad! I spent over a month preparing and I could have still done more. It may sound dramatic but if it’s the difference of you not passing/scraping it to passing with flying colours then do it! It’s the attitude you will need to adopt as soon as you start school so start it now.

Good luck, you’ve got this!💪🏼

Ashleigh x

To view more of Ashleigh’s blog posts click here

5 Tips to prepare for Groundschool

5 Tips to prepare for Groundschool

You’re due to start groundschool and wondering how you can best prepare? Here are a few tips I’d recommend to you…

✈︎ 1. Maths and Physics Revision – You’re going to need this one! Sorry to break it to you but I’m here to be honest…there will be a lot of maths and physics in groundschool. Don’t panic, if it’s not your strong suit then there are ways your instructors will teach you to make it understandable. Having said this I would highly recommend getting a head start and brushing up on all GSCE knowledge. Look for some online mental maths tests also a lot of people cover all of BBC bitesize Maths and Physics GSCE. Also a handy online book schools reccomend is https://books.apple.com/gb/book/maths-and-physics-for-pilots/id592113679 . Ask your training school you’re due to start if there is anything else they can recommend.

✈︎ 2. Aviation Background Knowledge – This is a good one to arm yourself with. Keeping up to date with the latest aviation news not only helps you in your awareness and understanding of the aviation world you’re entering into but airlines and even your school will be expecting you to know what’s going on. You’ll be quizzed thoroughly on this throughout your career and shows how much passion and drive you to have. A few sites you could look at are…

https://www.flightglobal.com

https://www.pilotcareernews.com/category/news/

https://simpleflying.com/category/aviation-news/

Also LinkedIn is a great platform to follow airlines and keep an eye on the latest news!

✈︎ 3. ATPL prep – Now this is a slightly touchy one. I think it’s great to go in with some basic ATPL knowledge and have read up on a few things HOWEVER if you research/teach yourself too much on groundschool subject it may actually hinder your learning. Be careful as to what you read/listen to as you could end up learning something inaccurate or against your ATPL syllabus. There is a lot of information out there and a fair amount which Isn’t true. I’d personally recommend watching the Met Office on YouTube as recommended by some of our instructors and perhaps some physics for example Bernoulli’s theory or how gyroscopes work. Look for highly rated videos and again just use them for basic understanding. You could always ask students at the school you’re looking to start for any recommendations. Feel free to ask me too if you’d like 🙂

✈︎ 4. Study materials – If you haven’t already read my ATPL study tips and advice blog then take a look, It will give you a list of materials I found great for groundschool. There may be other materials you’ll personally find work well for you so shop around and see if there’s anything else you’d like to try to make studying a bit more exciting/interesting.

✈︎ 5. Trial lesson! – If you haven’t already had a trial flight, I would strongly recommend doing so. For me personally, having had some flying experience before groundschool I found it a massive help in understanding first-hand how an aircraft works. You can better visualise the aircraft effects, for example pushing the control column forward I can visually recall this moves the elevator down which forces the nose down. It may sound minor but it’s a valuable tool that will assist you through groundschool.

Trial Flight – Brighton City Airport

I hope you find these tips useful, please let me know if you have any other questions in the comments below 🙂

I wish you all the best on the start of a very intense but extremely exciting journey!

Ashleigh x

To view more of Ashleigh’s blog posts click here

ATPL Study Tips and Advice

ATPL Study Tips and Advice

These items are what I found helpful for my study toolkit.

It will take a little while for you to find what works best for you, trial and error in taking class notes and best ways to retain the information but the main focus stays the same, practise, practise, practise!

Static Whiteboards are a MUST. I can’t recommend these enough. Our flat was filled with these, a subject per whiteboard.

Perfect for a constant reminder, quizzing yourself and others and writing up notes/images that will help you remember the information. I even had one up in the bathroom…It works trust me 🙂

Revision Cards are great for testing yourself. For example, we would do a quiz/revision on a subject and anything we kept forgetting we would write on the cards and quiz each other in the evenings or even just ourselves. They’re perfect little cards that you can carry around and great before school tests to go over important equations or things you struggle to remember.

I recommend having a play around with using revision cards but I’d also say not to waste too much time writing too many of them. I learnt that it was time-consuming so I ended up using them just for key facts/equations that I needed to engrave in my brain.

Coloured Pens/Highlighter are perfect for visual learners. It helps to make your notes look much more inviting and focuses the eyes on the important facts. Also looking back on your notes makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for.

Little things like Meteorology lapse rates, Principles of Flight diagrams, Engine spools will all stand out and I personally found they’re remembered much easier by colour coding.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Highlighter-STABILO-ORIGINAL-Assorted-Colours/dp/B01LXOQ1KJ/ref=sr_1_4?crid=37GPN87IQLKWU&keywords=highlighters&qid=1644317420&s=officeproduct&sprefix=high%2Coffice-products%2C93&sr=1-4

A few other things you’ll need is…

  • Notebooks. I got one book for every subject and just took in the ones I needed for lessons every day which I found worked well. Some students prefer buying these notebooks, taking in one book then putting it all in subject folders at home.

  • Mechanical Pencils. A must for Module two (Flight planning, General Navigation, Performance etc). Used on maps/charts/performance caps etc.

  • Folders. I used only one of these and put any stray paperwork in them. I didn’t even fill one folder personally.

  • Pens. You’ll need many pens, but also it’s ideal if they are comfortable ones as you’ll be doing a lot of note-taking!

Advice

  1. Ground school is a tough and stressful time as you’ll hear in my Ground School blog. It is a rollercoaster of emotions but it honestly goes super quick, before you know it you’ll be getting your last results through! Try and enjoy the experience because it really can be just as fun, laughing with your instructors and classmates, getting to see your classmates and others in ground school every day, the structure of lessons and learning about aviation!

  2. Everyone study’s differently but I found that having a study buddy or two that we could run over things, quizzing each other (testing each other massively helped me!) and even just to know that others are feeling how you are was what got me my grades.

  3. Don’t be afraid to ask your instructors. We would stay behind with them, Teams meetings/messages if needed and our school were great at that. We would always get a reply with so much more than we asked, they really did want to see smash our exams and they were a huge part of our success. That’s what they’re there for! (Shoutout to our amazing theoretical instructors, we miss you!

  4. Make a study plan. If you work well with a plan then I highly recommend making yourself a study schedule. Eg… 4:10 pm finish school, 5 pm Study Meteorology, 6 pm tests on Met, 7 pm Dinner, 8 pm study Instruments, 9 pm test on instruments, 10 pm look over previous class notes for tomorrow lessons, 10:30 pm relax and bed.

  5. Revise in a different place. We used to revise on a Saturday in the library and found it worked wonders! It was a perfect learning environment with no distractions, different surroundings and meant when we went back home to our flat that we could fully relax.

  6. Eat well. It is very important to fuel your poor little brain. It doesn’t need to take long but try your best to eat as well as you can as it will make a huge difference.

  7. TAKE A BREAK. A very important one, finding the balance for this is what I struggled with the most. I found it very hard to take breaks as you think you’re missing out on valuable study time. Even if it’s 10 minutes every hour it will allow you to work much more efficiently! Mealtimes try to use this as a good long break which you can recuperate.

If you’re due to start ground school feel free to ping me a message. I know how daunting it is to start the big journey but it’s also super exciting.

I’m sure there is more that I could cover so please let me know if you have any questions in the section below and I can add it on! 🙂

Ashleigh x

To view more of Ashleigh’s blog posts click here

Vueling completes IATA IEnvA Stage 2 environmental certificate

Vueling, the first low-cost carrier in the world to receive the prestigious IATA IEnvA level 1 certification in 2020, has now completed the second phase.

 

Barcelona. 11 October 2022 – Vueling, part of IAG (International Airlines Group), has completed the second stage of the prestigious IATA IEnvA environmental certification confirming the airline’s commitment to sustainability.

IATA’s voluntary environmental assessment programme (IEnvA) is a system used to independently assess and improve the environmental performance of airlines. The certification confirms that Vueling has implemented a Sustainability Management System fully certified by this body and aligned with the ISO 14001 environmental management system.

Vueling started the program in 2020, the year in which it completed phase 1, and thus became the first low-cost airline in the world to complete the initial stage.

At Vueling, we are committed to sustainability. This milestone is in addition to all the initiatives that we have been carrying out this year to reduce the airline’s environmental footprint and paves the way towards a more sustainable aviation sector,” says Franc Sanmartí, Vueling’s Director of Sustainability.

Sebastian Mikosz, IATA Senior Vice President, Environment and Sustainability, said: “Vueling was the first low-cost airline in the world to complete the IATA IEnvA level 1 certification in 2020, and they have now completed the level 2 certification. This underscores their commitment to improving the company’s environmental management practices, and sustainability in general. We are very pleased that Vueling has partnered with IATA and trust us to work with them to further progress. Environmental sustainability is an existential challenge for the entire airline industry. IATA is proud to work with its member airline to introduce world-class environmental management practices to the aviation industry.”

Vueling, as part of IAG, shares the vision of leading sustainability within the global aviation sector. That is why the company develops all its actions within the framework of the Flightpath Net Zero program, through which it has established the goal of reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

In addition to completing the second stage of this certification, in 2022 Vueling has promoted several initiatives that are part of its sustainability program. These include the digitization of all flight documentation, the implementation of segregation processes with the aim of recycling 100% of the waste on board, and the use of sustainable fuel on a daily basis, thanks to the voluntary contribution that passengers can make with their reservation and that Vueling matches.

 

About Vueling

 

Vueling, which forms part of IAG, keeps Spain connected as the largest domestic market in Europe, making it an influential company for economic and tourism developments. As of 2022/2023, the company has a network of more than 245 short and medium haul routes across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

 

 

Last June, Vueling operated a flight between Barcelona and Lyon managing to reduce CO2 emissions by 72%. This historic milestone was achieved thanks to the sustainable fuel produced by Repsol from waste and the flight following a trajectory as straight as possible thanks to the coordination with ALBATROSS. It was made possible by an initiative of the Single European Sky and the efficiency provided by the new generation Airbus A320neo.

 

Vueling, which was the first low-cost airline in the world to obtain the IATA environmental certificate, has 25 new-generation A320neo aircraft in its fleet that reduce carbon emissions by 18%.

For more information about IATA access https://www.iata.org/en/programs/environment/environmental-assessment/

HONEYWELL REVOLUTIONIZES ETHANOL-TO-JET FUEL TECHNOLOGY TO MEET RISING DEMAND FOR SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL

HONEYWELL REVOLUTIONIZES ETHANOL-TO-JET FUEL TECHNOLOGY TO MEET RISING DEMAND FOR SUSTAINABLE AVIATION FUEL

 

Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) today announced a new, innovative ethanol-to-jet fuel (ETJ) processing technology that allows producers to convert corn-based, cellulosic, or sugar-based ethanol into sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Depending on the type of ethanol feedstock used, jet fuel produced from Honeywell’s ethanol-to-jet fuel process can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% on a total lifecycle basis, compared to petroleum-based jet fuel.1

Demand for SAF continues to grow, yet the aviation industry is challenged by limited supplies of traditional SAF feedstocks such as vegetable oils, animal fats and waste oils. Ethanol offers producers a widely available, economically viable feedstock. Honeywell’s ready now technology uses high-performance catalysts and heat management capabilities to maximize production efficiency, resulting in a cost-effective, lower carbon intensity aviation fuel.

A 2021 life-cycle analysis by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory concluded that ethanol-to-jet fuel conversion, combined with other technologies such as carbon capture and sequestration (CCUS) and smart farming practices, can result in negative GHG emissions compared to petroleum-based jet fuel.2

“Honeywell pioneered SAF production with its Ecofining™ technology, and our new ethanol-to-jet fuel process builds on that original innovation to support the global aviation sector’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions and meet SAF production targets with an abundant feedstock like ethanol,” said Barry Glickman, vice president and general manager, Honeywell Sustainable Technology Solutions. “Honeywell’s ethanol- to-jet process, when used as a standalone or when coupled with Honeywell carbon capture technology, is ready now to provide a pathway to lower carbon-intensity SAF.”

SAF plants using Honeywell’s technology can be modularized off site enabling lower installed costs and faster, less labor-intensive installation compared to job site construction. By utilizing Honeywell’s ETJ technology and an integrated, modular construction approach, producers can build new SAF capacity more than a year faster than is possible with traditional construction approaches.

Petroleum refiners and transportation fuel producers can also benefit from Honeywell’s ETJ design that is purpose-built to enable conversion of current or idle facilities into SAF production plants, potentially maximizing use of exiting sites for SAF production to meet the growing market demand.

In 2021, the Biden Administration announced its Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Grand Challenge for the U.S. aviation fuel supply sector to produce at least three billion gallons of SAF per year by 2030 and reduce emissions from aviation by 20%, with an eventual goal of meeting 100% of U.S. aviation fuel demand with SAF by 2050. Also in 2021, the European Council released its ‘Fit for 55’ package which aims to increase the share of sustainable fuels at EU airports from a minimum of 2% in 2025 to at least 63% by 2050. These and other incentives, including the Inflation Reduction Act, accelerate the need for alternative SAF feedstocks to meet demand.

Aerospace manufacturers maintain steady progress, says RSM

According to the latest data from ADS, aerospace manufacturers maintained steady levels of aircraft orders and deliveries in in August 2022, showing strong signs of recovery and bucking the trend being seen within the wider manufacturing industry where output is lagging and new orders are contracting.

Despite soaring energy and raw material costs, manufacturers delivered 74 aircraft in August 2022, up 12% on August 2021, with global aircraft deliveries still on track to make the ADS forecast of 997 by the calendar year end. The current backlog of new orders is 13,393 – 4% higher than August 2021 and worth £207 billion.

Mark Nisbett, partner and head of aerospace and defence at RSM UK, comments: ‘With aircraft orders in August 2022 continuing to make progress, albeit with a few cancellations, the aerospace industry is bucking the trend of the wider manufacturing industry given airlines’ medium-term expectations of continued growth in passenger numbers. Changes to travel trends, and widebody aircraft being replaced with more efficient, less energy-intensive models indicates that demand for single-aisle aircraft continues to surpass wide-body demand.

‘Although global aircraft orders slowed following the uptick seen in last month’s data after the return of the Farnborough International Airshow in July, the show has also enhanced industry recovery for the longer term; facilitating new global connections between manufacturers and airlines as they work towards establishing new greener and cleaner technologies. Although the industry is in a strong position with the backlog of orders expected to take several years to complete, concerns remain as manufacturers grapple to deliver orders on time with the pressure of ongoing labour shortages and soaring energy prices.’

He added: ‘However, the government measures outlined in the mini-budget to support businesses and boost growth by removing barriers, reforming supply and cutting taxes bring welcome news for the industry. With corporate tax frozen at 19% – the lowest rate in the G20, aerospace and other energy intensive businesses in the UK will benefit from this financial support at a time when margins are being squeezed by energy costs, irrespective of the additional government support relating to energy recently outlined. With the annual investment allowance remaining at £1m rather than reverting back to £200,000 as previously planned, this tax benefit will enable aerospace manufacturers to gain additional relief on plant and machinery investments and will help them to tackle labour shortages as well as supporting their ESG plans for greener travel.

‘However, the sector remains energy intensive, and clarification is needed urgently from the government with further specifics of the energy support scheme, including what potential future support might be available after that period, specifically for the aerospace and wider manufacturing sectors

NATS-backed drone distribution consortium wins top Scottish Transport Award

NATS-backed drone distribution consortium wins top Scottish Transport Award

Friday 30 September 2022

Project CAELUS, the project to deliver what will be the UK’s first medical distribution network using drones, won the Excellence in Technology and Innovation award at this year’s Scottish Transport Awards ceremony in Glasgow.

CAELUS (Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland), which brings together 16 partners including NATS, AGS Airports, the University of Strathclyde and NHS Scotland, secured £10.1 million funding from the Future Flight Challenge at UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

In winning the award, Project CAELUS consortia members were praised by Scottish Transport Award judges for their innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fiona Smith, AGS Airports Group Head of Aerodrome Strategy and CAELUS Project Director, said: “We were delighted when we heard we had been shortlisted in the Scottish Transport Awards earlier this year so to win is a fantastic achievement.

“The CAELUS project is set to revolutionise the way in which healthcare services are delivered in Scotland. A drones network can ensure critical medical supplies can be delivered more efficiently, it can reduce waiting times for test results and, more importantly, it can provide equity of care between urban and remote rural communities.

“This award is testament to the hard work by all the partners involved in this consortium and I thank them all as we continue onto the next phase of work.”

Tharaka Kothalawala, NATS lead for the Future Flight Challenge, said: “We’re excited to be leading the airspace management work of Project CAELUS, which will deliver the first national drone network to transport essential medical supplies throughout Scotland – an example of how uncrewed aviation can support the NHS and really make a difference.

“We’ll be developing the concepts for how airspace could be managed, and the procedures required to safely integrate a network of multiple drones with existing flight operations, and then putting those concepts to the test in a live trial with our consortium partners.

Well done to all the consortium partners involved for their hard work during the project so far, and their continued commitment to making CAELUS a success.  This is a ground-breaking project that will shape the way our skies are used in the future, and we’re delighted to be a part of it.”

Minister for Transport Jenny Gilruth MSP and Scottish Transport Awards host Grant Scott welcomed 450 industry professionals to the Glasgow event last night<29 September> to celebrate the people and organisations that make a real difference to transport across Scotland.

Airlines used pandemic to erode working conditions for thousands of staff

Airlines used pandemic to erode working conditions for thousands of staff, report finds

• Major airlines used pandemic as an excuse to force workers into contracts with worse terms, new research shows.

• Employers including Qantas, Ryanair and British Airways criticised for overzealous cost cutting measures despite airlines receiving USD $137bn in state aid.

• Eroded working conditions have led to staffing crises and loss of employee trust, says International Transport Workers’ Federation.

London, UK: 26 August 2022 – Many major airlines around the world used the Covid-19 pandemic to erode basic working conditions for hundreds of thousands of employees, a new
industry report has found. As well as carrying out massive job cuts during the pandemic, airlines including British Airways, Qantas and Lufthansa used aggressive tactics including ‘fire and rehire’ and outsourcing, as well as policies of unpaid leave and wage freezes, to shift workers onto inferior employment contracts, according to ‘Employer Responses to Covid-19 In the Aviation Industry’.

Compiled by the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) and Centre for Research in Employment and Work (CREW) at the University of Greenwich and commissioned by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the report looks at policies and practices from March 2020 through May 2022. The report finds that airlines have ‘reaped the whirlwind’ of these approaches, as they now face chronic staffing shortages as air travel returns to pre-pandemic levels.

‘Fire and rehire’ involves dismissing (or threatening to dismiss) employees, then re-hiring them on new inferior contracts. The report identifies several airlines using this as a
bargaining chip to compel workers to endure further concessions and pay cuts. In the UK, Unite the Union agreed to temporary pay cuts in order to save 1,800 Ryanair cabin crew jobs. Similarly, Wizzair used the threat of 1,000 redundancies to push through wage cuts of 14% to 22% for employees. According to the report, Qantas threatened cabin crew that it would seek to terminate the collective agreement if they did not accept pay cuts.

The report looked at 15 major airlines and assessed their responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, including job cuts, government support packages, restructuring efforts, and the
outsourcing of roles. It found that combined, the airlines received some USD $137 billion in state-sponsored emergency support from March 2020 until March 2021. However, the author notes that this support often came with ‘no strings attached’, meaning specific support for the retention of the airline’s workforce was not stipulated.

During the pandemic, Qantas claimed AUD $2 billion in state support. However, the airline cut jobs and initiated restructuring efforts aimed at pushing back against a growth in
unionisation, particularly among ground crew. It outsourced 2,000 jobs to ground handling workers that had previously been in-house, shifting them to third party contractors,
particularly Swissport.

Similarly, British Airways accessed £300 million from the UK Government’s Corporate Financing Facility, but announced 12,000 job cuts early into the pandemic. The year before it
had recorded profits of USD $3.5 billion. The report also examines the current staffing crisis for airlines, and makes a direct link between it and the practices of airlines during the pandemic. The authors find that ‘airlines that had been cut to the bone’ were unable to ramp up their operations to keep up with the surge in demand in early 2022.

In recent months, travellers across the world have been plagued by flight delays and cancellations due to staff shortages. Between January through to 4 August 2022, almost 1.2
million flights have been cancelled within three weeks of their scheduled departure. Stephen Cotton, General Secretary ITF: “The Covid-19 pandemic was an unprecedented
shock to the aviation industry, but airlines globally used it as a pretext to initiate layoffs, weaken labour contracts, and create low-cost subsidiaries – many of which had been on their agendas for decades. “The aviation industry is now reaping the decisions made to protect profits over people during the pandemic. While the workers on the front line are appeasing upset travellers and sorting through mountains of luggage, the heads of airlines, airports and companies across the delivery chain need to work with governments and unions to rectify the root causes of this travel crisis. “Without strong coordination across the industry, that looks at the current crisis, alongside the long-term sustainability of aviation, the industry will move from crisis to crisis. We call on all industry players to stop the finger pointing that we’ve seen over the past few months, and instead focus on the structural transformation needed to make the aviation industry economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.”

Author of the report Dr Kyla Sankey: “Emergency government relief packages can offer crucial life support for economically strategic sectors like aviation in the face of crisis. But the
lesson of the pandemic is that the most crucial issue for workers is whether this support comes with strings attached. “The experience of the CARES Act in the United States shows how trade unions can shape the agendas of financial relief packages, requiring companies to cut executive pay, retain their workforce, eschew outsourcing and engage in collective bargaining. “Rather than facilitating the race-to-the-bottom, state aid must come with conditions ensuring it is invested productively, in line with social and environmental goals rather than narrow interests. Conditions can require companies to protect pay and conditions of workers, adopt climate targets and engage in collective bargaining.”

Airline Pilot JobCentre Past Experiences and process

Example 2:

What caused the issues with 5G rollout?

What caused the issues with 5G rollout? This week’s news is rife that 5G towers and the rollout of a certain broadband width may have an adverse effect on aircraft safely landing in the USA. Emirates, Air India, and British Airways are just a few of the airlines that have halted their operations to fly to the United States.

As I am sure you are aware 5G is becoming part of our everyday lives when using technology – in the UK we have had access to 5G since 2019 but its inconsistent rollout means that we haven’t got it everywhere yet. The same goes for the US, their rollout has been sporadic and now they are facing even more delays. But why?

Some of USA’s 5G networks operate between the frequencies of 3.7Ghz and 3.98GHz. This could be somewhat problematic due to the Radio Altimeter using frequencies between 4.2 and 4.4GHz. The separation guard band is only 0.2GHz which could potentially impede on the safety of aircraft operations close to the ground.

As we alluded to earlier, 5G isn’t new technology and in fact, some countries have rolled out this new cellular broadband with little to no implications on aircraft. France for example boasts a successful rollout, and this is how they did it:

  1. There is a buffer around the airport that allows for 96 second of flight undisturbed by potential 5G tower frequencies.
  2. France’s 5G uses frequencies 2.1GHz to 3.5 GHz increasing the separation guard band, it is also not as powerful as the Americans, in fact, the USA 5G power is 2.5 times more powerful.
  3. In France, the antennas on the 5G towers are tilted downwards as it limits harmful interference with the approaching aircraft.

The USA and FAA published a delay to the 5G rollout earlier this month whilst resolutions were being investigated. However, as of 19th January, the two weeks are up and NOTAMs are being issued across the states not authorizing Cat II/ Cat III / Autoland procedures which as you can imagine in the depths of winter in North America poses somewhat a challenge.

If it is enough of a risk to stop some of the biggest carriers, why haven’t all planes stopped flying the transatlantic routes?

Simply put, not all of America is affected. Like many other countries, rolling out 5G has been intermittent, some places have had it for years and others are only just getting used to 4G. Airports in places where 5G hasn’t yet been rolled out, such as Denver International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington Airport are more than safe to operate to and from.

The equipment on the aircraft that is most affected by 5G frequencies, is the radio altimeter. This instrument is vital for operating very close to the ground or terrain, in fact, it can only be used when you are within 2500ft of the surface. Approach and landing are the most complex and mentally demanding phases of the flight, that combined with the lack of trust in your instrument is only going to elevate the already sky-high figure which is more than 60% of incidents occur in those last few minutes of flight. It is more than safe to fly at altitude over these towers as aforementioned, you do not require your radio altimeter till you are intending to land.

The United States, FAA, and the telecommunication companies also worked out some temporary solutions during the two-week delay where there was a restriction on the antenna operation areas close to key airports. The 5G transmitters were supposed to switch on on the 5th of January but for the last two weeks, there has been a theoretical buffer implemented around the key airports. The FAA have now released those 50 airports that will continue with these buffer zones for the next 6 months, whilst the telecommunication companies devise a safer more robust rollout plan. The FAA has also said that aircraft will not be allowed to complete low-visibility operations unless they have not got a proven accurate and reliable altimeter that works within the US 5G band environment.

As the days and weeks go on, we hope that the issues regarding the rollout of the new bandwidth is quashed and that transatlantic flights can continue to land in the US safely as before – for a repeat of Wednesday 19th January where chaos caused fear and more cancellations of flights, could further set back the recovery of the airline industry.

New electronic logbooks are making a pilot’s job easier

Logbooks have been around since the start of aviation when the Wright brothers documented their trial flights before successfully completing the first flight in 1903. The importance and necessity to keep a detailed pilot log was re-iterated later in 1926 as part of the Air Commerce Act. The requirement to keep track of your hours as a pilot has continued to this present day, but the format in which we detail our flights is everchanging.

During your training, you most definitely would have been issued a paper logbook to fill in and amend as you progressed through the course. It is advantageous as throughout training you will be required to gain signatures from instructors and examiners. However when you land your first job, perhaps transferring to a digital logbook would be more suitable.

As of late, there has been a meteoric rise in the number of pilots that are using electronic logbooks to keep track of their flights and stay on top of their paperwork. There are so many advantages to transferring your flights into a digital logbook here are just a few:

Digital logbooks are primarily updated into the ‘cloud’ and can be accessed from a variety of devices at one time. The ability to keep secure backups of your data is one of the biggest reasons to invest in an electronic logbook. No more fear of accidentally damaging or losing your logbook and the repercussions of not having a valid track of your flight data.

Many pilots like to use the electronic logbook as redundancy for their paper logbook, it provides a safety blanket to the individual if anything were to happen to the original log.

When you are a professional pilot there isn’t much time to sit down and manually write in all the flight data and then work out new totals and compare those to your flight time limitations. Digital logbooks have in-built algorithms removing this hard work for you.

Digital logbooks are now recognized by governing bodies and future employers as accredited data history. You can instantly get the data you need when you are applying for a new job and can share it with friends and colleagues with one simple click.

There are many ways you can now analyze your flying; how many passengers you carried, the number of night landings you have completed this month or the total hours you have flown this year. At a click of a button, all the data is there, you do have to sift through pages to compare this month’s data against the last, it can even be tabulated or transferred easily to a graph.

Calculating your actual flight time against flight time limitations and your roster can be difficult manually but with a digital logbook, you don’t have to do anything. Digital logbooks are known to have increased accuracy which is imperative for meeting the legality of flight time limitations.

A logbook can be a heavy addition to a pilot’s flight bag, yet you wouldn’t think twice about not taking your iPad or smartphone, and that is all you need to carry, to add and amend your logbook whilst you’re busy in the flight deck.

So now you want to invest in an electronic logbook? You don’t have to look any further, AVIATION INSIDER has a free electronic logbook that provides the benefits above and more. All you must do is sign up for a free account and you will have access to it immediately, you can set it up in seconds.

 

Could regional airlines make a full return?

A regional airline, formerly referred to as a commuter airline, is that who provides short-haul travel routes domestically. It has been in recent news that Flybe 2.0 will be returning next year and seeing as it was one of a handful of UK commuters airlines, I think its best we celebrate the return and deliberate its future.

Since Covid infiltrated our lives in 2019, all air travel came to a standstill in the UK, but it was domestic travel that was first to return, due to international travel restrictions. Flybe collapsed in spring 2020 because of Covid, but the question that is on everyone’s mind, is that now with increased business technology, like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, will there be a requirement for regional airlines? The other issue at the forefront of the news is the impact of domestic travel on carbon emissions and global warming. With our European partners turning to train travel is the UK set to do the same?

Zoom is a threat to the regeneration for regional flights, they released that in 2020 alone, their app was downloaded 485 million times. They have also released that in 2020, 3.2 trillion minutes were spent on business meetings. Some believe, long gone are the days of having to commute the country to have a business meeting. To be frank, I can see the financial and environmental benefits to the Zoom solution, it’s cheaper and greener, but unfortunately not the full ticket. Some things cannot be signed over a video call, and after nearly two years of social isolation, more and more people want to get back to social office meetings regardless of the travel.

Some countries in Europe have acknowledged this and have offered a different remedy to people’s desires to travel. In fact, they have gone as far as to ban short-haul internal flights between cities where a train line already exists. Austria was the first European country to enforce this strategy, replacing the Vienna to Salzburg flight with an increased frequency train as a rational step towards reducing global warming. The French lawmakers have also moved forward to ban short-haul domestic flights where alternatives exist. With Germany and Spain now debating whether they should board the train too, the question turns the UK, could HS2 be the beginning of the end of domestic travel?

It is a conversation that has been voiced in parliament but a final decision has not been made yet. The Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) called for the government to rid flights where train journeys door to door were less than 5 hours. The charity has also pushed for more exposure of the effects of flying, demanding a mandatory emissions quantity should be attached to each plane ticket. Lately, there have been many ‘staged’ races between aircraft and train between varying cities across the UK, each of which has supplied data to support increased train travel. Even though COP26 was held in the UK, no further comment has been made about the abolishment of domestic travel for train routes. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer even re-iterated that these domestic “flights bring the UK together”.

Other countries have seen a traffic surge in their domestic market. IndiGo claims to be surpassing pre-Covid domestic numbers whilst the USA is practically back to a full recovery with their regional travel. American Airlines and United Airlines have boasted they are both running at about 90% of the 2019 statistics, with some US airlines opting for the larger less efficient aircraft to be used to keep up with demand.

It has been well publicized that Flybe is making a return, and recently re-planted their UK roots securing their Birmingham base. The first plane arrived at Flybe last week and they are planning to increase their fleet to 32 aircraft, using the Dash 8-400 for their operations. Going forward, all eyes are on the potential partnership with Virgin Atlantic to begin code sharing, using Flybe to increase feeder routes for their business travelers.

However, business travel in the UK is trailing further behind other markets and there are worries surrounding its longevity. Loganair’s CEO earlier in the year confirmed “We are looking at a much lower level of business travel. The market will be smaller overall.” Some airlines have noticed that there aren’t as many business travelers as possible, yet that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any business for domestic tourists. EasyJet’s CCO stated, “we launched 19 UK domestic routed since 2019 and our proportion of business traffic was higher during Covid than pre-Covid.”

For now, the government is also encouraging the re-birth of domestic travel in the UK, unlike some of Europe. The 2021 budget have changed UK airline taxes and as a result, they have had a positive knock-on the total price of domestic flights. Domestic Air Passenger Duty (APD) has been cut by 50% for flights departing and arriving in the UK as support to boost regional airports. The government has also pledged to boost regional air travel connectivity with £4.3 million to fund regional links across the country.

Lastly, we must think about the impact these domestic flights are having on the green agenda. Climate change is not new news, and like some European countries, people are pointing fingers at domestic travel to blame for increasing unnecessary pollutants and emissions. Climate change charity, Possible, support the movement of phasing out domestic flights for reliable low emission trains. On the contrary, it must be remembered that airlines are working tirelessly to commit towards greener travel options, such as SAF and carbon offsetting. It is believed that regional airlines have the greatest possibility to convert to other means of fuelling power due to the much shorter flight times, in order to reduce carbon footprints. For example, BA’s “perfect flight” used lower flight levels and a more direct route on their journey to Scotland. Perhaps, domestic travel could be the first to trial nitrogen-electric powered planes in the future.

What is the impact of the US reopening?

What is the impact of the US reopening?

Last week signified the re-opening of the United States to European and British passengers, and our UK airlines celebrated in style. On the morning of Monday 9th, British Airways and Virgin set sail for “The Big Apple” with a dramatic dual departure from London Heathrow. Both airliners chose to use their A350’s as part of the “first ever commercial dual take off from London to New York”.

It had been 600 days since transatlantic passenger travel from the UK to US, which has had a dramatic impact on the economy for both parties, causing an estimated $32.6 million economic loss for the US each day whilst the corridor was closed. The US is the UK’s most important economic partner and the impact of the UK-US being effectively closed in 2020 was estimated to be an £11billion hit to the UK’s GDP. Straightaway the UK are welcoming American’s back with open arms, as it is said US visitors spend 25% more than the average visitor.

Now that the corridor is open again, each airline is under pressure to resurface from the Covid downfall. British Airways CEO, Sean Doyle even said “I think it’s the first time since World War II that we’ve had such limited movements”.

As a consequence of the lifting travel ban, Virgin have reopened 10 routes to American states, whilst BA have re-launched their boasting 17 – they have even re-instated the giant of the sky, the A380, to fly from Heathrow to Miami and to Los Angeles. With 12 UK airports flying directly to the US we hope the numbers will soon return to pre-Covid levels. In 2019 there were 22 million passengers travelling between the UK and US, which totalled 8.7% of all air travel.

There has already been an increase in demand for the transatlantic travel, with 1560 flights planned between the USA and Europe last week. This seems a lot but at the moment this is just a meek 58% of the numbers this time two years ago.

Travel may be dissimilar for the UK/US corridor post-Brexit with multiple airlines rivalling in competition for customers. There are currently 31 non-stop transatlantic carriers, and more are expected to populate over the coming years. An example of a transatlantic newcomer is Jet Blue. They are now competing for the transatlantic market with their debut flight between New York (JFK) and London Heathrow on 11th August, followed by a second flight between JFK and Gatwick on 29th September. Virgin is also positioned to redeem the majority of their revenue back as the CEO restates, “Virgin would not be Virgin without the Atlantic”. Finally, with Delta’s CEO mentioning, “We are going to open up the world, and this is the corridor to get started” we are feeling positive that summer 2022 will be the ‘holiday of our dreams’ for many.

Do we need that third runway at LHR?

Do we need that third runway at LHR?

The third runway at Heathrow has been under review for over a decade yet with Covid throwing aviation into turmoil, the big question is, is it still required?

Heathrow’s CEO, John Holland-Kaye, stated that “if the UK is able to reboot the economy and demand returns to the pre-pandemic levels than the 3rd runway may be needed within the next 10 to 15 years”.

Recent figures support the statement from Heathrow’s CEO, with 2021 August data showing 2,232,326 passengers traveling through Heathrow, compared to the 7,680,327 passengers in August 2019 – it is unlikely that demand will call for the new runway in the next couple of years.

Throughout the Covid downfall, Heathrow stopped using the second runway, due to the lack of traffic. It is only recently that they have restarted using both, and we look forward to the boom back to full capacity. With the third runway, it is expected that they will have the capacity for an additional 260,000 flights per year.

What are the consequences and mitigations of the third runway?

The M25 is notorious for endless delays and traffic jams, with the worst affected area spanning the 5 junctions surrounding Heathrow airport. Thoughts are that with a third runway and increased movement around Heathrow, that the current infrastructure will not cope. The government’s response promises minimal disruption during the creation of the new tunnel as well as creating a smart motorway between J10-J16.  

According to the forecast, by 2040 traffic in Europe is expected to grow over 16.2 million flights, 1.5 times the 2017 volume. This will massively increase the airspace congestion around the London TMA. Heathrow has been running at 98% capacity since 2005, hopefully, the third runway will free up some capacity and the operation can run smoother. One of the threats of increased air traffic are missed slots which can cause further delays as aircraft are stacked in holding patterns. Delays are a major issue for airlines as customers are entitled to payouts per the EU261 agreement. The third runway boasts the likelihood reduction to delays at Heathrow. A third runway would also increase the number of slots available for arrivals and departures henceforth reducing the stress on airlines, improving the overall operation, and increasing customer satisfaction.

Many are worried that the third runway will cause more emissions and further contribute to global warming. It is fact, there will be more emissions with a rise in the number of planes visiting London’s busiest airport. However, with the current targets by all the European airlines as well as Heathrow’s declaration to be net-zero emission by 2050, the traffic isn’t as polluting as it seems. If you want to find out more about how airlines and companies are reducing the impact of inevitable emissions for aircraft on the environment, check out our blog on SAF.

The third runway will increase the number of jobs available in the area. Currently, over 70,000 people are hired by Heathrow alone and they are ready to hire more. They have stated that they’ll double the number of apprentices by 2030 giving “local young people a launchpad for their careers” – that is 10,000 more apprenticeships. They also would like to develop their Heathrow academy and offer 10,000 experience days to potential future employees by 2030. Ancillary job demand will also increase in the surrounding areas as the local population increases and demand from the area rises.  

It is only a matter of time before the aviation industry bounces back from covid, with airlines seeing progressively more demand each week. Hopefully, climate goals set in COP26 this month with CAA agreement Europe’s busiest airport is going to get a lot busier.

Black history month in aviation

Black history month in aviation

Black History Month is celebrated for the entirety of October. We want to celebrate and reflect on what a sensational month it has been as well as educate others on the annual event. It is a yearly observation that originated in the United States in 1976 Black History Month provides the opportunity for us all to focus and celebrate the impact of black heritage and culture on modern society.

In aviation, we recently have been focussing on getting women into the industry, but we must not forget other minority groups who too, are underrepresented. Globally there are thought that just 7% of the entire pilot workforce is Black, Asian or a minority ethnic.

Ahmet Ali Çelikten, Turkish born was the first black pilot in aviation gaining his wings in 1914. Çelikten was a true trailblazer of his time, setting the way for many more to follow. Bessie Coleman was the first African American pilot to gain her pilot’s license, but due to discrimination in America, where no one would teach minority ethnics, she traveled to France in 1921. Looking into the past can help propel the future, so what is happening now that is increasing BAME in the industry?

