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.

I booked my CPL ME IR course at Bartolini Air

So I have been looking at schools to do my CPL ME IR at and yesterday I booked my CPL ME IR course at Bartolini which will be starting in August 2018. The reason I have picked August 2018 is because I have until July 2018 to pass my ATPL exams. I figure that as I must have them passed by then (hopefully before) this would be a good time to pick for the training.
Shoreham to Cranfield
I know, it’s early but Bartolini are booked out like 7 months in advance so I figured I would pay my deposit now so the course is at least guaranteed for next summer. The deposit to reserve my place was €800 which worked out to be just over £700 which aint that bad.
I haven’t actually been to the school, which to be honest really is one of the no no’s but I have heard so many good things about them and my brothers friend went so I booked on the back of his recommendation. I will probably go and visit them later this year.

Why I choose Bartolini?

  1. Price – Bartolini seem to be the cheapest CPL ME IR course provider that I have found that have a good reputation. I mean the course still costs €17,500.00 which at today’s exchange rate is £14,763. Now this is much cheaper than anything I can find in the UK. The price here seems to be around £23,000 so as you can see it is a huge saving. Also the course at Bartolini includes aircraft rental for the tests and the landing fees which a lot of the courses here do not.
  2. Speed – Bartolini can do the training in as little as 8 weeks. Now I have a full time job which I may or may not have to give up to complete my course, so the less time to ask to have off the better really.
  3. Recommendations – My brothers friend who told me about the modular path went to Bartolini and couldn’t speak more highly of them. For this reason they were always right at the top of my list of schools to go to.
  4. Flexible – They have no issues splitting the course so you could go out and do say the CPL then go back in a few weeks and do the IR if needed.
  5. Placement record – The students are getting jobs, this means that the training has to be very good.
  6. Wings alliance member – Bartolini are part of the Wings Alliance and as I am a student at Bristol Ground School it made a lot of sense. By doing the training with Bartolini I will possibly be eligible for the Wings Alliance ARC course.
  7. Testing under UK CAA – The skills test can be done under a UK CAA examiner.

All in all Bartolini ticked a lot of boxes and I like the idea of going abroad for a few months to learn in some new airspace. On top of this I am looking forward to flying the Technam aircraft the P2006T twin and the P2002. This aircraft is maybe not as popular as others but they do seem to be modern planes.

Now just the small issue of 11 exams and lots of hour building to do first.