Another week down at Australian Wings Academy, another couple of hours added to the logbook and another week buried in textbooks, but is it making sense? Yes, well it’s beginning to at least. This week kicked off with many early starts getting up before the sun, but the advantage to those crisp and icy mornings is fantastic flying weather. My third flight early Wednesday morning was great, not a bump, and importantly the two previous lessons started to really gel. It all started to come together and make sense, the flows, the briefs, the radio and actually flying all came together a lot more for me. I by no means have it all down, but I feel like I’m moving at the pace required.
Week Two wasn’t quite as daunting as the first, at least I knew what I was in for now. My flying instructor Jack keeps the heat on me, he doesn’t let me get complacent and he keeps teaching me new things. He takes an incredible amount of pride in his flying and as such he is instilling that same sense of professional pride in me. The good thing is from your first flight lesson, you are being taught best practice, in particular best commercial practice, which is an important differentiator I believe. You don’t just come out being a professional pilot, but a professional pilot for the commercial environment. After all, most of the students are gunning for a job with an airline or commercial operator and getting into to the rhythm now is a great advantage in my opinion.
One thing I’d like to mention this week is sleep. I have been reading about Human Factors this week and when I was reading about sleep it resonated with me a lot. You have to get good sleep, end of story. I know if I don’t get at least 8 hours a night, it will put me out the next day. Worst of all it can snowball and if you keep cheating sleep all week you’ll need to pay that time back to the sleep gods eventually and it can end up wreaking havoc with your body clock. I don’t think you take much in when you hit that point where you need to read a paragraph five times over and still not process it, call it quits, hit the hay and tackle it in the morning when you’re fresh and ready to go. Establishing a good healthy routine from the outset is important to last the distance.
I didn’t get the chance to take any super relevant photos this week, but I did slip into the hangar on Friday afternoon, you could eat off the floor the engineers keep it so clean. I took a few photos of the Diamond DA42, the twin they use for the MECIR post CPL. Fascinating seeing a plane up close for someone who has never been around them. Very precise machines, interesting too that the modified Turbo Diesel engines in this particular DA42 are pretty much the same as those in an A-Class Mercedes, with some adjustments to the fuel system in order to run on AVTUR/JET-A1, the same stuff an A380 drinks. Jet Fuel is pretty similar to diesel, which is probably why these engines can be so easily adapted for aviation. The engineers were really nice guys too, showing me the fuel tanks from the left wing, which were being stripped and cleaned due to contaminated fuel where bacteria was growing between the contaminated fuel and water, which if left can start eating away at the aluminium tanks.
With all that down it’s time to get back into the books, got a big week of theory coming up.