What are the airlines doing to promote black people in aviation?

Early this week EasyJet employees united to create and promote their first all-black crew which operated from London Gatwick to Alicante. A tremendous day that will mark history and hopefully encourage more companies to incorporate a comfortable working environment where each and every person is “proud to BE”.

British Airways continue their efforts of empowering and educating people about ethnic minorities. Their internal colleague network, Be ME, has hosted numerous events this month including a webinar with Tessy Ojo CBE to promote a diverse and inclusive workplace as well as explain the challenges black people have faced and the support they have received.

United Airlines have newly partnered with ‘Black Women in Science and Engineering, they are hoping to rid the harsh statistic that 1% of US pilots are black females. Earlier in the year they also released a statement claiming they’d train 2500 ethnic minorities and women through their school over the next decade to increase their own diversity.

Who else is voicing their opinion?

Flyforculture is an online NFP website that empowers and encourages ethnic minorities to embark in aviation. They provide introductory flights, flight training scholarships, public outreach, education but most of all support – echoing further the fact that representation matters.

‘Diversity and Inclusion Committee formed by the Royal Aeronautical Society is something you can join, giving you the chance to voice your opinion and push for change. This year they have collated a list of useful resources that allows you to discover the stories of these heroes and educate yourself about Black Achievements across aerospace and aviation.

‘Sisters of the Skies’ mission is to increase the number of black women in the aviation industry, through scholarships, mentorship, and outreach – their aim to develop pathways and partnerships has been seen to be successful with both United and American Airlines, Delta, Netflix, Boeing and many more jumping on board. Their mentorship is inspirational and their message, “don’t let other people define you”, is infectious.

‘Pilots of the Caribbean’, an exhibition in the RAF museum to commemorate the incredible achievements and enormous contribution made by black service personnel in the Royal Flying Corps and RAF. They also have a dedicated YouTube channel where you can hear the stories of all of these ‘Pilots of the Caribbean’. 

What else could be changed?

The one thing I have heard and read time again is that representation matters. Scholarships and funding are just bonuses, the real key to change is mentorship and successful role models.

There needs to be recognition of the statistics and that more can be done for diversity and inclusion. Changes can be made regarding industry recruitment if we standardised hiring via blind CVs – as a result, more diversity will naturally feed through. It is paramount that we create the working environment that is best suited to all, where promotions are gained on merit and achievements are showcased. Job progression needs to be available for individuals to thrive, succeed and inspire the next generation.

Explicit promotion and celebration of positive role models need to be loudly publicized, at present, there are not enough positive idols of black people in the current aviation industry that others can aspire to, and that can be an immediate deterrent. Not only should there be more role models for those to get into aviation but also those already flying to know the possibilities of progression available to them, as a captain, a FI, a TRI or even an examiner.

Actions preferred to words, it’s thought companies should attempt to steer away from the generic people-pleasing, box-ticking statements about their diversity in the workplace.  The targets they set need to be actioned; let’s start normalizing the analyse of the workforce we have, set suitable and realistic targets, and then formulate strategies to achieve those set goals. 

Goals set need to be outcome focussed, like the Amy Johnson scheme (EasyJet’s initiative to increase their female pilot number). Outcome goals are much easier to measure success from, they are essential targets for the future.

We also need to create a comfortable work environment to enhance just culture where people feel comfortable talking about the ethnicity gaps and by creating an internal support system, we can discuss cultural differences and report racism without adverse effects. Finally, it’s 2021 and about time we get rid o

SAF – Sustainable aviation fuel

Why do we need it?

Global warming and the effects have been at the forefront of the news for many years, and government is now enforcing targets for the aviation industry to help mitigate the issues. Aviation is thought to contribute 2.5% of global CO2 emissions, and with an increase in low-cost air travel this is likely to increase over the coming years.

Global aviation aims, set by ICAO, are to halve the emissions by 2050. On the other hand, ‘Destination 2050’, a proposal outlined by European Aviation Trade Association, have set the target of net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel, otherwise known as SAF, is a clean substitute for fossil jet fuels.  SAF gives an impressive reduction of up to 80% in carbon emissions over the life cycle of the fuel compared to traditional jet fuel it is set to replace. Some typical feedstocks include cooking oil, animal, and plant fats.

How is it different to carbon offsetting?

Carbon offsetting is a way companies and individuals can contribute to reduce the aircraft’s overall carbon emissions. Passengers and airlines neutralise a proportion of the emissions by re-investing in carbon reduction projects. SAF, however, reduces the primary effect of carbon production rather than offsetting the effects.

Who is using it?

Each airline has set goals to become carbon neutral by a certain time in the future. British Airways, Ryanair and EasyJet aim for net zero emissions by 2050, whilst technology and manufacturing companies, for example Airbus, ambitiously target 2035. This is when we expect to see the world’s first zero emissions commercial aircraft.

Everyone is innovating in their own way, currently SAF is being tested by multiple companies and airlines.

Rolls-Royce, working with Boeing, is the latest company to successfully test SAF. Using one of the largest passenger aircrafts, the B747, they successfully completed their test flight with no indications of engineering issues. Validating further this new fuel.  From this test, Rolls Royce have confirmed that all their Trent engines will be compatible with 100% SAF by 2023.

United Airlines have also completed their first flight. Unlike many other airlines, United used 100% SAF in one engine, and for safety matters the other engine used traditional jet fuel. Their test flight too, was uneventful.   

EasyJet released lately that at one of their largest bases, Gatwick, they will be powering over half of their Gatwick fleet with 30% blended SAF. In turn this will reduce the carbon emissions of these elected 42 aircraft by an astonishing 70 tonnes.

As I am sure you are aware, last month British Airways launched the “perfect flight”. Using the A320NEO, BA used a 35% blend SAF, with all other emissions being offset, it was the first commercial carbon neutral flight.

What’s next?

Just last week, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy stated that they aim for sustainable aviation fuel to make up 10% of all aircraft fuel by 2030. They are also giving £180 million to support development of SAF plants in the UK.

The US, which are currently producing approximately 4.5 million gallons of SAF a year have pledged that they will increase that you an annual production of 3 billion gallons each year by 2030.

Australia led the way in 2018, with the first trans-Pacific flight, using a biofuel processed from mustard seeds. They too, are continuing to strive towards a net zero carbon emission aviation industry with Qantas being the forefront of change. With 38 airports globally already distributing SAF, the widespread uptake, and successful test flights, a greener future

FEAR OF FLYING Course

FEAR OF FLYING COURSE

Aviation Insiders Fear of Flying Programme is specifically tailored to help anyone overcome their phobia of travelling in an aircraft. We offer these sessions to anyone who wants to face their fears and gain a greater understanding of how an aircraft is controlled by seeing first hand all the safety measures and systems that pilots have to keep their passengers safe. We will go through in detail, every stage of flight and will start with a briefing before the session on the basics of the aircraft and other important information. You will have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you want before our fully qualified pilot instructor will then take you to the simulator of the aircraft you have chosen, to go through a session that will be built around your personal specifications.

8 PROVEN WAYS TO HELP YOUR INFLIGHT EXPERIENCE:

LATCH ON TO TRIGGERS THAT SET YOU OFF

Figure out what frightens you and examine how your anxiety reaction is triggered. Your goal is to identify your particular triggers, so you can manage your fear when anxiety levels are low. Learning what sets you off makes it easier to turn it off.02

STEP ONTO THE AIRPLANE WITH KNOWLEDGE

Anxiety thrives on ignorance and feeds off “what if?” catastrophic thoughts. But once you become knowledgeable, your “what if?” thoughts are limited by the facts. Become familiar with the facts. They will not eliminate your anxiety, but they will help you manage it.03

ANTICIPATE YOUR ANXIETY

Anticipatory anxiety is what we experience in anticipation of a fear. It is often the most intense anxiety you will experience during your flight, but it is not an accurate predictor of how you will feel on the flight. It is frequently far greater than what you actually experience.04

SEPARATE FEAR FROM DANGER

It is often difficult to separate anxiety from danger because your body reacts in exactly the same way to both. Be sure to label your fear as anxiety. Tell yourself that anxiety makes your frightening thoughts feel more likely to occur, and remind yourself that feeling anxious doesn’t mean you are in danger. You are safe even when feeling intense anxiety.05

RECOGNISE THAT COMMON SENSE MAKES NO SENSE

Part A: Anxiety tricks common sense.
Anxiety will trick you into thinking you are in danger when you are perfectly safe. Your gut feelings in these instances will always tell you to avoid, but if you follow these feelings, you will always be reinforcing your anxiety.

Part B: You can outsmart anxiety.
As a rule, do the opposite of what anxious feelings are telling you to do. Fight what the anxiety is telling you to do, but embrace the discomfort that anxiety brings.06

SMOOTH OVER THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE FLIGHT

To manage anxiety when turbulence hits, learn about airplanes and how they are designed to handle turbulence. Focus on managing your anxiety, rather than when the turbulence will end or how severe it might get. Remind yourself that you are safe.07

EDUCATE FELLOW FLIERS ON HOW TO HELP YOU

Other fliers need to know what frightens you, along with what helps you most to cope with anxiety during a flight. Your task is to be clear about your triggers and ask specifically for what you find most useful.08

VALUE EACH FLIGHT

Exposure is the active ingredient in overcoming your phobia. Every flight provides you with the opportunity to make the next one easier. Your goal is to retrain your brain to become less sensitized to the triggers that set you off.

TRY OUR EXPERIENCES

Come and take the controls of one of the most advanced flight simulators in Europe with an experienced airline pilot to guide you through the flight. Normally reserved for airline pilot training, this is a fantastic opportunity to experience flying a nearly 80 tonne Airbus a320 anywhere in the world! Our instructors are hand-picked for their flying experience, piloting capabilities, and friendly and approachable personalities.

MORE INFORMATION:

All simulator experiences are on our state of the art Airbus A320 simulator. The Airbus A320 is the most common airliner in use at the moment, with one taking-off somewhere in the world every 2.5 seconds.

Our fully qualified instructors will guide you through the processes, explaining in great detail what is happening and why during various stages of flight to put you right at ease. We will explain the procedures involved in flying any aircraft, explain all the noises that aircrafts make during flight and explain what happens in various emergencies and the systems to prevent collisions. We will offer a demonstration and then give you the chance to experiment with the aircraft as much as you want in the safety and comfort of a simulator that you can control. We can also go through various failures and emergencies that are a rare event in aviation and show you how the pilots trained and how the aircraft are built to handle them whatever the issue. There will be plenty of opportunity to stop and go through things again for your piece of mind and comfort, at your pace.

We will make sure you leave happy. Going through the process of flying a commercial aircraft, we hope we are able to remove some of the mystery. We can make you feel confident enough to sit back, relax and enjoy the next flight you take on holiday or business, making the whole experience one to look forward to with happy memories at the end.

Aviation Insider Flight Simulator Community

FLIGHT SIMULATION HAS BEEN AROUND FOR ALMOST AS LONG AS DESKTOP COMPUTERS.

Being able to take to the skies virtually has been a very popular and rewarding experience, drawing in huge audiences, with a vast spectrum of what the virtual pilot wants to get out of their time aloft.

Some fly for sightseeing, cruising past the skyscrapers of Chicago or whooshing along the Thames.

Others fly to get a quick glimpse of what a pilot would see coming in to land at their local airport, curious to discover a little more of this fascinating activity.

The most dedicated users are those who use the software as a serious simulation. Extreme detail can be achieved when enough time and effort is put in to modifying graphics, installing professionally developed aircraft and airports, to setting up complex weather and air traffic plugins. It is not at all unusual for those in the pursuit of perfect simulation to spend more time adjusting settings and installing add-ons than they do actually flying in the sim.

FLIGHT SIMULATION HAS A LONG HISTORY AND HAS HAD A MASSIVE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY SPAWN AROUND IT.

A seriously talented and dedicated user base that takes the base simulator software and turn it into a thoroughly impressive experience. There are others still who approach simulators from a different angle, those who want to gain authentic experience from a sim to couple with real-world training. This is the angle from which we will discuss simulators in this article. There has been a long-standing and mostly light-hearted debate between those that consider the software to be a “Game” vs those who insist it is a “Simulation”. I take the stance that the definition is in the eye of the beholder and it can be treated as either, depending on what the pilot is trying to achieve.

Professional airline pilots have considerable experience with simulation, as every 6 months, they typically must undergo “recurrent” simulator sessions, which takes the form of two lots of four-hour sessions over the course of two days.

Today these professional simulators are incredibly convincing and detailed, but they were not always this way. For example, the RAF Jaguar jet simulators had visuals the pre-dated computer graphics. To give a convincing view for the pilot, a roughly tennis court size scale model landscape was constructed, complete with miniature towns, roads, rivers, and targets. Above this scenery was a suspended camera, which would be ‘flown’ across the landscape in accordance with the pilot’s inputs in the simulator cockpit.

Modern simulators all use virtual graphics projected onto a wrap-around screen, giving roughly a 180-degree field of view. Many have detailed, photo real terrain and airports, whilst others have relatively basic visuals. A desktop simulator would easily outperform a professional simulator in terms of visuals, which gives rise to an interesting distinction between what can be considered a realistic simulation. It can be deduced that hyper-realistic graphics are only part of the simulation jigsaw. Depth of systems and realistic flight characteristics are also important pieces to this puzzle.

FOR SERIOUS TRAINING, VISUALS ARE GENERALLY A LOW PRIORITY.

The real training comes from the application of real procedures and handling, which can be perfected in the sim and then employed on a real aircraft. This is particularly true when flying IFR, where the flight is conducted solely by reference to the instruments and nothing can be seen out the windscreen at all.

It is in this region where hobbyists and student pilots begin to diverge. A hobbyist might find flying in cloud round and round in a holding pattern to be painfully tedious, whereas a student would be using this time to perfect their entries and technique to prepare for an upcoming training flight. We will look into how desktop simulators perform when uses as a serious training aid, with their pros and cons, along with general advice on setting them up and using them for study.

—The Software—

There are many desktop simulators on the market today, with more in the pipeline. The most popular are Microsoft Flight Simulator and XPlane. They both bring flight simulation to the home user very successfully, but with slightly differing philosophies behind them.

Prepar3D

The latest version of Flight Simulator is modified and published by Lockheed Martin under the name Prepar3D. It is based on long standing software released around 2006 and has a huge following. There is a wealth of addon software available, covering aircraft, weather, airports and many other aspects. If there is a particular aircraft or airport you want to simulate, chances are good that a very good version is available, either for free or as ‘payware’ from an online store.

Where Prepar3D excels is in visuals and vast library of addon content. The simulator provides an acceptable level of graphical detail for the entire globe, whilst particular regions and airports can be greatly improved by installing addon scenery. When heavily modified, amazing levels of visual realism can be achieved.

However, as we have touched upon, graphics are a low priority when using the sim for training, giving way to aerodynamic authenticity and aircraft behaviour. This is where Prepar3D begins to fall short. The aerodynamics are reproduced in the form of ‘lookup tables’. This is where certain known values are contained in a database for how much lift should be produced with X angle of attack and Y wing shape for example, and interpolating everything between values. This gives an overall convincing experience, but some users have a distinct feeling of flying ‘on rails’ and not having an authentic feeling of flight. As you push towards the edge of the flight envelope, such as stalling, spins, overspeeds and extreme angles of attack, the tabulated values can behave strangely and become very unrealistic. These effects fade into subtlety when smoothly flying a large airliner well within its limits, but can become immediately apparent and counterproductive when flying anything more maneuverable and agile.

XPlane

Xplane, developed by Laminar Research, takes a completely different angle on simulating flight. The basic visuals are very similar to Prepar3D, though often lacking detail and giving huge room for scenery improvement. Visual superiority is mostly a matter of taste, although Xplane lacks the sheer quantity of add ons available. It is generally considered that developing for Xplane is slightly more complex and as the currently large user base was historically very small compared to Flight Simulator, Xplane developers are only now starting to catch up and provide very high-quality products for this platform. If a particular aircraft is desired, there is usually less chance of a quality version being available in Xplane compared with Prepar3D, but the catalog is expanding almost daily.

Where Xplane lacks in content, it really shines in aircraft handling. Instead of using tables to interpolate values, Xplane actively simulates the airflow over the entire aircraft in real-time. This opens to door to extremely accurate flight dynamics and feel. The developers at Xplane are constantly working on the flight model, with new features added regularly. For an authentic aerodynamic simulation, Xplane is noticeably superior, especially at the edges of the flight envelope. This does not necessarily mean that Xplane is a clear winner over Prepar3D. The smaller catalog of quality content does weigh on the simulator, plus it is not often that the edges of the envelope are explored in training outside of specific lessons covering stalls and spins etc.

The depiction of runways in Xplane is usually superior to that in Prepar3D, as Xplane supports the runway slopes that are found at many airports around the world. Readily noticeable at airfields with pronounced slopes, such as the famous Courchevel, whereas the runways in Prepar3D are invariably flat. The simulated PAPIs in Xplane are also closer to reality, showing a realistic blend between Red and White lights, averaging out to pink, which is not simulated in the Lockheed product.

It would be difficult to pick a clear winner between these two main simulators, as they are both quite similar on the surface with subtle but important differences underneath. For absolute aerodynamic authenticity, aerobatics, stalls etc, Xplane provides the most realistic experience. For depth of systems and library of quality content, Prepar3D has the lead. Situations such as single-engine operations in a multi-engine prop will be best reproduced in Xplane,

From a training perspective, however, Prepar3D can incorporate constructed ‘Scenarios’ that take the student through a virtual flight school, a feature currently missing from Xplane.

EFFECTIVE PRACTICE

Simulators are best suited to practicing and developing your skills. An important aspect of practice in any activity is to make sure you are practising the right techniques, otherwise time spent in the sim can instill bad habits and actually prove counterproductive.

Improving graphics, cloud textures, sound packs etc all offer improvements to particular aspects of the sim, but the most reward can be gained from improving the skills of the pilot themselves. A parallel can be seen with motorsport. It is common for a driver to strive for better lap times by fitting softer tyres, bigger brakes, power enhancements etc, but if the drivers techniques are incomplete or poorly executed, these upgrades are only masking the underlying problem. The author of this article is an A320 Captain and develops the FS Academy line of training scenarios, which incorporate videos, ground school textbooks and in-game lessons to provide an authentic training suite.

FS Academy – On Instruments covers the Instrument Rating portion of a student pilots training. On Instruments guides the student through IFR techniques such as Holding Patterns, DME Arcs, ILS approaches and VOR navigation. First covered in detailed video and ground school tuition and followed by completing in-game lessons to practice what you have learned.

Also part of a training course is decision making and failure management. Knowing what to do and how to handle difficult scenarios is an important skill for a solo flight or potentially later on in your career as an airline Captain. FS Academy – In Command is a training course with a 100 page groundschool manual and in-game lessons to develop the command skills needed, no matter what aircraft or situation you find yourself in.

The skills you can acquire from FS Academy will stay with you throughout your training and flying career and are usable in any simulator of your choosing. They teach real world techniques, which whilst they cannot replace real world flight tuition, they would give a student a significant head start on their training course or provide all the skills needed for the flight simulator community to greatly expand the realism, reward and authenticity of their flight simulation.

FS Academy training packs are compatible with Prepar3D and FSX, and available here.

—Virtual Reality—

—Hardware—

Flight Simulators are notoriously difficult to run smoothly. Prepar3D is based on 2006 software that only fully utilize a single CPU core, making even the latest hardware begin to struggle where it may excel in another game. Typically it is best to go for the best processor you can stretch to, based on single-core performance. Sims are being updated to try and utilize the currently untapped performance from CPUs, but there is still some way to go and bottom line sheer CPU power goes a long way today. A GPU is of secondary importance, as great graphics and rendering can be obtained from modern software, but remember the CPU is the component most under strain in a flight sim PC, except perhaps in the case where Virtual Reality is intended, as this is also GPU intensive.

VR is an exciting development for the games industry and provide a fantastic experience when incorporated properly. There are some pros and cons to VR use in a flight simulation environment. The head tracking and expanded field of view are a great improvement over the confines of a computer monitor, but lacks the high resolution that can be found with a conventional display.

Being able to look around a 3D cockpit is a real novelty. It can really feel like you can reach out and touch the dashboard. Having the freedom to look around freely gives a great sense of immersion and can improve technique by being able to glance inside at the dials then back outside to the runway. Also, have a quick look at your side before starting a turn in that direction enforces good habits for your lookout.

The lower resolution does make picking out landmarks and airfields more difficult, but on a misty day the visibility can be quite limiting anyway, so setting the weather to reflect this can go some way to correcting this. Light aeroplanes use clear dials with needles, whereas more complex aircraft have digital displays which can be difficult to read in VR, particularly small lettering such as radio frequencies and QNH settings.

Also in VR you lose sight of your joystick, keyboard and perhaps VFR map, that may be at your desk or on your lap, which can make control more cumbersome and navigating more difficult. There are plugins that allow a window to be opened in the VR cockpit to allow display of websites and maps in the virtual environment, but these take time to set up.

As with using a wheel and pedals with a racing simulator, a yoke or joystick is very important to get a good experience from any flight simulator. Even a basic spring-loaded joystick is typically enough to enjoy a sim, twisting the stick to simulate rudder inputs. The next level up would be dedicated rudder pedals, which would provide the student with the subconscious link between power or turns with rudder, making the first lessons in flight come more naturally. Whilst a vast improvement on a keyboard, these controllers do have limitations. The weighting and reactions to the air will not be very authentic, plus of course G force cannot be reproduced in a desktop simulation environment. It is this feel that makes flying a real aircraft often easier than in the sim, where only audio and visual cues are available.

IN SUMMARY

Flight Simulation is a fantastic and useful tool for the student pilot, but only if used properly. Avoiding the long road towards graphical perfection and instead focusing on learning proper techniques and then rehearsing them in the sim is the optimal use for the software. Having amazing photo real airports will look impressive on screen, but it won’t make you a better pilot. An authentic digital aircraft similar to what you will be training in, coupled with quality tuition such as FS Academy will yield the best results and will give the head start needed to really shine in your training. Flying is expensive, so an investment in improving yourself before and during the course can save you costly re-flys and make learning this complex activity all the more enjoyable.

THE NUMBER OF PILOT LICENCES ISSUED FALLS TO THE LOWEST NUMBER IN A DECADE!

Our partners at FTA have recently published this article and allowed us to share it with you:

Data recently supplied by the UK Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed that the number of people who were issued a commercial pilot’s licence in 2020, was 71% lower, just 262, compared with 906 in 2011. The picture for PPL licenses was also very low, falling to almost half the 2011 total.  

To put this into context, as a nation we saw half a million students start a university degree in the same year, over 410,000 of whom were from the UK.  

The blame cannot be attributed to the pandemic alone. Whilst the number of PPLs issued has changed over the years, it has been rising. The number of people completing a commercial pilot’s license has actually been tumbling, and more dramatically so over the last 5 years.

Has the industry lost its luster? Hannah is an airline pilot for Lauda, she’s worked throughout the pandemic and offers advice to those undecided:

“I love my job…There are lots of elements of the training that can appear scary and you might think I can’t do it. But don’t let that be a factor, you will be trained by people who have been there and done it and it’s their job to help you get where you want to be. As long as you know you want it and you are willing to put the work in, there’s nothing stopping you!”

There are various opinions over whether now is the best time to embark on your pilot training. However, with the travel industry set to bounce back over the next couple of years (and pilot training taking the same time), many argue that there is no better time.  

A significant economic boom, greater than that post-WWII is predicted for the economy and this optimism seems to be shared by training pilots. The number of pilots completing their training in 2021, is already on target to climb higher than pre-pandemic by the end of the year. 

The major aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus have continued to share positive predictions of the industry in spite of the pandemic. Boeing’s expectation is that passenger travel will grow at a rate of 4% per year over the next 2-3 years, and along with it the demand for flight crew and engineers. Tim Myers, president of Boeing Capital Corporation, said: “Despite the unprecedented impacts of COVID-19 on the global aerospace industry, there generally continues to be liquidity in the market for our customers, and we expect it to further improve as travel begins to rebound.” 

Indeed, Guillaume Faur, CEO for Airbus said: “The aviation sector is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 crisis”.  The company also issued a statement on 21 May this year, his company confirmed the following: “Airbus continues to expect the commercial aircraft market to recover to pre-COVID levels between 2023 and 2025, led by the single-aisle segment.”  

In a press statement in June this year Ryanair said that with the opening of new bases, including Stockholm, Zagreb and other airports for this winter, “opportunities have been created for up to 1,000 cabin crew”. They confirmed that they are doubling seat capacity across Europe to 1.3 million a week (2 June 2021). The airline hopes to fly 4 million passengers and believes that could increase to between 7 million and 9 million next month.* 

No credible ATO will sell a course with the guarantee of a job. Just as it is in further education and higher education – students should always be trained to be industry-ready and make the most of whole market possibilities. This is what Sussex-based flight school, FTA Global pride themselves in. Not everyone feels the calling of the airlines, and many want to gain experience and hours working for different companies or areas such as business jets, instructing, or ferry flying.    

Tikhon choose to enroll on FTA’s integrated program amidst the pandemic in June 2020, he explains how he feels about his decision:

“Enrolling on to the integrated program has been one of the best decisions of my life. The whole process went and is still going so smoothly. It is important to mention that my cohort joined at one of the most challenging times in the industry due to Covid, and FTA has been a fantastic help and guide through this period. Starting the flight line only recently, I have already managed to go solo after my 12th hour which is just proof of the excellent instructing that goes on at FTA. As I am spending more time at FTA, it is beginning to feel like a big family where everyone knows everyone. It really feels like you can talk to anyone at the school and they will help you as much as they can. Overall, I don’t think I could have chosen a better flight school that would have met my needs to this extent. Thank you FTA! 

FTA’s next integrated intake is September 2021. It’s the most popular time in the year to enroll with students taking a short break from studies over the summer. Places are limited and those enrolled are already getting a head start on their training with access to Padpilot materials on their FTA iPads.   

It’s important to also note that FTA is one of the few UK-based ATOs to secure approval from both the CAA and EASA. This means that they are able to offer training for both a CAA and EASA license from their base in Brighton. It also means that students can decide whether they want to pursue an EASA, CAA, or dual license. 

Sources: Airbus, *Irish Times    

Our partners, Aviation Job Search recently posted: What it is like to be a woman in the aviation industry

A woman in aviation 

We recently spoke with Jordan Milano Hazrati an MSc Student, full-time Human Factors Specialist, and student pilot to discuss what it is like to be a woman in the aviation industry. Jordan kindly shared her thoughts on what could be improved and advice for women aspiring to join the industry.

Why do you think there aren’t many women in the industry compared to men?

I believe the reason that there are much fewer women within certain areas of the industry than men, is deeply ingrained within society. It does impact different sectors of the industry differently.

For example within the cabin crew rank, there is more crew who identify as female than male, and within the flight deck, there are more pilots who identify as male than female. Disproportionately so. For example, in the UK, only 4.77% of pilots are female (Air Line Pilots Association International Trade Union), and this statistic is even lower for Captains/ Training Captains.

Historically, men and women are encouraged and expected to follow different paths within their lives, for example, it was considered socially acceptable for men to work as engineers, whereas women were expected to follow careers of a more caring nature (i.e. nursing, teaching), and balance this with raising a family.

These expectations are embedded into society through generational expectations, the hidden curriculum (i.e. what is taught to our younger generations through subconscious bias), and representation (through what women can see as opportunities open to them).

Moreover, if I had a penny for every time someone said to me ‘women like you aren’t interested in engineering or being a pilot’ I’d probably never have to work again, and it’s these assumptions that need challenging and changing.

How do you feel this could be improved? 

The beautiful thing about history is that the course of such can always be changed. And there are so many incredible organisations and people out there working hard to improve diversity not only in aviation but also in the workplace in general. In my personal view from my experience in the air, and as an educator, visibility is key.

Young people need to be able to see that people like themselves can have successful careers in the flight deck. Schools, colleges, and community groups need to have access through organisations within aviation who would be willing to come into educational settings and talk to young people about their ambitions and provide advice/mentoring.

This ties in with social media as well. Like it or not, it’s here to stay and is one of the biggest sources that influence our young people’s minds. By ensuring that those pilots that are of a minority have a platform to speak and connect with young people, we can reach out to a whole new cohort of future aviators by simply saying ‘hey, I’m like you, and you can do this too’.

“…there are so many incredible organisations and people out there working hard to improve diversity not only in aviation but also in the workplace in general.”

We need to fight the belief that women aren’t interested in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) when it simply isn’t true. Women have historically been engaged in aviation, including working as test pilots and flight instructors during WW2, and therefore this view isn’t accurate.

Instead of accepting this, we need to tackle the barriers that stop women from pursuing a career in the flight deck. We also need to be prepared to challenge any discrimination that is seen or heard. By doing this we begin to break down the stigma surrounding gender within the industry.

This involves providing education and support around financing training, ensuring that organisations are trained and supported to allow those who choose to have a family to do so (there’s long-standing research that demonstrates that women believe a career in the skies is unavailable to them as a mother).

Providing networking opportunities and events to women to allow them to gain the necessary social capital. I read something once about equality that stated it’s not about lowering any standards; it’s about removing obstacles that may exist.

When it comes to increasing diversity in the flight deck, I think that this summary couldn’t be more accurate. I’m still learning, and educating myself in this matter, but I will strive to do all that I can to improve diversity and broaden the range of possibilities of the young whilst in my role.

What challenges have you faced as a woman in this industry?

I just want to say that I have never been treated any differently in my career, education, or training due to my gender. I am incredibly grateful to have been treated fairly and equally at all points and I barely put a second thought to the fact that I may be a minority until I was once asked ‘what’s it like to be a woman in your field?’.

This itself shows we have a long way to go yet. I have heard the occasional comment made such as ‘you women can’t drive, let alone fly a plane’.

When I was working as cabin crew and we had a female pilot, passengers would sometimes remark ‘oh is she any good?’ but these sorts of comments are normally made from those outside of the industry.

I believe it’s important within my position to challenge these types of comments and provide understanding as to why it’s not an acceptable thing to say.

Most people that I work alongside and have met through the industry, whether it be my managers, flight instructors, or fellow cabin crew are fully supportive and aware of the need to increase diversity within the industry.

Advice for other women looking to join the aviation industry?

Don’t be put off by being the only woman in the room. I promise you, if you have the skills, ability, drive, and determination to go after whatever role it is you want, and believe in yourself, you’ll get there anyway.

You’ll likely find yourself surrounded by people cheering you on and supporting you all the way, and even if not, reach out to fellow female aviators via social media or aviation organisations and we’ll all be there for you!

“Don’t be put off by being the only woman in the room.”

Immerse yourself in the world of aviation. Speak to fellow aviators, those aspiring, and those who’ve been successful, and share experiences. Read, and read lots. You can never know enough and there is always something else to learn.

Study hard and prepare to make sacrifices. Finally, I’d say embrace the fear, the nerves, the apprehension…. And do it anyway. Remember the saying ‘’What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?’.

What is your end goal as a woman in aviation?

My end goal ultimately is to have a long, successful, and progressive career within the aviation industry. One where I can combine my love for flying as a pilot, with my research interests within Human Factors, and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing within the aviation community.

I’ve always believed that the people that make up the industry are special, and I’m so privileged to have a role where I can make a true difference to these people. Now I’m also incredibly interested in outreach with young people on following careers into STEM subjects within aviation.

Stepping back and seeing where life takes you can sometimes be the beautiful beginning that comes out of a painful ending.

Our partners, Aviation Job Search recently spoke with Jordan an aviation human factors specialist

Introducing Jordan Milano Hazrati

We recently caught up with Jordan, Jordan is a Human Factors Specialist from Newcastle, she has some pretty amazing aviation experience. From cabin crew to human factor specialist as a result of the pandemic to now also a student pilot.

Tell us about your aviation career so far?

My career so far has most certainly not been a straightforward path! Despite falling in love with everything ‘aviation’ from about the age of 4 when I took my very first flight (to PMI- Mallorca!), it took until I was 21 for me to begin my journey within aviation.

Having been academic at school, and a lover of dance and the arts, I decided to take my earliest steps into the job market as a performing artist. Despite enjoying this, I couldn’t shake the thought and feeling that I was supposed to be in the skies.

I was still obsessed with aircraft, couldn’t stop watching re-runs of ‘Airline’, and it was during a visit out to Alicante at the end of the first year of my undergraduate degree that I finally decided to follow my heart and plough all of my energy into becoming part of the industry.

I landed the position of cabin crew with a short-haul leisure airline based out of MAN, and after working out how I could manage my full-time University studies around a full-time flying roster I began my training to fly as crew. Around this time my parents had gifted me a trial lesson in a Cessna 152.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited to become further immersed in the industry that I loved. During that first lesson, we worked through all the basic elements of flight such as how to control the pitch of the aircraft. Local landmarks were pointed out to me, we flew over my house and university, and suddenly, I had a whole new perspective on the world.

“There was also the underlying sensation that this was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life.”

The only way I can describe it was a feeling of total freedom and clarity that I hadn’t experienced before. There was also the underlying sensation that this was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life, and I still get that feeling every time that I fly now. Probably around 15 minutes into the flight, I knew that I was going to start saving towards my flight instruction… and luckily, I had dropped on the perfect job to do that.

At the airline I worked for, we had a commission-based pay structure, that we were paid on top of our salaries. I put all my commission into a savings account during the period in which I worked at this airline, and within the time it built up nicely… although I wasn’t going to end up using it until Autumn 2020.

I had the time of my life working at my first airline (where I also trained to work on the lease provider we had a partnership with, providing me with my first experiences of wide-body aircraft), and I thank them for giving me the foundations and teaching me so much about the industry, as well as giving me friends for life.

However, the opportunity came up to go for a role with a legacy long-haul carrier out of LHR, and unexpectedly, I landed the role. Whilst it was sad to say goodbye to my home base in the North, I knew it was something I wanted to experience and so at the start of 2020 I moved South and began training for my long-haul life.

How has COVID impacted your career?

This is where COVID-19 suddenly began to wreak havoc on not only my career but the entire world. What was merely just a whisper of a virus in January 2020, had grounded pretty much our entire fleet by mid-March.

I flew several milestone flights during this time, including the last flight to leave South Africa before they shut the borders, a repatriation flight that departed a couple of hours after Boris Johnson’s official lockdown announcement, the first cargo flights to operate with medical supplies onboard and every single passenger and their story will stay with me for life.

I operated a JFK several weeks into the pandemic, and whilst sitting in the flight deck, I had this feeling that that was the last flight I would operate for a while… However, I had no idea that it was going to be the last flight I operated before I faced redundancy along with thousands of incredible colleagues.

My world and life plan shattered overnight. Luckily, I found non-aviation work quickly to ensure I could sustain my lifestyle, but I knew I needed to formulate a plan to be ready for as and when the industry eventually picked up. 

So, I applied to study for an MSc in Human Factors in Aviation at Coventry University and was thrilled to be accepted. I’ve been fascinated with Human Factors, CRM, and Fatigue since my very first initial training. It’s hand on heart one of the best decisions I have ever made and provided me with new connections, opportunities and, possibilities.

More importantly, it is also the main reason why I am in the role that I am today. Although new to the role within this major European airline, I’m truly enjoying every second of working in a completely new side of aviation ..people say I’m a lucky girl but I have worked tirelessly to get to where I am today, and it is a representation of hard work pays off.

The pandemic also granted me so many opportunities to connect with and help the wider aviation community. I became a volunteer for Project Wingman, a mentor for Resilient Pilot/Crew, a writer in the form of my aviation/travel blog, and have been super fortunate to have been asked to write several pieces for different magazines, and websites.

I write about anything and everything to do with the industry, from my experiences as a student pilot, women in aviation, my favourite destinations I’ve traveled to, life as crew, and mental health within the industry. I’ve raised money for Aviation Action and worked at a vaccination centre to help the NHS and the UK move forward past the pandemic.

Time to commit to flying 

Fast forward to September 2020, still very much mid-pandemic, and I couldn’t help but feel something was missing from my life and that it was time for me to commit to flying. My whole ‘wait for the right time’ theory had been blown out of the water, meaning that I was starting to see that there was no such thing as the ‘right’ time.

I had enough money saved and whilst it scared me that I could be spending my security if things were to take a turn for the worst again, it was a risk I weighed up and decided to take anyway. I started flying again in October 2020. Within 5 minutes of the first lesson at Fairoaks, I knew I had made the right decision.

I often say that flying is my therapy. The two hours of my day where I don’t think about anything else other than the task at hand, which is to focus on the lesson and fly the aircraft. I have no regrets for choosing to go after this dream of mine, at what was on paper the worst time of my life, but in reality and looking back now, was the best time to have done it.

It hasn’t been simple though. During this time, we faced two further lockdowns, lockdown 2.0 in November was slightly easier, as we were granted permission as an educational establishment to keep training student pilots, under the premise that we followed strict COVID-19 protocols. Lockdown 3.0 was very difficult.

From mid-December, up until the 12th of April, we were not permitted to fly at all as students due to the severity of the pandemic. Since re-starting to fly I’ve since done my first solo and been working on the navigation component of my PPL which whilst is challenging, I’m enjoying it.

That brings me to today! MSc Student, full-time Human Factors Specialist, and student pilot. 

Tell us about Project Wingman?

Project Wingman was the saving grace of my Summer in 2020. It consists of airline workers, volunteering to create ‘first-class lounges’ in NHS hospitals to support the key workers with donated food, drinks, and peer support during what was a super challenging period of their working life.

Airline workers were the perfect people for this, given that most of us were grounded due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, our ability to provide top-class service and, our skills regarding human factors. We understand the value of communication, listening, and support as we rely on this day in day out to perform our duties to the best of our abilities.

I have worked now with Project Wingman for nearly 14 months, in the local hospital, the London Ambulance Service, and on their Mobile Bus ‘Well-Bee’ as well as having worked with the crewing team to ‘crew’ the bus with staff, and I can’t thank them enough for providing me with a purpose during this hardship of the pandemic.

