CPL ME IR: Week 10

CPL ME IR: Week 10 has been quite a good one.
P2006T

The good news is that I am now finished with the simulator which is a massive relief. I felt I improved drastically in the last few sim sessions and my instructor agreed so that was nice.
I have now moved onto the IR course in the aircraft. So far I have flown 5 hours and we spent the time doing SID’s RNAV approaches and holding.
I find that the approach is “easier” to fly in the actual aircraft than it was in the sim, but at the same time, it was a nice day without much crosswind so we shall see as the training progresses.
There is a weird situation at the moment that all 3 P2006T’s are in maintenance at the same time until Monday at the earliest but more likely Tuesday. On top of this, my IR instructor (who is the same person I had in the sim) is away from Tuesday to Saturday of next week.
I was offered the opportunity to switch to someone else but as we have done so much training together recently I would prefer to stay with him. The reason for this is that he knows my weaknesses and knows what I really need refinement with.
For this reason I have decided to return to the UK and take a break rather than sit around my room. I will most likely return to Poland on Friday of next week for the last push.
I will still have to study SOP’s, charts etc, but I can also fly the 4.5 hours I still need before I could sit the test.
I then hope that I can come back finish the training program in a week or so with a view of maybe squeezing a test in before the end of the month, but that depends on examiner availability and of course my progress.

CPL ME IR: Week 9

It’s been a pretty busy week in the simulator, so here is a catch up of CPL ME IR: Week 9
P2006 Simulator

So I am glad to report that my simulator training is back on track and has taken a 180 in the right direction under a new instructor.
I would say the training is harder, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing as quality instruction beats poor instruction every time.
On top of this, I have been working very hard in my time out of the simulator to improve. The biggest improvement has come from me bringing my flight simulator controller back from the UK. This helped me to get an understanding of what I am doing and also practice with the G1000 on Xplane 11.
We have switched from the Firebird to the Softek simulator pictured above.  This sim doesn’t have motion like the Firebird but it doesn’t really make much difference. The Softek also has improved visuals, but again that doesn’t really make a huge difference for IFR flight.
I have been in the sim all this week and after a few days getting back up to speed, I have made great progress with my last flight being the best one yet.
The simulator training is now almost complete with just a cross-country flight consisting of a SID, en route, STAR and approach left to do. This should hopefully be complete early next week leaving me to move forward onto the aircraft to finish of the final complex part of the course on the P2006T.
The two week delay between my simulator training ending and restarting was frustrating to say the least, but at least progress forward has now been made. I am now looking forward to moving on and finishing the course in the not so distant future.

CPL ME IR: Week 8

Another week down so here is my thoughts on CPL ME IR: Week 8

Local area flights

I am a bit late on updating what happened this week, but here we go. There is not really that much to say to be honest.
I had a simulator session on Monday with a new instructor who was great, a complete 180 on the previous one. The issue is he was here to fly with students so he didn’t have much availability, so I decided to continue with my plan to return to the UK.
Back in the UK, my luck with the share aircraft continued as it was unflyable yet again. This left me scrambling for another plane so I took another trek down to Blackbushe and I managed to salvage the trip and got 5 hours done. Less than the 10 I wanted, but at least I didn’t return with no hours flown.
On top of this, I got my class 1 medical renewed at the cost of £150. I could have done it in Warsaw but it just seemed easier to get it done in the UK.
This upcoming week I have a full simulator program with a different instructor so I am keen to progress through that and see how it goes.
Should be a more eventful update next week.

CPL ME IR: Week 7

So here we are at CPL ME IR: Week 7 and to be totally honest with you, things are not going so well at the moment.  Bartolini Air

So here is the thing, there is a simulator instructor who’s attitude to training is causing problems.

