Friday, April 25, 2008

Duty Student

So summer is finally here. During the briefing at Markham Campus, the tentative schedules for each groups have been set and my group is scheduled to start on May 5th!

Group A is already in Phase 1 which is flying already up to first solo. B group is in their Phase Zero. And some people in group C get stuck with having to be trained as a duty student.

Duty students, as they say, are very important in running the flight program as they are "in charge" of operations.
The main duties of a duty student (haha) are:
  • Lead mass weather briefing at beginning of each shift (which is going to change soon)
  • Answer phone calls!
  • Maintain listening watch of current ATIS and Seneca Ground, for up and down times of Seneca airplanes. These are very important as they say because we always want to keep track of where our planes are. After 5 minutes of ETA/down time and if we still haven't heard from them, we have to try to call/radio em in, and if still no contact we inform the Duty Instructor and certain procedures are done.
  • In charge of calling services like refuelling the airplanes when need be.
  • And logging in trip slips and log numbers of each plane on the computer.

In other words, we are everyone's "secretaries" for that shift.

Right now there are two duty students for each of the two shifts of the day. But since we are going to extend operating hours from 6 to 23, that would mean splitting up the day into possibly 3 shifts.

Most of the students from my group that were duty "trained" is going to do it all by ourselves starting saturday because the senior students still have their exams on the following week. It should be a combination of scary and fun at the same time.
I guess I need to get on the good side of our scheduling flight instructor so that I would be scheduled for less duty shifts in the upcoming months or so.

Can't wait to actually fly! So much reading, starting ahead or getting familiar with the AOMs and SOPs is exciting!

Friday, April 11, 2008

2 weeks vacation

So it's finally the end of the year, next week is exam week and after that there's a bunch of things happening at the same time.

Since the class is so big and very limited equipment, we were split into 4 groups; A to D. A group had already started Phase Zero, which is simulators and lessons. Group B, C, and D have been chosen and each group will have to start at different times.
B, C, and D groups will have a group briefing on the 21st which is the monday after exams, while Group A starts flying. The next day, the 22nd that is, Group B will start Phase Zero. Group C and D are to take their vacations at hand, and group C to start Phase Zero mid-May and D group to start end of May.

Although every group have been chosen, the board still has to have a promotion meeting, which is where they decide who actually moves on to the flying program. If a student is borderline or is on probation still, they don't want them to continue to get left behind since it's only going to get harder from here on.

So currently, I am in group C that means I have around 2 weeks of vacation. The summer flying semester ends on Aug. 15th but 2nd year starts two weeks earlier than others, therefore 2nd year starts Aug. 18th. So the only vacation I'm gonna get is these two weeks after exams. If I get bumped up to group B then I would have to take 2 weeks vacation in parts.

The group briefing is going to be held at Markham Campus. I've only been there during orientation so it should be a good experience. This group briefing is supposed to last the whole day so that should be fun.

The flight program director also announced that we have recently bought a new Cessna 172s plane to add on to our fleet. Our fleet now then consists of 7 + 1 Cessna 172s, 5 Be-33 Bonanzas, and 2 Be-58 Barons (twin engine). What bothers me though is why we have so many planes, while only having one simulator for each type plus a CRJ simulator. I think Seneca should get more simulators so that the training would be done much faster.

As soon as I get to go to the airport or get any new info about the new plane I would post it up on here.

I also have a few questions that I can't get my mind to twist around.
How exactly does A VDF or DF Steer work?
And should I also get a headset already for the flying that is to come or just use the push to talk thing that's already installed.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First year

So 211 days have come and gone, 17 days left until this year is officially finished!
There have been many ups and downs especially a lot of last minute cramming, but most have been good knowing that it's all going to be worth it in the end.

So what exactly have I done this year?
Just a quick recap on everything.

Mechanics Statics & Dynamics
Fluid Mechanics
Electricity & Electronics
Psychology (gen. ed)

So there's really nothing to talk about in those courses except for Aeronautics.
For Aeronautics we basically covered most of all the chapters in the book From The Ground Up:

Theory of Flight
Aero Engines
Air Law & Airspace
Intro to Human Factors
Aviation Weather - lots of weather!
Flight Planning
Radio Procedures
Brief Intro to Radio Navigation

Thinking about it now, I learned a lot over the past year or 211 days (to be technical) but as most pilots would say, you never stop learning; and I am still learning a lot.

In a few weeks, my future will be decided if I get into the flying program, which I have a pretty good feeling that I will since I did pretty good overall.

For some people they know that we wear pilot shirt uniforms and everything, so the year was also filled with people thinking we're nerds, or mormans, or jehovahs witnesses or the best of all SECURITY guards. At first wearing the uniform felt weird and ucky but now everybody's gotten used to it.

So if you ask me if I'm excited for the summer to come, you'll just see a big smile on my face. I have also been listening to liveatc for buttonville. And sometimes at 8am I would hear Seneca students already in the air, which would mean they were up very early, but who wouldn't want to be up early to be UP in the SKY!

This blog has been really random/boring or whatever but yeah.

Just to put it out there...

I've heard a few things about instructors and all. I know having a good smile-on-a-face and having that hard working attitude is good, but other than those things does anyone have any suggestion or tips for new student pilots like me?
Don't get too complicated that I won't understand though : )