What has been a highlight of your career so far?

My first Wings ceremony (when you essentially graduate from your cabin crew training) as it was the start of everything that was to come.

The first time I sat in the flight deck for landing will always stay with me as well, as that inspired me to achieve my PPL. 

Looking to my right for the first time and not seeing my instructor sat next to me…. Just wow. Like I DID THAT!

As well as this, I must mention my first solo flight. I had no idea it was going to happen on that day, but when it did it truly was the most amazing feeling. Looking to my right for the first time and not seeing my instructor sat next to me…. Just wow. Like I DID THAT! I was trusted to manage an aircraft by myself and when I’d landed and turned off the runway, I did cry happy tears.

Your hope and plans for the future of aviation?

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I cannot wait for the day that travel becomes unrestricted again, and connecting loved ones and, allowing dreams to come true. I stand in solidarity with the airports, airlines, and collaborating organisations at this time pushing for the re-opening of the skies, and for further support for an industry.

As an industry, we have gone above and beyond in adhering to and ensuring the safety of our people and passengers, and with the success of the vaccine programme within not only the UK but many other countries, I truly believe we can follow the data and science and safely reopen the skies.

I hope that every displaced worker within the industry who wants to return, every aspiring aviator, and those still working within the industry find themselves in roles that fulfil, support, and encourage their dreams. 

I also hope that we will see an increasingly diverse and equal industry going forward, and that’s something that I am actively working to promote. I hope we learn something from the pandemic. I’d like to think that human factors will continue to be of prominent importance, with the understanding that people are at the heart of the industry, and to look after your people will ensure a thriving business.

To ensure that mental health and wellbeing become more open and talked about topics, which can only lead to a safer industry. It’s been a pleasure to connect and work alongside those from different airlines, and I hope we keep this collaboration to continue learning from each other for the time to come.

INTRODUCING OUR NEW EXCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP… Insider!

We have carefully selected a number of individuals and small businesses specifically from an aviation background and bringing it to your fingertips. 

We are trying to support those affected by the pandemic, including those who took voluntary or compulsory redundancy and moved on to their new chapter. 

Insider offers members a chance to be part of the following:

Our businesses:

AG Bespoke Crafts

AG Bespoke Crafts began back in early 2020 alongside their role as Cabin Crew for British Airways. They design gifts ranging from wall prints to tote bags as well as crew labels for your luggage and much more! 

Aircrafter

AirCrafter upcycles material from retired aircraft into bespoke handmade jewellery and wall art.

It began as a personal project after being furloughed from the flight deck. The project evolved and became a way of combining a passion for both artistic expression and aviation. 

Cannon Coffee

Previously a Flybe First Officer, they were made redundant and shifted their focus to creating Cannon Coffee with two close friends. They roast the world’s finest specialty coffees within 24 hours of order, and deliver across the UK. ‘We believe we have the most sustainable, consistent, and traceable coffee on the market.’

Chiltern Campers

As a grounded First Officer they were spending more and more time appreciating what they had on their doorstep. 

Chiltern Campers was founded with the goal of getting more people to have adventurous holidays within the UK. They also offer classic VW camper hire for weddings and special events too.

Crew Shop Uk

Crew Shop Uk was started as a small business when they were furloughed as an airline pilot.

They have always loved and supported small businesses and really wanted to create products which were catered towards crew, aviation and friends of the sky.

Elizabeth Ellen Candles

Elizabeth Ellen Candles began after they were placed on Furlough away from their Cabin Crew role at British Airways. You can purchase hand-make soy wax, sculpture candles, as well as concrete coasters and trinket trays that accompany the candles beautifully. They make fantastic gifts and are a stylish addition to any home.

The Flying Bakery

The Flying Bakery began as a lockdown hobby, and coping mechanism after they lost their job flying the A320. 

They offer everything from postal brownies, to four tier celebration cakes. 

The Flying Vine

The Flying Vine is a virtual wine tasting business started by a (sommelier qualified) furloughed crew member after a decade of global wine tasting and real passion for sharing wines. Try their carefully curated tasting boxes containing wine from around the world with live expert guidance and advice!

Pilates with Georgia

Georgia is Cabin crew for a short haul airline. It’s an online membership platform, giving you on-demand Pilates classes.

With 50+ classes available & new ones being added each week, a variety of styles, lengths & specific muscle focus areas, there’s a class for everybody & every mood.

Resinhut

ResinHut was created after the owner was furloughed from my role as Cabin Crew. You can purchase hand made Jesmonite and Expoxy Resin items, ranging from small keyrings to big natural pot plants. Every item is unique and one of a kind and would make a lovely gift.

Woolaway Knitwear

Woolaway Knitwear has grown as a business whilst the owner is training to become a pilot. Woolaway Knitwear is a British wool, country knitwear manufacturer based in the Midlands. All of the  products are handmade to the highest quality, providing style and warmth for years to come.

World Wandering Lens

Welcome to World Wandering Lens where your camera is your very own passport! Inspired by the colour palettes of the world, they have created a versatile Preset Collection used to edit your portfolio of travel shots, so that no matter where you are on the globe, your photography will always stand out.

Click here to find out more

From commercial pilot to NHS vaccinator after covid devastates the aviation industry

Leading aviation job board, Aviation Job Search recently spoke to Edgar Woodhead, a commercial pilot turned NHS vaccinator whose aviation career has been halted as a result of the Covid pandemic.

Edgar has since switched uniforms to crucially assist the NHS on the vaccination frontline and as a result, has received a courage and compassion badge. He said he knows many people in a similar position, deciding to temporarily pursue non-aviation careers.

Aviation Job Search uncovered his incredible story of resilience. 

The 22-year-old from West Yorkshire says he can’t remember a specific time that he wanted to be a pilot but that it was inspired by traveling from a young age, he studied air transport management and undertook extensive training, receiving his frozen ATPL to become a qualified commercial pilot. 

Edgar decided to join the NHS as a vaccinator after the COVID pandemic halted the aviation industry and with the prospect of jobs now looking decidedly bleak he had no choice but to temporarily stop his dream career path. 

Edgar said, “one thing I can say is that in the aviation community we really do rally around and stick with one another and support and help others regardless of their situation!”

He stated that he felt that by joining the NHS in vaccinating the population, he is not only carrying out an altruistic task but is also contributing to a quicker return to normality. Therefore, resulting in a return to travel, an increase in demand for travel, and the growth of aviation, with job roles opening up again.

He was awarded a courage and compassion badge by the Leeds Teaching NHS Hospital Trust for working during the COVID pandemic. Edgar said, “I was honoured to, it is nice to be recognised for being on the vaccination frontline.”

Edgar said that changing uniforms has humbled him “Changing uniforms has allowed me to take a step back and realise there is a world beyond aviation! It has allowed me to experience firsthand our incredible NHS and appreciate that organisation a lot more.”

Edgar offered advice to others looking to transfer their skills “I do think that you have to take a measured approach. Another profession has its way of doing things and its unique modus operandi, so I think sometimes it is best to take stock of this, and then apply your skills learned from your previous profession.”

Hoping that the future of aviation will see a stronger return towards some normality this summer, he said, “I can’t say that I have ever given up sight of my end dream though, and have recently come to realise that at the end of the day, I have my life ahead of me and that my time will soon come.” 

What have Cabin Crew been doing during Furlough

Please introduce yourself and your role within aviation – how you got into it, your favourite parts of it, where you are now… 

Hi! I’m Fran and I’m Cabin Crew at British Airways. I’ve been with the company for 4 years (actually flying for 3 before the pandemic hit). It has always been my dream to travel around the world.

I’m originally from Malawi but used to fly back to the UK as a child, usually with BA. I was always so in awe of the crew and used to think how amazing it would be to be like them one day, and ever since BA has held a special place in my heart. But if I’m honest I’d always thought it was a bit of a pipe dream. I went on to begin a career in teaching, but after a particularly bad day at work in 2016 I googled ‘how to earn money whilst travelling’ and a link to BA recruitment came up and I just took that as a sign! It did feel a bit wild to change careers just like that but it felt right and I am so happy with my decision.

For me, my favourite parts are definitely the travel and the people. Waking up in a new city, being able to explore and learn about a new place, interacting with people from different cultures and backgrounds. I also have a little bit of a plane obsession, and some of my favourite moments have been sat on a jump seat looking out at the clouds with a cup of tea!

Currently, I am just about to return to flying after 16 months on the ground/ on furlough, and I’m so excited to get back to the skies (although slightly nervous as I know how different things are out in the world at the moment!)

Have there been any positives to your furlough? (think passions/hobbies/roles)

Although it’s been a difficult year and I have really missed flying, furlough has definitely given me a chance to slow down for a while. Crew life is incredible fast paced and often very exhausting, and it’s very easy to get caught up in it all. Since being on the ground I’ve taken the time to really work on parts of myself I’d been neglecting the last few years. I’ve spent the time focusing on my health (mental and physical), practicing yoga daily, and I’ve also been teaching English online which has been great fun. I’ve also explored parts of the UK that I never usually had the time to visit (when not in lockdown), and I can honestly say I had taken for granted just how beautiful the UK is.

I also started writing the novel that’s been on my mind for years, and actually just published a collection of poetry back in April. All things I probably wouldn’t have had the time to do before.

Sleeping every night has also been a bonus and I’m definitely not looking forward to that first hit of jetlag!

How have your skills gained through aviation helped you through furlough? (trying to show aviation as a transferable skillset) 

My time working in aviation has definitely made me much more resilient and flexible in general. We are so used to roster changes and times of disruption and although it can be difficult, it has taught me how to wing it through stressful times a little bit better (pardon the pun!). Also, definitely the people skills developed as crew have particularly helped with teaching English and interacting with people from different cultures.

How do you feel about returning to work and have you reconsidered your choice of industry?

I have mixed emotions. I can’t wait to be travelling and back up in the skies again, however I am also a little apprehensive. Flying as we knew it has changed a great deal but hopefully things will get back to a kind of normal again soon. I’m also worried about maintaining the balance I’ve been working on this past year and so I made the decision to return to flying part-time, which I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully it’ll give me the right balance between enjoying my time flying and also working on other things, spending time with friends and family, travelling at my own pace and remaining a bit more present.

Where’s the first place you’ll be using your staff travel for?

I would love to go to Mexico again, or visit Guatemala, Costa Rica or Thailand– but it all depends on where opens up first!

INTRODUCING… Aviation Insider Cabin Crew!

We are pleased to announce our new category! Following the same approach as “Pilot Services” and “Drones”, we wanted to collect our knowledge and experience to bring you the complete guide to being Cabin Crew!

Our team have years of experience in this role, so it was a natural area of expertise.

Our different sections include:

Want to Become Cabin Crew? – We detail the necessary requirements to become Cabin Crew, as well as suggestions for the type of skills that would be helpful for you to be successful in your application. We also suggest how the different airlines come with varying contracts and lifestyles. It’s important for you to choose one that will suit you best. Then there is a helpful section explaining the kind of crew jargon you may come across in our guides: there really is a whole new language to learn when speaking about aviation!

The Application Process – In this section we give you important advice for the application process and assessment day. The process to become cabin crew is quite unique, and it’s important that you stand out and shine for the right reasons. We have advice and a general breakdown of the interview and group exercise that you may need to participate in, as well as airline-specific interview prep guides which have been created based on recent experience.

Your Journey – From Initial Training, to Line Flying, Recurrent and Career Progression, we break down exactly what you can expect from a flying career. We detail how the Initial Training Course is broken down, listing the topics you will cover, as well as handy hints and tips. In Line Flying we give you a full break down of how a day in the life may look, and Recurrent tells you some of the assessments you may come across in your yearly exams. Our Career Progression section shows you where your crew career could lead to, as well as ideas for other roles that would benefit from the transferable skills you will have learnt.

Aviation Lifestyle – In this section you will find a section that leads you to our friends and partners at Crew Collective. They are a global lifestyle and wellbeing platform, dedicated to supporting cabin crew worldwide. It is a virtual home for connecting thousands of like-minded aviation professionals and providing a sense of unity and support within the industry. We also have a selection of handpicked products with an exclusive Aviation Insider Discount Code!

Training Store – Of course we’ve also created and curated some useful training materials for you to help with your process. We have airline specific interview guides, created from first hand experience, One to One Interview Training, a day course for preparations, and also a CV and Cover Letter package! We’ve also gathered information for you to find where will best suit you to complete your attestation.

This is such an exciting process, and a wonderful industry to be a part of. We cant wait to welcome you on board!

Aviation Insider Launches into Drones!

We are pleased to announce our new category! Following the same approach as our “Pilot Services” we can assist you at any stage, from a beginner’s guide to becoming a drone pilot, all the way through to professional and commercial services!

View our different sections:

Hobbiest – Perfect for those who are just starting out or looking for more information on their hobby. We’ve collated the pro’s and con’s of different drone type, provide information on where you can fly, and offer courses in flying and photography!

Professional – For those already established or looking for a new career, we cover all the information you could need. Further information includes registering for operational authorisation and starting your successful drone business! You will also find our advanced courses and qualifications.

Services – See how drones can help you and your business. Drones can be used to help in all industries, from agriculture to mining, from inspections to thermal imaging.

Courses – Qualifications introduced by the CAA allowing you to operate your drone in more areas than previously allowed. You will be able to take your drones into areas such as cities, parks, beaches, and along coastlines! Or why not take your photography or videography skills to the next level?

Shop – We show you our top pick of drones, partnered with DJI! Get yourself the best kit for the job. Here you will also find our full selection of courses available to you.

We are working with some amazing companies to bring you the industry’s best services. We bring your trusted products and services from:

Post-Brexit Medical Certification Issues

“Post-Brexit Medical Certification Issues”

By Dr Chris King

EU and UK approved AME and Medical Director and Head of AeMC Centreline London and Gatwick UK

3rd March 2021.

This article tries to address some of the issues that have arisen post-Brexit in relation to the aviation medical certificatory process.

The Centreline London Aeromedical Centre and Gatwick (www.centrelineaviationmedicalservcies.co.uk) is the only UK Aviation Medical Practice approved by EU (EASA) UK (CAA) and US (FAA) for all classes of UK, EU and US medical certificates.

The interpretation of the regulations by the UK/CAA has always diverged from the EU/EASA and this has been agreed using “Alternative Means of Compliance” or “AltMOCs”. However, since Brexit EU AMEs must follow the certificatory processes of the EU authority which has approved them for all EU medical certificates. For example, in Centreline’s case, by Austro Control (Austria).

This article is designed to give some guidance. The views stated in this article are the current understanding of the EU regulations by Centreline and are not endorsed by EASA, Austria or the UK, who make the final decision.

Hence, this article is for guidance only and has no regulatory approval.

Given that the remaining 27 EU states may interpret the EU regulations differently, it is important that EU license holders clarify their own individual needs and queries with their respective EU regulatory authority.

Listed below are some of the differences Centreline has encountered so far between the interpretation of the regulations by the EU and UK.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and is in no particular order, but may help license holders through the maze of EU medical certification and will be subject to revision over time.

  1. All licence holders with a UK (GBR) reference number have the UK CAA as their responsible authority (RA) and can have their medical undertaken by a UK CAA approved AME.
  1. If any abnormality is discovered, it needs to be discussed with the relevant EU authority and it may mean the pilot is made unfit until they have made their decision, in the light of assessing the related reports.
  1. If further investigations and reports are required, the certificate still cannot be issued. Only when they are received and are normal can the certificate be issued in discussion with the relevant authority.
  1. For this reason, Centreline recommends that licence holders make full use of the 45-day revalidation period, to allow time to get any further investigations undertaken, whilst the current medical certificate is valid. This applies for any potential medical issue, not just ECG over-read.
  1. There is a greater emphasis on mental health. There are separate questionnaires for the pilot and AME to complete (the UK have also begun utilising these forms).
  1. Licence holders with RXO and SIC limitations will have received a letter from the relevant EU authority with instructions as to how to comply with this limitation. The EU AME may not have a copy of this letter so bring a copy to your medical. If the licence holder has not complied with the instructions in the letter, the certificate cannot be issued. Again, if the medical is undertaken, the certificate cannot be issued without clearance from the relevant EU authority. If you have any queries, check with the relevant authority.
  1. Sickness management is different.  There is not the same leeway as with the UK CAA. There is a lower threshold for making pilots unfit. There is not the same facility to phone and discuss. Authorities may not decide until the reports are received. Given some authorities are very understaffed, the process can potentially take many weeks, if not months.
  1. Medical certificates can only be issued, signed, and stamped by the approved EU AME. This means that the licence holder generally will not receive their medical certificate on the day of the medical, as all the paperwork must be checked and signed off by the EU approved AME.
  1. In summary, use the 45-day revalidation period. Check what reports are required and get them done in good time. Any specific queries should be discussed with the respective authority. Be aware you may not receive your medical certificate on the day of your medical.

If you have any individual queries, please email them to initial@amsgatwick.com and we will try to answer them.

Looking at 2021 with Aviation Insider

Aviation Insider was one of the first approved aviation-related suppliers to the DWP alongside AirlinePrep. We worked with the DWP to support unemployed and redundant pilots. Our job center support page has been seen thousands of times to help those pilots who had just received the unfortunate news, find the next steps and it offered the pilot a lifeline to retrain and re-skill. 


Aviation Insider has assisted hundreds of pilots over the last year with their job center application. (More information found here) It doesn’t necessarily mean Aviation Insider would run or get their training but we offered free advice and support to obtain funding. Some of the main areas we helped pilots obtain funding was; simulator refresher training, license support, and other services to those wishing to re-skill. We continue to work privately to support those pilots from either the UK, Europe or internationally with our services. 


We recently launched the a320 Technical refresher videos and will continue to expand and develop them, this compliments all our other a320 products and is great for revision at a time when pilots aren’t flying as much. We do have products for other aircraft like Boeing and Embraer so do check out our online training store.

Aviation Insider has new products and services launching this year and we are constantly updating our website and app on a daily basis making it, even more user-friendly and easier to find the information you need. 


With a wealth of industry knowledge and resources behind us, Aviation Insider has all the information you need to prepare yourself for the next phase of your career. Partner companies are key to us and that’s why we only partner with companies we believe are ethical, relevant, and offer a fantastic trusted service.


We have so much on offer from a free online pilot logbook with new features coming soon, free aspiring pilot information, YouTube interviews with the top-flight schools and training organizations in the country, Find your nearest flight school or medical examiner pages, and much more!

See all our products here: Online Training Store and to learn more about what Aviation Insider has to offer visit: www.aviationinsider.com

2020, A year in review with our partners at Aviation Job Search

Aviation job website, Aviation Job Search , has released its Year in Review for 2020,

producing findings around the impact of Covid-19 on the industry. The report specifically

details how the global pandemic has affected employment within the sector.

From an anonymous interview with 384 aviation professionals in October 2020, a staggering

48% were unemployed and a further 11% were furloughed or part furloughed. Only 32%

were in current employment.

One jobseeker said, “I feel let down by my trade union, and by the company I worked for.

They didn’t explore all options before making hundreds of us redundant.”

Key findings also revealed how 89% of professionals were worried about their future in

aviation.

The review also looked into the challenges of searching for a job during a global pandemic

and how priorities had changed as a result of the events in 2020.

The monthly average number of jobs posted to Aviation Job Search in 2020 was 1,051, a

53% decrease from 2019. With less jobs available, jobseekers don’t have the luxury to be

picky when applying for jobs.

From a different interview of 2,489 aviation professionals in December 2020, 56% claimed

their priorities had changed. The top three reasons as to why include the instability of

contract work, the lowering of salary expectations and the consideration to taking work

outside of the aviation industry.

If you would like to read the full Year in Review, you can download it here.

ATPL Theory Quick links

ATPL Theory Question Banks

For students studying for their ATPL theory examinations, the content can seem vast and overwhelming, however, with the help of the question banks listed under this section you can prepare yourself for what to expect in your exams. ATPL question bank databases are updated on a regular basis and contain real exam questions based on student feedback so you can receive the most up-to-date, accurate information to help with your studies.

ATPL Theory Revision Content

Aviation Insider are dedicated to helping our customers to achieve the best possible results, and with the assistance of our quick facts package (developed by ex-students and current airline pilots) you can feel confident that you will be well prepared for your upcoming examinations. Our quick facts package includes key facts compiled for each ATPL subject and the ATPL subject formula ebooks created by our partner iCadet provide students with a comprehensive “cheat sheet” with all the formulas required to solve those tricky questions!

ATPL Theory CAP Manual Quicklinks

Some of the ATPL theory examinations will require you to refer to an appendix containing various different graphs/tables to assist you in answering questions. Below you can find quick links to these manuals containing the items you will be required to familiarise yourself with prior to your exams.

A solution to aircraft technical knowledge fade

Normally an airline pilot sees a question bank and thinks its something you use when you are studying for the ATPL exams, Type Ratings, CCQ or perhaps command. Now more than ever it is a perfect opportunity for a pilot to use question banks and flashcards to help restore aircraft technical knowledge.


We have question banks on many of the most popular aircraft in the world with up to 1000 questions on all the aircraft systems. And our flashcards have 100 of the most important key facts and memory items. All our type rating question banks and aircraft study flashcards are created by our trainers and examiners and accessible through our website and app. View them offline too!


The type rating question banks allow you to read the right answer only, which is another great way to study. Choose how many questions per category or select a mixture of categories to choose form. Your scores are saved for you to view your progress.

Click the links below to take you to the selected product:

Flashcards

Question Banks

Useful Information if you have a License Extension

Useful Information if you have a License Extension. If you have received a license extension and are looking to revalidate it in the coming months, there are a few things you need to know. Firstly, a revalidation is where your license is still current and has not lapsed after 1 year. A renewal is where your license has expired after 1 year but less than 3 years and you are looking to make your license current again. A renewal requires an ATO to sign off on this and you may require training before.

Useful bit of information:

If your license expired within 90days or less

If your license expired more than 90 days but less than 1 year

If your license expired more than 1 year but less than 3 years

If your license expired more than 3 years ago:

Now, if you have had a license extension from the CAA the regulations are listed below.

FCL.740. A Revalidation of class and type ratings – aeroplanes

Regulation (EU) 2020/359

(a) Revalidation of multi-engine class ratings and type ratings. For revalidation of multi-engine class ratings and type ratings, the applicant shall:

(1) pass a proficiency check in accordance with Appendix 9 to this part in the relevant class or type of aeroplane or an FSTD representing that class or type, within the 3 months immediately preceding the expiry date of the rating; and

(2) complete during the period of validity of the rating, at least:

(i) 10 route sectors as pilot of the relevant class or type of aeroplane; or

(ii) 1 route sector as pilot of the relevant class or type of aeroplane or FFS, flown with an examiner. This route sector may be flown during the proficiency check.

(3) A pilot working for a commercial air transport operator approved in accordance with the applicable air operations requirements who has passed the operators proficiency check combined with the proficiency check for the revalidation of the class or type rating shall be exempted from complying with the requirement in (2).

(4) The revalidation of a BIR or an IR(A), if held, may be combined with a proficiency check for the revalidation of a class or type rating.

If you have any questions please dont hesitate to get in touch with us. Aviation Insider is now working with a number of ATO’s and have access to over 10 different aircraft full-motion simulator devices. See our aircraft below:

Airbus: A320, A330, A380

Boeing: 737CL / NG, 747, 757, 767, 787

Embraer: 135/145, 170/190

Searching for a pilot job through COVID-19

Searching for a pilot job through COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on commercial aviation with consequences that are still not fully realized yet. The spread of the virus has posed serious challenges to airlines, airports, and their ecosystems as they are forced to adapt to the ever-changing situation. 

As the country gradually eases lockdown restrictions in a bid to limit the effects on the economy, the aviation industry continues to scramble to find their new version of normal. Reports of significant job cuts have been widely documented in the media by a number of major airlines already. 

All the uncertainty might have left you wondering, is now the time to restart your job search? While the recruitment landscape does look a little different at the moment, all is not lost, and there are things you can do to continue your efforts and get ahead of the competition.   

Here we look at 7 tips you can do to continue your job search effectively despite the current circumstances.   

Continue applying for jobs

There might not be a wide variety of pilot jobs to choose from at the moment, but take some comfort in the fact that there are still pilot jobs out there that you can apply for right away. We would recommend searching the latest pilot jobs on our partner site, Aviation Job Search

It’s also worth setting up an alert so you can be notified every time new jobs matching your search criteria are added to the site. 

Upload your CV

While some recruiters have paused interviewing and hiring for the time being, savvy recruiters are still contacting candidates so they have a headstart once they return back to normal. It’s essential an updated version of your CV is available so recruiters can contact you and discuss your options. Jobseekers can upload their CV to Aviation Job Search here.   

Give your CV a makeover 

Whatever job you end up taking, your CV will still need to be updated and tailored to each position you apply for. Now more than ever, your CV will need to stand out from the crowd. Before the pandemic, airlines would often receive hundreds of applications for just the one pilot vacancy. With less jobs available now, competition will be even fiercer.

If you need a little help to get your CV up to scratch, take a look at helpful guides and tips online. 

Consider a temporary job

Just because the aviation industry is in a period of uncertainty right now doesn’t mean that you can’t find any work. A number of furloughed pilots have taken alternative employment to help their communities in times of need. 

Furloughed Ryanair pilot, Ben Andrews of Castle Donington joined the Tesco Extra store in Toton as a delivery driver throughout the pandemic. Andrews said, “We were furloughed but I still had a mortgage to pay and I did not know how I was going to survive so I started to look at what I could do to keep the money coming in.”

He added, “I knew that van drivers were key workers and an important role in delivering goods especially to vulnerable people who could not get out of the house.” 

Think of it as a stopgap for the time being – you can’t operate in your chosen industry, so find work to do in the meantime, ready to return back to the job you desire when things calm down. 

Visit a virtual job fair 

Believe it or not, job fairs are still taking place – but they’re happening virtually. 

The Future & Active Pilot Advisors (FAPA) is hosting job fairs on the last Wednesday of every month until travel recovers. The job fair aims to bring recruiters and active pilots with over 250 hours (the required minimum) together. Further details can be found here. 

The pandemic has forced the events industry to temporarily move online which opens up opportunities for visitors to attend events they could never physically get to before. Take the time to see what events are taking place around the world virtually and how you can participate in them.  

Be inspired through webinars

Similarly to virtual events, the number of online webinars have spiked in recent months. There is a lot of great information and help available out there, it’s just a case of searching for it. 

On 4th August 2020, Aviation Job Search and the CV & Interview Advisors will present ‘How to write a LinkedIn profile to secure a better and higher paying job.’

The webinar promises to give you the blueprint to create a LinkedIn profile that won’t let you down, and one which will actively promote you and attract more opportunities. Further details, and to register, can be found here.  

It’s not about what you know, it’s who you know

Over the last few months, LinkedIn has become a very popular place for professionals to reach out and make everyone aware of their current career situation, their skills and what they are looking for. 

This is a great idea to get your name in front of a large group of people who may know of jobs you can apply for. Use Facebook and Twitter too to reach out, and don’t forget to hashtag your skills or current role so that the audience can get an idea of your ability. 

What unemployment benefits can you claim as a pilot?

What unemployment benefits can you claim as a pilot? The UK benefits system is there to help until you find your way into a career and can begin to earn a wage.  In fact, it’s very important that you do claim the benefits you are entitled to.

Despite the Government’s recent attempts to simplify things, the system can be rather complex and it’s not always easy to understand just what you can claim for.

The first thing to do is to ‘sign on’ at your local Job Centre.  This is your declaration that you are currently unemployed and seeking work.

New Style Jobseekers Allowance and New Style Employment and Support Allowance.

You can begin your claim for JSA by completing a simple online form.  Your nearest Job Centre will then text you with details of a meeting (virtual) that you must attend in order to begin receiving payments.  At this meeting you will need to produce two forms of proof of identity; a passport and driving licence or utility bill are usually sufficient.

You will then have to attend fortnightly meetings with a Jobcentre advisor and will have to show them evidence that you are trying to find a job.  Usually, this means telling the advisor about any interviews you have attended or applications you have submitted.

For more information and to claim New Style JSA go online

gov.uk/how-to-claim-new-style-jsa

For more information and to claim New Style ESA go online to download a form NSESAF1

Universal Credit

Universal Credit is a benefit payment for people in or out of work and is normally paid to you as a single monthly payment, but it’s made up of several different elements.

It replaces some of the benefits and tax credits you might have heard of:-

The Initial process to claim Universal Credit is online at gov.uk/universalcredit

Dual Claims

You can get New Style JSA or ESA on its own or at the same time as Universal Credit (known as a dual claim).

If you get both, your Universal Credit will be reduced pound-for-pound by the amount they get for New Style JSA or ESA.

Some of the benefits of making a dual claim include:

1.  You will receive Class 1 NI credit on dual claim (Class 83 on UC only)

2.  You may be entitled to financial support for dependants.

3.  You may be entitled to help with housing costs through Universal Credit.

Rapid Response Training

The decision to fund training, in every case, is based on whether it will improve your prospects of finding work. Some of our previous clients have secured funding for simulator and checks.  Please remember that Training must remove a barrier to employment.

How to access Rapid Response funding:

Help guide for redundant and unemployed airline pilots

Help guide for redundant and unemployed airline pilots

The Basics and legal information:

Redundancy is a form of dismissal from your job. It happens when employers need to reduce their workforce. If you’re being made redundant, you might be eligible for certain things, including:

Source: .Gov

Are you getting the correct redundancy payment?

You are entitled to a statutory redundancy payment if you have worked for the organisation for two years or more. The statutory payment is:

A statutory redundancy payment can only be based on up to 20 years of employment even if you have been employed for longer than this.

Source: Truth legal

Help to get a new job

Contact your local Jobcentre – they specialise in helping people who have been made redundant. They will help you find a new job and may even pay for training.

You can use the service during your notice period and for up to 13 weeks after you’ve been made redundant.

You should also ask your employer for a written reference, as you can send this with your job applications.

You won’t get any redundancy pay if you accept an alternative job with your current employer before the end of your notice period.

Source: Citizens advice

Brushing off and updating your pilot CV

Your CV, cover letter, and application form are your only opportunities to make a great first impression to your prospective employer about the valuable skills you can bring to their airline. Even though many of them are not recruiting at the moment we can only hope the airlines are making knee jerk reactions with redundancies and by next year or sooner, will be hiring back the workforce it lost.

We recommend Airline Prep who are approved to claim back the cost of the service.

Making use of the government help for training and keeping your license current.

Aviation Insider is approved and on the system with the job centre and can offer the following training.

Staying Positive

For more on what financial help is available Click Here

To see what you might be entitled to Click Here

For how to deal with debt click here

Contact us if you have any questions

Keep Current with our Type Rating Question Banks:

Help guide for redundant and unemployed airline pilots

Airline Pilots made redundant can revalidate their licenses

Airline Pilots made redundant can revalidate their licenses. Aviation Insider is pleased to be able to help you recover the cost of your simulator training through a government grant (subject to conditions)

Over the last year, we have helped a number of pilots secure funding from the government. Former Flybe and Thomas Cook pilots who wanted to ensure they keep their licenses valid were able to access funding to pay for their simulator training with us.

We also recommend AirlinePrep Ltd who can advise how to seek funding to cover the cost of your interview preparation.

Aviation Insider is one of the preferred providers to help pilots who have been made redundant. The scheme is open to pilots who reside in the UK and need a revalidation or license renewal on the following aircraft: a320, a330, B737, 747, 787, E190 and claim back the costs in full.

Other forms of training such as refresher training and airline simulator assessment preparation can be considered a viable claim and some of our previous clients have had success in obtaining the funding. The available aircraft are a320, a330, B737, B747. B757/767, B777/787 and E135/145 and E170/190.

Through its partners, Aviation Insider is also able to help pilots renew their licenses (a320 and 737 at the moment) if it has passed the yearly expiration date and help with CV, Cover letter, interview, and Group Exercise practice.

We have recently launched a free online pilot logbook similar to the paid versions other major companies are offering. It would be useful for pilots who have been made redundant to have their logbooks up to date when applying to new airlines. The logbook will present it in a clear format for any future employers. Click here for More information

This is an unprecedented time for the aviation industry, and we all must stay strong and work through this together. Aviation Insider will do whatever it takes to help pilots remain current. If any pilot wants to make use of the revalidation claim, visit our contact us page here get in touch.

Click here to see our flyer

More information on License Revalidations

Keep Current with our Type Rating Question Banks:

Airline Pilots made redundant can revalidate their licenses.

Do Full Motion Simulators Really Have an Advantage Over Fixed Training Devices?

Do Full Motion Simulators Really Have an Advantage Over Fixed Training Devices?, Aviation is a skills-based industry and towards this requirement, training goes hand in hand. Commercial airline pilots may once have been assessed wholly on their manual flying (aircraft handling) skills; nowadays pilot assessment is predominantly based on Systems and Crew Management, where management of the automated systems and maintenance of situational awareness replace many of the traditional flying skills.

Types of Simulation Devices

Flight Training Devices have no motion system at all. Flight Simulators at Levels A and B have motion systems that operate in only a limited way; that is, through 3 axes only … pitch, roll, and yaw. These devices provide motion ‘on-set’ cues only in those 3 axes. Simulators at Levels C and D provide motion ‘on-set’ cues in those same 3 axes, but also in the axes of heave (up and down), sway (left and right), and surge (forward and aft). Of course, ALL of the motion systems provide only ‘on-set’ cueing, because each of them have physical limits of movement … and the rate that the initiated motion on-set cue is removed must be taken into consideration with respect to the total distance that the motion actuator may be moved; that is, its physical dimensions. The rate that the provided motion cueing is ultimately removed – or stopped – has to be taken into consideration in the overall physical dimensioning of the actuators. But virtually countless amounts of experimentation and examination, trial and error, attempts made, repeated, modified, and re-attempted … all go into the final determination as to the size and the power that will be required to operate such systems.

Use of Flight Simulation in Training

The availability of advanced simulator technology permits replicating the cockpit’s environment at any stage of flight. Such technologies are being used extensively for training and checking of flight crew. The complexity, cost and operating environment of modern aircraft has made the use of advanced simulation necessary.

Traditionally, simulation devices come in two sub variants – Full Flight Devices (FFS) and Fixed Training Devices (FTD).

Modern Fixed Training Device Without Motion

Flight training device (FTD) means a full size replica of a specific aircraft type’s instruments, equipment, panels and controls in an open flight deck/cockpit area or an enclosed aircraft flight deck/cockpit, including the assemblage of equipment and computer software programmes necessary to represent the aircraft in ground and flight conditions to the extent of the systems installed in the device. It does not require a force cueing motion. It is in compliance with the minimum standards for a specific FTD level of qualification.

The above are broad definitions and both the FFS and FTD have several subclassifications.

Current Scenario

Type rating and recurrent airline pilot training has changed little in past 30 years. Regulators mandate a large part of such training to be conducted on very expensive full motion simulators or an actual aircraft. Training is compliance based and some of it based on outdated legal and regulatory instruments while not covering the latest technologies and techniques.

The expense of training and the fact that it based on compliance and not scenarios can result in ineffective quality and quantity of pilot training. Type rating and recurrent training suffer most as the huge expense brings an enormous pressure on airlines to keep costs down.

FFS are extremely costly – ballpark 10 million USD per FFS – with other costs like land, buildings (at least a 3 storey structure) and infrastructure to support the device. Maintenance and operation is expensive and most airlines therefore either do not have their own simulators or use third party devices – located in different cities of even countries.

FFSs create realism by fooling sensory systems which is at variance how an actual aircraft provides sensation. A case in point – deceleration is simulated by tilting the simulator forward which creates a sense of falling out of the seat. However at this time flight instruments indicate a pitch attitude which is at variance from the expected. This causes a conflict in the pilots’ inner-ear balance and the eyes. at odds with what their eyes tell them.

Yaw or sideslip can be simulated by sustained tilting, but vertical acceleration can not be sustained. Ask any pilot (me included) – it is common to over control in a simulator than an aircraft. Because of the physical limits of an FSTD’s motion base, the ratio of inertial cues (cues from sensory organs in the inner ear that sense acceleration) to visual cues is not the same as in flight. When motion and visual cues are not congruent, pilots can become disoriented — this can even cause motion sickness in simulator training.

Over the past few years, FTD technology has advanced to a level that apart from motion, the device can replicate everything else which can be expected in a cockpit. Products are available today which provides high-fidelity reproduction of the aircraft’s cockpit and controls, have collimated (infinity-focused) visual systems that provides complete realism. Vibration and ambient noise is simulated. Seat actuation systems provide “seat-of-the-pants” sensations of turbulence, runway surface roughness or airframe vibration.

Modern FTDs use the same simulation software as the full-flight simulators, based on manufacturer-supplied data packages, and with high-fidelity aerodynamic, ground and engine performance and control forces.

Coming to the subject line of this blog. It may not be completely true that a full-motion FFS is better than a state of the art fixed base device. I argue that scenario based training in a modern FTD with induced failures such as wind shear, ground proximity and systems failure as compared to legacy training in an old school FFS will actually result in a higher level of effective training.

The Tests

There have been numerous scientific studies performed over the last sixty years or so to test this theory, and the result have been surprising.  Using all sorts of simulators from light aircraft to turbo-props to jet fighters, scientists have tested how motion simulation affects the control strategies that pilots learn (i.e. how they move the controls) and how well the training translates into the real aircraft.  

The studies followed a similar pattern; train half of the test group in a fixed-base simulator (i.e. with no motion) and half in a motion simulator.  Then test both groups’ performance in a full-motion simulator or a real aircraft (there is of course a limit to what we can test in an aircraft; stalling airliners for the sake of academic research is not wise!)

