2016-06-23 18:39:48 2018-07-19 18:49:51 See where I currently am within my training and easily access related blogs, vlogs and content for each stage of the process.
Pilot George
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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 Completed on 14 November 2017
Length
Approx 13 Weeks (3½ Months)
Description
Building on the basics of instrument flight, this leg taught us how to make use of the various navigation aids (VOR, NDB, RNAV, GPS, etc) in order to conduct safe instrument flight. We then transitioned from the Cessna to the multi-engine Diamond DA42 Twinstar to fly a mixture of both visual and instrument flight in addition to learning how to manage asymmetric conditions (one engine only). This leg came to a close on the completion of the CPL skills test.
Leg 5: Instrument Rating
Bournemouth
Leg Completed on 11 March 2018
Length
Approx 10 Weeks
Description
Adding to the instrument building blocks laid by the Advanced Training phase in New Zealand, the Bournemouth Instrument Rating phase ultimately hones our skills to that of stringent requirements set out by EASA and the UK CAA. Over a period of 11 weeks I went on to complete of a series of simulator events, aircraft routes flights, a UK Radiotelephony Exam and a Limited Panel test before bringing it all to a close with the all important Instrument Rating test.
Leg 6: Upset Prevention & Recovery Training
Bournemouth
Leg Completed on 27 March 2018
Length
Approx 1 Week
Description
Following the completion of the Instrument Rating we move on to complete a series of flights as part of Upset Prevention & Recovery Training or UPRT for short. These flights introduce us to situations aircraft are not otherwise designed to be in and teach us how to recover from them. Further, we are also re-taught how to recover from stalls from the perspective of an airliner versus a light aircraft. At least one of these flights is completed in an aerobatic aircraft so i'm very much looking forward to that.
Leg 7: Airline Qualification Course (AQC)
Nursling, Southampton
Leg Completed on 3 May 2018
Length
Approx 3 Weeks
Description
In this leg I worked towards my Multi-Crew Cooperation Certificate (MCC), completed a course in Airline Crew Resource Management (CRM) and took a look at Threat and Error Management (TEM). I was also introduced to the jet aircraft for the first time as part of the Jet Orientation Course (JOC). All in all the AQC moulds your mindset to that of a multi-crew capable commercial airline pilot.
Leg 8: Job Hunt / Hold Pool
N/A
Leg Completed on 5 July 2018
Length
2 Months in my case. Varies for everyone
Description
This leg of the process holds the most uncertainty for any cadet starting at L3 Airline Academy. The hold pool sees cadets apply to job opportunities from both L3 airline partners and, if they wish, airlines outside of said partnership - such as Ryanair, Jet2 etc. 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, your overall training record and how well you interview. Simply attending L3 will not guarantee you that job if you can't interview well or show yourself to be captain material. Thus, it's not an assurance you'll get a job straight out just because you passed everything first time. I was fortunate to secure employment at easyJet exactly 2 months of finishing my training, with the type-rating to be within six months of the job offer.
Leg 9: Type Rating & Base Training
Still to confirmed
Leg starts 5 November 2018
Length
1 - 2 Months
Description
*Start date is a rough estimation based on current allocation of type ratings*

A Type Rating (TR) is a course of training for the aircraft type a pilot is to fly. They last between one to two months consist of technical exams and a series of simulator flights. They conclude with the safe demonstration of six complete take-offs, circuits and landings in the real aircraft. At easyJet I will be completing a type rating on the Airbus A320 family. Once signed off a pilot receives the Airbus A320 against their licence.
Leg 10: 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 11: 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.