So here I am, writing this blog post at my new CTC Aviation accommodation and still can't quite believe I'm here! Having spoken to other cadets in my course group, referred to as a CP and in my case CP149, many of them feel exactly the same. Not even putting on the uniform, driving to CTC and walking through the front door was enough to make it sink in with phrases such as "I keep pinching myself", "Is this really happening?" and "I'll wake up from the dream in a bit" being said by all of us many times. It's also a very strange feeling to be among those cadets you spoke too not so long ago at the open days!
This blog post marks the first of many throughout my journey and I hope you find them enjoyable and if you're considering a career as a pilot also you find them helpful and informative.
The First Flight event is essentially CTC Aviation's opportunity to welcome you to the organisation, introduce you to key people, provide parents, guardians, partners or whomever you've decided to bring along the opportunity to have any questions they have answered by the right people and of course, provide cadets the keys to their accommodation. It's also supposed to be the first time that all CP members meet but in our case we already had a Facebook chat going so knew of one another for a while but with that said, we did find out that we will be having 3 easyJet MPL cadets joining our CP for Ground School, so there were a few new faces too!
Something totally unexpected, but a nice touch, was the fact that CTC welcomed all of us with an epaulette giving ceremony.
After the ceremony our cadet group split from our parents etc and were taken to a classroom for a more in depth introduction to the structure of the course ahead and some admin including the collection of uniforms too which was very exciting. We were also provided with a really nice flight bag which I didn't realise we'd receive so that was nice too.
Meanwhile, our families were being given their own talk and each got a go on one of the fixed-base 737 simulators which I believe my brother really enjoyed. After all of the admin we were provided lunch by CTC before we each headed to our new homes for the next six months. I share a house with five other cadets and having lived in university accommodation for the past few years, it was quite nice to find that our home appears to have been recently refurbished, but if you are interested why not read my accommodation post which goes in to more detail.
After moving in, stocking the cupboard with the essentials and getting some much needed sleep we were up bright and early for our first day. We made our way to Nursling quite early to see what traffic is like and thankfully my trusty driving companion, the Waze app, got us there with plenty time to spare meaning we had enough time for a coffee and chat with other cadets before we each went to our respective class rooms.
If you're wondering what APD stands for it's Airline Preparation Day and CTC place a number of these within the course structure to prepare us for eventual airline employment (fingers crossed!). APD1 is an introduction to more people at CTC Aviation and also the way things are done there and it was interesting to find out that CTC appear to be catering the delivery of specific subjects to satisfy, as best they can, the learning style of each individual as we each conducted a survey to establish our own preference. The majority of us were quite Visual and Hands on learners it seems.
The majority of APD1 however was a Maths refresher consisting of your typical GCSE maths and introducing other concepts that you may not have covered in GCSE. Parts of this session were tedious but.. that is only my judgement of the areas of Maths I already knew as the trigonometry segment of the day highlighted a current weakness of mine which I need to improve prior to learning General Navigation later on in the course.
Monday starts the 8 weeks countdown clock to my first 4 exams - how scary a thought is that.
After our first full day we headed off to IKEA to get a few bits and bobs for the house and our rooms etc. but, like any IKEA trip, they have you trapped in their one way system and what started as a trip for solely a door stop ended up as a full trolley and guess what, they didn't even stock door stops! haha.
We also took the opportunity to try the IKEA Restaurant and until that day I had never before seen a trolley dedicated to carrying dinner trays, something which amused most of us. After tucking in to our Meatballs, Chips, Gravy and Daim bar cake (which bizarrely tasted like Fab Ice lollies) we then found certain IKEA scenes so nice we took pit stops and of course, took photos.
With our first full-on day looming some of us met up with cadets from other CPs and spent what is our last free evening for some time in the bars of Southampton. Monday at 08:50am opens our first week when we will covering Human Performance & Limitations. Fingers crossed it's a nice topic!
The up and coming weeks are going to be very tough and my time for blog posts will be scarce so I hope to start Vlogging soon instead providing short little videos of what's been going on as the weeks progress.
Thanks for reading and send me a message using the form below or leave a comment if you have any questions, or just want to leave one. :-)