Course Timeline
See the structure of the typical 'Whitetail' training course.
Leg 1: Application & Selection Phase
Dibden Manor (near Southampton)
Leg Completed on 25 February 2016
Length
1 Day
Description
In this leg I completed a one day selection event comprising interviews, maths tests, aptitude testing, group tasks and of course: a nice lunch.
Leg 2: ATPL Theory (Ground School)
Nursling (near Southampton)
Leg Completed on 15 February 2017
Length
Approx 26 Weeks (6½ Months)
Description
I was dreading this part of the training the most and it was nothing short of an incredibly intense six months. The hard work paid off though and I completed ground school with first time passes across all 14 topics with an overall average of 86%.
Leg 3: Foundation Flight Training
Hamilton, New Zealand
Leg Completed on 5 August 2017
Length
Approx 20 Weeks (5 Months)
Description
Originally planned to be in Arizona, CTC switched our training to New Zealand towards the end of ground school. In this leg I learnt the fundamentals of flying an aircraft as well as how to navigate VFR (visual flight rules). I also learnt the basics of instrument flight in advance of the later advanced phase as well as the basics of night time flight. This phase concluded with the first internal progress test, PT1. In total I gained 94 hours of flying experience spanning a total of 61 flights (inclusive of additional time vs. syllabus).
Leg 4: Advanced Flight Training
Hamilton, New Zealand
Leg In Progress - Started 6 August 2017
Length
Approx 13 Weeks (3½ Months)
Description
Building on the basics of instrument flight, this leg teaches how to make use of the various navigation aids (VOR, NDB, RNAV, GPS, etc) in order to conduct safe instrument flight. I will also transition from the Cessna to the multi-engine Diamond DA42 Twinstar where we fly a mix of visual and instrument flight in addition to learning how to manage asymmetric flight (one engine only). This leg comes to a close on the completion of the CPL skills test -- eek!
Leg 5: Instrument Rating & Upset Prevention + Recovery
Bournemouth
Leg yet to start
Length
Approx 6 Weeks
Description
Once back in the UK I will complete a course in NZ/UK differences and sit a radio telephony exam such to prepare me for flying in British airspace for the first time. Putting my previous instrument training into practice, I will complete a series of LOFT (Line Oriented Flight Training) sorties, practice flight with a restricted instrument panel and strive towards achieving my Instrument Rating. There's also a fun element to Bournemouth in that we get to fly in aerobatic aircraft as part of the CAA mandated Upset Prevent & Recovery Training -- can't wait for that.
Leg 6: Airline Qualification Course (AQC)
Location To Be Confirmed
Leg yet to start
Length
Approx 3 Weeks
Description
In this leg I will work towards my Multi-Crew Cooperation Certificate (MCC), complete a course in Airline Crew Resource Management (CRM) and take a look at Threat and Error Management (TEM). It is this part of the training where we are introduced to jet simulation for the first time as part of the (Jet Orientation Course). We're also introduced to various airline operational items, such as handling the PA -- I should probably start working on honing my pilot voice, eh! All in all, the AQC ultimately moulds your mindset to that of a multi-crew capable commercial airline pilot.
Leg 7: Placement Hold Pool
N/A
Leg yet to start
Length
Not possible to predict
Description
It is this leg of the process which holds the most uncertainty for any cadet starting at L3 Airline Academy. The infamous 'job' holding pool sees cadets apply to job opportunities from both L3 airline partners and, if they wish, airlines outside of said partnership. The waiting time from completion of training to employment depends on the job market at that given time, the amount of cadets in front of you in the pool and also your overall training record.
Leg 8: Type Rating & Base Training
Location To Be Confirmed
Leg yet to start
Length
1 - 2 Months
Description
If lucky enough to secure employment at an airline I would then complete training on their specific type of aircraft, known as the Type Rating (TR). Most TR courses last between one to two months and typically conclude with the trainee safely demonstrating six complete take-offs, circuits and landings in the real aircraft as well as having to pass earlier checks in the simulators.
Leg 9: Line Training
Location To Be Confirmed
Leg yet to start
Length
To Be Confirmed
Description
Taking the knowledge learnt from the type rating, I will commence flying 'the line' for the airline. During line training I would conduct flights as normal but will remain under the supervision of the airline's training team. Lasting a required number of hours/sectors/months, line training exists to assess that I can fly my assigned type of aircraft safely, but above all else, doing such on a consistent basis. This leg would end with a final line check.
Leg 10: Line Flying
Location To Be Confirmed
Leg yet to start
Length
Remainder of Employment (Hopefully!)
Description
If I get to this stage employment has officially begun and "my office" moves to the sky. Training doesn't end here though as airline pilots are among the most tested individuals in the world and therefore must return to the simulator every six months to demonstrate continued compentency with their aircraft.