Here is a summary of some of the more interesting results:

Reaction times

One of the biggest advantages of motion is that it reduces the pilot’s reaction time to a disturbance.  Even with full instrumentation and visual scenery, the pilot will respond first to the initial motion of, say an engine failure.  This will then draw their attention to the instruments for analysis and corrective action.  But does training with motion translate to quicker reaction times in the aircraft? If we train with motion off, do we produce pilots who take longer to react when motion is present?  The answer, quite simply, is No.  Training without motion does not make any appreciable difference to a pilot’s response times after motion is introduced.

Control on the ground

If an engine fails at high speed during the take-off roll, the pilot must react quickly to control the aircraft laterally whilst either continuing the take-off or stopping.  In this instance, the motion cueing is the primary means of control, and a full-motion simulator cannot be replaced with seat-based or fixed motion for fully effective training.

Other motion cues

What about a maneuver like stalling, where the pre-stall buffet is a vital clue to inform the pilot of the state of the aircraft?  Surely in this case we need a motion simulator?  Here the answer must be yes; the buffet cannot be replicated and learned as a cue without motion.  But there is no need to have an expensive and complex six-legged platform to simulate this vibration.  Seat-based motion cueing, where the pilot’s seat vibrates or moves over a very limited range, is just as effective.

Spatial Disorientation

One of the first lessons a pilot must learn in order to gain an instrument rating is to ignore many of the physiological sensations felt during flight in cloud. The inner ear is sensitive to acceleration but not to steady state motion. As we saw with the fake elevator there is a minimum threshold below which your vestibular system will not register acceleration.  In cloud therefore it is very easy to become disorientated; your inner ear says that you are rolling to the left while your instruments read straight and level flight.

Studies have shown that even full-motion simulators cannot effectively produce this spatial disorientation, so this training must be done on a real aircraft.

Vection

Vection is the illusion of self-motion in the absence of physical motion.  High-quality visuals, a realistic cockpit and good audio can be enough to fool the brain into thinking there is actual motion. Often pilots in a full-motion simulator won’t even notice when the motion platform is switched off.  In one study with low-hours pilots the simulator was programmed to randomly reverse the direction of roll motion.  None of the pilots in the study noticed anything out of the ordinary when they rolled the aircraft to the right and the motion platform rolled left!

Learning speed

Most studies conclude that there is no significant difference in the rate of learning or the overall performance outcome between motion and no motion simulators.  Some studies actually showed slightly faster learning without motion, perhaps as the trainee is more able to concentrate on seeing and doing a new task without the added distraction of moving around.

Post COVID19

It will not be practical for airlines to sustain frequent positioning of aircrew all over the world for flight simulator training any longer. Such travel will incur a huge financial burden and would also not be a wise considering the pandemic and social distancing requirements.

To be fair most regulators are aware of advances in simulation capability and are prepared to take advantage of the latest training tools. A FFS now does not have an edge over a modern FTD. Interest is being generated in using modern FTDs as alternatives to more expensive Level D “zero flight time” FFS for recurrent training. Shifting to motion less simulators with scenario and competency based training rather than just limiting to what is the minimum accepted compliance based training requirements is the need of the hour.

The world has evolved rapidly in the COVID19 environment. A paradigm shift in aviation training is needed and we have to start thinking and planning now to be better prepared for the uncertain future.

Keep Current with our Type Rating Question Banks:

READ ECAM, The free A320 ECAM Handling app

READ ECAM, The free A320 ECAM Handling app every a320 pilot should know about.

Our friends at ipadecam.co.uk developed software for a320 pilots to practice all their failure management and technical knowledge. The software is so good you would think you would have to pay for a subscription to access it. But no, the app is completely free to use.

There is one other competitor to read ECAM or iPad ECAM as they are also called and there are many in the aviation world that will be well aware of who that company is. That company does charge a subscription to access their app.

The website is well presented and the app has fantastic explanations on each part of the a320, a330, and Boeing 737, however, in our view the perfect solution to aid your studying or type rating is read ECAM.

Read ECAM does almost everything its competitor does, you can visualize and interact with immersive scenarios. Find content quickly and easily through an intuitive multi-functional menu system and practice over 200 interactive abnormal and emergency scenarios.

What most users tend to oversea is “Page 2” Probably one of the best parts of the software. It comes filled with a need to know facts and how-to guides. Differentiate between a319, a320, and a321 aircraft, NEO, and CEO. Learn how to deal with EFATOs in a fantastic presentation.

We highly recommend this software and would urge you to visit their website: http://www.ipadecam.co.uk/#

On their website, you can follow a simple step by step guide on how to use this software offline on your iPad. We spoke to their director and they are developing a new iPad app with updated graphics and visuals!

If you would like a different way to study and practice then why not have a look at our new online training overview page where you can see some of the main training aids Aviation Insider has to offer: https://aviationinsider.com/training-content-overview/

read ecam a320

READ ECAM, The free A320 ECAM Handling app

Pilots using simulators post COVID-19

Pilots using simulators post COVID-19, Many training centers remained open during the last few months but many airlines using the facilities stopped booking the slots as they put their pilots on furlough.

Most staff from the centers worked from home or were also put on furlough whilst maintenance staff kept the simulator operational for the select few slots that were being used.

“The safety of our people, our customers, and any visitors to our facilities is paramount,” one simulator based in Burgess Hill, England said.

“We are closely monitoring both government and industry advice to ensure that we are doing absolutely everything possible to guarantee the best conditions for everyone involved in activities on our premises”

In addition to standard health and safety procedures simulator centers have introduced the following measures in response to the current public health challenge, Covid-19:

Aviation Insider utilize all the major simulator centres in the UK and follow these guidelines set out by the centres. If you would like to enquire about a simulator booking please contact us here: https://aviationinsider.com/simulator-contact-form/

Pilots using simulators post COVID-19

Pilot Training: EASA’s new ATPL Syllabus

Pilot Training: EASA’s new ATPL Syllabus: EASA has published a detailed explanatory note to the new ATPL syllabus here. In summary, the key changes are as follows:

What are the new differences?

When does the new syllabus come into effect?

The new syllabus is already in effect. Some pilot training academies in Sweden are already teaching it, and many more Approved Training Organisations (ATOs) will be starting soon. There is going to be an overlap period where both syllabi will be examined, but – at the moment – the first exams for the new syllabus are scheduled to start this summer.

Individual ATOs can decide when they switch to teaching their cadets the new ATPL syllabus. Many are changing over soon, and some will delay until the autumn. If you’re about to embark on pilot training, particularly if you’re a modular student, it may be worth checking with ATOs when they plan to move to the new syllabus as you don’t want to risk running out of time under the old syllabus.

How does the changeover affect trainee pilots studying the current syllabus?

Students currently studying ATPL theory with an ATO using the old syllabus don’t need to do anything differently and can continue on their current program. The CAA recently extended the date for the final exam sitting under the old syllabus to June 2022.

Will trainee pilots studying the current syllabus have to update their knowledge?

Keeping your knowledge up to date is an essential part of being a professional pilot; the job involves a constant process of learning, testing and updating.

But for student pilots studying the old syllabus and sitting the old syllabus exams, you don’t need to update your ATPL theory knowledge in order to gain your licence.

If you’ve studied the old syllabus but plan to sit the new exams then, yes, you’ll need to fill in the gaps in your knowledge and be aware that some topics have moved from one subject area to another, meaning that there’ll be changes to what you see in the exams.

Which syllabus should students study now?

If you have the choice, we would advise studying the new syllabus. It is far more up to date and will better prepare you for a career in aviation. There is also nothing to fear by taking the new exams.

Although the online question banks won’t have captured all the new exam questions yet, by and large, the trivia has been removed.

Any good set of ATPL books addressing the new syllabus will prepare you for the updated exams questions. And, if you’re using time at home to begin studying ATPL theory yourself, then reading the new syllabus books means you don’t risk running out of time.

Covid-19 and Air Travel, Myths about the air inside an airliner

Covid 19 and Air Travel Myths about the air inside an airliner: On all modern aircraft, passengers and crew breathe a mixture of fresh and recirculated air. Using this combination rather than fresh air only makes it easier to regulate temperature and helps maintain a bit of humidity. Studies have shown that a crowded airplane is no more germ-laden than other enclosed spaces—and usually less. Those underfloor filters are described by manufacturers as being of hospital quality.

On the 737 – 300 to 900 models the recirculation fan re-circulates filtered cabin air back to the cabin to reduce bleed air requirements. (Bleed air is compressed air taken from the compressor stage of a gas turbine upstream of its fuel-burning sections)

An airconditioning pack in HIGH flow, selected in the flight deck, will produce more cold air than normal, but has a 25% higher bleed air demand. Approximately 25% on the 737 of the cabin air is recirculated for passenger comfort compared to 50% on the 757/767 and none on the MD80.

The ventilation rate of the 737-300 is 1900 cubic feet per minute (CFM) or about 13 CFM per passenger. When the larger 737-400 was designed, an extra recirculation fan (also on the –4/8/900 models) was installed to increase the ventilation rate, and hence comfort levels, for the increased passenger capacity of the larger aircraft.

A good fact for everyone is on an airbus a320 series aircraft, it should be noted that it takes 4-5 mins for air in the cabin to be completely refreshed.

Here is why the risk of spreading Corona through cabin air is so low: 

So the questions we ask in this uncertain time is:

Do you think having a middle seat unoccupied will help reduce the spread of the virus?

Will you be put off from flying until there is a vaccine?

This week, Stewart Wingate, chief executive of Gatwick Airport, said passengers should be required to carry ‘health passports’ to prove they are clear of the virus and wear face covers on flights. Travelers should have compulsory virus tests 48 hours before departure after lockdown is lifted, the head of Britain’s second busiest airport has said.

The proposals to get Britain’s skies moving again come as the Department for Transport considers proposals that would allow people to take their summer holidays.

Only the next few weeks and months will show what damage has been done to the Aviation Industry.

Do I need a license revalidation or a license renewal to keep current?

Do I need a license revalidation or a license renewal to keep current? In a time where most airlines have furloughed or made pilots take unpaid leave, what happens to our licenses? When do you renew a CPL or IR license and when do you revalidate it? Where can you do it?

In order to apply for a first officer position for an airline, you are required to hold a commercial pilot’s license with a current multi-engine instrument rating (IR).

If you don’t find a job within a year of completing your initial instrument rating, you will need to revalidate it in order to maintain your license currency and be eligible to apply for a job.​

Some airlines will allow you to apply if your licenses has lapsed and upon a successful application process will renew your license at the end of the LST, or LPC OPC.

So what’s the difference?

Revalidation 

Renewal 

If you do not have PBN privileges on your license then you will need to add them during your IR test. All of our examiners will be able to do this for you on the day of the test, it just requires an additional approach to be completed. The cheapest option is always to keep your IR current unless you have no plans to use your IR for >3years.

For more information visit our revalidations page here

The crisis deepens for Airlines fighting COVID-19

The crisis deepens for Airlines fighting COVID-19: South African Airways Nears Collapse With Plan to Fire All Staff. The state-owned airline has offered severance deals to all 4,700 staff from the end of this month after administrators concluded that a successful turnaround is now unlikely, according to a proposal to eight labor groups seen by Bloomberg News.

SAA has relied on bailouts and state-guaranteed debt agreements for years, having last made a profit in 2011, and was put into a form of bankruptcy protection in December.

The airline has had at least nine chief executive officers in the past decade, hampering attempts at a turnaround.

In Australia, Virgin Australia is expected to go into administration, it would be the biggest airline collapse in Australia since Ansett. However, Administration doesn’t necessarily mean the end for Virgin Australia. Potential buyers could use the process to get rid of bits of the airline they don’t like and shed some of its $4.8bn debt mountain.

Closer to home, Ministers call in PwC for Loganair funding talks. The government has drafted in advisers to help decide the terms of a state bailout for Loganair, the regional airline, as the aviation industry reels from the coronavirus pandemic.

Loganair, which typically operates more than 200 daily flights, has slashed its schedule by more than half as a result of the pandemic. It was expected to be one of the major beneficiaries of the collapse of Flybe, Europe’s largest regional carrier, which ceased trading last month.

Virgin Atlantic is told to re-submit their £500m state aid bid. The government was left unimpressed with an initial funding bid, the Financial Times reported.

The airline had not done enough to show it had explored other options to bolster cash before asking for state aid, according to the newspaper which cited one person familiar with the matter.

Virgin Atlantic, which is is 51% owned by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and 49% by Delta Air Lines, last month requested emergency financial help in addition to the coronavirus package made available to all British companies. Virgin Atlantic has not commented on the report.

All British Airways flights from Gatwick and London City Airport have been suspended while Heathrow Airport closed one of its two runways earlier this month. BA continues to operate cargo and some repatriation flights.

And Finally, Hawaiian Airlines is using the downtime of its aircraft to upgrade its fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft with additional ventilation tubes to better optimize the temperature and air circulation inside the plane. The airline started these modifications to some aircraft earlier this month.

AVIATION: BOOM OR BUST?

AVIATION: BOOM OR BUST? It would be hard to write a post right now without referencing the current global situation regarding Covid-19. First of all, to anyone who has been affected by this virus, my prayers go out to you. I remain positive and hopeful that we will overcome this and be stronger as a result.

The burning question I’m getting asked recently is “how is this affecting your training?”. The truthful answer is: massively.

As the Coronavirus started taking hold, I could see things changing within the aviation world. I work part-time at my local airport where most of the flights were Flybe. Of course there had been rumours and whispers circling regarding Flybe but a part of me sincerely thought they would be fine.

How wrong was I. Sadly, the evening Flybe announced that everything was coming to a grinding halt, I literally lost all the shifts I had been given. I was on my way into the at 330am the following morning and had a call to say I’m no longer needed as there were zero flights outbound or inbound. I guess it hadn’t quite sunk in really. But it sure did when I got home.

Not only was it sad for the South West to lose our regional airline, but it was also gutting to see the crew who I had come to know lose their jobs so suddenly. It was quite a strange experience to go through firsthand to be honest. We have unfortunately seen other airlines go under in recent times but its only when you actually go through it in person that you realise the full impact.The current situation is that, with so many airlines now making a lot of their pilots and cabin crew redundant, the future for newly examined pilots becomes more and more unclear. In a way I am quite lucky as I haven’t finished my training yet but it doesn’t stop me wondering how it will be when I do come out the other end. On top of that, I really feel for my colleagues at Aviation South West as many have completed their training in recent months and were applying for jobs when this all kicked off. At the moment all I can do is keep my head down and keep going. Afterall, what will be will be.

So do I think the aviation world is doomed? Absolutely not! We have overcome the atrocities of 9/11, the 2008 recession and past global pandemics. In fact I would like to think that once this has all past, the aviation industry will thrive once again. Afterall, aviation is what has made our world so much smaller and accessible to all.

I believe its a matter of when not if. In the meantime, everyone stay safe please. Drop me a message if you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you!

AVIATION: BOOM OR BUST?

Airlines move to cut their staff

Airlines move to cut their staff: In a memo to staff titled “The Survival of British Airways”, boss Alex Cruz warned that job cuts could be “short term, perhaps long term”. The airline industry was facing a “crisis of global proportions” that was worse than that caused by the SARS virus or 9/11.

Meanwhile, Ryanair told staff they may be forced to take leave from Monday.

Norwegian Air, which operates long-haul, low-cost transatlantic flights, on Thursday announced it would be laying off up to half of its staff during the crisis. It has also cut about 4,000 flights.

The pilot’s union Balpa on Friday called for greater government support for the aviation industry and complained that this week’s Budget had not included a cut to Air Passenger Duty (APD) as the industry had lobbied for.

easyJet has cancelled many flights and is no longer flying to Italy, excluding repatriation flights. It has also asked its staff to submit unpaid leave requests, however, is not making any of its staff redundant.

Lufthansa, which is the European airline with the most flights directly affected by the US ban, is to ask the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, to intervene, according to reports in the Handelsblatt newspaper. Lufthansa is said to be considering a range of options to deal with the crisis, including the temporary suspension of most flights across its network.

Air France-KLM are continuing to operate some flights to the US and have yet to confirm what further measures they are taking.

Delta is cutting capacity by 40 percent in the next few months, which is more than it did in 2001 after the September 11 terrorist attacks, and will park 300 aircraft. It will eliminate services to continental Europe while keeping routes to London. It will defer the delivery of new aircraft, reduce capital expenditures by at least $2bn for the year and cut back its use of contractors and consultants.



Oil tanks most since 1991 after producers start a price war

Oil tanks most since 1991 after producers start a price war: Oil crashed the most in 29 years as Saudi Arabia and Russia vowed to pump more in a battle for market share just as the coronavirus spurs the first decline in demand since 2009. This Sparked fears on the Street that an all-out price war is imminent.

Saudi Arabia slashed its official crude pricing and is threatening record output. Russia’s largest producer, meanwhile, said it will ramp up production next month. What’s more, all of the annual growth the International Energy Agency had anticipated last month has been erased, and oil demand is now expected to contract by 90,000 barrels a day this year.

Airline stocks in Europe were down between 2 and 3% performing better than the rest of the overall market however last week they shed over 30% in value.

The outlier of the day was Norwegian airlines whos shares were the worst-performing airline stock down 9.8% to an all-time low.

10 Things to do before starting flight school

10 Things to do before starting flight school. There are actually no academic qualifications required to be a pilot, although some airlines may have entry requirements, specific flight schools do not tend to have academic requirements. Pilot selection typically involves an online application, if accepted and invited for an assessment. You will be expected to complete aptitude, math, physics, verbal and numerical reasoning among other tests depending on the flight school. You will certainly be asked to complete an interview and group exercises as well as simulator assessment in some cases. Like any job interview, preparation is the very important, it is very apparent which candidates study and prepares and who is just coming in a “winging” it, pardon the pun.

So here are the top 10 items to prepare for in no particular order.

1) Why do you want to be a pilot?

This is one question that will almost certainly be asked. Also another similar question that will follow is: Why do you want to work for us? Or why do you want to be a pilot for (airline) There is an extensive question bank of interview questions that you can download in our assessment and interview preparation area.

2) Know the job – are you aware what the job entails.

Many people dream of becoming an airline pilot, But do you actually know what the job entails? Its worth going to flyer shows or if a friend of a friend knows a pilot, speak to them. Think about how you would answer questions certain questions such as, “Can you describe a typical day as a pilot?” or “What do you know about the job that makes you want to be pilot?”

Most flight school interviews will ask, can you describe briefly the stages of training at the school? For example, 6 months ground school, 14 ATPL exams, 5 months flying either Arizona or New Zealand or else where, followed by another 4-6 months completing the more complex flying like the instrument rating. The las stage is a 2 week MCC/JOC course.

3) Industry experience.

There are lots of jobs that you may not think of that you can be apart of at airports, either part-time, full-time or as a volunteer for work experience. Airlines require thousands of staff to support their aircraft. Handling Agents such as Menzies employ staff who take responsibility for aircraft on the ground. Although busy a job as a dispatcher could be perfect for a wannabe airline pilot. Even local airfields have some sort of work available, like a receptionist at your local flying club. This could really demonstrate your motivation to be a pilot and another tick in the box in an interview.

4) As mentioned above, speak to a current pilot.

Every single pilot I know loves to talk about flying and the job. Perhaps on your next flight go and ask to visit the flight deck at the end if you can, make sure you have a couple of questions at hand to ask. Write down everything they say, and if you’re able to, ask them what they like about the job and even one thing that they find challenging or dislike. At an interview you might mention you spoke to this person, again this will demonstrate your interest in the profession and preparation.

5) Research

Complete all the points mentioned above for thorough preparation, Know every stage of selection, speak to people who have been through the process before you. Try and find at least 2-3 different people as each one will hae another bit of information the other had forgotten or failed to mention. Find out every last detail!

If you cant find anyone to talk to go on twitter or instagram and search for the hashtag #CAEOAA #CTC #flighttraining and tweet the students that are currently in training, try and ask as many questions without being annoying. Then as mentioned above, everything that those people have said break down into bullet points and go research. How long has the flight school been around, whats their history, what aircraft do they have, what locations do they operate out of, what are their partner airlines, Just everything! Its much better to be over prepared than under prepared!

6) Practise

We have a lot of practice material for you to download that you can find at the end of this article but in essence, practice your maths and physics at least 1-2 months prior to your interview. It certainly helps familiarising yourself with the testing process and fine tuning your skills.

7) Double and Tripple check your application

Find a professional or someone in the industry (a pilot would be ideal) to read your application. Dont ask your Mum or Dad or Family member because everything is great to them. You need someone to be critical (but not too critical) to vet your appilication and to pick up any spelling mistakes and grammar. Im sure theres many in this article 🙂

8) Practice

Practise your interview, you dont have to use a pen, I used my phone’s voice recorder and wrote out many answers to complex questions to memorise and listen to. You’ll be amazed how natural you’ll be in the interview and how much more confident you’ll be if you already have an answer prepared. We provide an extensive question bank you can prepare your answers for at the bottom of this article. Practise answering questions out loud. Practice pretty much everywhere in the shower, in your car and every spare minute. Thats why I recorded myself on my phone so I can listen to it on the go. Also you can give a friend or someone you know a list of questions, with your answers written out if that helps as well, ask for a mock interview and then ask for a debrief.

9) What to wear?

Guys – Shirt and tie is a must! Polish your shoes, and dont leave your top button undone, make sure your tie at least reaches your belly button.

Ladies – Trousers or Skirts are fine, nothing too short with a nice top and nothing too revealing.

10) Keep in touch with current events.

One question I got in my interview was tell me about 2 recent aviation related events that has happened this week? Just a brief description of current events is enough, the interviewers dont want you to go too much in depth as they have a lot to cover. But this should be an easy tick in the box, so get reading and good luck!

How to become an Airline Pilot

How to become an airline pilot? The concept of flight has fascinated humankind for centuries, so it is no surprise that the thought of becoming a pilot
has crossed many a mind. Global demand for air travel has rapidly increased in recent years, creating new job opportunities in the aviation industry. With airlines launching major pilot recruitment drives, it appears to be easier than ever to pursue a career in the air. However, the increased variety of training programmes might make it difficult to identify the most suitable route to the flight deck. The following guide visualises the different training options for aspiring pilots and covers some key points to consider before making your dream career a reality.

Researching your career
When starting your research into becoming a pilot, the first question you should ask yourself is: do I want to pursue a career as a pilot or do I simply enjoy flying leisurely? The thought of flying for a living may appear to be particularly attractive, but does it suit your current lifestyle? Will this lifestyle still appeal to you in 10 or20 years time? Working long, unsociable hours on a busy roster is very common in civil aviation and a military career usually has a mandatory service period of 10 years minimum. Whilst many airlines offer pilots the option to work part-time, the first few years of your flying career would commonly require full-time commitment. Also, do you have a back-up plan in case of medical or employment difficulties? Stringent regulations and ever-changing industry requirements may result in low levels of job security, particularly in an economic downturn. Securing financing for initial flight training is, however, the greatest obstacle for most aspiring airline pilots. Few airlines offer fully sponsored cadet training programmes and airline partnered courses commonly require a substantial financial contribution from the trainee. FTOs (Flight Training Organisations) may offer financing options through designated lenders. There are, however, alternative options for those unable or unwilling to secure a loan for their preferred training programme. Bursaries, grants and sponsorships are available through selected schemes, e.g. iFly, the Air League and the Amy Johnson Initiative. Alternatively, young aspiring pilots may choose to join the Air Cadets or a University Air Squadron. A professional flying career is, however, certainly not restricted to young graduates only. In fact, many airline pilots have a background in non-aviation related fields and some have even enjoyed successful careers in other roles, be it to fund their flight training. Also, airlines are increasingly looking for well-rounded, highly skilled and motivated individuals. Previous working experience and/or academic degrees may prove to be particularly advantageous when facing high levels of competition in search for that sought-after first flying job. Some airlines offer financial support or internal training schemes to employees who would like to pursue a flying career. Military pilots leaving the forces are still actively recruited into civil aviation and will usually be offered the opportunity to retrain as civilian pilots through sponsored schemes.

The options
Once you have set your sights on becoming a pilot, you will need to research the various eligibility criteria. The first step is to look into the medical requirements. While strict health and fitness requirements might rule out a career in the military, you could still be eligible to obtain a Class 1 medical certificate, allowing you to pursue a career in civil aviation. Conversely, if you do not meet the criteria for a Class 1 medical, you might be able to obtain a Class 2 medical –allowing you to hold a PPL- or pass the health assessment for the various national pilot licences. Next, you will need to start thinking about your long term goal: do I have a specific future employer in mind? The current market climate has encouraged airlines to set up their own training programmes and others recruit exclusively from specific FTOs. Should a designated airline programme appeal to you, this would be the time to look into additional requirements set out by your potential future employer. These may include educational qualifications, nationality/residency and age limits. Some programmes might require upfront payment for the training, others have the benefit of guaranteed employment upon graduation, but come with a financial bond for a number of years. Also, do you understand the privileges of each licence type? MPL courses are usually more cost effective, but might pose restrictions or require additional training later in your career.
You might decide to keep your options open and enrol on a non-airline specific fATPL course, the so-called “white-tail” route. This type of flight training is usually self-funded and requires upfront payment of the course fees. Employment after graduation is not guaranteed, but airlines tend to headhunt cadets whilst still in training. If you decide to train as a “white-tail” cadet, you will need to start your research with your chosen FTO: what are their employment statistics? How large is the graduate holding pool? Who are their airline partners? Even if you do not have a specific employer in mind, it might be useful to look into the recruitment criteria of your FTO’s airline partners. Not meeting certain requirements might significantly reduce your chances of success in the job market. Also, consider setting aside some funds for your Type Rating. Some airline pay for Type Rating training, but in most cases you will be required to cover the costs, which may be in excess of £30,000.
The final route to the airline flight deck is most suitable for aspiring pilots who either cannot attend a full-time integrated fATPL course or are unable to raise the funds for their training course outright. This so-called “Modular” route gives trainees the flexibility to fit flight training around their lifestyle and allows for more freedom in their choice of FTOs. Due to licencing requirements, graduates from modular courses tend to finish their training with more flying hours than their integrated fATPL counterparts. Whilst modular flight training used to be a common route to the right hand seat, the popularity of this option has slightly declined in recent years. Certain airlines tend to favour integrated fATPL and MPL cadets over modular training graduates. However, the modular training route is certainly not a less appropriate choice for commercial pilot training.

The application
Having carefully considered all your options, it is time to apply for the training programme of your choice. The first stage of the process usually involves completing an online form or questionnaire. If you meet all eligibility criteria, you will probably be invited to take part in the selection process for your chosen programme. Methods used for pilot assessment vary from a simple check of your qualifications and documentation to multiple stage competency-based, motivational and technical interviews, simulator checks, group exercises and extensive psychometric testing. Applicants for airline sponsored and partnered courses are usually required to attend several assessment days, especially if enrolment on the chosen course guarantees employment upon graduation. Skills assessment for “white-tail” and modular courses is usually conducted in one day, with the more advanced stages of the selection process taking place post flight training and prior to commencing Type Rating training with a specific airline.
Strict eligibility criteria, the limited amount of spaces available and fierce competition might result in an unsuccessful first attempt at the selection process for your preferred choice of flight training programme. However, this does not necessarily disqualify you for a career in aviation. Unsuccessful applicants may have the opportunity to re-apply after a certain time or be offered a place on an alternative training course.

How to pass an airline interview and simulator assessment

Personality and Psychometric Tests

Personality and Psychometrics are essentially a big umbrella for all assessment tests. So why do we have a separate page on it here? We need to look at a more specific area called Psychological testing. Using the results of this test, an assessment can be made of the candidate’s motivation, personality traits, mental stability, leadership skills, effectiveness in a team, and their general integrity. Although the assessment of mental health conditions may be deemed illegal by an equal employment opportunity commission, aviation is an industry where this is becoming more acceptable due to perceived risk.

Psychological tests

What are we testing? “A psychological test is an instrument designed to measure unobserved constructs, also known as latent variables.” I will break this down into basics so that you understand what i’m talking about.

What is an unobserved construct? An idea or theory containing various conceptual elements, typically it is considered to be subjective and not based on evidence which is verifiable by observation. It is theoretical and therefore it can only be observed by the researcher or assessor using indicators.

For example; I want to test whether a candidate trusts his colleagues. I could ask the candidate directly but there is a good chance I would get the wrong answer. I need to ask a series of questions that will indicate what that underlying construct may be.

So can we lie to pass the test. The quick answer to this is no. If the test has been well thought out there will be many different options available to the assessor to observe the desired latent variable.

If you try to skew the test by predicting what the assessor wants you may well fail the test. Quite often they will create questions that will determine whether the individual candidate is trying to alter the outcome. This may be an indicator of control issues or dishonesty.

When constructing a test, there must be enough evidence to support the specified interpretation of the results. This evidence must be displayed consistently, over time across all raters.

Psychological assessment

This is similar to psychological testing but usually involves a more comprehensive assessment of the individual by a Psychologist. A Psychologist will collect collateral information about personal, occupational history such as from records or from interviews. Using the test results they will then make an assessment of the candidate’s suitability.

Summary

Don’t try to pass the test by guessing what the assessor wants. Answer the questions honestly and quickly. This will help you later on if the test is assessed by a Psychologist.

The Sim Check

Most candidates hate this part of their assessment because they feel like all their skills are being assessed all at once and in a very short time frame.

Let me put you at ease, the assessors are probably not looking for Chuck Jaeger. If they were looking for Chuck then they wouldn’t be asking you to apply for an airline job.

It is a total misconception that you are being assessed solely on your ability to fly an aeroplane. All airlines look at Notechs and TEM when it comes to assessing their candidates in the simulator. If you employ these techniques then you will significantly increase your chance of being selected.

Here are some key points to follow before your sim check:

Make sure you have obtained a briefing sheet before the check. This should explain what is expected of you during the simulator.

If the aircraft is unfamiliar, make sure you have all the documentation. You need to have access to the following:

Power/Thrust and Pitch settings for each phase of flight

Take off

Climb

Acceleration

Straight and level at 250 Kts

Descent

Holding

Intermediate Approach Flap setting

Final Approach Flap

What is their preferred Check List

What are their preferred SOPs

What plates should I use for the exercise, LIDO, JEPP’s, AERAD’s or NAVTECH

What is their preferred briefing technique?

What is their preferred failure management technique

The key to the sim check is preparedness. If you know what the profiles are and you have all the settings memorized then you will have far more capacity to demonstrate the notechs, which is what the assessor really wants to see.

If the aircraft type is unfamiliar you may want to get a practice assessment simulator. A couple of key points here.

Make sure the simulator is approved. If you fly a simulator that does not replicate the aircraft properly then it may do more harm than good.

Choose a company that can cater for that particular check. Ask them if they do assessment sims for {xxxxx}

Assess how much sim time you would need before talking to the company.

Arriving for your check.

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the sim center. This will help reduce stress and make you a little more relaxed. Be careful who you chat to when you get to the sim center, it may be your assessor.

During the briefing, the assessor should explain what is expected of you. If you have any questions this is the time to ask.

During the sim detail, if things don’t go as planned, try to stick to the basics. FLY, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE. Ask your sim partner for help so that you can regain your situation awareness. This will be marked up as a positive since you are displaying self-awareness and you are aware of what you need to do to improve the situation.

During the debrief you will be asked to critique yourself. Quite often a sim assessment is won or lost in the debrief. If you did something wrong admit it, the assessor will have seen it. Explain why you think it went wrong but emphasize how you improved the situation. An example of this may be that you took up a wrong track on the SID. How did you recover the situation? “I asked my sim partner to verify what the correct track was and then corrected. If I was to change something I would have got him to confirm the correct track before I flew it. I may have even asked him to do this during the briefing.” This shows self-awareness and the ability to learn.

If Aviation Insider can be of any assistance then please contact us enquiries@aviationinsider.co.uk. Good luck!

Integrated Pilot Training in the UK: Ellie’s Journey

Integrated Pilot Training in the UK: Ellie’s Journey, Part 1, Ground school. On Monday 21st May 2018 I set foot into CAE Oxford Aviation Academy to collect my 14 ATPL theory manuals and my school uniform. I was given a large brown box that contained my 14 manuals and it weighed 20 kilos! I thought to myself, I have not only got to learn 20 kilos worth of information but also I’ve got to retain it. I knew then that the next 7 months were going to be a challenge. 

At CAE the duration of ground school is around 7 months altogether. It consists of learning 14 ATPL subjects and sitting 14 official EASA examinations. I started ground school at CAE Oxford back in May 2018. I remember walking into the school on my first day worried about how much information was going to be thrown at me on my first day and oh boy was I right! I think it’s fair to say that I was well and truly thrown into the deep end and I think my fellow classmates would agree with me. On the other hand, this was just the beginning. Everything that I had been dreaming about started here and these lessons were the key foundation to building my aviation understanding and future career. 

The first seven subjects I started studying during phase 1 were:

After the first six weeks of studying we then had a progress test for each subject to sit. These exams were there purely to see how your studying was going and if you were managing the workload well. They were also there to see if your studying techniques or workload management could be improved. After the progress tests the workload then picked up even more so as we worked towards our school final exams. 

Every week consisted of the same format. I attended lessons Monday- Friday from 8:40am-4:20pm where I had six lessons a day. After school there was always computer-based training to be completed and then further studying/revision in and around school hours as well. It was a case of knuckling down and staying motivated!

As school finals arrived, we completed the syllabus for all the phase 1 subjects in the space of around 12 weeks. The school finals were made to be harder than the progress tests to help you prepare for the standard of the EASA exams. Once the exams were completed it was game on and heads down to start preparing for the real EASA examinations. We had a week of self-study before the EASA exams commenced. The seven exams were then scheduled over three days Monday through till Wednesday and then on Thursday morning you received your results. In order to successfully pass the exam, you needed a score of 75% or above. Luckily enough for me I managed to pass all the exams from phase 1 first time which meant that I could enjoy my week off and go back home to celebrate with my family and friends. 

After a quick week off it was back to school and back to the books. It was such a horrible feeling knowing that I had to go back to school to start studying again- it felt like the feeling of your 6 weeks summer holiday ending. The subjects studied during phase 2 were:

This phase was shorter than phase 1 but it was another step up. Progress tests occurred four weeks after starting (rather than six weeks) and therefore, school finals occurred eight weeks after starting (rather than twelve weeks). So the pace of phase 2 was much quicker, which meant there was less time to get the same amount of information into my brain. Again, the layout of the phase was the same and the result was sitting the final seven ATPL theory exams. I was very lucky to pass all my ATPL exams first time however, the work that I put into ground school was the reason I got the results that I did. 

Ground school for me is definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The amount of new information I had to learn, understand and retain in such a short space of time was unbelievable. It’s a real challenge and it does test your ability to stay motivated from time to time. In all honesty I doubted myself and wondered if I was capable during ground school. However, I worked hard, stayed focused and most of all dedicated, and I managed to achieve the unthinkable. Looking back, I can’t believe I managed to get over each hurdle to where I am today. And it just goes to show that the sacrifices you make, for example the long hours studying or limiting your social life really do pay off in the long run.

Ground school completed meant two things- no.1 hello flying and no.2 hello America!

Part 2

Phoenix, Arizona! 

The 3rd of January 2019 marked the first day of my adventure out to Phoenix, AZ. I set foot into Heathrow’s Terminal 3 apprehensively awaiting to board the A330 that would be taking me to America, where I would be living for the next 6 months. It was a day full of mixed emotions! 

Excitement for the journey ahead, sadness for the loved ones I would be leaving behind and also relief that all the hard work, time and effort that went into the last 7 months had been made worthwhile. After a long journey and two flights we were in Phoenix- WE HAD MADE IT! The uniform was back on, smiles all around and a few squints in the sunshine. What an exciting start to the new year and an amazing adventure ahead. 

After meeting my instructor, buddying up with my flying partner and having been shown around the school I was ready to get airside and even more importantly airborne. My first mission was in the Piper Archer on the 15th January with my instructor and flying partner sat in the back. Headsets on, radios checked, engine started and pre-flight checklists completed we were good to go. I remember so clearly lining up on the runway and shortly after, receiving our take off clearance. My instructor set full power and we started accelerating down the runway (meanwhile my smile was just getting bigger and bigger). The feeling of finally getting airborne and thinking this is what I’m going to be learning to do was indescribable. 

Before I knew it all the basics I had been learning such as straight and level flight, climbing and descending turns and stalls had morphed into circuit lessons and I was working towards going SOLO! With only a few missions under my belt I was learning to perform the take-off, fly the aeroplane and land the aeroplane all on my own. Just short of 20 hours later I had my first flying exam on the 1st March. The progress test was the first time I would be flying with someone other than my instructor and acting as pilot-in-command. 

The exam itself consisted of me going into school to plan for the flight by myself. I had to make a sensible decision and determine whether the aircraft was fit to fly and if the weather was suitable for the flight. Once I had completed all my flight planning, I met my examiner. The examiner asked me to brief him on the weather, relevant NOTAM’s, mass and balance and the aircraft’s performance. After my briefing I was then asked a series of theoretical questions about the aircraft type, aircraft documents, airspace, and FAA regulations. The briefing was completed with the examiner going over what I was to expect during the exam and what he was looking for. Shortly after I headed out to the aircraft nervously waiting for the examiner to come out and join me. 

Once both seated, I began to set up the aircraft with the appropriate checks and completed the necessary checklists. I contacted the ground frequency and received clearance to taxi. I remember my feet trembling on the rudder pedals as I released the parking brake but once we started moving, I settled into the seat and started to feel much more comfortable. The exam consisted of me demonstrating a series of circuits with various different approach and landing configurations. I had to perform a normal circuit, a flapless circuit and a glide approach to simulate an engine failure. Five to six circuits later we came in for a full stop landing, taxied back to the ramp and parked the aircraft. 

When exiting the aircraft my examiner turned around and said, ‘by the way Ellie you’ve passed’ and my response was ‘you are joking? Thank you so much, please can I hug you?’, to which he responded, ‘no I only hug my wife when I have to’. I couldn’t help but start laughing as a few tears of happiness rolled down my cheeks. He debriefed me thoroughly after the flight and highlighted areas which were good, areas which needed slight improvement and then wished me good luck for my solo! 

