With the weather looking far from pleasant I wasn't able to fly today but that didn't stop the schedulers finding us something to do and as such the CP were booked as airport standby for the task of "AIP Updating" - how enthralling! To those totally unaware, AIP stands for Aeronautical Information Publication and is essentially a comprehensive manual for all things aviation within a given state. Every member state of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) publishes an AIP and they're usually split across several volumes detailing anything from the arrival/departure procedures, landing fees and available airport services through to airspace rules and regulations and meteorological minimas within such airspaces. Of course, that's just the tip of the iceberg but with such information so susceptible to change it can very quickly become outdated and that's where my course came in.
In accordance with ICAO rules each member state can submit an update to its' AIP as per something called the AIRAC cycle which is typically once every 28 or 56 days depending on the importance of the change and it just so happened that new changes were due to take effect the following day. As L3 Standard Operating Procedures require every aircraft maintain a hard copy we had a fair few updates to make. The task of updating the AIP was rather monotonous requiring you to follow a simple checklist of "Remove x", "Replace with y". It took around 2 1/5 hours for the group to change the majority of the AIPs and while boring I can certainly see the importance given I myself have had to reach for the AIP in the past when entering an airfield to which I hadn't printed every plate for. If you can call it a positive, L3 bought us all pizza as a thank you for helping out.
The forecast and actual conditions were pretty poor today and certainly not to solo standard which requires a minimum visibility of 16km and a broken cloud base of 2000ft. One by one the CP were cancelled and instead of returning to Clearways a couple of us went out for coffee before heading to the cinema to watch Dunkirk which happens to be a great film - I would highly recommend it.
It would appear as though a slow moving storm decided to make Hamilton its' home for the day and as a result we experienced fairly consistent rainfall ended up with most of the days flights being cancelled. With today being my day off, I didn't mind the rain so much as I wasn't then missing out on a nice flying day and to make things even better I didn't need to travel into the training centre to then only be cancelled.
I made quite good use of the day by revising some meteorology in advance of the internal progress test in a couple of weeks and after a couple hours boring myself joined my coursemates as they watched the formula 1 film:- Rush. Irritatingly, it appeared as though the weather wasn't content with ruining a day of flying and wanted to crush any indoor enjoyment too with the felling of nearby power lines. Oddly, the internet connection appeared unaffected but the TV etc obviously didn't. Nevertheless the local energy board were quick to fix it and we carried on watching the film soon enough.
At the time of writing the weekend schedule had just been released and while initially down to fly both days scheduling later pulled my Saturday night solo as another student required the time more than me. Despite that change Sunday should be incredible as two coursemates and I each take an aircraft for the day in order to complete our commercial pilots licence cross country qualifiers. Leaving around 10am - weather dependent of course - we'll be flying ~400 miles around this beautiful country with two 30 minute stops at airfields enroute. I best take a nice and hearty lunch as it's certainly going to be a looong day. I'll no doubt write a post about that as it's quite the milestone in any trainee pilots journey.
Until then though,