I know, it’s been a while since I last updated. Things move at a different rhythm now and I just haven’t had a great deal to update on without boring everyone. I have however completed IREX, an exam that was well and truly built up to be quite full on. Hopefully, this might help those looking to take on the exam soon themselves.
With a little break at the end of the CPL I was keen, albeit nervous, to start IREX and the next phase of my training, the MECIR. Something about starting to learn IFR procedures felt like an important step forward to being a professional, career pilot. It felt like this was where the rubber hit the road.
We got our new set of “Jepps” or Jeppesen Airway Manuals, a common worldwide supplier of charts and publications used by many airlines and companies rather than the Australian AIP, ERSA, DAP’s etc. At first it was different, but now I actually quite like the layout and format. If you are switching over to Jepps, take the time to learn and mentally index where everything is, like where you used to find everything in your AIP. Mr Damien Fitzgerald was at the helm to steer us through the fog of IREX and had plenty of real-world experience to splice in, making the theory really relate and translate to actual flying. There is a fair amount of content to cover, IREX kind of reminds me of the PPL exam in that there is a mix of different subject material like Air Law, Meteorology etc.
We did many, many practice exams. These really became the yardstick to track our progress. As many questions are layered and complex, interpretation and practice on answering these questions were as important as the theory behind them. I found the approach that worked for me was to reference every single question I could. Even if I was 99% sure I knew the answer I would reference anyway. This meant I was quick and accurate at being able to reference but could also pick up on the slightest phrasing that could be the difference between a pass or fail. Don’t let yourself get complacent. There are some tricky questions and being lazy here could bring you unstuck.
Exam time was drawing closer and we had heard a lot about IREX and had quite mixed expectations on how tricky and difficult it would be. I just tried to drown that noise out and think of it as just another exam, and heck if I failed I would just keep trying and go again rather than let that fear seep in and prevent a good attempt. After few sage words from others that have been down this road, we were back at Archerfield again to take the dive. There is a lot of material to be checked over by the exam invigilator, so get there a bit earlier to help yourself and everyone else out a bit. From there we entered the fray, and it wasn’t as brutal as I had built it up to be. In fact, it kind of reminded me of the other CPL exams, and if you put in the effort on your other exams I can’t see you having that much trouble with IREX. Don’t let that fool you into thinking it’s a cakewalk because it’s not. You do have to work, study and practice hard for it.
With IREX don it was time to start on the Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating itself, a process which is nearly complete so expect a blog quite soon about that. For now here are a few photos I took back seating Benson and Josh’s flights.