It has been almost two months since I provided you with an update to how things are going with my flying, so be prepared for quite a long update and a few photos which have made some of my friends quite jealous of my job!
When I last wrote on my blog, I was part way through the sim sessions at Flybe’s Training Academy. I’m pleased to report that everything went to plan during the sims and I passed my Licence Skills Test and a big thanks to the Captain who I was with for the test for helping me through.
After finishing that part of the training, all that was left to do before being allowed to fly passengers was base training. In this session we take an aircraft and a few trainees to a quiet airport and each of us do six takeoffs and landings. Unfortunately, my first session was cancelled as we ran out of time but on the rearranged session we flew over to East Midlands Airport (Nottingham, EGNX) and had a good day doing the circuits.
With all of the type rating now complete, I was in a position to start flying passengers around the network. However, there was a delay in the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority, the UK’s flying governing body essentially) processing my application paperwork and my licence didn’t turn up on time for me to do my first days of flying.
However, all was not lost as I got to do a few more jump seat flights observing all the procedures I’d learnt during the sim sessions and I think it was definitely a benefit to see it all be used in real life flying.
Overall, it was a good couple of days and a very nice day during the turnaround in Amsterdam.
Once my licence did arrive, I headed over to Belfast to carry out my first day of proper operational flying. I must admit, I was slightly nervous about it, but the excitement was there as well. My first revenue flight with passengers was BEE415 from Belfast to Birmingham. (Pictured above from FlightRadar24)
It went quite well and left me with a huge smile on my face! Since that first flight, I’ve now done 24 flights and I am getting to feel slightly more confident with the aircraft but, as always, there’s a lot of work still to come.
One of my favourite moments from the last couple of weeks flying was flying to Leeds Bradford from Belfast. The routing takes you overhead Blackpool and then down past Preston, Blackburn, Burnley, Nelson, Colne and onto Leeds. As this is where I grew up, I was able to spot all the places that I visited when I was younger and, more importantly, got to fly over the family home in Barrowford.
So, what does the future hold? I still have a minimum of 20 more sectors to do with a training captain and I’m off to Manchester and Birmingham in the coming days to do more flights and the end of the month sees me doing my first flights out of Aberdeen.
Until next time, I’ll leave you with this image taken coming back into Belfast of the sunset at 25,000ft.