When you’re hired by an airline as a pilot, you will need to do a specialisation course for the type of aircraft you are going to fly. It will start with theory about the airplane, about all the systems and the Standard Operational Procedures that you have to follow. How to set up the cockpit for a flight, how to do the system tests and how to work with the FMC (the Flight Management Computer, the little computer where you insert the desired route and all performance settings of your take off and landing).
In September 2014, less than a year after graduation, I got an e-mail from my flight school to ask if I could send my CV. Volotea was visiting the school to go through the CVs of graduates. I sent my CV immediately and a few weeks later I was invited for the selection in Volotea. I asked for days off at work and went with my roommate Ruben, who was also invited for the selections, to Barcelona. We went a few days earlier to study together and be fully prepared for the interviews.
After you finish flight school, you have your licence in your pocket, it’s time to apply for jobs! For some people it’s easy: if they finish at a good time, where there are many pilot jobs available for low-experienced pilots or maybe if they know someone in a high position in an airline.
This post is meant for the pilots that are not so lucky. I am writing this from my own experience, so I know what situation you’re in. You are so ready to start working as a pilot, it has been your goal for so many years and now that you have your licence, all you want is to find a job and start flying!
After Ruben and I passed our MCC exam, we officially finished the integrated ATPL course. I moved back to Holland and received my licence. It felt very strange to be back in Holland, I missed Spain a lot. A month later, on 10 December 2013, I was very happy to go back to Madrid for a few days: I was going to receive my pilot wings!
So here we are, at the final course of flight school: The Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) course! So far, you’ve learned how to fly single and multi engined aircraft, but even though you were often with your instructor, these planes are all single-pilot aircraft, which means that they can be flown by one pilot only.
Big jets such as Airbus and Boeing aircraft require a minimum of two pilots. One that takes care of the flying whilst other one talks on the radio, checks the fuel and aircraft status and fills the flight plan. In case of a system malfunction, the Pilot Not-Flying – PNF (or Pilot Monitoring – PM) tries to solve the issue using the Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) and the Pilot Flying (PF) continues to fly the aircraft.
We’ve all been there, spending hours and hours in the airport as the flight is delayed. How do pilots cope with delays?
After my CPL exam, a whole new challenge came up: I was going to fly the Piper Seneca, a slightly bigger airplane with two engines! We did 25 hours on this new type of plane in order to get the Multi Engine Rating.
It was a different type of airplane, so the cockpit was significantly different with regards to the location of the flap handle, the engine start buttons and other avionics (electronic items in the aircraft).
The last two flying exams of the pilot licence are the Multi Engine and the Instrument Rating.
To prepare for the Instrument Rating, you start in the simulator. There, you will learn all the basics of Instrumental flying. You will learn to use VOR (VHF Omnidirectional Range) Radio Beacons to navigate without seeing outside for visual reference.
As I drove my car to Holland last week for the yearly revision, I went this week with Diego to Amsterdam to pick the car up and spend time with my family!
We flew to Amsterdam via Naples and enjoyed a lovely day in Amsterdam and Friesland in the North! We then drove via Lelystad Airport (gotta watch some planes once in a while!) towards Strasbourg, where we slept at my friend Ruben’s place.
The next day, the journey continued via Germany and Switzerland to Italy, where we dropped off the car at the boat and we took a plane back to Palermo as we didn’t feel like spending 20+ hours on the ferry!
I really hope you enjoy the views of my home country and en-route to Italy throughout Europe! Happy watching!
How do pilots Take Off?