Passenger flying around the network

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.
IMAG0211However, 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.

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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.

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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.

Getting hands on with the Dash

My type rating continues and has now progressed onto getting into Flybe’s Dash 8 simulator and starting to learn exactly how to fly the aircraft. So far we’ve had five sessions and have been taught various normal stages on flight with an emphasis on honing our existing flying skills and getting used to the specific Flybe operating procedures and what to do when things start to fail.

It’s been a really good experience so far and it feels good to finally be putting all of the training over the last two years to use and even more so with the thought of my first flight being less than a month away, but more on that later.

However, there is still more work to be done and we still have six more sim sessions before our licence test at the end of the month. Between now and then it will be back to having my head in the books to get all of the manoeuvres learnt and the SOP calls committed to memory.

ScreenHunter_0096As I spoke about just before, I have now been told where and when my first flight with passengers is going to be. I’m going to be taking passengers from Manchester to Southampton and back again for my first flight.

After that, I have an action packed month where I spend nights in Manchester, Southampton and Belfast and a map of all my flights can be found on the left. More detailed stats about my roster can be found by visiting my Roster Buster page.