One year on

We who fly do so for the love of flying. We are alive in the air with this miracle that lies in our hands and beneath our feet.

— Cecil Day Lewis

It has been exactly one year today since I completed my first commercial flight and in that year, I have learnt so much and developed a lot as both a pilot and a person.
In the last year, I’ve completed almost 530 sectors at a total of just over 750 hours. To put that into perspective, I’ve been in the air for the equivalent of over a whole month!

When you look back at all of those flights, you can reflect on the ones which stick in your mind. The times that it doesn’t always go to plan, the times you remember having a good laugh with the crew and, most importantly, the days that you never forget.

For me, the one which sticks in my head the most is when I took my family from Manchester to Aberdeen and back.
The captain on the day was really accommodating with them and made it a day for all of us to remember. And, even though it’s been almost a year since it happened, they still talk about it and how proud they were to be flown by me.

I have also been lucky enough to get trained to fly into London City airport. With it being right in the heart of Canary Wharf, extra training is required to complete the approach as it’s almost twice as steep as a normal ILS approach. Because of this, it is a captain’s landing every time but it means I can do a little bit of sight seeing as we fly low over the city.

VIDEO0041_0000184170(This picture is a video still and at no point was control of the aircraft impeded or awareness reduced)

This is the view from 2000ft coming into London City and at this point we’re just above Canary Wharf having just flown over the centre of London. As you can see, on a clear day, the views are amazing.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to meet some really fantastic crew over the last year and had a good laugh with them and spent some very good nights in hotels across our network whilst out night stopping.
It’s not just crew that I’ve got to know either – ground staff, air traffic controllers, refuellers and even the spotters. All of these people make your day go better when you can have a good chat with them.

It’s with thanks to Alex (@GreenAlex_) and Jonathan (@flyhellas) that just the other day I managed to finally get a picture of me actually flying

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Photo courtesy of Alex (@GreenAlex_)

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Photo courtesy of Jonathan (@flyhellas)

So, having looked back at everything that has happened in the last year, where to now. Well, I’m pleased to say that I’ve been given a fleet transfer and I’ll be moving onto our Embraer jets by next April. The timings haven’t been confirmed yet but I’m hoping to be on a type rating course by April 2017. I’m also going to be moving base to take up the jet position and therefore in October, I’m moving back south of the border to start flying out of Manchester initially on the Dash and then moving onto the jets there once my type rating is complete.

To most people, the sky is the limit. To those who love aviation, the sky is home.

— anon.

Graduation and Basing

This last week has been very good for me as I graduated from CTC and received news of where I’m going to be based with Flybe and get my official start date. Firstly, I’ll start with my graduation.
Be aware – there are lots of pictures in this update!

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After all of the hard work of the last 2 years, I have now officially graduated from CTC Aviation! Last weekend, CTC held their annual graduation ceremony and we were all presented with graduation certificates and commemorative crystal blocks to recognise our graduation.

 

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Our guest speaker was Willie Walsh, the CEO of International Airlines Group, and he gave a very good speech about his journey into the industry.
Aside from all of the formalities, it was very nice to be able to catch up with everyone who I’ve been through training with again.

After the graduation ceremony in the afternoon, CTC held a black tie graduation ball in the evening for all graduating pilots – a chance for us to all let our hair down and enjoy the evening!

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole event and it was a fantastic way to end my time with CTC. Looking back at where I am now, I certainly made the right choice in training to be a pilot and I’ve met some amazing people whilst training.

And off the back of finishing CTC, I have now found out that I shall be starting my type rating with Flybe on the 2nd February next year, so there really isn’t long to wait!
I have also found that I’m going to be based up in Aberdeen once my training is completed, so that is certainly going to provide me with some great experiences as I start flying passengers around the country.

Finally, I would like to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!