  1. This guy refuses to give you any training. I am trying to learn IR for the first time and you can not ask him a single question.
  2. He spends his time berating and belittling you. He will tell you, you can’t fly, you are useless, you will never be a pilot etc.
    Throughout the session, he will be shouting at you over the headset from his desk behind the simulator.
  3. Everything that has been learned about teaching and crew resource management is not being applied.
    Despite having a very difficult time in the simulator with this guy, I had completed 8 hours in the sim with him. I turned up for my 4th session and from the second I walked through the door I could tell something was not right.
    We were supposed to be doing non-precision approaches for the first time and he asked a question I wasn’t totally sure on. So I looked it up from the SOP’s.
    He started ranting and raving and calling someone and talking about me in Polish.
    I used Google Translate to see what was being said. I will not repaet the things that this guy was saying here, but it was derogatory to say the least.
    I found this to be very unprofessional behavior, especially as I am a paying customer.
    Then, as if this isn’t bad enough he tells me to leave the simulator. I look at him and say “Are you serious?”. I pick up my things and tell him I cannot believe how unprofessional he is and I am not going to accept this behavior.
    You have to understand, despite this guys attitude I have never spoken to him with anything but respect.
    I leave and call the course liaison and explain what has gone on. You have to keep in mind this is at least the 5th complaint about this simulator instructor in the last month.
    I am told to come in tomorrow and speak to the owners.
    As I am leaving to head home I see that the sim instructor has canceled all my slots for the week and given them to somebody else who was ready to start but there were no slots available. I find the timing of all this suspicious to say the least.
    I have the meeting with the owners and in the end, I am told that they will sort it out most likely with a new instructor.
    So because of this, I have been sitting around my room my training at a standstill because I have not had a simulator session since Tuesday night. I mean I have used the time productively but I need to be in the simulator.
    I have been told I should be able to resume tomorrow which I hope is true.
    I am due to come home next Wednesday to renew my medical and fly some hours but rather than being finished in the sim, I have spent the week out of training.

CPL ME IR: Week 6

I have now been in Poland a month and a half, so here is my recap of CPL ME IR: Week 6

P2008

So I have finished my CPL program this week. I must say that my instructor was great. We finished with a few navigation flights and then he did 5 hours with me in the simulator to prepare for the next section.
I am glad to be on to the next section and as the test is actually done in the twin engine P2006T, I am done flying the single engine Technam P2008.
I must admit, I am not a huge fan of the Technam single. In my eyes, this is a microlight/ sport aircraft that has somehow got certified in the same groups as Cessnas / Pipers etc.
In my opinion it just does not perform the same as the Cessna 150/152 is so closely resembles. It is so light, easily disturbed, much harder to trim, does not seem to deliver the same power and will float a lot more on landing. The empty weight for instance is 430KG.
However, saying that, it is all you need for the CPL single program which is more about learning the CPL Navigation procedures and becoming familiar with flying in Poland. 
Anyways I have had 5 hours basic instrument training with my instructor before having the first sim session yesterday. The sim used at Bartolini is a Redbird simulator with motion (I need to get a photo).
The software it runs on is Microsoft Flight Simulator X which of course is pretty ancient and doesn’t deliver amazing visuals. This however is IR practice so you are looking inside anyway, so that does not detract from the experience.
We did some basic intercepting radials and holding before moving on to flying an ILS approach plate.
You really need to get the SOP’s drilled into your head, something I am working on doing. On top of this you need to get really familiar with the Garmin G1000.
There is a lot going on, it comes thick and fast and I can already see I will have to put in a lot of time between lessons for this to be successful. In fact I am about to spend a good few hours on it now before heading to the simulator this evening.
The sim instructor is away next week and I actually return to the UK to do some  things such as renew my medical and fly some hours. For this reason I hope we can get quite a lot done this week.