The following day I met my instructor in the morning, and we went flying. I did a few circuits with her before coming back into land for a full stop. Once on the ramp my instructor got out of the aircraft and secured me in (on my own) ready for my first solo circuit! I started the aircraft up for the first time on my own, whilst she sat on the sidelines with a radio monitoring me. Nine other cadets came out to sit alongside her and to support me. I completed all my pre-flight checks very thoroughly and then got my clearance to line up and wait at the runway threshold. I remember so vividly lining up and then looking across to my right-hand side and the seat being empty. It was a rather strange feeling to not see my instructor sat next to me and being in the plane on my own! I set full power and watched the speed advance before positively rotating. The tower spoke to me as I turned crosswind, downwind, base and then onto final. I got my clearance to land and I could feel my heart rate increasing. I stayed focused, monitored my instruments, my visuals outside and then came in to land. It was a rather light landing due to me being in the aircraft on my own, but I touched down, all three wheels firmly on the ground and applied a bit of back pressure on the control column…I had done it! I remember thinking to myself ‘I’ve just gone SOLO’. It was the quickest 5-6 minutes of my life and as soon as I was back on the ground, I wanted to do it all over again. As I turned back into the ramp, I could see all my friends, my instructor and a few other cadets that had joined clapping and cheering me on, what an incredible feeling. I genuinely can’t put into words how amazing it felt. I was so unbelievably proud of myself, amazed at what I had achieved and most of all extremely happy. It was such a rewarding feeling and one of the most memorable moments/biggest milestones in my aviation career. 

As tradition at CAE after going solo you have to be thrown into the swimming pool in your full uniform to celebrate the achievement. The plan for my course was to wait for everyone to complete their solos and then we could all get thrown in the pool together. Some cadets had already gone solo and others were waiting for it to be scheduled. However, a few days later we all met around the pool with fellow cadets from other courses and got thrown into the pool fully dressed to celebrate. I’ve got to say being a fairly petite female it didn’t take long before the boys started betting on how far they could throw me across the pool!

The solo flights carried on being scheduled alongside of me being scheduled with my instructor for navigation flights. The nav flights were fun because it meant we managed to get out of the vicinity of Falcon Field Airport and travel slightly further around Arizona and see different settlements, features and landscapes. We also got the opportunity to see disused/abandoned airfields, private airports and uncontrolled airports. We also practised landing at other airports to develop a further understanding to runway lengths, widths, slopes and their perception when coming into land. Both me and my flying partner were keen to tick off as many airports as we could in the area and luckily enough our instructor was up for it to. This meant that our navigation and map reading skills were developing more by constantly flying to different locations. 

These navigation flights were used as preparation for our PT2- progress test two. PT2 was another flight that was examined in order for you to be signed off on solo navigation flights. During PT2 you had to demonstrate a navigation, a diversion and all the associated calculations such as: timings on legs, fuel calculations and wind corrections. Furthermore, you had to perform a simulated forced landing, deal with a simulated engine fire or failure and join an uncontrolled airport circuit. Given that your PT2 was a success you were then scheduled for navigation flights on your own. The solo navigations started as 2 hour missions but then developed into land-aways where you would stop at another airfield, shut down, refuel and then fly back to Falcon Field.

Aside of my flying with CAE, at Falcon Field, as part of the training I had to complete a course in upset prevention and recovery training. This took place at another local airport called Gateway in Mesa and was delivered on the Extra 300L. The training was delivered by a company called APS and consisted of a short two day course. The first day was mainly ground school based with a flight in the afternoon and the second day consisted of two flights with classroom based training in between. 

The main aim of the training was to put the aircraft into unusual attitudes or undesired states and then to learn how to be able to recover from them safely. We looked into some aviation accident history and reviewed how many of the pilots could have recovered if that had known how to. The course itself was very interesting and full of really insightful information. The theory and flights demonstrated a recovery technique of ‘Pitch, Roll, Power, Stabilise’. The instructors both on the ground and in the aircraft demonstrated this technique. We used it during unusual attitude recoveries, stalls, secondary stalls and spins. After the training I felt much more comfortable and confident about flying and still have the knowledge from the training with me today. 

Back at CAE it was time for me to move onto learning how to fly at night. The syllabus for night flying was very minimal. I completed a three hour flight with my instructor and then went on to complete two solo night flights in the circuit. Before my first night flight I reviewed with my instructor some of the differences from flying during the day to flying at night- such as optical illusions. This was massively important because the visual references that kept us safe during our VFR flight training were no longer there. Therefore, we had to rely on our instruments more and less on our visual scan outside. Additionally, the technique for landing the aircraft was changed due to the visual references being lost and only the runway lights providing you with information as to where the runway is. Flying at night is a completely different ball game. I felt like Wendy out of Peter Pan flying over the lights of the city. Everything looked so magical and vibrant. I think night flying was one of my favourite memories that I brought back from Phoenix.

Shortly after completing my night flights I had an instructor change for the next phase of my flying training. The next phase was focusing on developing my instrument flying skills and understanding. IFR flying, unlike VFR, simulates your reference to outside or in some cases (such as being in clouds) means that your visual reference is lost and therefore, you need to rely on your instruments. There is a whole other skill set that is learnt during your instrument flying.

We learnt how to enter and fly holding patterns, how to navigate off various navigation aids and how to fly instrument approaches. The lessons were utilised to cover a variety of different instrument skills and to prepare us for our PT3. Progress test 3 was all instrument-based flying. It consisted of an instrument departure, VOR tracking and intercepting, taking up a holding pattern and flying an instrument approach procedurally. One of the approaches was to a go-around and the other was to land. We also had to demonstrate to the examiner recoveries from unusual attitudes and stall recoveries off our instruments. Having passed PT3 I was sent on my final mission on the Piper Archer, my cross-country qualifier. It was the last solo flight of my training at CAE and it had to cover a distance of 300nm and have two full stop landings made at two different aerodromes. After I had completed the cross-country qualifier, I was moved onto the twin engine aircraft for the last part of my flying training out in Phoenix, AZ.

The Seminole was the training aircraft used to prepare you for your Commercial Pilot’s License skills test- CPL. Every element of our flying training up to this point was then going to be transferred over to the Seminole and we were going to get examined on it. The aircraft itself was a nice conversion from the Piper Archer and it had similar systems and a similar layout. However, the Seminole had a second engine, fully feathering propellers and a retractable landing gear so there was a bit more to think about. We started from the basics and learnt the pitch and power settings for the aircraft, the landing technique and general handling of the aircraft. During our twelve missions we worked on general handling, stalls, circuits, navigation, simulated engine failures/fires and unusual attitudes. All which pieced together to make the exam profile of the CPL. On the 2nd July 2019 I passed my CPL out in Phoenix, AZ. It was one of the most nerve-racking days of my life which then turned into one of the best days! Obtaining my CPL meant that it was time to head back to the UK.

Part 3

IR, Oxford! 

On Monday 5th August 2019 I returned to Oxford for the IR phase of my training. I returned from the USA with not only a sun tan but also a CPL. The feeling of walking back into the school where I completed my ground school with a CPL was amazing! The first thing on the agenda was to go straight to the ground school training office and see all my old instructors. The delight on their faces when they saw my return was heart-warming. All the hard work I had put in before Phoenix and during my time out there had been worth it. It was so rewarding to know that my achievements were not only something I was proud of but that they were proud of to.

The return to Oxford firstly consisted of a briefing week which gave me and the other cadets chance to familiarise ourselves with the airport, the aircraft type we would be learning to fly, the standard operating procedures, UK airspace and the RT. Before I knew it my first simulator session was on my schedule and the missions continued to keep coming. I developed skills from the basic general handling of the aircraft to holding procedures, NDB approaches and ILS approaches. The simulator really helped me to nail the foundations of instrument flying and started to build my confidence. However, the pace of the IR phase was by no means slow and steady. Every day and every mission we were building on top of what we had already learnt or learning something completely new. 

We studied and practised flying radar vectored approaches, SRA approaches and DME arcs. Furthermore, we looked at the difference between both 2D and 3D approaches, also known as non-precision and precision approaches. We then developed a different skill set by flying alternative procedures such as an approach without a DME or an unserviceable glideslope. As the missions continued to pass the training continued to advance and we began to study another element called RNAV, also known as area navigation. This then became a part of our everyday training as did our NDB and ILS approaches. Towards the end of our training everything came together and during our flights we were performing the same procedures but just at different airports or in a different location. 

Alongside of the IR studies we were also required to sit a RT exam in order to obtain our own radio license. This consisted of studying the CAP 413 and sitting both a written and verbal exam. The elements covered were: general understanding of radio terminology, replying to ATC calls correctly, performing various emergency calls and request calls.

The next exam that came along was PT5 which was a progress test for your instrument flying performed in the simulator. It was a short exercise which consisted of you maintaining control of the aircraft and flying it as accurately as possible with your instruments slowly failing on you. With PT5 passed the next hurdle was working towards PT6. 

In preparation for PT6 and the IR the training focused on the elements we as cadets would be getting examined on. 

This included: 

PT6 came around quickly and even with all the practise and familiarisation of routes the nerves still kicked in. Overall the mission went well, and I successfully passed which meant it was time to polish up on any uncertainties and work on things that could get better in time for the IR. The whole idea of PT6 is for you to basically do a practise IR under test conditions and for the examiner to sign to say that you are ready to take your instrument rating. 

On the 25th October 2019 I passed my Instrument Rating and officially had a CPL/IR! My training at CAE Oxford was complete and all the hard work had been worth it. Now it’s time to hit the Boeing 737-300 simulator at Gatwick for my MCC/JOC training. 

Part 4

MCC, Gatwick! 

On Monday 11th November I started my MCC/JOC course down in Gatwick. MCC/JOC stands for multi-crew course and jet orientation course, so this combines the two courses together as one. The concept of the course is to introduce working as a crew and to enhance your understanding and development of CRM, along with introducing you to flying with jet engines. 

Overall the duration of the course is 3 weeks. This is split into a week of ground school and two weeks of flying in the simulator. During the first week we spent the first two days focusing on CRM. We looked into the importance of good CRM, positive crew communication and decision making. We also looked at the effects of bad CRM and the consequences it can have. We reviewed the swiss cheese model, analysed the chain of events and then put it into use in real life scenarios. As a team we looked at some accident and investigation case studies. We picked out the errors that were made throughout the video and then when they all lined up, they resulted in catastrophe. However, if any one of those mistakes wasn’t made or was corrected the incident may have been prevented. 

The following three days were then used to build a foundation to our understanding of the Boeing 737-300. We studied the details of the flight deck layout, it’s systems and instrumentation. We learnt how to calculate fuel planning, performance and mass and balance for the aircraft. Furthermore, we were taught how to brief during our flights and looked over some non-normal procedures. Ground school completed could only mean one thing… flying! 

Each simulator session was split up into two sections- two hours as pilot flying followed by two hours as pilot monitoring. The first simulator session was purely a familiarisation flight which allowed us to put into practise the checklists, scan flows and radio calls we had been learning in the classroom. We then went on to do some general handling once airborne to allow us to get a feel for the plane and how to fly it. As the week went on, we were in the simulator every day for a four hour session with an hours brief and debrief either side.

As the days progressed so did the workload for the course. Within the first week we had covered: 

Having covered all these aspects I couldn’t believe that the main focus of the course was multi crew and jet orientation. The workload was rather overwhelming to say the least and the speed of the jet was twice that of the aircraft I had been used to flying so everything happened twice as fast. The biggest challenge was transitioning from a single pilot role to a multi-crew environment. I found it very easy to forget that the other crew member was there to help me not examine me. The concept of sitting in a jet simulator and making announcements to the cabin crew and passengers was everything I had been working towards over the past 18 months. So being in the final two weeks of my training really started to sink in. 

The final week went on to consolidate previous lessons and also increase the flight deck workload to see how we managed our energy. We did some route flights where we got the chance to practise small electrical failures and hydraulic system failures. We also got the opportunity to practise rejected take-offs and consolidate our single engine handling. And finally we had a look at a rapid decompression and emergency descent. 

Friday 29th November was my last mission and the final day of me being in my CAE uniform. I couldn’t quite believe how quickly the past 18 months had gone nor how much I had learnt in them! Flying school has been the most intense, enjoyable and rewarding experience and I am very fortunate to say that the memories and friends I will take away from it are for a lifetime. 

How to enter a holding pattern?

How to enter a holding pattern? It’s a question which haunts anybody going through the instrument rating – ‘what hold entry are we going to make?’ But it’s not just a question for the instrument rating, in our professional flying careers we’re used to allowing the autopilot to select and fly the hold entry, but do we ever cross check it, or are we prepared to manual enter the hold if necessary?

The diagram we’re all familiar with shows the appropriate sectors for each of the 3 hold entries; direct, offset (teardrop) and parallel.

The Offset sector is a 70 degree segment from the inbound radial, the direct sector is 180 degrees from this 70 degree segment, and the parallel sector occupies the remaining 110 degrees.

Of course, prior planning is the safest way to ensure you make the correct hold entry. If you’re planning a flight to an airfield where you can expect to hold, take a look at the hold you can expect. Before departing, you can work out the various hold entry segments, or simply visit a website such as flight utilities which offers a depiction of the various segments based on data you complete.

Direct Entry

The direct entry is, of course, the most straightforward form of hold entry. Upon reaching the holding fix, simply turn onto the outbound course. Once you pass abeam the fix, start your timer for 1 minute, before turning inbound to track the inbound radial back to the fix.

Modified Direct Entry

If you’re still inside the Direct Entry sector, but the angle to turn outbound is looking quite tight, fly at 90 degrees to the fix in the direction of the hold for 15 seconds, before turning a further 90 degrees onto the outbound course. Once you pass abeam the fix, start your timer for 1 minute (wind corrected), before turning inbound to track the inbound radial back to the fix.

Offset/Teardrop Entry

The Offset Entry involves flying an outbound heading, which is offset by 30 degrees, before turning back to intercept the inbound radial. For a standard right hand turn hold, simply take 30 away from the outbound track. Once you pass over the fix, turn onto this new offset heading and fly for 1 minute before making a right turn to intercept the inbound radial back to the fix. For a left hand hold, add 30 onto the outbound track, and fly this for 1 minute before turning left to intercept the inbound radial back to the fix.

If you’re unsure on which way to turn, look at the hold depicted on the plate, and ensure that you’re always turning towards the protected side of the hold.

Parallel Entry

Upon reaching the fix for a parallel entry, simply turn onto the outbound heading of the hold, and fly this heading for 1 minute. After 1 minute, turn in the opposite direction to the hold onto a heading to intercept the inbound radial back to the fix. Once you reach the fix, remember to start turning back in the correct direction for the hold.

How to enter a holding pattern?

Budgeting your Flight Training

Budgeting your Flight Training, if you have done any research into pilot training you will probably be having similar thoughts to me when I was looking into it – this sounds expensive.

The truth is unavoidable, it is expensive. However, what you come out with at the end is the chance to do for a job what most people can only dream of, and thats why like me you will take the plunge and embrace all the risks and start realising that dream. But what are the costs involved other than the course cost? In this section I will try and comprehensively answer that question so you can look ahead and create a budget for your training.

Before you start

So in a typical aviation style, there are some things that you will need to get done and paid for before you can start your training, these include;

Medical

To start an integrated training course you’re going to need to get yourself an EASA class 1 medical. This is basically going to give you a thorough check up to ensure youre up to the job. The class 1 process is thoroughly covered in the Medical section so for more details have a look there. The class 1 medical will cost you a one off payment for the initial medical and then to keep it valid you will need to renew it every 12 months. Whilst you are training this will be your responsibility, when you get yourself a job with an airline the chances are they will shoulder this cost.

£500 for an initial class 1 medical and then £180 for a class 1 medical renewal every year.

Application Cost

So you’ve got your medical, what’s next.

Its time to choose where you want to apply and go through the screening process. All the big flight schools will require you to undergo a fairly thorough day (or two depending on the flight school) of testing including computer based testing, interview, team exercise and often a check in a simulator as well. Please see our article on passing the flight school application process or our preparation and assessment packages available to download. Not every flight school will charge you for this application, but it is more common than not.

£0 – £300

Passed Selection

So you’ve gone and secured yourself a place at one of the big flight schools in Europe – Congratulations! You know the cost of the course, but what else are you going to need to budget for?

BBVA or Flying Loan

There is a lot of information to cover regarding the loan and funding process so please see our page on flying loans and funding.

Accommodation?

Accommodation is included in the price of some integrated courses but not all, and it can be a significant amount of money even compared to the cost of an integrated flight course. CTC for example include the cost of accommodation in the price of their integrated package whilst in the UK and overseas whether it be the US or NZ.

FTE operate very similarly, the price of the integrated course includes accommodation that covers the whole length of the course. CAE OAA on the other hand include the accommodation whilst training overseas (Phoenix) but to include on/off site accommodation whilst in the UK comes at an additional fee. So if you choose CAE you are going to have to factor in some additional cost to cover around a years worth of accommodation. CAE do offer their own on and off site accommodation but there is also plenty of student accommodation available in the surrounding area which will come in cheaper – see websites like spareroom.com or gumtree.com for ideas.

£100 – £200 per week

Food?

Wherever you go, budgeting for food is probably a good idea. Many of you will be more than familiar with this if you have lived away from home or been to university before you start your training. A food budget can vary, where you shop, what you buy, if you eat out… the list goes on. Not only that but for all of these courses you are likely to be spending a significant amount of time outside the UK so your budget will change – during my time in phoenix i was surprised how cheap food was to buy especially from the supermarkets! In the grand scheme of things its not the biggest expense but you should consider it when you come to constructing a budget for yourself.

£30 – £50 per week

Insurance?

Insurance is a cost well worth budgeting for. When compared to the overall cost, its not a big outlay but all the smaller costs do add up to become significant. If you are planning on financing your training through a loan provider, the chances are that you are going to have to take out some kind of insurance to cover the loan amount should the worst happen. There are lots of different insurances out there from loss of medical to loss of life and policies which cover both together. Lots of students get this cover through BALPA, but its worth while shopping around.

£200 per year for loss of medical and life insurance

Question Banks

You may have come across question banks if you have done your research or know someone who has been through an integrated course before. I wont go into huge detail as they are covered in the pilot training section, but they are a cost that people often overlook. The chances are that you’re going to need to buy yourself access to a question bank, everyone uses them and they are a massive help when it comes to revising for the real thing, You will aat least have seen the question once or a similar variation once before your exam! Most question banks will require a one off payment which will unlock it for a period of months. It wont be a huge amount but its a cost lots of people don’t see coming. (Partnership with aviation exam) referral commission for free advertising.

£80 – £100 for 6 months access

Living expenses in AZ, NZ or elsewhere

Depending on how much fun you’d like to have visiting and living in a foreign country is entirely up to you. But from our experience and from speaking to others a good amount to budget for is around £50-150 per week. This enables you to enjoy days out from Bowling, Top Golf, a day out on the lake to shopping bills

Type Rating

And finally, the biggie. So, what is a Type Rating, Who needs one and How much is it going to cost?

The type rating qualifies you to fly a certain type of aircraft and if you want to be an airline pilot you’re going to most certainly going to require one.

Not everyone pays for their own type rating. There are some very kind airlines out there that pay for their new cadet pilots to go through the type rating, but these kind airlines are few and far between and a lot of them although you may not have to pay for it up front itll actually come out your salary or you will get a reduced salary for a period of time.

Names like FlyBe, BA Cityflyer, Titan and a few others will fund their new pilots type ratings. The majority of other players in the market; Ryanair, easyJet, Norwegian, Monarch… and the list goes on, wont fund this qualification and that means, unfortunately, its down to you.

So how much is a type rating going to cost? They do vary but the majority of type ratings come in at between £20,000 – £39,000. Yes, its a lot of money and a lot of people are very surprised by this, but its the last hurdle!

For a more accurate figure its worth having a look around the individual airlines recruitment and training pages also have a look at our articles for type rating advice as that will cover a lot of specific information!

As someone who has been down the integrated route, it is definitely worth factoring in the cost of a type rating. Rather have that planned for so its not quite a shock and be pleasantly surprised when you do get a job and not have to pay for it. The market is changing and lots of people within the industry believe that this current then for self funded type ratings has a finite life and that airlines may in the future be forced to pay for them to meet their huge demand for pilots.

£20,000 – £39,000

What are best and worst things about being a Pilot?

What are best and worst things about being a Pilot? The Office View. Some of the finest views you’ll ever see are up at altitude. Whether it be lunar eclipse, the northern lights or a sunrise over the alps, the views are unbelievably spectacular.

 The Responsibility. Being given the responsibility to look after a £60-100+ million aircraft with hundreds of people on board is huge and one of the reasons that pilots tend to be well paid. 

The Variation. No two flights are ever the same. Each day presents a new challenge and provides another opportunity to learn something new. 

The Career Opportunities. A career as an airline pilot doesn’t just stop when you reach the level of Captain. There are pilot managers, pilot ground trainers, pilot simulator trainers, fleet managers, chief pilots, duty pilots.  

Interacting with passengers and helping them get to vacations, weddings, funerals, births, and other important life events is rewarding.

Nothing’s better than getting paid to do what you love.

A constantly changing schedule keeps you from getting into a rut.

And, most pilots get travel passes or heavily reduced rates for their friends and family.

You get the chance to explore cool cities on layovers.

Popping out of the clouds during an ILS approach is a great feeling, and your passengers wonder how you pull it off.

Kids look at you in awe.

But better than anything else, the office view is killer from 38,000ft

Pay – As much as I have stated that for many pilots pay is very low, especially during the early several years of one’s career, for some lucky pilots, the career can be very lucrative.  It is possible, after many years of service, to earn high salaries sometimes well north of £100,000 per year.  

People – Just as pilots usually love their jobs, you’ll find that the other professionals you work with enjoy theirs, too.  You’ll meet many different people, cultures, and their associated ideas.  There are few things more enjoyable than flying with a group of people who love their jobs and the airline biz.

You Don’t Take Your Job Home with You – Many professionals, even when at home, are still chained to their company.  Even on days off, they still may be required to answer e-mails, texts, or phone calls.  For the most part, when you set the parking brake on the last leg of your last day, that’s it.  

The top 10 negative.

Being offset from the rest of the world. I will never have a 9 to 5 schedule but sometimes working odd hours makes it hard on the family. 

Poor salary and conditions when starting in the industry

High cost of Training

VERY Irregular sleep, it affects the body and the mind.

Missing all those life events: Holidays, Weddings, personal stuff.

Having to be away from home for long periods of time.

Sitting without much distraction for long hours can be sometimes boring as hell.

Sitting long hours with someone you dont know, doesnt always want to know you or talk/interact.

Having to pass security at airports all the time. 

The free parking is always so far away.

Completing an EASA FCL Logbook

Completing an EASA FCL Logbook: Pilot licensing regulations are being standardised across all member states of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), including the UK. The EASA regulations have introduced a number of new pilot licences which are replacing licences issued by national authorities across Europe.

These licences are known as EASA licences or Part-FCL licences. Part-FCL is the main piece of European legislation introducing the changes.

The new EASA licence is governed by the EASA Part-FCL, and this document details a few differences to the old CAA Part-FCL we’re all used to – and have probably been basing our logbooks on.

When completing an EASA FCL Logbook, To ensure you’re not caught out when you make the transition, we’ve compiled the complete guide to completing your EASA FCL Logbook. You can read the full EASA PART-FCL document here.

General

  1. The record of the flights flown should contain at least the following information:
    1. (1)  personal details: name(s) and address of the pilot;
    2. (2)  for each flight:
      1. (i)  name(s) of PIC;
      2. (ii)  date of flight;
      3. (iii)  place and time of departure and arrival;
      4. (iv)  type, including make, model and variant, and registration of the aircraft;
      5. (v)  indication if the aircraft is SE or ME, if applicable;
      6. (vi)  total time of flight;
      7. (vii)  accumulated total time of flight.
    3. (3)  for each FSTD session, if applicable:
      1. (i)  type and qualification number of the training device;
      2. (ii)  FSTD instruction;
      (iii) date;
      1. (iv)  total time of session;
      2. (v)  accumulated total time.
    4. (4)  details on pilot function, namely PIC, including solo, SPIC and PICUS time, co-pilot, dual, FI or FE;
    5. (5)  Operational conditions, namely if the operation takes place at night, or is conducted under instrument flight rules.

Recording of Flight Time

  1. PIC flight time:

The holder of a licence may log as PIC time all of the flight time during which he or she is the PIC;

The applicant for or the holder of a pilot licence may log as PIC time all solo flight time, flight time as SPIC and flight time under supervision provided that such SPIC time and flight time under supervision are countersigned by the instructor;

The holder of an instructor certificate may log as PIC all flight time during which he or she acts as an instructor in an aircraft;

The holder of an examiner’s certificate may log as PIC all flight time during which he or she occupies a pilot’s seat and acts as an examiner in an aircraft;

A Co-pilot acting as PICUS on an aircraft on which more than one pilot is required under the type certification of the aircraft or as required by operational requirements provided that such PICUS time is countersigned by the PIC.

Co-pilot flight time: the holder of a pilot licence occupying a pilot seat as co-pilot may log all flight time as co-pilot flight time on an aircraft on which more than one pilot is required under the type certification of the aircraft, or the regulations under which the flight is conducted.

  1. Cruise relief co-pilot flight time: a cruise relief co-pilot may log all flight time as co-pilot when occupying a pilot’s seat;
  2. Instruction time: a summary of all time logged by an applicant for a licence or rating as flight instruction, instrument flight instruction, instrument ground time, etc., may be logged if certified by the appropriately rated or authorised instructor from whom it was received;
  3. PICUS flight time: provided that the method of supervision is acceptable to the competent authority, a co-pilot may log as PIC flight time flown as PICUS when all the duties and functions of PIC on that flight were carried out in such a way that the intervention of the PIC in the interest of safety was not required.

If the holder of a licence carries out a number of flights upon the same day returning on each occasion to the same place of departure and the interval between successive flights does not exceed 30 minutes, such series of flights may be recorded as a single entry.

Recording of PICUS Time

When an aircraft carries two or more pilots as members of the operating crew, one of them shall, before the flight commences, be designated by the operator as the aircraft PIC, according to operational requirements, who may delegate the conduct of the flight to another suitably qualified pilot. All flying carried out as PIC is entered in the logbook as ‘PIC’. A pilot flying as ‘PICUS’ or ‘SPIC’ enters flying time as ‘PIC’ but all such entries are to be certified by the PIC or FI in the ‘Remarks’ column of the logbook. All time recorded as SPIC or PICUS is to be countersigned by the aircraft PIC/FI in the ‘remarks.’

Instructions for Completion

Flight crew logbook entries should be made as soon as practicable after any flight undertaken. All entries in the logbook should be made in ink or indelible pencil.

Flight time is recorded:

For helicopters, from the moment a helicopter’s rotor blades start turning until the moment the helicopter finally comes to rest at the end of the flight, and the rotor blades are stopped.

For airships, from the moment an airship is released from the mast to taking off until the moment the airship finally comes to rest at the end of the flight, and is secured on the mast.

Enter the place of departure and destination either in full or the internationally recognised three or four letter designator. All times should be in UTC.

Total time of flight may be entered in hours and minutes or decimal notation as desired.

Recording FSTD Time

The EASA PART-FCL Logbook includes entries for Simulator flying alongside actual aircraft time.

For any FSTD enter the type of aircraft and qualification number of the device. For other flight training devices enter either FNPT I or FNPT II as appropriate.

Total time of session includes all exercises carried out in the device, including pre- and after-flight checks.

Enter the type of exercise performed in the ‘remarks’, for example operator proficiency check, revalidation.

Looking for an easy solution?

LogTen Pro X is the world’s most advanced pilot logbook software for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Designed to take full advantage of the latest operating systems and Apple hardware, LogTen Pro X is so much more than your logbook.

From super fast flight logging with our Fly Now feature, to detailed analysis of your flight time with the Analyze view, to the fantastic Time Loupe that lets you view your currency and limits at any moment in time, past, present, or future.

And, most importantly, Logten Pro X is able to produce an EASA PART-FCL logbook based on the data you enter.

Sources: CAA, EASA PART-FCL

A Day in the Life of Cabin Crew

A Day in the Life of Cabin Crew

A Day in the Life of Cabin Crew: When working as cabin crew, no day is ever the same – this is one of the many things that makes the job so attractive. What follows is an outline of what a day working as cabin crew could entail to give you an insight into the job.

When will my day begin?

This varies from airline to airline however you can expect to report anytime between 5am and 10pm at night for a short or long haul flight. This can be a tough element of the job but it is easy to get used to. For short haul flights you can expect to report around 1 hour and 15 minutes before the departure time and for a long haul it will be around 1 and a half hours before.

How will my day begin?

As crew, your day will begin with a pre-flight briefing. Before you attend this briefing you are expected to have checked in and certified yourself fit to fly for that duty. In the briefing you will meet the rest of the crew and your manager for the flight. Occasionally you may recognise some familiar faces that you have flown with before but usually they will all be new faces. Again, this is something that makes the job as crew so attractive, you get to meet so many new people on almost a daily basis.

During the briefing your manager will go through details of the flight such as the passenger loads and crew position allocation which will determine everyone’s role during the flight. They will also initiate a discussion about both a SEP scenario and a medical scenario. All crew members are expected to actively participate in this discussion to show they are up to date and competent with current procedures. In the majority of briefings the flight crew will also come in and introduce themselves and give details about the flight such as the flight time and any expected turbulence.

Once the briefing is completed, the crew will make their way through security and to the aircraft together.

What happens once we arrive at the aircraft and during boarding?

When you arrive at the aircraft you will be expected to complete your safety and security checks specific to your working position. These are required to be completed accurately but also in a timely manner. Once everyone is happy and the checks have been passed on then the manager can begin boarding. Again your role in boarding will vary in accordance with your working position, you may be responsible for delivering the pre-take off service in the premium cabins or you may be in charge of covering the doors on the ground- either way you will be welcoming the customers onto the aircraft and beginning to build that rapport with them.

During the flight

After take-off is when you will begin the drink and meal service. This service will vary depending on the length of the flight, the destination and the cabin you are working in. You may complete multiple services during a flight. In between the service, on long-haul flights you will take breaks in shifts, normally one half of the crew at a time. Whilst one half of the crew are relaxing in the crew bunks the others will be looking after the passengers and ensuring the cabin, galley and toilets remain clean and tidy.

After landing

Once the flight is over and the passengers have disembarked the aircraft you will complete the post-flight security checks and cabin sweeps to ensure nothing has been left behind. On a long-haul flight, once this is completed its time for the crew to disembark the aircraft and get the crew transport to the hotel. If you are operating a short-haul flight you may also do this if you are lucky enough to be night stopping. If not, you’ll be preparing to do all of this again.

We need to talk about women in aviation

Writer: beyondtheflightdeck

We need to talk about women in aviation: I was stood at the airport Lost & Found, explaining for the third time to the lady behind the desk that I wasn’t sure when I lost my sunglasses, although I knew they disappeared after an evening flight some point last week, and that I had definitely left them in the flight deck of the aircraft. I had flown almost 400 passengers that day, and I had visited the Lost and Found office as soon as I had finished my duty, so I was standing in full pilot uniform, with my wings and First Officer stripes on my blazer. The lady apologised that she didn’t have anything that matched my description, and then proceeded to ask if I enjoyed being Cabin Crew.

I’m often perceived to be cabin crew by various members of the general public, and it still continues to bewilder me, especially when I’m stood there in uniform. Although I understand that being a female pilot is uncommon, it frustrates and frankly saddens me that your average Joe Bloggs’ preconception is that a woman in uniform at an airport can only be cabin crew. Although I have been lucky enough to never receive any negativity from any passengers onboard any of my flights, (excluding a few drunken jokes from a stag party regarding being able to fly, but could I park the aircraft!) it’s clear that there’s still a long way to go until women are equal in aviation.

I started my journey to becoming a commercial pilot when I was 11, when I joined my local gliding club in the North East of England. I have always been aware of the tiny percentage of women pilots out there; at the time the club had about 100 active members, and I remember 4 being women. This trend continued on into my initial commercial flight training, where the course prior to mine had no women training at all.
Although various airlines have begun to made an effort to publicise that fact that girls can fly too, a recent study by British Airways suggests that only 3% of pilots are women. I strongly remember reading this figure 10 years ago when I first had my heart set on becoming a pilot, why hasn’t it increased at all? Why are so few women becoming pilots?

British Airways’ study continued to show that women said they didn’t think of flying as a career due to a lack of visible role models, and because they were told it “was a man’s job”. In the same poll, 20% said that whilst growing up they only saw men featuring as pilots on TV and film, and another 20% also said they thought women could only be cabin crew. Another publication, Absent Aviators: Gender Issues in Aviationmentions a study conducted by Deanna Gibbons, a sociologist and member of the Royal Australian Air Force, which concludes that young girls view flying as difficult, dangerous, and “more of a man’s job.”
Gibbons’ study also showed that girls which became either commercial or military pilots experienced an early association with flying, something Gibbons labels “an epiphany moment.” These were triggered by direct exposure to flying: either a cockpit visit during a commercial flight, watching aircraft take off from an airfield, or taking a joyride on holiday. Most women interviewed experienced their epiphany moment between the ages of 5 and 10, with their childhood experiences inspiring actual hands-on flying experience during the girls’ teenage years. The women participating also described themselves as having “aviation-obsessed” fathers who encouraged their interest, although the fathers were only rarely pilots themselves.

I found this study particularly interesting, as my first memory of wanting to become a pilot was after a conversation with my own father, during a late night conversation where I asked “Daddy, what did you want to be when you were little?”, rather than requesting the usual bedtime story. From then I became determined that I would fly for a living, with a visit to the gliding club when I was 10 to request to become a member. I was told that I was still slightly too young, and if I was still interested to come back in a years time. I was 11 when I had my first flight in a glider, and it sealed the deal. I had the ‘aviation bug’, and I was hooked. I continued to fly at the club, went solo shortly after my 16th birthday, and started my PPL just before turning 17.

There’s a famous Da Vinci quote that is often mentioned by pilots when asked about their love for flying:

“FOR ONCE YOU HAVE TASTED FLIGHT YOU WILL WALK THE EARTH WITH YOUR EYES TURNED SKYWARDS, FOR THERE YOU HAVE BEEN AND THERE YOU WILL LONG TO RETURN.”

For me, that’s exactly how I felt after my first flight. If more young girls could have the opportunities I was lucky enough to have, would I now be flying with more female pilots?

If women in aviation were more widely talked about, approachable, or if girls were encouraged to like planes just as much as boys are, would the general public be more accommodating towards female pilots? Would parents then be more encouraging of their little girls with an interest in flying, aeroplanes or travel, rather than letting them grow up with the impression that they only can become cabin crew?
Normally when children visit the flight deck they stand quietly in awe of all the lights and buttons, whereas a little girl visiting recently was unable to do anything stare at me in the First Officer’s seat and repeatedly say, “but, you’re a girl!”.

For a long time, maybe naively so, I often thought that women just simply didn’t have an interest in aviation. Any hurdles I’ve personally had in becoming a pilot are similar to the ones that my male colleagues that have also experienced; and I’ve been lucky enough to fly with some fantastic pilots during my relatively short time in the air, with the general consensus from my colleagues being that they don’t care about the gender of their co-pilot as long as they can do the job properly! The aviation industry is clearly hoping to encourage women to follow in the steps of women such as Amy Johnson (the first British woman to fly solo from Britain to Australia), with initiatives from British Airways and easyJet looking to encourage more women to consider becoming a pilot.

However, I feel that it’s obvious that there’s still a long way to go until it’s not unusual to hear a female voice on the PA on a flight. I’m hoping with the increase of female pilots in the media, and efforts from airlines in the UK, dreaming of becoming a pilot won’t seem like such an obscure and unattainable career choice for young girls. During my short time flying commercially, I’ve been lucky enough to fly with another female colleague, and I hope to fly with many more throughout my career. I feel like the luckiest girl in the World to be living my childhood dream, and what other job are you able to be paid to travel, meet interesting people everyday, and spend hours looking out the window?Learn more about beyondtheflightdeck, or read more of her articles at  beyondtheflightdeck.com.    

Why is my flight delayed in foggy weather?

Why is my flight delayed in foggy weather? It sometimes surprises visitors to an airport tower just how visual the job is. Controllers in the Visual Control Room are physically looking at the aircraft they’re guiding, with minimal use of radar. The clue is in the name, I suppose!

But during periods of bad weather such as fog, like parts of the UK are experiencing today, the rest of the airport can become completely invisible from the tower.

In these circumstances control has to switch to radar and ‘low visibility procedures’ to ensure airport operations can continue safely. These special procedures cover aircraft on approach and departure, as well as movements on the ground.

A foggy Gatwick Airport by zzathras777 via Flickr

In foggy conditions, aircraft use the Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the airport to be automatically guided to the runway – they are effectively following the ILS beam all the way to touch-down. It is therefore important that we protect the beam from any interference, such as from other aircraft on the runway.

This means spacing between aircraft has to be increased, with an aircraft having to touch-down and taxi far enough away from the runway such that it no longer interferes with the ILS beam before the next one can be given landing clearance. Typically this means the spacing between aircraft has to increase by up to 50%.

Aircraft are also more widely spaced when manoeuvring or taxiing, whether they’re arriving or departing.

All this takes extra time, effectively taking capacity out of the airport with the end result often being delays to passengers sitting in the terminals.

Whenever there’s bad weather we work very closely with airlines and airport operators to handle safely as many flights as possible and minimise the disruption.

As ever, if you’re concerned about the effect bad weather might have on your flight, you should contact your airline which will be able to provide you with the latest information.

My route to 37000ft

Writer: beyondtheflightdeck

My route to 37,000ft: I can almost guarantee that if you talk to anyone who flies for a living , they will have had an epiphany moment in their lives where they fell in love with aviation. My first ‘lightbulb’ moment was when I was young enough to still have a bedtime story in the evenings, where my Dad mentioned that when he was my age he had always wanted to become a pilot. From that moment, I became obsessed with fulfilling my dream, and spent my childhood dreaming of flights to tropical destinations.

