So this came round very fast but this is a recap of the CPL, MEP and ME IR Skills Tests
I don’t think I have ever been so nervous in my life, I was at the point of taking the skills test, something that I have been working almost 3 years for.
First up was the combined CPL MEP test. This is the route I was given the night before to plan.
Luckily another guy at the school (Mark) was testing and we really helped each other through by doing all our planning etc together.
This route was quite tricky as it crossed EPTM military zones, low-level corridors, TSA’s and TMA’s were also there to keep in consideration.
After the pre-flight Etc I departed to fly the route. The weather was not perfect with very strong winds.
The night before I was up very early due to being so nervous.
I paid extra attention to make sure that I was correcting for wind and keeping my headings and altitude as I flew my route.
I had already checked what was and wasn’t active in the AUP (airspace use plan) and highlighted it on the map to make sure I did not infringe anything.
I also used Warsaw Information to double-check what I already knew.
As the route progressed I got a diversion to the south, this was quite straight forward as there were some good features to confirm my position with. However, this brought me through another TSA which thankfully I had already checked and knew was inactive.
On the final leg, we stopped for some maneuvers which included stalls, steep turns and engine shut down, asymmetric flight and engine restart.
We then went into EPPT for a touch and go, the high winds made this very tricky but I managed it.
Next up we returned to EPPL (Lodz) for more circuit work and landings in different configurations.
Finally, I got down on the ground and taxied to park.
I got the good news, congratulations you are a commercial pilot!
Half the battle won and just the ME IR to go.
The weather had done a complete 180 the following day. We now had CAVOK and very light winds, perfect flying conditions really.
Again I was up early but my flight was departing at 8 am. I feel this is a good thing as it didn’t give me the time to overthink anything.
The test route was to fly to a point called ADOXO then to BIMPA which is the arrival point for Warsaw Modlin.
The first thing to do is to program the Garmin to make sure everything that should be in your flight plan, is in there.
So I took off on Runway 25 hand flying an ADOXO departure climbing to FL100. It was only at FL100 I was allowed to engage the autopilot.
In the cruise, I prepared and briefed for ILS 08 in Modlin.
On reaching BIMPA the autopilot was disconnected and as I was flying the arrival we began to be vectored for the ILS.
Today was a perfect day to be shooting approaches. The first approach was bang on and we did a touch and go before climbing and departing runway heading. A quick switch to Warsaw approach and they vectored us to do another.
This time it was a simulated engine failure, I feel I handled this well went around and did it again.
We then returned to Lodz ending up at the LOZ (VOR).
At the LOZ an engine was shut down. I was preparing my approach when the rescue helicopter launched. I was then put into the hold with one engine out. Not really ideal but manageable.
Eventually, I got my clearance and started my approach. I informed ATC that I would need an extra 2 mins on the runway to restart the engine.
Negative! 737 waiting to depart. WHAT?
So now I am descending to the platform while having to restart the engine. The workload was high but I managed to do it before making a good approach and landing.
The examiner said I handled that very well which was nice.
We taxied to park and I heard what I wanted to hear, that’s a pass!
I am now a commercially rated, multi-engine, instrument rated pilot!
I think it is a bit surreal at the moment and still settling in.
A lot of pilots have told me that the single pilot IR is the hardest flying they have done and I must admit I agree. Every single thing is on you and you absolutely have to stay ahead of the aircraft. The second you let the aircraft get ahead of you, it’s over.
I mean it’s been 3 years since I started this journey and to have finally achieved this is an amazing feeling.
I really have to thank my IR instructor Bartek. We put in a lot of work to get me to where I needed to be. So credit where credit is due, as, without him, I am not sure I would have had the outcome that I did.
There have been so many up’s and down’s along the way, but hey I’m here now.
Next up is the MCC / JOC but I most likely will not be able to complete this until February now.
I must admit, I am going to miss flying the Tecnam P2006T. While I was not a huge fan of the single, I feel the twin was a beautiful aircraft to fly. Especially the newer one SP-RNP which I was lucky to have for my test.
Lastly, the students at Bartolini really help and support each other, It’s great the bonds you make with people in such a short amount of time. It really does help you get through it all.
My time at Bartolini wasn’t smooth sailing, it was full of issues and to be fair, I have not really enjoyed it. This is a shame really because I had worked so hard to get to the point of the CPL ME IR but the one good thing was all the students I met were all great.
At the end of the day I ended up with the result I came here to get, so for that at least I must be thankful.