Sunday, 28 February 2010

Margaritas and Enchiladas

It’s the night before exams and after a rather busy weekend it’s nearly time to get some sleep. Well, I still have a bit of ironing to do but after that maybe…

Last night was good fun; the dinner at Pedro’s was brilliant, IMG00009-20100227-1737 although I did eat a bit too much and I think everyone drunk a bit too much as well! Also, the show was fantastic, and I was surprised to see the role of Marius played by none other than Gareth Gates! What surprised me even more was that he wasn’t actually that bad either.

Since then it’s just been a day of travelling and more revision today. I am prepared for the Principles of Flight and Systems exams in the morning (at least I hope I am) followed by a nice afternoon of revision. The biggest thing keeping me going at the moment is knowing that after tomorrow I’ll never have to do Principles of Flight again!

Thursday, 25 February 2010


Despite being at home and all the distractions it presents, it’s been all work and no play for me this week! I came home on Friday afternoon after our final de-brief and have been sat at my computer revising ever since. As well as the resources that Oxford provide us with, we are able to access a database provided by Bristol Ground School (at a cost), which is actually made up of the same database of questions that the JAA use. It’s a very useful resource as it gives us great practice at answering the kind of questions we’ll be faced with in the exams. It is frustrating at times though, and with 5000 questions to wade through it’s a long, slow process too. Managed to complete all the questions once through by the end of yesterday…and started from the beginning again this morning! Hoping to complete each section again before the relevant exam, which means a few more days of hard work ahead.

One good thing to look forward to; it’s my sister’s birthday at the weekend and on Saturday we’re off to a Mexican restaurant in Norwich pedrosoutside called Pedro’s and then off to the Theatre to see Les Miserables. Should be a nice break from revision. After that, it’s back off to Oxford on Sunday and the first of our exams on Monday morning.

Monday, 22 February 2010

Flying at Oxford

An example of the kind of thing I’ll be doing in a year’s time. For this landing I was sitting in the back seat. The aircraft is a Socata TB20 and we’re landing at Oxford Airport (EGTK).

Thursday, 18 February 2010

School Finals

Another milestone completed! We have been sitting our School Final exams yesterday and today and the results are in…

  • Aircraft Systems – 96%
  • Instruments – 94%
  • Human Performance – 96%
  • Meteorology – 88%
  • Principles of Flight – 88%
  • VFR Communications – 100%
  • IFR Communications – 100%

Altogether that’s an average of 95%, which I’m extremely pleased with. It’s actually a massive relief as I’ve really worked so hard over these last few months to achieve it. The struggle is nearly over; as of now I start preparing for the JAA exams on w/c 1st March. The exam format is the same as School Finals, but the questions will be slightly different to the ones we are used to, so with a bit of practice hopefully I can ace them, and maybe even improve on my 95%!

One step closer to Phoenix…

Friday, 12 February 2010

Night Off!

The end of another very long week at OAA, and I’m treating myself to an evening 100% free of work. Has been a long time since I can say I’ve done that! However, I’ll be straight back in to my books in the morning as it’s School Finals week next week and I still have a long way to go with revision.

We’ve managed to finish most of the subjects this week, so that’s Gas Turbines, Human Performance, Meteorology, Communications, AC Electrics, Radio Propagation, Flight Instruments, Aircraft Systems, Autoflight, and Warning & Recording out of the way! Phew! All that remains now is a couple of hours of Engine Instruments and the last few chapters of Principles of Flight, plus a bit of revision of other subjects. We’ve realised just how far behind our course is, as the last couple of weeks have been a rush as we try to cram in all the information that we’re behind on. It turns out that owing to a bit of dodgy scheduling around Christmas we started a lot of topics much later than we should have, and basically we’ve just been rushing to catch up. It hasn’t been much fun but it is great to finally see the finish line.

So, the week ahead consists of two day of classes on Monday & Tuesday, followed by a day and a half of exams and then feedback at the end of the week. We are required to achieve 65% in our School Final exams for them to put us forward for the JAAs, which take place w/c 1st March. The exams we’ll be sitting this week are:

  • Principles of Flight
  • Meteorology
  • Human Performance
  • Instrumentation
  • Aircraft Systems
  • VFR Communications
  • IFR Communications

These are the same exams and in the same format as the JAA exams, so will also prove as a good trial run for the real things!

It has been a really tough few months but the end is in sight now and I’m very much looking forward to getting through these and enjoying a couple of weeks off with no revision to haunt me!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Harmattan, Chinook & Ghibli

The time has already gone so quickly since my last update, when I was talking about a few new subjects that we were starting. Well it’s now a few weeks later and Gas Turbines is nearly finished, along with Meteorology, Airframes and Human Performance. We should be pretty much done with those by the end of this week. Not so good are AC Electrics and Principles of Flight, both of which we are only half way through the book with only 8 days of school left! According to the guys in charge we are on schedule, though it is a bit of worry! We also started Communications this week, which is the thinnest book (hence us starting it so late) and comprises 2 of the JAA exams! Easy marks apparently…

Life pretty much now consists of getting up and going to school each day, working through lunch, getting home and sitting on the OAA online question bank (Oxcel) all night. The only break is for dinner or if I’m going for a run. Will be very glad when we get a bit of time off, just to chill out with a bit of random TV or a trip to the pub!

That said, I did spend the weekend just gone in Swansea, visiting all my ex-Borders colleagues. Had a brilliant time seeing everyone, though did feel a small bit of guilt at not getting any work done.

So, only this week and next of classes remaining, then it’s School Finals the following Monday & Tuesday. After that, it’s a week and a half of intensive revision (providing we pass the School Finals) and we sit our first 7 JAA exams w/c 1st March.