I feel lucky that I discovered aviation at such a young age, and I spent my childhood trying to do everything I could to ensure I would eventually be able to achieve my dream. Before my GCSE exams, I spent hours sending letters to every airline I could find an address for asking for advice regarding options and the best subjects to study, as well as talking to a female easyJet pilot who gave me wonderful advice regarding what aviation recruitment look for. I was very aware that leadership and teamwork skills are important, and I participated in every opportunity I could, from being part of my local football team, teaching dance to younger students, and signing up for any other extracurricular activity possible at school.

I eventually had my first flight in May 2005, at my local glider club, shortly after turning 11. At the time I was the club’s youngest member, with 5 years to wait before my first solo flight, but I just couldn’t wait to get up in the air! After that first flight at the controls of an aircraft, the ‘aviation bug’ had definitely settled in to stay.

 Gliding was a fantastic way of beginning to learn how to fly, with the same principles of flight that I use today in a Boeing 737. Gliding is cheaper than learning to fly a powered aircraft, but I learned the same basic stick and rudder techniques that I would go on to finesse in a powered aircraft during my commercial pilot training. Although I didn’t quite realise it whilst I was 11 and engrossed with learning how to fly, I developed other skills which I’ve gone on to use as a commercial pilot too. Gliders fly in a similar manner to birds, using warm rising air, with no engine to depend on to give you the height you need to get back to your airfield. Therefore good decision making skills are vital, otherwise you’re definitely landing in a farmer’s field somewhere!

Whilst I was progressing towards my first solo at the gliding club, I joined my local Air Cadet squadron shortly after turning 14. I was intrigued by the opportunity of free flying, and I was eventually lucky enough to receive a gliding scholarship at RAF Topcliffe, where I went solo in a Vigilant motor glider (also known as a Grob 109B). As well as the flying, the structure of cadets provides fantastic leadership and teamwork skills, as well as a way to push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something that most 14 year olds couldn’t dream of. I spent weekends meeting new people, learning how to navigate and map read, hiking in the Lake District, learning and then going on to teach interview technique, practicing firing a semi automatic rifle, and studying subjects I would need for my ATPL such as propulsion and principles of flight. The highlight of my time in the Air Cadets was a trip to Hong Kong, where I took part in an International Air Cadet Exchange and had the chance to explore China with the local Air Cadets, as well as a trip up the Air Traffic Control tower at Chek Lap Kok Airport. I was aware that airlines require more than just good handling skills, and I even talked about my achievements in cadets during my interview for my current job.

Around this time, I graduated high school, and knew that University wasn’t the right choice for me. I felt ready to start my flight training, so I started working in retail full time, whilst looking into the financial side of things and the courses available out there.
I eventually decided on a pilot training college in Ireland, and attended an assessment day in Edinburgh. The day consisted of an interview, logical reasoning and a COMPASS test, which is computerised and assesses hand/eye coordination, mulit-tasking ability, mathematics and verbal reasoning. I passed the interview, and planned to start in August 2012. However, things weren’t meant to work out that way. Shortly before I was supposed to start my course, the college stopped operating and went bankrupt. I was devastated, and initially I had no idea what was going to happen with the money that I had paid as a deposit. Luckily, the Irish Aviation Authority contacted various other flight schools, and CAE Oxford Aviation Academy agreed to take on the students that had been affected, without having to pay Oxford’s initial deposit. Unfortunately there were students who started Oxford with me who ended up losing money, so if you’re looking into beginning your flight training, I would strongly advise to never pay all the money for your course upfront!

After almost 8 years after my first ever flight, I moved to Oxford in November 2012 to start the long journey towards earning my Air Transport Licence. Although I was unbelievably nervous, it felt that I was a little closer to fulfilling my childhood dream, and I couldn’t wait to start studying something that I have always been passionate about!

Part 2: beyondtheflightdeck

My adventure towards achieving my Frozen ATPL started in Oxford, where I would spend two years studying everything you could possibly think of related to aviation. I had decided on taking an integrated course, which although is more expensive, I felt was more suited towards what I wanted to achieve. I liked the idea of studying full time, with my flying and exams at the same training centre. If you’re interested in flight training, you also have the option of a modular course, which involves self-study and flight hours achieved at your own pace. The choice is certainly a personal one, with no right or wrong answer. Although it’s a controversial topic, I believe that irrespective of any rumours that you may hear, employers don’t favour one or the other. I personally don’t know a great deal about the details of a modular option, so if you’re interested give @pilotmaria’s blog post about her training a read here! Before I could be let loose in an aircraft, I first had to pass my theoretical exams. I found the subjects I was studying interesting, but the Ground School phase was the most difficult and intense part of my whole training.The course was split into 2 phases, with school exams and then the all important EASA exams at the end. I thought the amount of information we were given to start off with was a lot, but the workload increases as you progress, with 39 exams in a period of six months. Although I found the course content challenging, the instructors at Oxford were fantastic, with some great stories from their previous careers (often with the RAF), and an obvious interest in how you were progressing. Every single one of my instructors were more than happy to give up their breaks and explain something that you didn’t quite understand yet. Honestly, I struggled at first to find a way to learn that worked best for me, whilst keeping up with the fast pace and sheer amount of information involved. I have always found Maths challenging, and it sometimes takes me a long time to wrap my head around a subject, which can be difficult when you’re learning multiple subjects that require various equations and mathematical thinking! However, I always believe that anything worth doing isn’t always going to be easy, and every single minute of those late night study sessions were worthwhile as I can now get paid to do what I love. There were times when I felt overwhelmed with the amount of information I still didn’t quite understand, or I was frustrated after still being unable understand a subject after studying it all day, but I knew that this was the most difficult part of my journey to achieving what I’ve always wanted to do, and I simply had to get on with it and keep working as hard as I could. Everyone has an aspect of their training that they find challenging, but you simply have to push through and keep thinking of your goal and final result! 

 The hard work was definitely worth it, as passing my exams meant a trip to Phoenix, Arizona to learn how to fly single and multi-engined aircraft. CAE Oxford Aviation is now based at Falcon Field airport, where I initially flew brand new Piper Archer TXs with a glass cockpit, and then progressed to fly Senecas before achieving my Commercial Pilot’s Licence. After 6 months of being stuck behind a desk intensively studying, it was great getting behind the controls of an aeroplane again!I loved learning how to fly in America, and although the training definitely wasn’t easy, I found the learning curve wasn’t as steep as the Ground School. Getting up at 3 am to check the weather forecast and complete the necessary paperwork was something I looked forward to, and I was often rewarded with an incredible sunrise whilst spending an hour or two doing what I love. It was incredible to finally be up in the air, and although at times the heat was unbearable, flying over the desert was beautiful and so much fun! The days I wasn’t flying, I spent hours studying checklists, memory items, and standard operating procedures (SOPs), as well as technical information about the aircraft, local Air Law, and Air Traffic Control airspace. As these topics weren’t as intense as earlier in the course, most of this could be read around the pool in the sunshine, with my course mates and I enjoying some well deserved trips to San Diego, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. Eventually, after 14 hours practicing general handling and lots of ‘Touch and Goes’ in small airports, I achieved my first solo in a powered aircraft. It’s an incredible feeling flying alone for the first time, and as I taxiied back after landing, it’s impossible not to feel a sense of pride and achievement! After my first solo, I continued to progress with more circuits, navigation training, cross country and night flights, both solo and with an instructor. Every new area learned was then evaluated with a progress test, with the fourth and final progress test assessing the fundamentals of flying using only the instruments and holding procedures. After the final progress test, I then transferred the skills I learned in the single-engine Archer to the multi-engined Seneca, the aircraft that I would fly during my Commercial Pilot Licence assessment. The basics were obviously the same, however everything happens so much quicker when you’re using two turbocharged engines! I also spent time learning how to deal with simulated engine failures and fires, as well becoming confident at flying circuits and navigating whilst flying at a faster airspeed. My time in Arizona came to an end with my CPL exam, which was a practical evaluation in the Seneca which tested everything that I had learned on both the single engine and multi-engine aircraft.  

 From there, I headed back to Oxford to learn how to fly the Seneca using only its instruments, which is how passenger airliners operate everyday. Although initially it seems a bit scary knowing that pilots don’t often look out the windows whilst flying, the systems that are used in the flight deck are more accurate than just ‘eyeballing’ where we need to be, as well as providing us a safe way to make an approach and even land in marginal visibility. Learning to fly using instruments seems daunting at first, as it feels like you have to be looking at a million things at once, and a loss of concentration can easily end up in an unwanted climb or a turn! However, after using both the simulator and flying more hours in the trusty Seneca, I completed my Instrument Rating and was one step closer my dream job. Although I was fully qualified to fly an aircraft alone, I had no skills regarding working in a multi-pilot environment like I would be doing for an airline. To combat this, my time at Oxford concluded with a Multi-Crew Coordination and Jet Orientation Course (known as MCC/JOC). I spent 40 hours in a Boeing 737 simulator, learning Crew Resource Management (CRM), and how to fly the aircraft whilst using all available resources, information, equipment and people to achieve a safe and efficient flight. The MCC was an excellent introduction to what it’s like to be an airline pilot, as interpersonal skills and teamwork are just as important as the flight training I had completed earlier on. I got on well with my flight partner, and we had so much fun learning how to work together and how to fly a jet! That was the final chapter of my training, and I was now the proud owner of a frozen ATPL. I immediately started applying for jobs as a First Officer, and I was luckily enough to receive a job interview a few months after leaving Oxford. The rest, they say, is history! I hope my posts are a tiny bit useful if you’re aspiring to fly, and I apologise that they’ve ended up becoming so long. If you have any other questions that I can help out with, feel free to comment below and I’ll answer what I can. The journey to becoming a pilot certainly isn’t an easy one, but I’ve always believed that anything can be possible for those that work hard for it!

A Day in the life of an Airline Pilot

A Day in the life of an Airline Pilot: A First Officer for a major UK airline, takes us through a standard day at ‘the office’.

Step 1: Waking up!

Depending on what report time is I set my alarm accordingly, for example on early morning flights I tend to set it about 2 hours 15 minutes before report! If on a late however approximately 3 hours 30 minutes before as I have more traffic to deal with on the temperamental M25. It’s important to eat something before you leave too, even if it’s just a banana.

I tend to hang my ID with my tie, so I put them both on simultaneously, as I have forgotten it before! Without it, you, unfortunately, cannot fly.

My flight bag (I will cover in another post) and uniform are usually prepared the night before to help me save time, just in case I snooze too long!

As I live near Heathrow, when I wake up I tend to check the traffic, as it has caught me off guard sometimes, if there is more than expect I leave as soon as possible.

Step 2: Crew Room

Coming into Gatwick is fairly straightforward M4 – M25 – M23 and then the Gatwick exit. I park in the X car park in Gatwick which is about a 10-15 minute bus journey to the crew room, and usually, in the morning it’s rammed.

A quick stop at the Costa coffee, (double espresso definitely helps wake me up) and upstairs to the crew room!

You usually encounter other pilots and cabin crew in and around. Once you’ve checked in you start printing off paperwork and downloading the relevant information on your iPad.

Your next step is to look at the information we’ve just converted to iPad as the EFB (electronic flight bag) so we have a look at all of this on there:

Which then all lead the next question of how much fuel? Once this is decided the fuelling and dispatchers are called giving them the figures required for the load sheet information and so the fuel can be put into the aircraft.

Step 3: To the Aircraft and Preflight!

Pilots, like passengers, have the tedious task of going through airport security every morning, however, safety is always of utmost priority for anyone who works in the aviation industry. Following security, we proceed to get a bus to the aircraft.

Usually, on early morning flights the flight deck is ‘cold and dark’, so the Pilot Monitoring (PM) does the cockpit preliminary checks, to get some power to the aircraft. Safety checks follow, looking for anything out of the ordinary and ensuring all emergency equipment is in its place!

The Pilot Flying (PF) and PM have duties that each must complete, as well as duties that are the Captain’s responsibility, for example, the tech log, welcome PA and checking the load sheet.

PF DutiesPM Duties
Cockpit preparationFMGC set upTalking to ground handlersBriefingLoadsheetATISClearances with ATCChecking the aircraft setupPaper checklistsFuelling monitoringPre-flight inspection

The FMGC (flight management and guidance computer) is where all the information from the flight plan is entered.

The load sheet is where all the aircraft weights are from take off to zero fuel weight, and everything on board the aircraft.

Briefing is one of the most important and vital things pre-flight as it helps cover and any threats as well as provides a mutual understanding within the flight deck.

Pre-flight inspection and fuel monitoring is also very important, as you are checking the aircraft is serviceable for flight.

All the above will be covered separately later on so stay tuned.

Step 4: Time to get airborne!

Time to call up for Pushback and Start-up, but first we establish communications with the ground crew to make sure all of their external checks are completed, and that we have a tug. That always helps!

Time for some checks next! Then we call up fully ready and request push and start on ground frequency (this varies at every airport).

Being based at Gatwick we tend to start only one engine, as it helps save fuel, and if we’re not too sure we just ask how busy it is at the holding point. Taxiing is done by the PF and the checks are done by the PM, as that way someone is always looking at where we’re going. Once both engines are running, the takeoff checks are completed, and we’ve got the cabin secure from the cabin crew… we are now ready for departure!

Take-off is definitely my favourite part, as you’re leaving everything behind on the ground, the adrenaline kicks in as you set take-off thrust and the moment you rotate to get airborne!

Climb-out and cruise!

Below Flight Level 100 the communication within the flight deck is kept to a bare minimum as it is considered as a critical phase of flight. As we continue the climb out we do our checks at appropriate times, e.g 10000ft checks and the 20000ft checks.

Once established in the cruise, it’s time for paperwork and some food! The paperwork mainly consists of some general entries into the tech log, fuel checks and time checks on the flight plan, and giving the passengers an announcement of what is going on!

Transitioning between one airspace to another we’re constantly updating ourselves with the weather of airports en-route using VOLMETs or ACARs in the event something was to occur, we know or have a rough idea of where to go. As pilots we are constantly aware of the possibility that at any given time anything could happen, so we are always vigilant and subconsciously monitoring the aircraft even whilst engaged in conversation with the other pilot or cabin crew.

For most of it, it is time to enjoy, sit back and enjoy the best view in the world!

Approach and Landing!

Fast approaching is the TOD (Top of Descent) arrow where its is time to go back down and think about what were going to do. Getting the FMGC set up and inputting the correct arrival or the one you are predicting it potentially may be from the flight plan or the weather.

Some airfields obtaining the ATIS occurs sooner so you get more of an idea whats going on, and how to prepare, but most of this is covered in the brief before you depart.

Once you’re ready and everything is set up to the way you require, it’s time to brief! I manage my time so I am able to brief about 100 or so miles before the TOD arrow (as mentioned before I will be doing a more detailed post about briefing as it’s a very important phase of flight), however, in general, this is the point the other pilot would discuss possible threats, how they would like to fly the approach and as well as the general set up.

We usually give a call up to the handing agent with our estimated arrival time, along with any passengers that may require assistance on arrival.

Similar to the climb-out, below FL100 it is a sterile cockpit. A general rule of thumb we use to help manage our descent profiles and make sure we’re not too high or low is the 3 x Altitude (8000ft = 8) as well incorporating distance to slow down.

This is important as sometimes ATC gives you restrictions, keep you high and fast so it’s so variable, it is important to keep ahead and manage your descent to the best of your ability. This may require you to take the gear down early or keep your speed up to get down faster and slow down with speed brakes, the possibilities are endless!

Landing is actually fairly straight forward, a good approach tends to lead to a good landing, so they say! Coming into a major airfield like Gatwick your speed altitudes are all controlled by ATC, which makes life easier, as well as 90% of the time you will fly and ILS, approach too. The landing is usually what all the passengers will judge you for or remember about the flight, sometimes at a short airfield like Gibraltar you just want to get the aircraft on the ground safely!

Arrival, Turnaround and Home!

Once we’ve vacated the runway and established our taxiway routing, the PF does his after landing flow which triggers the PM to do his. Most airports in Europe tend to have a follow-me vehicle which takes us to our stand. If time permits we try to shut down one of the engines to save fuel. Over time single-engine taxiing can save millions!

The Captain always taxi’s onto stand. On stand, we shut down the aircraft first and then once the doors are disarmed and seat belts signs turned off its time to disembark the passengers.

We do our shutdown checklist and begin to set up the aircraft for the return leg! Similar to before we set up the aircraft, however, the only difference is, we’ve now swapped roles.

Depending on how long we have for turnaround (usually 50 minutes) we may have time to catch some sun, or if you’re in Gibraltar get some duty-free! On the other hand, some turnarounds tend to be busier than others so you have no time for anything.

One we’ve got the passengers on it is time for the return leg. It is more or less the same as the outbound. Coming back to Gatwick, we get a crew bus back to our crew room, there is only some minor paperwork to be done as most of it has been done during the cruise or on arrival as the passengers disembark. Now you’re just waiting for your next adventure!

What happens when a plane gets struck by lightning?

What happens when a plane gets struck by lightning?: You might have read the story of Virgin Airways flight VS65 which was hit by lightning last Wednesday, just 10 minutes after departing Gatwick Airport on its way to Montego Bay…

Aircraft are hit by lightning far more frequently than you might think and, although this could cause serious damage and result in lengthy delays, most of the time it goes completely unnoticed.

Thanks to the design and structure of modern aircraft, lightning strikes tend to be ‘over in a flash’ and have no serious consequences. But, when a pilot needs to land because of significant damage, air traffic control plays a pivotal role in managing the flow of aircraft through our airspace and getting them back to ground safely.

If a pilot suspects that the aircraft has been hit by lightning and believes that damage has occurred, they will contact air traffic control and tell us that they need to return to the nearest airport. Where the pilot has declared an emergency, he will be given a priority approach.

Our controllers are used to this kind of disruption to air traffic and pilots are no stranger to a ‘go-around’ – often caused by an infringer flying in controlled airspace without permission, or heavy winds!

Dealing with bad weather is one of the most difficult things for air traffic controllers to manage. Its unpredictable nature means aircraft aren’t able to fly their usual routes, resulting in unusual flight patterns that add hugely to the complexity of the airspace and the workload for each controller.

However, the training our air traffic controllers receive ensures that even the most disruptive events are safely managed!

View more of our blog posts with interesting views and news stories on the aviation industry, pilot training and more.

FEAR OF FLYING – GUIDE TO TURBULENCE

FEAR OF FLYING – A PILOT’S GUIDE TO TURBULENCE: There are different types of turbulence, mainly from rapid changes in wind direction and strength, which make the aeroplane accelerate, decelerate, or move side to side. It’s these movements, sometimes several at once, that can be uncomfortable whilst flying as a passenger, make it harder to drink your gin and tonic, read your magazine, or from my end – do my inflight paperwork! An aircraft is designed to be stable, meaning if turbulence forces the plane from its original path, it is designed to return to its previous straight, level flight without any positive control from the pilots. For most of the duration of the flight, the autopilot is flying the aircraft, and its job to keep the aircraft flying the way the pilots have commanded it to, even after being disrupted by any turbulent air. The main sensation during turbulence is the aircraft climbing or descending, potentially resulting in a feeling in your stomach similar to that you get from driving over a hidden dip in the road.

IF YOU DISLIKE THE SENSATION OF FLYING DURING TURBULENCE, SIT OVER THE WINGS OF THE AIRCRAFT.

The feeling of climbing or descending initially is the result of the turbulence, followed by the opposing direction as the aircraft reacts to it. These changes feel more drastic when sitting at the rear of the aircraft, as whilst the aircraft begins to climb, the tail moves downward and you will have the unusual sensation of being pulled out of your seat. If you sit over the wing, the aircraft pitches around its centre axis, resulting in a smaller sensation of movement as a passenger.

The aircraft will rarely change altitude by any more than 50 feet, which honestly is insignificant in proportion to its cruising level of around 37,000ft. Although to some it may feel that way, I promise that the aircraft isn’t falling out of the air, and the change of wind direction is never great enough to result in the aeroplane to stop generating its lift that it creates to fly! Although the sensation can be unsettling, passenger aircraft are built to withstand turbulence, and every pilot completes training in how to recognise the signs of turbulence and avoid it when possible, and how to make the flight as comfortable as possible for the passengers. There are 4 main types of turbulence:- Clear Air Turbulence- Thermal (associated with clouds, especially those big fluffy cumulous clouds you see on a hot day!)- Mechanical (caused by the airflow over physical features, mountains, buildings, trees)- Wake turbulence (caused by other aircraft generating lift, the larger the aircraft, the larger the wake)  

Clear Air Turbulence

This type of turbulence is caused by changes in the wind at high level, although high winds may not indicate turbulence. An increase or decrease of wind strength, entering or flying through a jetstream, or a change in temperature, can all create CAT. Although our weather radar cannot display areas of this type of turbulence, CAT can be predicted in our preflight preparations by studying the forecast windshear, areas of jetstreams and pilot reports. We’ll do our best to avoid any turbulence if possible, and other pilots are often helpful in recommending if the area they are flying in is bumpy or smooth. Sometimes unfortunately, we’ll just have to wait until it stops, but we have the option to climb or descend if we know that the area around us will be more comfortable.  

Thermal Turbulence

I initially learned how to fly in gliders; as I flew without an engine I would look to stay in areas of hot, rising air to stay airborne for as long as possible. A good indication of an area of thermals were large, cauliflower cumulous clouds, which are formed by moist, unstable air rising faster than the area surrounding it. As the moisture condenses, the air becomes stable and eventually stops rising.  When entering a cloud, we fly through this rising air, which often causes a short period of turbulence. As the aircraft I currently fly is larger and flies faster than a glider, the result is often a couple of bumps until the plane leaves the offending cloud! Imagine driving over a speed bump on a bicycle compared to going 70mph in a car, the result is exactly the same whilst flying. In the cruise we are flying at around speeds of 500mph, resulting in that small bump appearing to be more dramatic than it is in reality!  Generally speaking, there are fewer clouds the higher you fly, although the faster you fly the turbulence may seem more pronounced. Whilst flying, we use a weather radar that detects the water particles in the air, with a colour code to indicate the density and turbulence associated with the clouds ahead. We use this radar to avoid any larger, cumulonimbus clouds which also indicate thunderstorms, and communicate with Air Traffic Control to ensure that we maintain a safe distance from the unstable, rising and descending air surrounding the storm.  

Mechanical Turbulence

This type of turbulence is caused by the airflow moving around a large object, a mountain like in Gibraltar, or a large building close to the runway. Landing at my home base in Dublin can sometimes be a little bumpy when the wind is coming over the nearby Wicklow Mountains, or London Gatwick can be affected by wind changing direction around a hangar near the runway. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot that we can do whilst flying to these destinations, although we are often familiar and comfortable with this type of turbulence, and as it’s always forecast we can prepare prior to experiencing it!  

Wake Turbulence

Wake turbulence is a created by the airflow over an aircraft’s wing that also enables it to generate lift and fly, and the chances of us experiencing wake turbulence whilst flying are very small thanks to our colleagues in Air Traffic Control. ATC ensure thatwe are at a safe distance from any aircraft that may affect us with their own turbulence. There are rules and regulations that both pilots and ATC follow regarding the distance from another aircraft, especially between larger and smaller aircraft, (an Airbus A380 is in its own category!), ensuring that there is a safe period of time between departing aeroplanes.  Although turbulence is uncomfortable and inconvenient, the pilots and the aircraft are more than capable of dealing with what nature throws our way! Ensure when you’re flying you keep your seatbelt on (like the pilots always do) in case your flight does encounter any unexpected bumps, but try to relax and appreciate that although it may not feel that way, the aircraft is still in controlled flight and is built to withstand more than 50% of the worst forces that turbulence may throw its way. Captain Sullenburger recommends that prior to a flight close your eyes as a passenger in a car and make note of the frequency and intensity of every vibration, jolt and noise. The car journey is likely to be much more turbulent than your average flight, and statistically, the drive to the airport is much more dangerous than flying in a commercial airliner! Do you have any other fears or concerns whilst flying? Comment below and I’ll aim to answer any queries as part of my new Fear of Flight series.

10 Secrets From Flight Attendants That Will Make You Rethink Getting On A Plane

10 Secrets From Flight Attendants That Will Make You Rethink Getting On A Plane: In spite of what your anxiety might be telling you (or that primal fight-or-flight instinct that overrides logic), flying is the safest, fastest and most efficient mode of transportation out there. It’s also full of quirks that you might not know about. Here are some of those secrets, as told by flight attendants.

1. First, let’s start by giving you some basic statistics about flying. From 2002-2007, over 196,000 people died in car accidents (according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). On the other hand, 107 people died from airplane crashes. To put that into perspective, the odds of you getting involved in a plane accident are 1 in 7 million. If the numbers are just not adding up, here are some things more likely to kill you: cardiovascular diseases (1 in 2), smoking (1 in 600), and lightning strikes (1 in 1.9 million). Flight attendants are aware that some of their passengers are riddled with an aggressive fear of flying. So don’t worry about looking silly because you look nervous! If anything, they can help you relax by offering tips and aids to tune out your surroundings or ride out the worst of the anxiety (for example, wear your seatbelt at all times to avoid bumping your head if there’s any turbulence).

2. This might seem a bit extreme, but if you tire yourself out before a long trip you’ll be more likely to fall asleep on the plane. The best way to do this is to stay up late and do physical work prior to the flight. This is good for people who really need to sleep (to avoid jet lag, for example)

3. If you’re stuck in the multiple connections hell and want a refresher, here’s a tip: most major international airports have showers for passengers travelling this way.Cleaning up and changing your clothes can really change your mood (as well as the way you look, smell and feel). From now on make sure you carry a spare set of clothes when you travel.

4. Now onto the more stressful flight attendant tips. Cabin pressurization is necessary when flying at high altitudes, and there are a lot of mechanics at work to make sure you’re comfortable. When cabin depressurization occurs (which is rarely) you should put your mask right away. You only have seconds before the symptoms of oxygen loss kick in.

5. If you’ve gone through a little bit of a shaky path you’ve probably felt your levels of fear go from 0 to 100 in less than a second. Maybe it’s the anxiety of not knowing how bad it’ll get, but know this: turbulence isn’t bad until bag compartments open and and people bump their heads on the ceiling.

6. If one of the engines catches fire, it will extinguish itself. That’s the beauty of modern mechanics. On top of that, if the fire gets too out of control to extinguish, the engine has a mechanism to detach it from the rest of the plane so it doesn’t affect the wing.

7. Having said that, planes aren’t perfect. Thousands of flights take place every day, all around the world. Like any vehicle that gets used constantly, most airplanes have something broken (either on the inside or the outside). But it’s never big enough to be a safety concern, so don’t worry too much about it.

8. If you’re a germaphobe, you probably want to look away and live in ignorant bliss.Airplane floors are super filthy. Sure, they get vacuumed every now and then, but you can assume that the place you’re sitting is covered in bathroom germs and some trace of bodily fluids. So keep your shoes on, carry some disinfectant wipes and antibacterial liquid.

9. This might make you angry, so take a deep breath and go to a very happy place. If you’re ever transporting something fragile and thought, “I’ll label this with that fragile tape and that way the bag handlers will be careful!” I have bad news. Those bags don’t get any special treatment because the bag handlers aren’t required to do that.

10. Again, my apologies to all the germaphobes reading this. Sometimes when it’s a short flight, planes don’t get a lot of time for a good cleanup (more like an hour). An hour is nearly not enough time to even do a quick cleanup of the whole plane. So again, just pay an extra amount of attention to your surroundings.

Aviation Insider helps candidates for airline simulator & interview Preparation

Aviation Insider helps candidates for airline simulator & interview Preparation. We have targeted training profiles for all the major European airlines. Aviation Insider offers the highest standard of training, provided by current line pilots and trainers. You’ll have a team dedicated to your personal development and access to a varied fleet of simulators, including the 737 classic and NG, A320, a330, 747, 757, 767, E195, E135, E145.

Getting in the right-hand seat of an airline can be a bit of a daunting challenge, preparing with Aviation Insider will give you the best advantage by being familiar with procedures before your simulator assessment. All of our instructors are current line Pilots and have decades of experience to help guide you and pass on their wealth of knowledge.

We’re passionate about what we do and about making sure your experience with us is an exceptional one. We provide an outstanding service to our clients and attention to detail is our strong point!

Basic requirements on how to become an FAA Pilot in the USA.

Basic requirements on how to become an FAA Pilot in the USA. Flying across the world, controlling a huge refined aircraft may be a dream for some. While it’s a rewarding and very exciting job, many people wonder how exactly does one become a glamorous pilot. The process takes time, dedication, and a good chunk of change. As long as you are committed, the dream of driving in the sky can be yours. There are several different ways one can become a pilot as stated below.

BASIC REQUIREMENTS

Getting a four-year college degree may benefit you in the long run. A degree is not needed to fly for a regional airline in the United States, but it is necessary for a major US airline. A Bachelor of Science is preferred with emphasis in aviation, but it’s not necessary.

Obtaining your initial Class 1 Medical is required for anyone wishing to train for any commercial airline. Contrary to popular belief, you can fly for an airline while wearing glasses or contacts as long as your vision is corrected to 20/20.

Be well aware that becoming an Airline pilot is a huge financial investment. Make sure that you monetarily prepared and committed. Depending on where you chose to go to flight school, it could cost between $100,000-$150,000.

FLIGHT SCHOOL

Research and look around your local area for a good flight school and a flight instructor. You will now start working on your private pilot certificate. The current minimum flight time according to FAA is 40 hours. It may be desirable to complete 60 hours.

After earning your private pilot license, you can begin your instrument rating and your commercial certificate. For an instrument rating, you will need 50 hours as a pilot in command and 40 hours of simulated conditions. For a commercial certificate, however, you will need a total of 250 hours.

 Now you will need to complete your certified flight instructor rating and begin working at the flight school. Pilots need experience to qualify for your license so working for a flight school is useful. To qualify for a FAA license, you must also be 18 years old and earned 250 hours of flight experience.

GET WORKING

With all the proper ratings and 1,500 hours of flight time, you are now eligible to work for regional airlines. In order to work for a major airline, you will need about 3,000 hours of total flight time.

Many pilots begin their career teaching as flight instructors as well. Other take on assignments with charter planes or end up going private.

Within airlines, pilots start off as a first officer and then advance to captain. Depending on your contract and airline, many pilots move up to captain within 5-10 years. Gaining seniority will also help with your flight assignments. Usually, you will start off as a reserve and be on call for flights while getting an actual schedule will help you organize a more structured life schedule.

PILOT SHORTAGE

This might be the best time to get started on your license to become a pilot. The current projection is that there will be a shortage of pilots between 2018-2030. Many of these pilots will be needed in the Asia-Pacific area due to expansion plans with several airlines including the famous airline, Emirates. Pilots also have strict age and health requirements that force a large number of pilots to retire. Females also make up a very small percentage of pilots in general so airlines will be on the lookout.

It’s important to remember that the industry is still very competitive. Make sure to do your research and prepare as best as possible before beginning this new career. It will take time, effort, money, and commitment but it is definitely doable and will pay off in the long run.

Basic requirements on how to become an FAA Pilot in the USA.

Everything you need to know about a JOC/ MCC/ AQC

Source: CTC, CAE OAA, flightdeckfriend

Everything you need to know about a JOC/ MCC/ AQC. MCC Multi-Crew Cooperation course (MCC) Multi-Crew Cooperation course (MCC) gives students realistic training in operating a multi-pilot, multi-engine airplane under IFR conditions. The objectives of the course are to train the optimum decision making, communication, diversion of tasks and use of checklists, mutual supervision, teamwork and support through all stages of flight under any conditions.

The MCC Course has been designed to train single seat pilots in the team skills necessary for the safe operation of complex, multi crew, jet aircraft. During the course you will be introduced to the competencies necessary for this demanding transition. The training will take place throughout all phases of flight under normal, abnormal and emergency conditions. This course meets EASA requirements.

COURSE CONTENT
◦ Communication
◦ Leadership and Team Working
◦ Situation Awareness (Threat and Error Management)
◦ Workload Management
◦ Problem Solving and Decision Making
◦ Monitoring and cross-checking
◦ Task-sharing
◦ Checklist handling
◦ Briefing Techniques
◦ Flight Management
◦ Use of Flight Management Computers
◦ System Normal Operations
◦ Abnormal and Emergency Operations
◦ Environment, Weather and ATC

The theoretical areas of the course are closely integrated with the syllabus content of the simulator sessions.

JET ORIENTATION COURSE (JOC)

The JOC is a stepping stone for students with an MCC certificate but no jet handling experience. It has been designed to bring them up to the same standard of handling as an MCC/JOC student and should be viewed as a preparation course for an airline simulator assessment.  For many airlines the completion of a JOC is a mandatory prerequisite to the pilot selection process.

Combined JOC/MCC

Having successfully passed your Commercial Pilots Licence (CPL), Multi-Engine Piston (MEP) Class Rating, and Multi-Engine Instrument Rating (ME/IR), the step is to complete the Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) course. Designed specifically to prepare you to work as part of an effective flight crew, the MCC is a mandatory requirement on your journey to becoming a First Officer.

The Jet Orientation Course (JOC) builds on the MCC providing you with a much greater insight into how you operate airliners and the expectations that airlines have of you. A combined MCC/JOC gives you the best chance of getting your first airline role.

AQC – with CTC

The AQC is a crucial step in the development and training of an airline pilot. The course takes you beyond the JAR-FCL MCC syllabus – incorporating airline standard Initial CRM, MCC and Advanced Handling Skills – making you familiar with all the skills you will need to operate today’s advanced jet aircraft in a multi-crew IFR environment.
You already know that if you are applying for a Type Rating on a multi-pilot aircraft, you need to complete a JAA approved course of training in Multi-Crew Co-operation.

CTC Airline Qualification Course (AQC) is the most comprehensive generic bridge training course available. AQC provides full airline preparation and skills development, delivered to the highest airline standards and providing clear demonstration of your abilities and your potential. AQC gives you the edge for a career in the increasingly competitive world of commercial aviation.

CTC Aviation’s industry-renowned Airline Qualification Course is an advanced Multi-Crew Co-operation/Jet Orientation Course (MCC/JOC); An airline focused bridging course designed to fully prepare you for airline pilot operations in a commercial, multi-crew environment.

Those with existing and proven MCC training to CTC Aviation’s approved standard have the opportunity to join a shorter AQC designed to complement your previous training and/or operational experience.

Following selection, CTC Aviation will invite you to enrol upon either the full AQC or a ‘fast track’, reduced-cost course, reflecting your experience to date.
Those meeting the required standard on completion of training will be put forward for First Officer placement opportunities with one of CTC Aviation’s growing list of Airline Partners.

Key features
1 World renowned Airline Qualification Course delivered on Boeing or Airbus simulators at CTC Aviation’s Crew Training Centre – Southampton
2 Unique CTC ATP Performance Protection
3 Unrivalled airline placement opportunities *
4 Airline Preparation Day – expert guidance from CTC Aviation’s selection team on how to present your CV and prepare for airline selection
5 Accommodation included for duration of the course
6 Option to complete a simulator refresher course
7 Potential access to funding subject to eligibility**
8 Simulator refresher option avialable
Subject to meeting CTC Aviation and Airline Placement Standards **Terms and conditions apply

Flight school Interview preparation

Flight school Interview preparation, So you’ve booked yourself an assessment? Congratulations, its the first step in realizing your dream! For the most part, all the major fight schools in the UK and Europe will all be looking for the same things – Motivation and Ability.

They do this in different ways, but with the larger flight schools, this is commonly done on an “assessment day” which aims to test all your motivation and natural ability. So how do they do this? The assessment days commonly involve 3 or 4 distinct segments: The interview, the team exercise, the computer assessment and occasionally the sim check.

Flight school Interview preparation: The interview: The interview gives a chance for you to show off some of your ability, however, this is mainly time for your motivation to shine through. The interview will typically be split into two sections – the motivation section and the competency section. There are commonly two interviewers and they will ask a section each whilst the other makes notes. The motivation section is exactly what it says – why do you want to be a pilot and do you have the motivation to get you through the next 18 months of hard work and into the right-hand set of an airliner? They will also be probing you here for knowledge of the flight school, the industry and the airline if you’re going for a sponsored scheme – so do your research, there’s nothing worse than not knowing the basics!

The competency-based section is slightly different – the interviewer will be asking you for examples of when you have behaved in certain ways and shown desirable attributes – Leadership, good teamwork, good communication, the list goes on. How do you answer these questions?

What they are looking for is really to be told a story, set the scene, explain what happened, your actions and how they had a positive impact. When you’re preparing these answers for your interview to remember one thing – the interviewer will have been sitting through this same interview several times that day and possibly hundreds of times in the past weeks, so make your answers interesting and memorable – preferable for the right reasons!

Prepare yourself for this section giving yourself a handful of good examples where you have displayed desirable attributes, you will find that some stories can be tweaked to cover several different questions – perfect. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you will wing it on the day because you’ve got some examples in your head, you won’t, the interview is all about preparation and it really shows. Write them out, edit them, read them to yourself then get someone to interview you – its unbelievable how much harder it is to get it all out right when you’re put on the spot, but if you get the preparation in, it will really show.

Flight school Interview preparation: The team exercise: As a pilot 99.9% of the time you will find yourself working alongside someone else, therefore good teamwork skills are essential. The team exercise is your chance to show off these skills and show you work well with others.

Lots of people go into this part of the assessment thinking they need to dominate the task and take the lead – this couldn’t be more wrong. Taking over the exercise will get you noticed for all the wrong reasons, the task is a team exercise, not an individual one. So what are the assessors looking for?

