Crew 3 + 4 – My first observation flight
0230 AM. Alarm starts ringing “get up, get up, you lazy lump, get into your working clothes” (for those who don’t know this song – you have to go check it out. But this is one morning, or middle of the night, depends which way you want to look at it, about which I couldn’t be more excited! As part of my integrated ATPL course here at CEFA, we have the incredible opportunity to do observation flights with our future company, Wizz Air, as part of the flying crew, on the jump seat. Side note, did you know that the official term for jump seat is auxiliary crew stations? Yeah, nowhere near as cool sounding as jump seat. Haha!
I left my hotel room at 0330 – had to report to Wizz Air’s briefing room at Debrecen Airport at 0450. Yes, I left crazy early, the drive from Nyiregyhaza to Debrecen is usually about an hour. But this is aviation – pilots should never be late J One thing that I’ve noticed since I’ve moved to Hungary is the amount of wildlife that lives close to the side of main roads. So stay safe my friends, if you ever drive in or through Hungary keep a close eye on the side of the streets at all times, especially at night, and watch your speeds. I’m talking all sorts of animals: from rabbits and foxes to deer.
So, back to the observation flight. I meet with my crew for what was going to be a return flight to Luton. The First Officer walks me through what he does in preparation for the flight. I watch him with excitement as he checks the weather, NOTAMs (written notification issued to pilots before a flight, advising them of circumstances relating to the state of flying), does the paperwork. Then the crew sits down for a briefing. After the briefing is finished, the Captain throws me a high visibility jacket and we’re off to the aircraft. Here comes the first highlight of the experience: walking through the airport as part of a flying crew! I dreamed of this moment so many times – yes, I can be a child sometimes.
At the aircraft, as the sun is rising, I join the First Officer for the walk around. This is the air crew inspecting certain elements of the aircraft prior to or during boarding for security, safety and operational reasons. Then we get back to the flight deck. Short security brief on what to do in case of an emergency. Then the pilots get ready for take-off.
“Debrecen Information, good morning, Wizz Air 691, ready for departure.”
It wasn’t just a very motivational experience, causing me to become even more determined to study well and work hard towards my goal; but also a very useful one in terms of my flying education. Four months into my training and I could already use my knowledge to follow what the pilots were doing the entire time. I believe that this is a great feature of the CEFA training. I also want to take time and thank the entire crew for their friendliness and patience to answer each and every one of my questions, but also for sharing their food with me 🙂
In other news, did you guys see me on the cover of the Romanian magazine “Focul Vietii”? My poor grandma nearly fainted at the newspaper kiosk when she saw it. I am humbled and very grateful. “eco&csr news” also featured me in their magazine. Link is here. Oh, and in case you missed my interview for Red Bull with Andreea Vasile, it got featured in “Revist ART-EMIS”.
I’m going through a very busy period in terms of training right now so I apologize for the lack of activity on here, but please bear with me! J
I also want to thank everyone who’s reading this for their support and donations. Every day I am getting closer and closer to reaching my target. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Watch this space for a blog entry on how it felt to do upset training recovery with the Zlin 142 aircraft. Upset training recovery refers mainly to spins – a flight maneuver that is potentially very dangerous to pilots. A spin involves a rotation about the aircraft’s vertical axis – nose to tail – together with a rapid loss of altitude. Recognition of spin symptoms, avoidance of fully developed spins and recovery are the only aims of practicing a spin, as it has no practical application in normal flight training other than to put a smile on your face because it is really (!!) fun to do.
Remember, always keep the blue side up!
Until next time fellow aviatiors!