Saturday, August 20, 2011

A new episode ...

It's been a while since I posted an update. It took some time, but at least I found a job as a first officer. In June 2011 I finished my Type Qualification Course on the Boeing B737NG and since August 6 I'm here in Jakarta waiting for some more simulator sessions, briefings and finally line training at Lion Air. You can follow me at (in Dutch).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Multi Engine and Instrument Rating renewal

Almost one year after my last post on this blog, time for an update.

2009 was a year most people won't forget. Highlight of the year was the economic crisis, high numbers of unemployment everywhere, ... . Although this situation does have the tendency to improve, finding a job as a "freshly" graduated commercial pilot without any experience on a jet plane stays a challenge.

Besides refreshing my theoretical knowledge, procedures, participating at selection tests and sending out my CV worldwide, I've been working on a temporary base for quit a while as a webmaster and for the time being I'm working as a flight simulator technician at CAE Brussels.

Since the Instrument Rating and Multi Engine Piston on a Commercial Pilot License stay valid for only 1 year, it was about time to renew those by following the SFA After Care Program, which offers us (ex-students) 12 hours of FFS on the B737-800 to renew the Instrument Rating and 2 hours on the Diamond DA42 to renew the Multi Engine Piston license.
Most important this year will be to get my Single Engine Piston rating and keep my flying skills proficient.

To be continued!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Airline Career Preparation Program

Monday, April 6th 2009. That was the day we started with the last - but certainly not least - "leg" of the training: the ACPP. This part is the Multi Crew Course (MCC), but instead of using a fixed base simulator, we're trained on full flight simulators. A brief introduction, 3 days of computer based training to learn a few systems of the boeing 737NG, some Flight Management Computer sessions and finally 6 "real" flights on the simulator with full motion. A great experience! May the 7th was the last mission, mission 7 (evaluation) with an examiner.

the cockpit of a Boeing 737NG (New Generation)

Boeing 737NG, Pegasus, ready for departure RWY 07R at Brussels

Unfortunatly, due to the worldwide economic crisis, finding a job as an ab-initio pilot isn't easy these days. Most companies aren't hiring for the moment, and if they do, the requirements are pretty high (1500 hours total time, willing to pay for an (expensive) type rating, etc). No one knows when this situation will improve, nor if we're at the bottom of the barrel. At least I might consider myself lucky since I can still apply for job in the IT world with my graduate and previous working experience, which I certainly will do.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

AZ: Bye bye!

As I mentioned in my previous post, we were running out of time in Arizona with the multi engine training. Things got better, but eventually decision was taken to send us back to Belgium to complete the multi engine phase in Europe. February the 23th we took the flight back to Brussels and march the 5th we went to Montpellier. One week later we flew back (with the OO-SFI, one of the 2 DA42's of SFA) to Antwerp. In Belgium I flew to Ostend, Charleroi, some "local" (Belgium is small) flights using outside references (visual navigation) and finally last friday (april the 3rd) I had the CPL/ME/IR check. normally the CPL (commercial pilot license) is done in Arizona, but since we didn't fly enough hours in Arizona they just combine the CPL with the ME (Multi Engine) & IR (Instrument Rating). It was a navigation to Ostend, with some approaches, a visual flight back to Antwerp with some manoeuvres, another approach in Antwerp en finally some touch & go's. It's important to pass this check since it gives you the opportunity to apply for job with the airlines.

Monday we will start with the final phase of the training: MCC (Multi crew course). Theoretical sessions, computer based training, FMS sessions and finally the most fun part: full flight simulator sessions in a 737NG. Somewhere beginning may I'm supposed to be graduated.

To be continued ...

AZ - last day

LFMT - Montpellier operations

Monday, February 16, 2009

AZ: DA42 (Multi engine)


A couple of weeks ago I did the last flight on the DA40, the final IFR check before the IR/ME check we'll have in Belgium. Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end, so Mission 104 brought us up to the final phase in the training ... flying the twin engined Diamond Twinstar (DA42). 2 engines instead of 1 sounds better and safer, which is actually also true: Although the degradation in performance can be as high as 80% if there is a powerloss on one engine (and thus 50%), you're still able to fly with only one engine for a period of time. Unfortunatly those engines on the DA42 aren't the same as the ones on the DA40. Still reliable, but more sensitive to the excess of temperatures they have to withstand during summer/winter. And that's one of the reasons why only 1 or 2 of the 5 are available on a somehow regular base ... for too many students, ending up in delays. By the end of march everyone of prom 6B should be finished with the training, here and in Belgium because our MCC (training in a simulator) starts april the 6th. Hmmm ... .

Some pictures of the navigation to Tucson today can be found here:
AZ - x-country to KTUS (DA42 N4130M)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

AZ: IFR cross country & more pics

AZ - Long Beach IFR navigation

AZ - Naar Flagstaff

AZ - Grand Canyon

AZ - Williams, hooverdam & Las Vegas

AZ - Las Vegas by night


Update about the last weeks:
- One more week on the Diamond DA40, next week we'll be done (I'm currently at Mission 99, mission 104 is the final IFR check on the DA40)
- My parents are in town! I spend a couple of days with them and we went to flagstaff, the grand canyon, williams, the hoover dam and las vegas. While they are spending time in national parks in Utah, I fill my time with flying, preparations and eating chocolate.
- Today we had again a hot day. 28°C. *smile*