Including everyone – is there someone who is being quiet and not getting their opinion or view across in the task, bring them in and ask them what they think. Clarifying ideas – getting others to expand and build on their ideas. Encourage others – be positive, and encourage ideas rather than putting down ones you don’t agree with. Original ideas – the assessors will want to see you playing your part in the exercise. Delegating tasks – sometimes the exercise requires several tasks to be achieved at the same time or in a short space of time, locating these tasks effectively and sensibly is important. Lots of people also worry about failing to complete the exercise, don’t worry, its how you work as a team they are interested in.

The Computer Assessment: If you are reading this then I’m sure you have done your research – there are practice versions of almost all the latest computer aptitude tests used by the big flight schools available online, some of which may require a fee. Are they worth it? In my opinion, yes, they are. The aptitude tests are designed so you shouldn’t really be able to “practice” them – you either have the skills to do well in them or you don’t. I agree totally, however, I believe that having seen something similar and had a go on the practice software gives you a noticeable advantage over someone who hasn’t – you’ve seen it before. This is going to help you go into it feeling more relaxed and confident as you know exactly what to expect.

The Sim Check: The sim check is primarily used to confirm and verify the findings of the computer-based testing – a more practical application of capacity, hand to eye coordination, ability to learn new skills and many other things. As the computer-based testing is becoming more and more reliable and accurate, the sim check is becoming less and less common – sim time is often short and extremely valuable so why use it up if its not absolutely necessary? If you do go for a sim check, don’t panic, they’re not expecting miracles here! No previous experience required as its all very basic – its actually great fun!

If you want any guidance or more in-depth information on any of the above or any flight school-specific questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at: enquiries@aviationinsider.co.uk

Good Luck!

Passing your airline interview and simulator assessment

INTRODUCTION

The complete guide to passing your airline interview and simulator assessment, this FREE article will help enable you to get the best results possible for your airline interview or simulator preparation, covering everything from your application all the way through to your simulator check. This article has been written by the team at AviationInsider who consist of pilots, instructors and recruitment specialists working for major European national, business, leisure and low cost carriers
AviationInsider are here to assist you in any way they can.

So you’re in the job market, AviationInsider can help you with that.

Once your CV has been accepted and/or an application form has been submitted, the next most likely step is an invite to an assessment centre. Being invited to an assessment centre can be a scary prospect. There are many urban myths about the types of exercises you might face and how the assessors reach their decisions. In the following pages we will try to dispel these myths and explain what the assessors are actually looking for. This article aims to teach you the methods and core skills for tackling any exercise or question that comes your way. Practice makes perfect.

Assessments are often conducted in house at the company’s offices but may also take place online. Assessments often consist of a series of structured, timed exercises which are designed to simulate the kind of activities you would undertake in the job itself and test the core skills required to do it, these could include:

Presentations (Individual or Group)
Role Plays
Group discussions and tasks
Written case studies
Psychometric tests of aptitude and/or personality
Competency-based interviews
Social and networking events

The aim of the assessment center is to be as objective and as scientific as possible in evaluating candidates’ potential.
Several people will assess you over the course of the day, in order to reduce bias, this is perfectly normal and is nothing to worry about.
The assessors will be trained to document everything you say and do in order to evaluate you against a pre-set framework of competencies. A competency is essentially a behavioral trait or tendency enabling you do do something effectively or efficiently.
You are usually scored numerically against each of the competencies. Each competency is assessed across a number of exercises, your scores are then added up for each competency and are reviewed by the panel. Once all the data has been analyzed it is used to help assessors make a decision on your progress in the recruitment process.

Keep It Simple
When asked to deliver a presentation or participate in a group exercise, the assessors are evaluating your general approach, communication and organization skills. They are more interested in the process than the subject matter. So don’t get drawn into too much detail or agonize about the right answer to a problem. Stick to delivering a few key points well.

Listen and Co-operate
Being open to the views of others, demonstrating listening skills through your body language, seeking to build consensus and helping the group focus on the task in hand are more effective ways of showing leadership than coming up with lots of ideas or issuing instructions to others. Avoid the temptation to argue with, criticise or interrupt others at all costs Standing up for your views in a diplomatic way is your aim.

Participate enthusiastically
Employers often comment that successful candidates are those who are ready to have a go at any exercise, who show genuine interest in fellow candidates and who participate actively in discussions. Try to enjoy the assessment centre as an experience in itself, which will enhance your self-knowledge, regardless of the outcome. Your enthusiasm will shine through.

Be Yourself
Let your natural personality show. Don’t try to second-guess the sort of person you think the employer wants. It’s impossible to keep this up over an extended period and your behavior will appear unconvincing, simply being yourself is key.

Don’t presume the assessors are out to trap you
You wouldn’t have been invited to assessment if there was no intention of employing you. The assessors want you to get through so don’t let your mind cheat you out of your dream job. Assessment centres are expensive to run, just ask us and we will tell you how much time, effort and money goes into running one.

Find an opportunity to practice 
With assessment centres, like with most worthwhile activities, practice helps. If you can find the opportunity to run through exercises with a trusted friend you are likely to be more relaxed and well prepared when it comes to the day itself.

Think about the competencies you must display as a pilot, read up on those competencies and try to display them in every situation you can so that you are prepared psychologically for the assessment process. We will talk about the psychology behind mentally preparing yourself for your assessment in a later chapter.

Interview Preparation

Preparation is very important and will often define the outcome of your assessment day. You can practice any element of an assessment, the more exposure you have to any given section of the process, the more likely you are to pass. We first need to understand what we are going to face in an airline interview. By understanding the structure of the day, doing our research and preparing thoroughly we can get the results we desire.

Why do we need to prepare?

Airlines want to see motivated people on their assessment days. Aviation is an extremely costly and high-risk business; therefore Airlines want to lower their exposure to both of these factors. The more hoops they make you jump through the lower the risk they face during the training process.

Structure

What can we expect to get on an assessment day? The diagram below illustrates the structure of a typical airline assessment.

We will now go through each section in detail

CV

Your CV is the first opportunity to make the right impression on your future employer. A strong Curriculum Vitae (CV) is the key to getting an interview with a certain aviation company. A Curriculum Vitae is the summary of your experience and qualifications and should only be one page long. It is imperative that the most relevant information a recruiter is looking for is retrievable within the blink of an eye.
Although many airlines don’t require CV’s on an application it is imperative you have one when you go for an assessment.

The structure is very important and to help you with this AirlinePrep are industry leaders

NON TECHNICAL SKILLS

Why are they important?

Your whole assessment is based on the principles of Notechs. They are the industry accepted competencies you must display as a pilot. If you have a good understanding of what these competencies are then you will have a very good chance of passing your assessment.

Notech skills can be split into 4 competencies.

Situation Awareness, Decision Making, Workload Management and Co-operation.

These competencies can be further split into component skills which are listed below. Take time to look at all of these elements and make sure you cover them when preparing for your interview.

Situation Awareness

Decision Making

Workload Management

Co-operation

HOW DO NOTECHS WORK IN THE REAL WORLD?

The principle is misunderstood by so many, but when explained it appears so simple. The principle is that if one competency is degraded then all the other competencies must compensate. If one of these competencies is poor then it weakens the whole system.

In the diagrams below you can see two graphs depicting a pilot’s competencies. In the second graph one of the competencies has been reduced. This means that all of the other competencies must increase to keep the overall system safe. If there is no capacity available, then it means that we have a sub-optimal situation and the crew will need to acquire resources from external sources.

In the real world cooperation between the two pilots may break down. This means that the crew have to work significantly harder making decisions and dealing with workload. Situation Awareness will also need to increase to help the pilots regain a safe level of operation.

Notechs work hand in hand with threat and error management which we shall cover on the next page.

THREAT AND ERROR MANAGEMENT (TEM)

Threat and error management (TEM) is an overarching safety management approach that assumes that pilots will naturally make mistakes and encounter risky situations during flight operations. Rather than try to avoid these threats and errors, its primary focus is on teaching pilots to manage these issues so they do not impair safety.

Its goal is to maintain safety margins by training pilots and flight crews to detect and respond to events that are likely to cause damage (threats) as well as mistakes that are most likely to be made (errors) during flight operations. TEM allows crews to measure the complexities of a specific organization’s context, meaning that the threats and errors encountered by pilots will vary depending upon the type of flight operation, and record human performance in that context. TEM also considers technical issues (such as mechanical problems) and environmental issues and incorporates strategies from Crew Resource Management to teach pilots to manage threats and errors.

ICAO definition.

Most airlines have introduced TEM into their training programs. Safety management systems have detected a significant reduction in safety events when this approach has been implemented.

HOW DOES TEM DIFFER FROM CRM?

CRM

TEM

The following is a diagram illustrating how TEM works. The principle is based on identifying threats and errors before they happen so that they can be actively avoided.

If you want more information on threat and error management there is a free online PDF that Jet Blue wrote on the subject. It is a great explanation of TEM and will help you understand all the fundamentals. Please click below and it will open the pdf in a new tab.

Jet Blue pdf

TEM AND NOTECHS IN ASSESSMENTS

So how do we take everything that we have learnt and incorporate it into our assessment?

Prepare your answers in advance and allow the competencies to guide both your answers and your behavior. Remember in an interview, expressing issues with a competency can often help you significantly, as long as you identify what you did wrong and what you learnt from the process.

GROUP EXERCISE

Depending on the Airline and their selection procedures, the format of the group exercise may vary considerably. The three most common group exercise formats are:

1. Practical tasks: The most common form of group exercise, the group will be given a task, usually a problem-solving task and will be required to find the solution. These tasks may or may not be workplace relevant, for example, candidates may be asked to build a tower out of straw. The function of these exercises will be to test the teams’ coordination and team working ability, more so than individual knowledge or individual contribution.

2. Discussion: You may be asked to perform a leaderless group discussion, in which candidates will be presented with a workplace relevant scenario or problem. The group then must address this issue and find a logical conclusion, for example identifying a problem with an organization/department and agreeing on steps to resolve this issue.

3. Role-play exercise: Candidates may be asked to undergo a group role-play exercise. In this exercise, candidates will be provided with a particular role, background information on the situation and full briefing. An example of a group role-play exercise is a mock meeting, in which each candidate assumes a specific role, and must fulfill their respective objectives and the group objective.

They can be further split up into:

Free format
There are no roles allocated. You can create a role within the group but be careful if you decide to.
Semi Structured
There are roles available and you have to decide as a group who fits into each role.
Structured
You have a defined role to play within the exercise that has been chosen for you by the assessors.

General group exercise advice

These recommendations can help you succeed during your group exercise, and ensure that you impress recruiters and stand out from the crowd.

1. Stay as calm as possible: Composure, ability to work under pressure and confidence are highly prized competencies, which recruiters look for. Performance anxiety can be a mixed blessing as too much of it can hinder performance, but a moderate amount may sharpen focus and keep you on track. Just remember that the other candidates will be just as nervous as you are, and recruiters are fully aware of how nerve-racking assessment centers can be. So remember that no one is expecting you to be totally laid back (recruiters would not think you are taking it seriously if you were) but do your best to keep your composure and focus during the exercise.

2. Be yourself, but on a good day: You should always try to be yourself during these exercises, but at the same time try and highlight your strengths and your key competencies, while actively holding back some more negative instincts which may arise. For example if you are a natural leader, then let your ability shine, however, if your leadership style is aggressive or overly pressured, try to ignore these instincts and be more diplomatic and democratic.

3. Research the role before the assessment center: It may seem like common sense, but arming yourself with the knowledge of the role, the industry, and the organization can give you a clear vision of what they will be expecting in the group exercise.
4. Not too much, not too little: Recruiters want to notice you in the group exercise, they want to see you express your competencies and abilities as best you can, however they do not want narcissists that love the sound of their own voice. An important part of teamwork is contributing, and helping others contribute, after all, it is a GROUP exercise!

How to behave in a group exercise

Knowing how to act can be difficult in group exercises, and being observed can make things even more challenging. Here are some behavioral and interpersonal tips on how to present yourself in a group exercise:

1. Introduce yourself: It is very important to introduce yourself to the rest of the team, this can help break the ice and show recruiters you are taking steps to build rapport with your team.

2. Get the team to introduce themselves: Another important step in ensuring that everyone feels comfortable around each other, and this will show recruiters that you are taking the initiative and organizing the group.

3. Call everyone by their name: once you know your fellow candidates’ names, use them in conversation. This will help put everyone (including yourself) at ease, and show recruiters that you can build rapport, treat everyone as individuals and can make strong first impressions. Most assessors will give their candidates name badges.

4. Never give negative feedback to other candidates: If a candidate generates an idea, which you do not agree with, do not criticize them, even after the exercise has finished. Not only will this put the team on edge and make them feel less comfortable around you, but you will seem less diplomatic and less patient, putting off recruiters.

5. Collaborators not competitors: Do not think of your peers as your competitors for the position you want. Similarly do not try and show off, or out-compete your peers, it’s a group exercise and facilitating teamwork will impress recruiters. Aggressive individualism, over competitiveness and not supporting team members is a serious put off for recruiters and will be noted as poor performance.

Group Exercise examples

SURVIVAL
Discuss with your group what items you should take with you. Once you have consensus, elect a spokesman and present your decision.
Survival

ORION AIRLINES
You are a consultant working for Orion Airlines. They have problems with employee engagement. Decide in your group who should represent each department. Read your brief, look at the information and present your findings to the group. Once you have consensus, elect a spokesman and present 5 key messages/themes/actions to the Senior Management Team.
Orion Airlines

ROLES

Roles are very important in group exercises, without one we cannot assess you because you are not part of the team. The roles that people adopt when in group exercises are listed below:

ENCOURAGER
Energises groups when motivation is low through humor or through being enthusiastic. They are positive individuals who support and praise other group members. They don’t like sitting around. They like to move things along by suggesting ideas, by clarifying the ideas of others and by confronting problems. They may use humor to break tensions in the group.

They may say:
“We CAN do this!”
“That’s a great idea!”

COMPROMISER
Tries to maintain harmony among the team members. They are sociable, interested in others and will introduce people, draw them out and make them feel comfortable. They may be willing to change their own views to get a group decision. They work well with different people and can be depended on to promote a positive atmosphere, helping the team to gel. They pull people and tasks together thereby developing rapport. They are tolerant individuals and good listeners who will listen carefully to the views of other group members. They are good judges of people, diplomatic and sensitive to the feelings of others and not seen as a threat. They are able to recognize and resolve differences of opinion and the development of conflict, they enable “difficult” team-members to contribute positively.
They may say:
“We haven’t heard from Mike yet: I’d like to hear what you think about this.”
“I’m not sure I agree. What are your reasons for saying that?”

LEADER
Good leaders direct the sequence of steps the group takes and keep the group “on-track”. They are good at controlling people and events and coordinating resources. They have the energy, determination, and initiative to overcome obstacles and bring the competitive drive to the team. They give shape to the team effort. They recognize the skills of each individual and how they can be used. Leaders are outgoing individuals who have to be careful not to be domineering. They can sometimes steamroller the team but get results quickly. They may become impatient with complacency and lack of progress and may sometimes overreact. Also, see our leadership styles test.
They may say
“Let’s come back to this later if we have time.”
“We need to move on to the next step.”
“Sue, what do you think about this idea?”

SUMMARISER/CLARIFIER
Calm, reflective individuals who summarise the group’s discussion and conclusions. They clarify group objectives and elaborate on the ideas of others. They may go into detail about how the group’s plans would work and tie up loose ends. They are good mediators and seek consensus.

They may say:
“So here’s what we’ve decided so far”
“I think you’re right, but we could also add ….”

IDEAS PERSON
The ideas person suggests new ideas to solve group problems or suggests new ways for the group to organize the task. They dislike orthodoxy and are not too concerned with practicalities. They provide suggestions and proposals that are often original and radical. They are more concerned with the big picture than with details. They may get bored after the initial impetus wears off. See our lateral thinking skills page

They may say
“Why don’t we consider doing it this way?”

EVALUATOR
Evaluators help the group to avoid coming to an agreement too quickly. They tend to be slow in coming to a decision because of a need to think things over. They are the logical, analytical, objective people in the team and offer measured, dispassionate critical analysis. They contribute at times of crucial decision making because they are capable of evaluating competing proposals. They may suggest alternative ideas.

They may say:
“What other possibilities are there?”
or “Let’s try to look at this another way.”
or “I’m not sure we’re on the right track.”

RECORDER
The recorder keeps the group focused and organized. They make sure that everyone is helping with the project. They are usually the first person to offer to take notes to keep a record of ideas and decisions. They also like to act as time-keeper, to allocate times to specific tasks and remind the team to keep to them, or act as a spokesperson, to deliver the ideas and findings of the group. They may check that all members understand and agree on plans and actions and know their roles and responsibilities. They act as the memory of the group.

They may say:
“We only have five minutes left, so we need to come to an agreement now!”
“Do we all understand this chart?”
“Are we all in agreement on this?”

Destructive or selfish group roles to avoid!
Autocrat: tries to dominate or constantly interrupts other members of the team.
Show Off: talks all the time and thinks they know all the answers.
Butterfly: keeps changing the topic before others are ready.
Aggressor: doesn’t show respect to others, comments negatively about them.
Avoider: refuses to focus on the task or on group relationship problems.
Critic: always sees the negative side to any argument, but never suggests alternatives. Puts down the ideas of others.
Help seeker: looks for sympathy from others: victim
Self-confessor: uses the group as a forum for inappropriate talk about self.
Clown: shows no involvement in group and engages in distracting communication.

INTERVIEW

There are basically eight types of questions you may face during the course of your interview:

Credential verification questions
This type of question includes “What was your previous job?” and “How long were you at _____?” Also known as resume verification questions. Its purpose is to objectively verify the depth of knowledge of the credentials in your background.

Experience verification questions
This type of question includes “What did you learn in that operation?” and “What were your responsibilities in that position?” Its purpose is to subjectively evaluate features of your background.

Opinion questions
This type of question includes “What would you do in this situation?” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Its purpose is to subjectively analyze how you would respond in a series of scenarios.

Behavioral questions
This type of question includes “Can you give me a specific example of how you did that?” and “What were the steps you followed to accomplish that task?” Its purpose is to objectively measure past behaviors as a predictor of future results.

Competency questions
This type of question includes “Can you give me a specific example of your leadership skills?” or “Explain a way in which you sought a creative solution to a problem.” Its purpose is to align your past behaviors with specific competencies which are required for the position.

Brainteaser questions
This type of question includes “What is 1000 divided by 73?” to “How many ping pong balls could fit in a Volkswagen?” to complex algorithms. Its purpose is to evaluate not only your mental math calculation skills but also your creative ability in formulating the mathematical formula for providing an answer (or estimate, as can often be the case). These are normally tested electronically.

Case questions
This type of question includes problem-solving questions ranging from: “How many gas stations are there in Europe?” to “What is your estimate of the global online retail market for books?” Its purpose is to evaluate your problem-solving abilities and how you would analyze and work through potential case situations. These are normally tested through your personality or psychometric test.

Dumb questions
Firstly, this is not a joke. This type of question includes “What kind of animal would you like to be?” and “What colour best describes you?” Their purpose is to get past your pre-programmed answers to find out if you are capable of original thought. There is not necessarily a right or wrong answer since it is used primarily to test your ability to think on your feet. (Quite rare but a few companies still ask you these types of questions)

APTITUDE TESTS

Verbal Reasoning Tests

Verbal reasoning tests assess your understanding and comprehension skills. You will be presented with a short passage of text and will need to answer a True, False or Cannot Say response to each statement.

Maths Tests
Numerical Reasoning tests demonstrate a candidates ability to deal with numbers quickly and accurately. These tests contain questions that assess your knowledge of ratios, percentages, cost and graph analysis, rates, trends and currency conversions.

Personality and Psychometric Tests

Personality and Psychometrics are essentially a big umbrella for all assessment tests. So why do we have a separate page on it here? We need to look at a more specific area called Psychological testing. Using the results of this test, an assessment can be made of the candidate’s motivation, personality traits, mental stability, leadership skills, effectiveness in a team, and their general integrity. Although the assessment of mental health conditions may be deemed illegal by an equal employment opportunity commission, aviation is an industry where this is becoming more acceptable due to perceived risk.

Psychological tests

What are we testing? “A psychological test is an instrument designed to measure unobserved constructs, also known as latent variables.” I will break this down into basics so that you understand what i’m talking about.

What is an unobserved construct? An idea or theory containing various conceptual elements, typically it is considered to be subjective and not based on evidence which is verifiable by observation. It is theoretical and therefore it can only be observed by the researcher or assessor using indicators.

For example; I want to test whether a candidate trusts his colleagues. I could ask the candidate directly but there is a good chance I would get the wrong answer. I need to ask a series of questions that will indicate what that underlying construct may be.

So can we lie to pass the test. The quick answer to this is no. If the test has been well thought out there will be many different options available to the assessor to observe the desired latent variable.

If you try to skew the test by predicting what the assessor wants you may well fail the test. Quite often they will create questions that will determine whether the individual candidate is trying to alter the outcome. This may be an indicator of control issues or dishonesty.

When constructing a test, there must be enough evidence to support the specified interpretation of the results. This evidence must be displayed consistently, over time across all raters.

Psychological assessment

This is similar to psychological testing but usually involves a more comprehensive assessment of the individual by a Psychologist. A Psychologist will collect collateral information about personal, occupational history such as from records or from interviews. Using the test results they will then make an assessment of the candidate’s suitability.

Summary

Don’t try to pass the test by guessing what the assessor wants. Answer the questions honestly and quickly, this will help you later on if the test is assessed by a Psychologist.

The Sim Check

Most candidates hate this part of their assessment because they feel like all their skills are being assessed all at once and in a very short time frame.

Let us put you at ease, the assessors are probably not looking for Chuck Jaeger. If they were looking for Chuck then they wouldn’t be asking you to apply for an airline job.

It is a total misconception that you are being assessed solely on your ability to fly an airplane. All airlines look at Notechs and TEM when it comes to assessing their candidates in the simulator. If you employ these techniques then you will significantly increase your chance of being selected.

Here are some key points to follow before your sim check:

-Make sure you have obtained a briefing sheet before the check. This should explain what is expected of you during the simulator session.

-If the aircraft is unfamiliar, make sure you have all the documentation. You need to have access to the following:
-Power/Thrust and Pitch settings for each phase of flight
-Take off
-Climb
-Acceleration
-Straight and level at 250 Kts
-Descent
-Holding
-Intermediate Approach Flap setting
-Final Approach Flap

-What is their preferred Check List?
-What are their preferred SOPs?
-What plates should I use for the exercise, LIDO, JEPP’s, AERAD’s or NAVTECH?
-What is their preferred briefing technique?
-What is their preferred failure management technique?

The key to the sim check is preparedness. If you know what the profiles are and you have all the settings memorized then you will have far more capacity to demonstrate the notechs, which is what the assessor really wants to see.
If the aircraft type is unfamiliar you may want to get a practice assessment simulator. A couple of key points here.
Make sure the simulator is approved. If you fly a simulator that does not replicate the aircraft properly then it may do more harm than good.
Choose a company that can cater to that particular check. Ask them if they do assessment sims for {xxxxx}
Assess how much sim time you would need before talking to the company.

Arriving for your check.

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the sim center. This will help reduce stress and make you a little more relaxed. Be careful who you chat to when you get to the sim center, it may be your assessor.

During the briefing, the assessor should explain what is expected of you. If you have any questions this is the time to ask.

During the sim detail, if things don’t go as planned, try to stick to the basics. FLY, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE. Ask your sim partner for help so that you can regain your situation awareness. This will be marked up as a positive since you are displaying self-awareness and you are aware of what you need to do to improve the situation.

During the debrief you will be asked to critique yourself. Quite often a sim assessment is won or lost in the debrief. If you did something wrong admit it, the assessor will have seen it. Explain why you think it went wrong but emphasize how you improved the situation. An example of this may be that you took up a wrong track on the SID. How did you recover the situation? “I asked my sim partner to verify what the correct track was and then corrected. If I was to change something I would have got him to confirm the correct track before I flew it. I may have even asked him to do this during the briefing.” This shows self-awareness and the ability to learn.

If AviationInsider can be of any assistance then please contact us, Good luck!

Airside Elliot: My Aviation Story So far

Airside Elliot: My Aviation Story So far: I had always wanted to work in aviation from a very young age, I loved watching Airport and Airline as a child, I found the program so intriguing, I am convinced the shows planted the seed in my brain that I wanted to work in aviation and be part of such an amazing industry, I always remember how I felt as a young child when at the airport, there was just something about the hustle and bustle of the airport that I loved, the excitement of flying, the smell of kerosene, the different types of aircraft and the sounds of the planes landing and taking off, There is a buzz in the air, I still find the airport just as exciting now as I did when I was a child, I could spend all day watching the aircraft taking off and landing, its something I see day in day out at Gatwick but even after 6 years in the airport I love it.

I was determined that I would work in aviation. I would not give up on my dream,  I always wanted to cabin crew, The job always fascinated me, I remember watching the crew when I was a passenger and dreaming that one day that it would be me wearing that uniform. I had to keep dreaming until I was old enough.

Fast forward to November 2011, My local airport which had always been quiet, got the approval for a runway extension, this was amazing news for me, I had dreamed at working at an airport and now my local airport was expanding. Even better news, later on that year easyjet announced that they would open up a base at the airport.

Whilst I had always wanted to be crew, I just didn’t have the confidence in myself to actually go for an assessment day as I felt I would fail and not make it, although I applied to work for easyjet and did get an interview I never actually booked an interview. So I was checking the airports website daily for jobs to come up. Then the day finally came, “seasonal passenger services and security agent” I had to apply for this job, It meant the world to me. It was my foot in the door into a growing airport and into aviation.

After submitting my application I had a nail biting few weeks while I waited to hear back from the airport, I finally got the call that They wanted to invite me for an interview. The date was set, I spent weeks and weeks researching London Southend and the growth plans, I knew everything about the airport. The day of the interview came and I found out 2 days later that I had been successful. I was elated with myself, I felt on top of the world, I had finally made it!

March 2012, My start date had finally came, It was my first day, I felt so proud, I walked into the terminal with my head held high, I had made it. I was finally part of the London southend airport story.  Because the airport was so small, every staff member at the time did passenger services and security, The 3 week training course begun, oh my god what have I got myself into, I doubted myself that I was going to be able to pass this training. There was so much to learn in a short period of time. I was even more sacred about scanning bags on the Xray, the security of passengers and safety  of aircrafts was in my hands, I had such a big responsibility, being only 18 I was extremely nervous about this. However everyone on my course passed the training.

There was so much to Learn. I was finally someone when I got my first airside pass, I wore this proudly, I had made it. One manager said to me and it has always stuck with me because its true – “if you last the first year in aviation, you will be in it for life” It is so true and I will explain later on. I was absolutely loving my work, I loved carrying out security patrols around the airport because I was able to spot planes outside, it was a whole new world. After a few months of just doing security the time had come for me to ask to go onto check in, to me security whilst a major part of aviation, it wasn’t me, I dreamed of working on check in and working with the passengers.

I remember the day I check in my first passenger flying to Malaga. Being the face of easyjet or Aer lingus was more like what I had wanted to do all my life, I loved checking in flights especially the Thomson flight to Palma on a Saturday because it was different and there always seamed to be problems which I liked because it gave me experience in problem solving. Check in and boarding was defiantly my favourite job at London Southend, I love how the check in area looked, I would always swap with people if I knew I was going to be in security.

Whilst working at London Southend I was also featured on the TV problem – Stobart: trucks trains and planes, I was amazed that the tv crew actually wanted to follow me around for the day, they found it fascinating that I was into plane spotting and that I flew to Oslo to try out the Norwegian B787. After a day of filming, I was on TV a few months later, I could not believe it !!

Towards the end on 2014 things started to decline, I wanted to progress into a dispatch role, However the positions just never came up or when they did they company would offer them to people with experience. I went for a team leader jobs but again it was a no, I started to become disillusioned I was bored, angry as I felt the company was holding me back I was stuck in a rut, a job and airport I once loved, I started to resent and hate, I became a very negative person towards the company, whatever I tried to do I just couldn’t shake the hate and negativity I had a very supportive supervisor who tried to get me to snap out of it, she was problem one of the only people that tried to help me.

2015 was a very hard year for me, feeling at an all-time low, at the airport, things started to happen, I had strained relations with managers and HR (I won’t go into details) It lead to handing in my notice and leaving, It was a very sad day for me, however I had to leave the airport, I left on bad terms. its only in the last year that I have come to terms with events and let go and moved on.

My last shift at the airport was very emotional, 3 years of working with such a great team had come to an end. A few days after leaving London Southend airport I took a job at London city Airport, as a passenger service agent, i thought it was a step up from London Southend, However after just 1 month I wasn’t enjoying my time at the airport, the airport was great, lots going on and lots of new things to learn, I however missed London Southend and I couldn’t see a future at London city. So I left, I have no regrets about leaving London City, the time was not right for me.

I needed time out of aviation, my last few weeks at London southend were not pleasant and I needed time to get over it, While at London City I would always compare things to my old job which is not a good thing. I spent 6 months out of aviation, at first i loved it working 9-5 in an office selling new houses.  however as time went on i started to miss the airport, I was thinking about aviation all the time and I had to get back into the airport!! I set myself a target of leaving Barratt homes and being back at the airport in 1 month, So the task began.

Where to start, well after never having the confidence, I applied for the role of cabin crew with easyjet. I was actually successful in gaining a role with the airline as crew based at London Southend. I was so proud of myself, I had actually achieved my dream of being crew, however my happiness was short lived. A few weeks after getting my email saying I was successful my job offer was withdrawn. I am convinced to this day at someone from my previous job said something to easyjet to make them withdraw my offer. Feeling very disappointed at this stage, I looked for other opportunities.

A few days latter I saw a job with Menzies as a flight dispatch  based at Gatwick. There was one problem for me with a job at Gatwick being that I live 70 miles from Gatwick, however I had to get back into aviation, I needed this, I felt like a nobody when working at the office but working at the airport I felt like I had a purpose.

This job meant the world to me, I felt like I had reach rock bottom, I was so nervous when I had my Menzies interview, the job meant the world to be because if i didn’t get this job I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. I had the interview and just one hour later I found out I was successful, and i would need to start just one week later on, I couldn’t believe my eyes when i read the email, I was so happy handing in my notice. I felt like I was a somebody now, I had a purpose in life again.

A few days before my start date at Menzies, I received my training pack, there was so much to brush up on, airport codes, airport Jargon, most of this was familiar with me however I needed to make sure I knew my stuff I wanted to make a good impression. The training was very hard and intense, I had airport experience so this was not a new environment for me but I struggled, maths was never my strong point, so manual load sheets were difficult and made my head hurt! This was the only time in my life where I actually did my home work!

After a long 2 weeks of classroom training, I finally passed the basic dispatch training the next week I would finally be airside, learning the job I was so excited, but first we had to collect the uniform. This was probably the most proud moment in my career, wearing this hi vis, I had wanted to be a dispatcher for years, and I had made it, I had achieved my career ambition after so may set backs at London Southend, I proved to myself I could actually do this.

We had all passed with flying colours. After the weekend, the day had finally come, I was going airside to learn the ropes, I was so nervous, I my first day at menzies was crazy and a blur, walking into the crew room was like being a new person at a school, everyone was looking at you, it was very daunting.

The first few days were awful, I had sleepless nights at home, I would think to myself I cant do this job, its too hard for me, too stressful, Gatwick was huge, it was mad and so busy, I was used to southend airport with its 6 gates and 9 flights per day, Gatwick was just nothing like I was used to at all. But I liked it. I felt at home at the airport.

After just 2 weeks i was ready for my check flights, I felt like I was not ready at all, however I was told that I was ready, that day was a blur to me, but somehow I passed all 3 of my check flights. The dreaded day came I was now a flight dispatcher I was singed off !! I was now alone, I was so nervous, I had no idea which terminal was north or south, I had no idea where any of the stands were.

The time had come I entered the crew room and given a radio, PDA and car, My first was already on the PDA, I  managed to find the stand, after driving past it a few times, I was all over the place, I was stressing myself out so much but I did it, I had dispatched my first flight what an achievement. As the days, weeks and months went on, I became more confident and less stressed, however one morning I had a break down because the pressure was too much for me, i had flight files that I had not finished and they were all muddled up and I still had more flights and no time, I had to get over this hurdle, I learnt to deal with the work load and stress of the job.

Fast forward to now, I have now been at Gatwick for 2 years and It has been an amazing time, I love my job so much, I love the challenges that it brings, every day is different, I wouldn’t have it any other way, my motivation to get up every day is knowing that I am working at Gatwick, I have to pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming, I never thought I would end up at Gatwick, from such a small airport to such a huge airport its a dream come true, again at my lowest point at London southend I thought I would never have achieved my ambition of becoming a flight dispatcher.

Never give up on your dreams and ambitions, you will achieve them once the time is right, always learn from the mistakes you make and move on, remain positive and always smile.

How to pass your ATPL Ground school Performance Exam. Here are the Facts and figures!

How to pass your ATPL Ground school Performance Exam. Here are the Facts and figures!, ATPL Ground school Performance Facts and figures:

Key

ROC = Rate of climb
ROD = Rate of descent
TAS = True airspeed
GS = Groundspeed
NM = Nautical miles
FPM = Feet per minute
KTS = Knots (nautical miles per hour)
M = Metres
Ft = Feet
ASDA = Accelerate stop distance available
TODA = Takeoff distance available
TORA = Takeoff run available

Conversions

1 metre = 3.28 feet
1 Nautical mile = 6080 feet

AIRCRAFT WINGSPAN LESS THAN 60 METRES
Semi width (m) = (60 + 1/2 wingspan) + 0.125D
D = Distance from reference zero
OBSTACLE ACCOUNTABILITY AREA
AIRCRAFT WINGSPAN 60 METRES OR MORE
Semi width (m) = 90 + 0.125D

TAKE OFF (CLASS B)
PERFORMANCE FACTORS

Factors applied based on the assessment of the runway condition.
Paved wet: 1.0
Grass wet: 1.3
Grass dry: 1.2
Slope: 1.05 per 1%

(5% increase per 1% slope. Only apply if take – off distance will be increased)

REGULATION FACTORS
Factors applied as required by the regulator to ensure safety margins on the take off distances.

UNBALANCE FIELD
1.3 not exceeding ASDA
1.15 not exceeding TODA
1.0 not exceeding TORA

BALANCED FIELD
1.25 not exceeding TORA
NB: Balanced field is when TODA = ASDA

TAKEOFF CLASS A
The regulation factors for class A are slightly more complicated. It depends upon whether we are looking at take off distance with or without clear way and we must also compare the take off run with all engines inoperative. We don’t expect that you will be asked to compare each possibility to find the required take – of for accelerate – stop distance. However to see what we are referencing please head to the CAA CAP 698 section 4 pages 7–8.

LANDING
Factors applied based on the assessment of the runway condition.

Wet : 1.15
Grass: 1.15
Slope: 1.05 per 1% (only apply if landing distance will be increased.)

REGULATION FACTOR
Factors applied as required by the regulator to ensure a safety margin on landing distances
All props: 1.43
All Jets: 1.67

PERFORMANCE: TAKE OFF V SPEEDS – DEFINITIONS
VMCG – SPEED FOR MINIMUM CONTROL ON THE GROUND

This is the minimum speed at which directional control would be maintained following an engine failure on the ground. The direction must be maintained using only aerodynamic controls, it is assumed the remaining engine has take off thrust applied.

VMCA – SPEED FOR MINIMUM CONTROL IN THE AIR

This is the minimum speed at which directional control would be maintained following an engine failure in the air. In this case, directional control can be maintained when the heading can be kept within 20 degrees of the planned heading using no more than 5 degrees angle of bank.

VEF – SPEED OF CRITICAL ENGINE FAILURE

The speed at which we assume the critical engine will fail. It is never less than VMCG and is equal to the speed attained 2 seconds before V1.

VMU – SPEED FOR MINIMUM ‘UNSTICK’

At and above this speed the aircraft can safely lift off the ground and safely continue it’s take off and climb to screen height. It is the lowest unstick speed for a given set of conditions.

V1 – THE TAKE-OFF DECISION SPEED

This is both the fastest speed at which the aircraft can be stopped and the slowest speed at which the aircraft can continue the take-off roll following an engine failure.

VR – THE ROTATE SPEED

The calculated speed that the pilot should rotate the aircraft to lift the nose wheel from the runway.

VLOF – LIFT OFF SPEED

The speed at which the main wheels should lift off the ground following rotation at VR. This varies depending on certain conditions e.g mass and flap configuration.

V2 – THE TAKE-OFF SAFETY SPEED

The speed at which the aircraft should accelerate to after rotating at VR with one engine inoperative. It is the slowest speed at which it is deemed safe to climb the aeroplane with one engine inoperative.

VMBE – SPEED FOR MAXIMUM BREAK ENERGY

This speed is the highest speed from which the aircraft could come to a complete stop within the energy capabilities of the breaks.

VTYRE – THE HIGHEST ROTATING TYRE SPEED

This is the highest speed along the ground that the tyre could rotate before losing its structural integrity and failing.

This table compares VR and V2 to the speeds of VMCA and VS. Questions on the comparison of these speeds are frequently asked in the EASA exams so this is knowledge that we recommend obtaining!

 VR MinimumV2 Minimum
VMCA1.05 VMCA1.1 VMCA
VS1.1 VS (Class B aircraft)1.2 VS (B)1.12 VS (A)

NB: VS = Stall speed

How important is Airline Simulator Assessment Preparation?

I’m 7 hours into an assessment day with one of the UK and Europe’s biggest airlines. I’ve completed the interview, the group exercises, and the hours of sitting around making nervous, friendly small talk. Tiredness is starting to set in as we’re taken to a simulator training centre for the final stage of the process – a 1 hour simulator assessment.