CPL ME IR: Week 5

A recap of CPL ME IR: Week 5.
P2008

So this week I have started and almost completed my CPL. I believe I have 3 or so hours left to do. My instructor and I have flown everyday bar two, one where the weather was bad and the other which was his day off.
It is so nonstop at the moment that all the days are merging into one.  I really am struggling to work out what flight was what, but I will do my best.
The first 5 hours we did BIFM (Basic Instrument Flight Module). This involved learning to do STARS, SIDS, Practicing holding etc.
I must admit it was good to do, it feels like I am actually starting to become a “real” pilot now.
Next up I had one of the worst flights I have ever had. Every airport here has VFR reporting points and I learned what they were but I never actually had any visual representation of them, which of course made them hard to find.
I then followed this up with some of the worst landings I have ever executed at a different airport before returning. It was literally like I was a PPL student again! This was most certainly a flight to forget.
To take my mind off things a bit we then did a flight where we take the single engine Technam P2008 to FL100 (10,000ft).
It felt so strange being so high in a single engine aircraft, however it didn’t seem as high as it sounds. It was fun though considering most of my flight time is 3000-4000ft.
Today I was back to navigation and after my last flight, I was much better prepared. Thank you Google Maps!  I now had images of all the reporting points and believe it or not, it’s a lot easier to find something if you know what it looks like. Who would have guessed right?
We have about 3 hours of the CPL left to do but the SIM is looking very busy so I don’t know if I am going to be able to get into it next week, time will tell.
My instructor is so laid back and chill, which is just what I needed.
Tomorrow we head off to Warsaw International, this should be an amazing experience.

CPL ME IR: Week 4

I can’t believe I have already been here a month, this is crazy. Here is the update of CPL ME IR: Week 4.

P2006T

I have made very good progress this week as I have completed my MEP training. We did 4 flights of around 1.5 hours each.
There is a lot going on in a twin compared to the single engine Cessna that I am used to flying. On top of this there is just so much more going on with the glass cockpit.
I had a very shouty but very good instructor for this. I am still getting used to the learning style of some instructors which seems to be shouting at you until you until you comply. It is a far cry from the instruction I have had so far in my flying career.
We spent a bit of time in the circuit pattern, before practicing steep turns, stalls etc.
Next up we went on to engine failures, how to identify, verify, feather and secure a dead engine.
Next up was some go arounds, one engine go arounds, landing in different configurations etc.
Finally we did a short navigation flight before he showed me the autopilot features of the aircraft.
All in all it was a good week and I now start the CPL training next week. First up is the BIFM (Basic Instrument Flight Module). My instructor said he is pretty free all week so with a bit of luck hopefully we can complete it next week!

CPL ME IR: Week 3

A short recap of CPL ME IR: Week 3.

Bartolini Air

Days 14-21

Unfortunately, there is not much to say about this week. I had to return to England from Wednesday-Sunday so there was no flying done at all.
On Monday I spent my time revising for the IR test which I sat on Tuesday and thankfully passed with 89%.
I have been contacting my MEP instructor and I hope that I can start my MEP on Monday or Tuesday next week. After this, I plan to go straight into my CPL training.
Ideally I want to finish both within in the next two weeks or so, but that depends on instructors availability, weather, plane availability etc.
It would have been nice to get some flying done while I was here in England, due to still needing to do another 9 hours. The weather however has not been great and the share aircraft is once again unuseable.
I do have a plan to return to England later in September where I plan to renew my medical, so hopefully I can get the hours done then.
Hopefully I have something more interesting to say next week.

CPL ME IR: Week 2

Another week down so this is a recap of CPL ME IR: Week 2

Bartolini Air

Day 8 – 14

So I can pretty much sum up the entire week in two words, IR Prep.
We have been in a classroom with Adam all week who has been giving us lectures on the IR theory side of it all.
This covered things such as holds, reading Jeppesen plates, reading instruments, weather, learning the departure minimums and arrival minimums, flight plans and much more.
After an entire week of this my brain is pretty fried, I have also spent the weekend going over everything we have learned as I have a test on it this coming week.
We also had a progress test every day so it has been a pretty full on time.
I am looking forward to getting the test over with and to focus on the flying as most of the theory side will be complete.
I have to return to the UK for a few days this coming week but when I get back I am looking to do the MEP and CPL back to back.

Ryanair meeting

On top of this, the cadet recruitment team from Ryanair came to see us this week. They gave a presentation on the company as well as details of the cadet scheme.
I must say, they seemed really down to earth and very nice. They were also younger than I thought they would be, I would say they were in their mid 20’s.
We had the opportunity to ask questions so this was very helpful. I guess it shows that they value the training at Bartolini if they have taken the time to come out and see the operation here.

Conclusion

I can’t believe I have already been out here two weeks, the time really is flying by.
One thing I have found out is that even though I have the 150 hours of P1 time, this is actually not enough. I would still be 9 hours in total short of the 200 hours needed to actually take my test. It seems that pretty much all students were caught unaware on this not too long after arrival.
I have booked 4 days at the end of September to return to England and fly these hours and I will also renew my medical at the same time.