We’re briefed on the profile, an hours flying and an hours monitoring in the 737 classic – doesn’t seem too bad. Throw in some NDB tracking and holding and an approach – it’s starting to sound a little more challenging. There’ll be no automatics or flight directors – ok great. And here are the profiles you need to fly, the pitch and power settings you’ll need to set, the calls you’ll need to make. Thank God I took notes. We’re paired off with each other and given some time to prepare. My partner is looking rather nervous and suggests that we sit down and talk through the profiles and the calls we’re going to make. He begins trying to recall the power settings, ‘60 and 6 for 210kts clean, is it 65 and 5 for 250kts, or 4?’ I’m feeling considerably more comfortable – I already have a pretty good idea of the profile, and the pitch and power settings are already burnt into my mind.

Before attending the assessment day, I’d completed a Simulator Assessment Preparation session with Aviation Insider. Alongside a TRI, I’d sat in the 737-300 simulator a couple of weeks before and together we’d flown through various exercises designed to make me feel comfortable with flying the aircraft. We’d also flown a profile similar to the one I could expect in the assessment, created based on feedback from previous candidates. In a comprehensive briefing, I’d learned the takeoff and approach profiles for the 737 and been taught various tips and tricks for flying the aircraft – we’d even covered the various briefing techniques used by the airline.

Was it necessary? There’s an argument that says that spending money on Simulator Assessment Preparation isn’t needed. The assessment is designed to test for a positive learning curve, as well as handling and multi-crew skills, and flying capacity – they’re not expecting perfection. But it’s the last point which is important. When you’re placed into a new, unfamiliar aircraft flight deck, it takes a large chunk of your capacity in order to safely and accurately fly the aeroplane. Your mind is concentrating almost completely on the pitch and power settings, trimming the aircraft and following the flight profile. You’re left with very little spare capacity with which to demonstrate your airmanship, CRM and notech skills – the skills which set you apart from everyone else. If you’ve overcome this initial phase in an assessment preparation session, you’ll use less of your capacity on flying the aircraft, and really be able to shine in the real assessment.

Of course, it’s important to choose the right provider for your Simulator Assessment Preparation. There are many companies who provide various levels and standards of training on various levels of simulator. Aviation Insider only use full motion, level D simulators – the same simulators as the airlines will use. Aviation Insider’s instructors are all currently operating airline pilots, with experience of airline recruitment profiles. The standard of support and training you get from Aviation Insider is second to none. They also provide Assessment Preparation guides which is compiled from feedback from previous clients as well as handy tips on flying the aircraft.

If youre intersted in simulator preparation, find out more about Aviation Insider’s Simulator Assessment Preparation here

What is an Air Operators Certificate?

What is an Air Operators Certificate? An Air Operator Certificate (AOC) is a certificate authorizing an operator to carry out specified commercial air transport operations. (ICAO Annex 6)

Description

An air operator certificate (AOC), sometimes alternatively described as an Air Operator Permit (AOP), is the approval granted from a national aviation authority (NAA) to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purposes. This requires the operator to have personnel, assets and systems in place to ensure the safety of its employees and the general public. This document will as a minimum detail the aircraft types which may be used, for what purpose and in what geographic region.

“… prior to commencing commercial air operations, the operator shall apply for and obtain an air operator certificate (AOC) issued by the competent authority.” (IR-OPS ORO.AOC.100 Application for an air operator certificate)

An operator shall not operate an airplane for the purpose of commercial air transportation otherwise than under, and in accordance with, the terms and conditions of an Air Operator Certificate (AOC). (EU-OPS 1.175 (a))

IR-OPS ORO.AOC (EU-OPS 1.175) details the general rules for Air Operator Certification.

An AOC specifies the:(a) Name and location (principal place of business) of the operator;(b) Date of issue and period of validity;(c) Description of the type of operations authorised;(d) Type(s) of aeroplane(s) authorised for use;(e) Registration markings of the authorised aeroplane(s) except that operators may obtain approval for a system to inform the Authority about the registration markings for aeroplanes operated under its AOC;(f) Authorised areas of operation;(g) Special limitations; and(h) Special authorisations/approvals e.g.:

Categories

AOCs can be granted for one or more of the following activities:

Requirements

The requirements for obtaining an AOC vary from country to country but are generally defined as:

The certificate is held by a legal person who resides in the country or region of application (for EASA)

International variations

An AOC is referred to as an Air Carrier Operating Certificate in the USA.

Flight Crew Licensing explained

Description

Flight Crew Licensing explained. Licensing of flight crew has been in existence almost since the beginning of aviation. The first pilot licenses were issued in 1909 with the first international licensing standards following in 1919. Flight Crew Licencing (FCL) is usually the function of a State NAA, although the JAA-FCL system in Europe broke new ground by introducing an agreed international flight crew licensing system which could be implemented by participating NAAs.

Flight Crew Licenses

The ICAO licensing system detailed in Chapter 2 of Annex 1 covers the qualification for an issue of licenses and ratings for pilots of airplanes and helicopters, gliders, and free balloons. It also has a provision in Chapter 3 for licenses for flight engineers and flight navigators.

Regulatory activities which are a direct consequence of FCL include:

The particular case of medical fitness leads to the privileges of any flight crew license being conditional upon the inclusion within it of evidence of valid certification of medical fitness.

FCL in Europe

Having inherited an established a European FCL system from the former JAA which was implemented by each participating NAA, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) was given, under Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 (also referred to as the EASA “Basic Regulation”), full legal responsibility for Flight Crew Licensing in European Union States. EASA is able to rely upon the support of the NAAs in the Member States acting as Qualified Entities to implement FCL. Initially, the JAR-FCL system has been continued almost entirely as inherited whilst EASA has consulted through the NPA system on change proposals prior to introducing Implementing Rules. That consultation is now complete and is helping to provide the basis for the new Rules which will provide for future FCL in Europe. It is currently anticipated that these will comprise two sets of requirements, one covering FCL and the other covering medical certification for all personnel licensing purposes. The requirements will be formulated so as to ensure compliance with Annex III of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 and will take into account existing JAR-FCL 1, 2 and 3 requirements, existing requirements of individual Member States and ICAO Annex 1 Standards and Recommended Practices.

The EASA ‘Basic Regulation’

Article 7 of Regulation (EC) No 216/2008, the EASA ‘Basic Regulation’ states that:

“…Pilots involved in the operation of aircraft referred to in Article 4(1)(b) and (c), as well as flight simulation training devices, persons and organizations involved in the training, testing, checking or medical assessment of these pilots, shall comply with the relevant ‘essential requirements’ laid down in Annex III [of the Regulation]….”

Article 21 the same Regulation states that:

  1. With regard to the personnel and organizations referred to in Article 7(1), the Agency shall:(a) conduct, itself or through national aviation authorities or qualified entities, investigations and audits of the organisations it certifies and, where relevant, their personnel;(b) issue and renew the certificates of pilot training organisations and aero-medical centres located outside the territory of the Member States and, where relevant, their personnel;(c) amend, limit, suspend or revoke the relevant certificate when the conditions according to which it was issued by it are no longer fulfilled, or if the legal or natural person holding the certificate fails to fulfill the obligations imposed on it by this Regulation or its implementing rules.
  2. With regard to the flight simulation training devices referred to in Article 7(1), the Agency shall:(a) conduct, itself or through national aviation authorities or qualified entities, technical inspections of the devices it certifies;(b) issue and renew the certificates of:(i) flight simulation training devices used by training organisations certified by the Agency; or(ii) flight simulation training devices located within the territory of the Member States, if requested by the Member State concerned;

Further Reading

ICAO

EASA

UK CAA

What you need to know to be successful in a pilot assessment

What you need to know to be successful in a pilot assessment, Lots of pilots who have gone through simulator Assessments, have asked if there was anything they could do to increase their chances of passing the simulator assessment and what the secret is.

The secret is that there is no secret. Preparation is the key.

The simulator assessment is not a new thing that you will be asked to demonstrate. It’s a Line Oriented Exercise which you do almost every time you strap in the cockpit. It will include a departure, a cruise period, a descent and a final approach. As assessors, we like to see how you plan and organize your flight when a situation arises. Hence the short but intense simulator assessment.

Remember you will always receive instructions prior to your simulator evaluation. This package will contain or should contain, a short description of departure airports and approaches you can expect to fly from. A pre-flight briefing will be given and I recommend that you take notes.

We will be asking you to demonstrate your ability as a pilot flying and as a pilot monitoring. Nothing new there – it’s something you do on a daily basis. A precision approach is a precision approach. It’s part of the daily profile, you fly day in and day out. So study the approach profile before the actual event and think ahead on what to do if something unexpected happens – like an engine failure (hint). Again, nothing new there. You are required to fly an engine out approach every 6 months. Checklist procedures is not new either. The management of the flight under normal and non-normal is taught the day you start your line training. So once again, nothing new there.

The question is why do pilots get all wound up when asked to demonstrate something they do all the time?

I’m not sure what the answer to that question is, but what I can tell you is this: if you planned to know in advance what the profile will be (friends who have flown it will help you here) and fly it in your mind several times and look at your current management model which will help you in your decision making and problem-solving. I can almost guarantee that your chances of success will be greater than before.

What are the different types of jobs at airports?

Summary of the different Jobs within an Airport

Baggage Handler

The baggage and air cargo handler loads and unloads baggage, air mail, air express, and air cargo shipments. He or she operates baggage tugs, conveyors, fork lifts, and other baggage and air freight handling equipment. The Baggage Handler is responsible for loading and unloading baggage. They may lift heavy luggage, mail sacks, and fasten freight under pressure and time. They use trucks, forklifts, baggage carts, and conveyors to load aircraft in a safe and cautious manner. These materials are loaded in the baggage compartments (belly) of the aircraft. Almost all work is done outdoors and uniforms are required for security purposes. These employees work on arriving and departing aircraft which provides a varying work schedule in accordance to the airlines flight schedule. Training is usually done on the job.

Airport Duty Manager

The Duty Manager is the ‘go-to’ member of the management team who is accountable for operations on a day-to-day basis. Candidates who wish to become duty manages should have the following characteristics:

Refueler

The aircraft fueller works outdoors in all kinds of weather with potentially hazardous aviation gasoline and kerosene. They operate refueling trucks, and lift a heavy amount of equipment. 

In the course of a normal day, a fueler makes approximately 25 trips in and out of their truck. They climb ladders or stools as much as 30 times while connecting and disconnecting the nozzles from the aircraft. Some aircraft requires reaching fill points that are approximately 12ft off the ground. Average responses to aircraft are 15 fuelings per day. Strict safety rules must be observed on the ground, on the ramp and while using equipment.

Fuelers may also be asked to assist with the ramp services and perform lavatory services for aircraft. The job entails shift work is required, and a uniform must be worn.

Ramp Service Personnel

Ramp servicepersons who work on the ramp and service the exterior of the aircraft, wash, polish, touch up paint, and de-ice the aircraft. Chemicals are used to prevent corrosion of surfaces. Ramp service persons sponge, brush, mop, and hose the outside of planes.

They must stand on scaffolding or ride special lift equipment to reach high places. Although usually in a hangar, they sometimes work outdoors. The heaviest work schedules are at night, when most aircraft are not in service. Shift work is required, and work is done frequently under pressure of time. Uniforms must be worn.

Driver

This job category includes drivers of food trucks, mobile stairs, employees’ buses, messenger cars, conveyors, cleaning equipment, aircraft air conditioning and power carts, and other equipment.

These employees drive equipment to the aircraft and operate machinery used to load and off-load food containers, galley units, and other kinds of equipment. They attach and detach ground air conditioning and power carts, move stairs, or drive employee buses between airline facilities at the airport. They are usually on a regular work schedule.

Airline Flight Operations

A job as a flight dispatcher or aviation scheduler involves a lot of pressure, Airlines could not function efficiently without highly skilled people on the ground, ensuring aircraft are where they need to be. A vital part of airport life is the task of keeping the airplanes operating on schedule.

Flight operations must take into account the weather – both during the journey and at the final destination. That means studying winds aloft, thinking about alternative destinations, fuel requirements, altitudes, and general traffic flow.

Schedule Coordinator

A schedule coordinators job is to maintain the integrity of the flight schedule by ensuring flights are fully staffed. They assign and cover open flying in accordance with the pilot and flight attendant contracts and applicable Federal Air Regulations. They are responsible for handling the day to day assignment of crews to cover all flight schedules.

Even though the airlines are in business to transport people from one place to another, they could not function without the help of many people on the ground, including those who take reservations and sell tickets, as well as those who help keep the airplanes operating on schedule.

Aircraft mechanics

Aircraft mechanics employed by the airlines perform either line maintenance work including routine maintenance, servicing, or emergency repairs at airline terminals, or major repairs and periodic inspections at an airline’s overhaul base.

Aircraft mechanics in general aviation perform maintenance and repair jobs similar to those performed by airline mechanics, but they may work on small piston-engine or larger turbine- powered aircraft, depending on the type of business the facility specializes in.

Reservation Sales Agent

Each year millions of Americans travel by air and their trips are made easier by professionally trained reservation sales agents. They handle telephone inquiries about flight schedules, fares, and connecting flights; reserve seats and cargo space for customers; operate computerised reservations equipment; and keep records of reservations.

Ticket Agent

The ticket agent is most often the first employee the passenger meets after entering the airport. Ticket agents provide frontline customer service and are responsible for assisting passengers with their travel needs.

Ground Attendant

High public visibility characterizes this job. The ground attendant assists passengers in the terminal in many different ways. For example, the ground attendant answers questions about fares, helps locate lost baggage, explains missed connections, and provides assistance to persons who are ill or in need of a wheelchair.

Airport Cleaners

You will need to have good customer service skills: Be reliable, Keen and hard working

Main Duties: Mopping, Sweeping, cleaning the toilets, wiping down surfaces and other duties as required.

Pay Range: £7-10 per hour depending on contractor

Flight Dispatcher

This is someone who works on the ramp and is a planner, they keeps track of arriving aircraft and dispatches service units, cleaners, fuellers, baggage handlers, and food service trucks. He or she must know flight schedules. They move the jet bridge, communicate with the pilots and is in charge of all the goings on around the aircraft on the turn around.

Passenger Service Agent

The passenger service agent (PSA), While specific job responsibilities can differ, PSA’s typically handle baggage claims, load cargo, check rider reservations, answer customer inquiries on the phone and in person, sell and collect tickets, assist with passengers with special needs, and perform a number of other customer service related duties.

Food Service Personnel

The food service employees follow set recipes to prepare and cook food. They arrange silverware and dishes on serving trays and food items in serving dishes. They place food in either hot or refrigerated containers for pickup and delivery to the aircraft. They receive and clean soiled dishes.

Air Cargo Handler

Responsible for the safe and timely movement of all cargo. Proper cargo loading is essential for safe flight operations. The air carrier must have procedures in place to ensure that employees and vendors are properly trained in the process. The loading personnel, flightcrew, and flight engineer must all take responsibility to ensure that the process is completed correctly.

Number 1 aircrew Accommodation website

Hi all,

I’m Sam, the creator and manager of AirCrewAccommodation.com and I’m here to tell you a little about the website and how it can help you if you’re aircrew or airport staff looking for accommodation or have a room/property to rent out.

The purpose of our website is to help aircrew find suitable short or long-term accommodation near their base airport whilst also giving landlords/sub letters a platform to advertise their suitable rooms on. The site gives you the option of either advertising a room for rent or you can just browse available rooms. If you’re short on time you can “create a profile” and tag yourself to the base you’re looking for. By doing that it allows people with rooms to rent around that base to find you and get in touch to see if you’re interested.

I came up with the idea of the website last year when moving base and wanting to find either a house share with other crew or a room to move into near the airport where my odd working hours would be respected and understood, but also have housemates there to hang out with on days off when most people are at work. Lots of these rooms existed but the avenues to find them were scattered all over the place; forums, facebook pages, spareroom.com, crew room notice boards etc but no single ‘go to’ place for this, so I got to work creating one.

Since then the website has seen rapid growth! With 500+ tenants/landlords signed up to the site, 140+ rooms and more being uploaded every single day, there is a huge variety to choose from.

The site is completely free for all to use and the aim will be to keep it this way. We rely mainly on word of mouth as the main form of expansion and the more people that know about the site the better it will become! So please go check it out – www.aircrewaccommdation.com – If you like what you see then please spread the word!

Thank you!

Sam

What is an aeronautical engineer?

Entry Requirements

What is an aeronautical engineer? – 96 A-level points from three A-levels to include Mathematics and Science (General Studies and native language A-levels are not accepted)
– 96 points from a BTEC Extended Diploma (180-credit award) in an engineering subject to include Unit 28 – Further Mathematics for Engineering Technicians
– Plus: five GCSEs A*–C (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE gradings which must include English Language, Mathematics and a science or technology subject).
– Access to HE in Engineering with 60 Credits at Level 3 plus GCSE requirements
– Foundation Course in Engineering with 120 credits at level 3 plus GCSE requirements

BTEC subjects accepted:
– Aerospace Engineering
– Mechanical Engineering
– Electrical Engineering
– Electronic Engineering
– BTEC in Technology & Computing is not considered due to lack of Mathematics & Science.
– Key Skills Level 2 Communication and/or Application of number, IGCSE English as a second language; Adult Literacy/Numeracy are not accepted.

About Aircraft Engineering

For more detailed information on how to obtain a Part 66 Licence please visit the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) (see Implementing Rules – Part 66) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)websites.

How much does an aeronautical engineer earn in the UK?

The average pay for an Aeronautical Engineer is £31,849 per year. A skill in Aerospace is associated with high pay for this job. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 20 years’ experience in this field. There are many different fields within Aeronautical Engineering so the above is an average pay. Please see PayScale.com for more information

How to get an EASA Part-66 Licence?

There are two basic routes to an EASA license: the self-starter route and the EASA Part-147 approved course route

To complete the self-starter route you need to study for the EASA examinations associated with the category of license you are seeking and then sit the exams at an approved EASA examination center. To gain the knowledge needed to take the examinations, you can self-study or complete short courses or distance learning courses; a lot of providers are available and these can be found on the internet. If you follow this route, you will need to gain five years of maintenance experience in the appropriate category of aircraft in addition to passing all of the examinations before you can apply for a license.

The EASA Part-147 approved course route. Part-147 approved courses are typical of two to three years duration. However, once you have completed the course, you only need to obtain two years’ maintenance experience before applying to the CAA for your B Licence. Another benefit of this route is that the EASA assessment will normally be part of the course and based on the material you are taught. Also, when you are trying to get a job to obtain the required work experience, you are applying from a position of strength, having completed a worldwide, industry-recognized course.

  1. In order to get an EASA Part-66 AML (Aircraft Maintenance License), an applicant needs:
    1. Basic knowledge (66.A.25);
    2. Basic experience (66.A.30).
  2. In order to get TR endorsed in the AML, an applicant needs:
    1. Type Training (Theoretical and Practical) (66.A.45)
    2. OJT for the first TR (66.A.45).

Aircraft Engineering: How do I become a licensed aircraft engineer?

Categories of license and the routes to gaining them:

Category B is the mainstay license qualification for aircraft maintenance staff under EASA. Category B Licences are available in two main categories:

NOTE: Aircraft groups are described in 66.A.5.

These schemes do not override Part-66 requirements nor capture all the possibilities (various licences, educations and experiences). The start and end of each phase can vary depending on individual cases.
For further and detailed information:

NOTE:
An aircraft maintenance license issued by a country other than EASA Member States cannot be rendered valid as EASA Part-66 AML.

NOTE:
Part-66 licenses issued by the countries other than EASA Member States are not mutually recognized in the European system.

The following two schemes depict the most common paths and are for information only.

The first scheme applies to Group 1 aircraft (B1 and B2 license categories).

The second scheme applies to other than Group 1 aircraft (B1 and B2 license categories).

A beginners guide to Drones in the UK

The Drone Code

A beginners guide to Drones in the UK, The Civil Aviation Authority have created a simple 6 step Drone Code, to help drone users stay safe and legal.

  1. Always keep your drone in sight – This means you can see and avoid things whilst flying.
  2. Stay below 400ft (120m) – This reduces the likelihood of conflict with manned aircraft.
  3. Every time you fly your drone, you must follow the manufacturer’s instructions – Keep your drone, and the people around you, safe.
  4. Keep the right distance from people and property – 150ft (50m) from people and property, 500ft (150m) from crowds and built up areas.
  5. You are responsible for each flight – Legal responsibility lies with you. Failure to fly responsibly will lead to criminal prosecution.
  6. Stay well away from airports, airfields and aircraft – failure to do so could lead to criminal prosecution and a prison sentence of 5 years.

Source: Drone Safe

4 resources every drone pilot needs.

Source: nats.aero

Anyone using a small drone needs to be aware of the regulations contained in the Air Navigation Order, specifically:

Article 241 – endangering safety of any person or property

Article 94 – small unmanned aircraft

Article 95 – small unmanned surveillance aircraft

Article 2 and Schedule 1 – Definition of terms

What is a congested area?

Guidance for keeping your drone flight safe and legal.

Flying drones for fun (non-commercial flights)

Do you need a permission?

Using drones for commercial work

Find a commercial drone operator

When you fly a drone, it’s your legal responsibility to operate it in a safe and responsible manner. The flying of unmanned aircraft, as with manned aircraft, is legislated by the Air Navigation Order, and penalties for breaking the law can carry heavy fines and sentences.

FAQ’s

How big are drones?

Civilian drones vary in size, but most of the drones you will find on this site are about the size of a basketball.

What are the types of drones? 

RTF (ready-to-fly)

Drones come ready-to-fly right out of the box. New models require minimal setup time and have small learning curves.

RTL (return-to-launch)

Return-to-launch is a safety function that can be seen on most GPS equipped drones. If your drone is properly setup with RTL functionality, then this usually means that any time the connection breaks between the transmitter and the drone that the aircraft will fly itself home and land. RTL can also be automatically enabled when a drone is running low on battery.

Why are drones becoming so popular?

Today’s computer software and corresponding data-processing hardware have changed everything. Equipped with this new technology, quadcopters can now stabilize using GPS, fly autonomous routes,  and stream first-person video back to the user.

Are Drones Hard to Fly?

Good news! Most drones are pretty simple to get the hang of. Usually the more expensive a drone, the more capabilities it comes with, and thus the more complicated it can be to fly.

Aren’t Drones Really Expensive?

Drones are getting cheaper by the day. You can find a recreational drone for nearly any budget. Certain models start at as little as £50 and can range up to £2000.  It just depends on what your needs are and what you want to use them for.

Source: dronelifestyle.com

Drone Assist

Drone Assist is the new drone safety app from NATS, the UK’s main air traffic control provider, powered by Altitude Angel. It presents users with an interactive map of airspace used by commercial air traffic so that you can see areas to avoid or in which extreme caution should be exercised, as well as ground hazards that may pose safety, security or privacy risks when you’re out flying your drone.

It also contains a ‘Fly Now’ feature that enables you to share your drone flight location with other app users and the wider drone community, helping to reduce the risk of a drone-related incident in the UK’s airspace.

Life as an Air Traffic Controller in the UK

The Role of an Air Traffic Control Officer (ATCO)

Being an Air Traffic Controller in the UK, When we think of Air Traffic Control, it’s quite common only to consider the person stood in the Control Tower, who we see every time we go to the Airport – actually, it extends much further than this.

Pilots require support from ATC in order to operate safely. The industry also requires ATC to ensure the efficiency of airports and the skies all over the world. With the ever-increasing volume of traffic, managing flights is a complex and sometimes pressurized job.

Air Traffic Controllers are broadly split into two separate specialisms – some ATCOs use radar, amongst other technology, to track and communicate with whilst aircraft en-route, whilst others guide aircraft onto approaches and manage them once they’re on the ground.

ATCOs responsible for the en-route phase of flights are known as Area or Terminal Controllers, whilst controllers involved in the landing and ground phase of flight are known as Approach or Aerodrome Controllers.

How do I apply to be an Air Traffic Controller?

Applications can be made either through the NATS website or by applying for individual roles, should you already have the required training and experience, as they become available at non NATS aerodromes.

Before applying to NATS, it’s worth checking that you meet their strict eligibility criteria. Becoming an ATCO means you’ll be required to pass a European Class 3 medical, details of which can be found on the NATS eligibility criteria page. You must also be aged 18 or over, and have a minimum of 5 GCSEs at C or above, including maths and English.

Click here to access the NATS application form

NATS ATC Trainee Process Explained

Want to join the NATS ATC training college to become an ATCO?

The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) are the biggest UK employer for ATCOs, providing ATC services and consultancy solutions in and out of the UK. NATS train their own ATCOs at Fareham College and the various ATC units they operate. Trainees are paid for training and guaranteed employment after successfully completing the course, although they do not get to choose their specialty or the ATC unit they will work at.

The selection process to become a NATS trainee consists of the following stages:

You must pass each stage in order to continue to the next one. Failure in any of the stages means you will have to wait two years before you can reapply, and you cannot have more than three attempts in total. Note that there might be a waiting period of several months between each stage.

Stages 0 and 1: Online Aptitude Tests

After your NATS application form has been submitted you will receive an email invitation to sit online tests. You have three months to complete these tests.

Stage 0: numerical and verbal reasoning and error checking

The numerical test measures your ability to analyze numerical data. It provides tables and charts followed by questions requiring basic arithmetic operations. The verbal test consists of short text passages and different types of questions assessing your language and understanding of the main points in the text. In the error checking test you need to decide whether two columns or rows of numbers and letters contain errors or not.

Stage 1: diagrammatic and spatial reasoning

The diagrammatic reasoning test presents input-output diagrams. One component in the diagram, either input, operator or output, will be missing, and your task will be to figure out what it is. In the spatial reasoning test you will need to find the odd shape out of several rotated shapes in each question. These tests have time constraints as well.

Stage 2: Assessment Centre

Passing the NATS aptitude tests will be followed by an invitation to attend an assessment centre at Fareham. This will be a long day consisting of three different tests. Passing each test is essential to move on to the next one. If you don’t get a good enough score, you will be asked to leave and try again in two years’ time.

ATC knowledge

You will be sent papers to study in advance with all the relevant materials, which will include technical details of different aeroplanes, airports and other ATC related subjects. The test will consist of about 30 multiple-choice questions referring to these papers.

FEAST

The First European Air Traffic Control Selection Test (FEAST) by Eurocontrol is a computerised test used by over 40 European civil and military organisations. It assesses the knowledge, skills and abilities of applicants for training that are relevant and necessary for the ATCO job.

There are three different sections in the FEAST: A cognitive abilities and English test, an ATC work sample test, and the FEAST Personality Questionnaire (FPQ), assessing personality characteristics relevant in the training of ATC students.

DART

The Dynamic ATC Radar Test (DART) simulates actual ATC work. You are presented with a radar screen where you can see several aircrafts. Your task is to guide some of those aircrafts both safely and efficiently to specific checkpoints. You will have to make sure you avoid bringing aircrafts too close to one another and take into account different traffic and navigation constraints. The difficulty level will increase as the test progresses, so you will have to control more aircrafts simultaneously and more check points to get them through. Eventually you will even have to perform some mental arithmetic calculations as you are controlling the aircrafts.

Stage 3: Interview

In this last stage you will attend the assessment centre for an interview carried out by HR as well as ATC trained assessors. You will be required to provide evidence of your achievements in different areas in life and present a genuine interest to become an air traffic control officer. You may also be given realistic scenarios and asked to provide your insight and suggest possible responses.

Facing a panel of people about to judge your behaviour is never a pleasant experience. See how our assessors can help with our interview preparation services. If your performance in this interview is satisfactory, you will be asked to stay for a scenario-based group exercise.

The very last step of this process will be the medical and security check-ups. Non-native English speakers will also need to sit an additional English test.

Who Provides Air Traffic Control in the UK?

NATS are the leading provider of Air Traffic Control Services in the UK.  They are responsible for the UK’s area and terminal control and also for aerodrome control at a number of major UK Airports. Some UK Airports provide their own Air Traffic Control Services, and so in some instances you may have to apply to a specific airport for an aerodrome controller role.

Air Traffic Control Training

NATS is approved by the CAA to provide the following air traffic control training courses:

Initial Training

Endorsement and Continuation Training

English Language Proficiency

The CAA list two approved providers of air traffic control training:

Global ATS (Gloucestershire Airport) is approved by the CAA to provide the following air traffic control training courses:

Endorsement and Support Training

English Language Proficiency

English Language Raters Course

What skills do I require?

There’s no one particular type of person who makes the perfect ATCO. NATS take on a mixture of different people, from various different backgrounds. The minimum academic requirement to become a NATS ATCO is 5 GCSEs at C or above, to include maths and English.

Perhaps more important than academic ability is the need to be able to work under pressure, think in three dimensions and process information quickly and accurately. To try and decide whether you have the aptitude to become a controller, NATS have developed a series of online games to try.

Pay and Benefits

NATS offer an attractive salary and benefits package from the moment you begin training with them.

Training

Once you join as a Trainee Air Traffic Controller, you’ll earn a basic salary of £13154.40, alongside a benefits package – including a contributory pension scheme, generous annual leave (28 days plus national holidays), as well as a variety of voluntary benefits. NATS also provide a weekly payment of £60* to cover expenses during your training, and some applicants may be eligible to a further £1000* on completion of the college based training.

At the completion of the college based training, trainees are posted to NATS units for further training, where the salary rises to £17,066* and £20,479*, dependant on where you are based.

Qualified

On completion of all training, the salary rises to £32522-£36247, dependant on the ATC unit. On the third anniversary of passing training, subject to validation, the salary rises to £46461-£51781, plus shift pay of £5543.

It’s worth noting that with increments, you can potentially earn over £100000 at the NATS Swanwick Centre and Heathrow Tower.

Source: NATS *Based on 2012 rates

Available Jobs

NATS post available careers on their Vacancies Page

Applying

To apply for this position applicants have to meet our minimum entry criteria including having 5 GCSE’S at Grade C or above including English and Mathematics and be 18+ at the time of submitting their application.

We recommend candidates try and gain exposure to the Aviation industry and either gain work experience or participate in hobbies and activities that have transferable skills to being an Air Traffic Controller.

If candidates successfully reach Assessment day-Stage 3, they will be required to draw upon these skills and experience during the competency-based interview.

For further information on the role of an Air Traffic Controller please visit http://www.nats.aero/careers/atc/

ATC Interview Questions

How to Answer Interview Questions

The questions will usually start along the lines of “tell me about a time when you”. This will be followed by those competencies, so it is important to be familiar with these so that you can prepare.  Asking about soft skills such as teamwork, negotiation and communication is especially popular for graduate job interviews.

A lot of the questions will require you to think about past work experiences you’ve had. For those who are applying for internships, apprenticeships or have no previous work experience, you can still talk about extra-curricular activities, what you achieved while being a member of a university society, or school projects you have been involved in, as an example.

S – tell them what the SITUATION was

T – Explain what the TASK was that you had to do

A – Tell the interview panel what ACTION you had to take and why it was effective

R – Finally, tell the interview panel what the RESULT was following your actions. Always try to ensure that the outcome or result was positive. By following the S.T.A.R structure for responding to interview questions you will be ensuring that your responses are both concise and relevant.Air-Ground Communications

“The passage of voice and/or data between an aircraft and a ground station such as air traffic control or aircraft operating agency.”

The most common transponder failure types classified by feature are:

The transponder failure types classified by severity are:

Some feature/severity pairs are not applicable (e.g. duplicated mode C). The most common combinations of transponder failures are:

Airspace infringement

Airspace infringement occurs when an aircraft penetrates an area into which special clearance is required without having such clearance.CFIT Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) occurs when an airworthy aircraft under the complete control of the pilot is inadvertently flown into terrain, water, or an obstacle. The pilots are generally unaware of the danger until it is too late.

Most CFIT accidents occur in the approach and landing phase of flight and are often associated with non-precision approaches.Level bust

Description: A level bust occurs when an aircraft fails to fly at the level to which it has been cleared, regardless of whether actual loss of separation from other aircraft or the ground results. Level busts are also known as Altitude Deviations.

Definition: A level bust is defined by EUROCONTROL as: Any unauthorised vertical deviation of more than 300 feet from an ATC flight clearance.

Loss of control

Description: On this page you can see all the articles related to the subject of Loss of Control. While many of the subjects covered within the Category are not in themselves loss of control issues, the mishandling of those events could very rapidly result in a loss of control situation.Loss of separation

Description: Loss of separation between aircraft occurs whenever specified separation minima are breached. Minimum separation standards for airspace are specified by ATS authorities, based on ICAO standards.

Types of Loss of Separation

Loss of separation may be either in a vertical or a horizontal plane, or both. Loss of separation may ultimately result in a mid air collision. A Level Bust is one scenario where a loss of separation occurs, leading potentially to a mid air collision. Loss of separation from notified airspace is dealt with under Airspace Infringement. Loss of separation from the ground is dealt with under CFIT. Loss of separation between aircraft on the ground is dealt with under Ground Operations and Runway Incursion.

Runway excursion

Definition: When the wheels of an aircraft on the runway surface depart the end or the side of the runway surface.

“A veer off or overrun off the runway surface.” (ICAO)

Description: Runway excursions can occur on takeoff or on landing. They consist of two types of events:

Runway incursion

ICAO defines a Runway Incursion as: “Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft”.

Wake turbulance

All aircraft generate vortices at the wing tips as a consequence of producing lift. The heavier the aircraft and the slower it is flying, the stronger the vortex. Among other factors, the size of the vortex is proportional to the span of the aircraft which generates it.

At low altitudes, vortices generally persist for as long as 80 seconds, but in very light or calm wind conditions, they can last for up to two and a half minutes. Once formed, vortices continue to descend until they decay (or reach the ground). Decay is usually rapid and occurs more quickly in windy conditions. Cross-winds can carry a vortex away from the flight path of the aircraft.

Games to help you prepare

NATS have developed a series of mini-games to help you decide whether it’s the kind of career that might be right for you. They test a range of basic cognitive skills which are required by Controllers:Reactive avoidanceShape TrackingSequential memoryGateway GameATC Landing

Air Traffic Control Useful Links

NATS BlogNATS Video and ImageryVFR ChartsATC training providersNOTAMSAir Traffic Control ArticlesLatest JobsFacts, Stats & Reports

What you need to know about applying to be Cabin Crew

Becoming a cabin crew, What you need to know about applying to be Cabin Crew? Becoming a cabin crew or flight attendant can be an absolute dream job. However, this isn’t a job for everyone.

Application process

Airlines will want to find out more about you, your skills and your potential. Most airlines have a few requirements you need to meet. Below is an example.

Application information

There are two ways you are likely to be asked for information.

1.   Motivational Questions

2.   Competency Based questions

Cabin Crew Application Tips

Cabin Crew Training

Safety and security

This is the most important part of the course, as this is the main reason why there are cabin crew on board the aircraft. Subjects being discussed during this part of the training are:

Customer Service 

A key element of success will be the competence of cabin crew who are supposed to be motivated and self-conditioned for team success exercising intuition and dedication to ensure customer’s loyalty. Delivering customer service to a high standard is an important and challenging task. But it is also very satisfying and rewarding. In order to satisfy passengers with high-quality customer service, cabin crew members need to provide excellent customer service to passengers while ensuring their comfort and safety throughout the flight. They are trained to deal with security and emergency situations which may arise and can administer first aid to customers.

Costs

The costs for internal training course are different for each airline as well.

Other

Cabin Crew Uniform Standards: This is another important part of the training, Since you are the face of the airline you will told what you can and cant to with your hair to your watches and how to cover up tattoos. 

What you need to know about applying to be Cabin Crew?

How to Dress for your interview

Research your airline, Follow this guide:

One on One interview, During the interview, you are likely to be asked questions relating to the following areas:

Sample Questions:

How to Answer Interview Questions:

A lot of the questions will require you to think about past work experiences you’ve had. For those who are applying for internships, apprenticeships or have no previous work experience, you can still talk about extra-curricular activities, what you achieved while being a member of a university society, or school projects you have been involved in, as an example.

The answer to these questions will usually be between a minute and three minutes long.

S – tell them what the SITUATION was
T – Explain what the TASK was that you had to do
A – Tell the interview panel what ACTION you had to take and why it was effective
R – Finally, tell the interview panel what the RESULT was following your actions. Always try to ensure that the outcome or result was positive. By following the S.T.A.R structure for responding to interview questions you will be ensuring that your responses are both concise and relevant.

Cabin Crew Jobs and Pay

All airlines vary, below are some examples:
Easy jet Salary/ wage:

Starting salary around £10.000 basic salary and around £60 per day sector day (Flight pay) (All before tax. Besides that, you will get 2.5% commission (10% for the whole crew, mostly divided by 4) from everything that is sold on board your flights.

In total you, will make around £1100-£1200 during winter months (due to flying less in the winter) and £1400-£1600 in the summer (all after tax)

British Airways Salary/Wage

Starting salary around £12.000 basic salary, Max £150 per month incentive pay (based on number of sick-days, inflight performance, etc).

Average wage is around £1200 – £1600 per month

Virgin Atlantic salary/wage

The starting salary is approx. £13.000 basic salary per year. You will receive commission on the duty free sales

On average, you will make £1050-£1200 month after tax

Ryanair Salary/ wage:

Starting Cabin Crew after tax: around €1200-€1500. This salary highly depends on your actual flying hours. When you are on standby (without flying) a lot or are sick for some time, you might earn less than €1000. Ryanair contract Cabin Crew Supervisor after tax: €1500-€2000.

When you are working on a Ryanair contract, your basic salary will be higher. Therefore, being on standby or being sick, will not result into a substantially lower salary.

Cabin Crew Union

Unite Union

In the UK Unite is the only union for cabin crew encompassing not only crew employed for UK airlines but also those who are based in the UK for non UK airlines. 

The largest collection of cabin crew members within the sector are those in the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (BASSA) branch closley followed by crew employed at Virgin Atlantic, easyJet Thomson etc.

BASSA

The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (BASSA) is a branch of Unite exclusively for British Airways cabin crew. Our membership is approximately 10,000, which makes us the largest branch of Unite.

BASSA is an active and progressive union, which is entirely staffed by elected representatives, all of whom work as BA cabin crew. We are therefore fully involved in every aspect of cabin crew working life, including rosters and scheduling, pay, hotels, allowances and all working agreements and conditions