CPL ME IR: Week 1

Bloody hell, this week has absolutely flown by, I literally haven’t had a min to myself. However here is a roundup of CPL ME IR: Week 1.
I am studying at Bartolini Air in Lodz, Poland.

Bartolini Air

Day 1
We met at the school and spent half the day getting to know each other, how the course will go, some of the team, doing paperwork etc.
From here we went straight into a VFR into class. This was learning a bit about the airspace, the endless documents you need for a VFR flight here and where to find certain information.
We also briefly went through mass and balance and things like calculating LDR.

Day 2
We spent today doing a planning exercise. I think it took most groups about 5 hours to plan a VFR flight! There is quite a lot of information that you need to gather and calculate.

Day 3
Straight into a lecture on MEP. These lectures are all day and quite draining. I must admit though, this lecture was more fun and I learned a lot of information during it.
The lecture was delivered by Bartek who is a Citation check captain and also an owner of the school. He seems to be a nice guy.

Day 4
Day two of the MEP lecture. Straight after the lecture, we went into the final test for the MEP. I passed in the end with a 90% score.

Day 5
Today we had a maths and physics refresher. The school says they developed this as a direct request from an airline. I guess people are going to assessment without decent maths and physics skills.

P2008

Day 6
I wanted to do my familiarisation flights the following weekend but the instructor insisted today was better. I did a test as soon as I got there (that I had no time to prepare for) and then we went and did a short flight to the training area. We practiced manoeuvres such as steep turns, stalling, spiral dives etc. We then came back to the airport for some touch and goes.
I paid about €280 to upgrade from the P2002 to the P2008.
All my time is in high wing aircraft so I thought it would be better and everyone says that the P2008 is the better aircraft.
This was my first time flying in Poland, flying the Tecnam, flying a stick control and on glass. I think it went reasonably well.

Day 7
Today was a VFR navigation flight. Poland uses visual reference points for joins and departures from airfields.
I had to plan the flight for the first time on my own. I started at 5 am, went to the school at 9 am and finished it maybe just after 11 am.
The instructor wasn’t impressed and seems to expect me to know everything already, I didn’t find him much help whatsoever as he had no interest in answering any questions.
Tbh his “teaching” style which seems to consist of being as unhelpful as possible and calling you stupid, does not work for me. I most certainly do not want him as my CPL instructor.
The flight was not that bad but I need to practice my diversions etc.

Update – I spoke to Alek then I had a sit down with Adam and Bartek (the owners). They heard my concerns and will sort it, so all’s well that ends well.
From what I am hearing around the school, I am not the first one to have an issue with him.

Conclusion
So, all in all, it has been a mental first week. I have had no time to think or to get my head around things and we go straight into the IR lectures all this week.
Thankfully I have to return home for a few days the following week. I will use some of this time to get up to speed on the P2006T and the flight planning process.
My brain is fried and the overwhelming impression I am getting is that it comes thick and fast. If you want information or to schedule flights or pretty much anything you have to sort it out yourself.
I am staying at Student Depot Salsa which is as basic as it gets but it will do the job.
A bit more info as it was requested.
Salsa 1
Salsa 2

These were taken just as I got here and was in the process of making the bed etc.
The basic room is very small but it is all they would offer when I phoned.
You get nothing like cutlery, plates etc but I did get bed linen.  Make sure to bring or be prepared to buy a towel also.
You get a desk, some cupboard space, a fridge / freezer and a hob. You also get your bathroom with a shower of course.
The reception is manned 24 hours and you get a key card which gets you in the door and of course into your room.
There is a pizza place in the building as well.
It is basic living but it is also very cheap, I think this months rent is £180 or so. There is, however, a discount in the summer so it might be a little more depending on the time of year you are doing your course.
Basecamp the other student place is quite a bit further away, from all accounts it is nicer, however.
I have purchased a bike so I can at least get some exercise going to and from the school as I very much doubt I will have any time otherwise. It takes about 25-30 mins to cycle.