3 February 2019

RTFQ… A pilot training class of failures!

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I’m Aaron Henriques a British pilot & business person here to share my journey as I strive to become a professional pilot starting at the age of 33 years old!

I’ll be sharing an honest account that I hope will be useful to the many people who can only dream of becoming a professional pilot and inviting on some guest speakers. There will be very little editing so be prepared for the odd slip-up or swear! If you’re easily offended… find another podcast.

In This Episode…

» How many out of the 15 ATPL students FAILED the Principles of flight progress test…

» RTFQ!!!

» Why ATPL students should not rely just on question banks.

» How a British Airways pilot cheered us all up!

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You can follow me on Instagram @AaronHenray and see my latest videos and pictures.

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Podcast Episode Transcript

  [00:00:00] Aaron Henriques: Hello, everyone. To talk to you about what happened over the last week we've lots of failures that have gone on and a big wake up call for lots of people in our class. So we had a few progress tests this week and had HPL that's human performance and limitations. We had that and. For the majority of the class, that was fine. [00:00:28] I was one of them that did very odd, odd things in my selections. I don't quite know what I did. But it's something of RTF Q read the frigging question. If you don't read the question, occasionally get her answer. So I had to retake that and pass that with flying colors. After the tutor said, did you actually bother to read the questions? [00:00:50] So that there are only a couple who, who didn't pass that. But what happened later in the week is we all had a principles of flight progress test and the results were shocking. And then everyone worked really hard on it. I know I did. And when we opened up that test, I was like, have I even been in any of my lessons because. [00:01:18] Out of the 15 people who took that test 12 failed and the other free hoop actually passed only got 1% above the pass mark. So we all really struggled in that the average score was really low. And it's something that was really a wake-up call for lots of people, really, because it's just something. [00:01:44] You have to know, principles of flight is so core to aviation. It's such a big subject and it can be really complicated, but clearly lots of us haven't quite grasped the subject overall. So that day when was it? I think it was Friday, Thursday. You know, I spent the whole evening until like 10 o'clock at night in the, in the club. [00:02:09] And then retook the exam. And, you know, luckily, unfortunately when you retake the exam or maybe, unfortunately, I'm not sure when you retake the exam, it's you get different questions. So you do sort of have to, you can't just memorize the answers for the ones you got wrong. You have to actually go away and learn a few things. [00:02:28] There's some new equations that we'd never seen and it's just applied that. And then thankfully got 90%. But I know lots of my classes still have retakes to do, and lots of people have really put back, you know, buy it. And, you know, I think the only thing that sort of cheer people up was we had a visit from a British airways pilot called John who's. [00:02:54] You know, he's 31 years old and he's a 747 first officer. You know, he's done really well. And he, he just told us a few things, which I'm going to go over in another podcast. We've also had a visit from four other pilots, which all the information they put together, I'm going to sort of summarize some of the things that they've said people should be doing to you know, sort of improve their chances in aviation and sort of a bit about their careers and how they've ended up where they are. [00:03:23] What I ended up doing to end the week over the weekend on Saturday. Well, Friday I needed cheering up, so I thought, you know what, I'm going to buy a Bose headset. So I did, I got an, a 20 headset on route to me now. Hopefully it's as good as people say, otherwise it's a thousand pounds of waste cause I've really got a headset. [00:03:43] But I went up flying on Saturday and it was just good just to get back in the air, just to remember. Y I'm actually going through this because after the amount of work I put in, in principles of flight to then fail a progress test in it, it was just so demoralizing. It was like, how on earth? How on earth have you managed to fail so badly? [00:04:08] And. You know, I was probably three or 4% above the average, you know, the average in our class was under 50%, which was quite shocking. So I went flying and did some rough over circuits. It was very windy and gusting. I think it was like dusting 30 or something at some point, and to do a flat plus and glide approaches and you know, normal circuits and stuff. [00:04:32] And yeah, it was just good, fun too. Just go out and practice some of the things I've not done in quite a while. And we've had the class ahead of us today. Who've gone off and they're doing their exams. It's most of them I believe were at Gatwick. So lots of people have gone off over the weekend to stay at gap near Gatwick and the hotels. [00:04:57] And they'll be there for the week during their module two exam. So be excited to see sort of how many of them get through them first time. And who's gonna do what, and if any, you know, if any of them are actually gonna drop out or, you know, maybe you don't continue into module. 'cause that's something that we keep being told by our instructors is that the majority of people will not see for all three modules. [00:05:22] Right now I'm not at that stage. And I haven't heard anyone else at that stage where they're thinking about leaving, but we are an all male class, like I said before, and it may just be that people aren't airing their views. But I just wanted to share that quickly. You know, it was a really tough week for everyone. [00:05:40] No one likes failing particularly so badly in a subject that's really sort of woken people up to. I don't even know if it's just the amount of work you have to do. It's also, you know, can you understand it? And lots of people have been relying on question banks and you know, I haven't been one of them, but I actually think I should do more on a question. [00:06:02] Banks. I barely do any mostly just still reading. Going through notes and stuff, but lots of people do rely on the question banks and when they see questions that they haven't seen before, it can become a bit of an issue for them. So that's something that perhaps that test was designed in that way to sort of shake people up a bit and think, do you know what guys, you need to really pull your socks up because. [00:06:27] I honestly, I don't know how we all did so badly, but looking ahead, we've got another week ahead. We've got massive balance progress tests next week, which has been put back three times already. That's been packed because there's certain calculations that the whole class are really struggling with. Ima a massive balance. [00:06:46] It's. It's just seems like they make it so complicated, unnecessarily complicated. You know, they'll put triple negatives in a, in a in a question in a really long question, they'll put a triple negative among it, and if you miss it, you know, you'll get the wrong answer. You'll get an answer which is displayed in your multiple choice, but it would be the wrong answer and they put it there deliberately. [00:07:12] To catch you out to make sure that you've got that attention to detail. We've also got a coms communications progress, test VFR and IFR coming up, which hopefully shouldn't be too bad. I've done a few mock sort of question bank. Comms examples and, you know, even getting sort of 95 to a hundred percent on all of those. [00:07:36] So fingers crossed the common should be fairly easy. Like they say, but touch word, who knows they may, they may well throw something in a spanner, in the works for people able we'll leave it there. And I'm going to try and put together some information about. Visit from the, we had bought, we've had five pilots this week from different airlines, one business jet pilot and the rest were all airline pilots, which I'll put together some information. [00:08:08] I did write some down already. And what I'll do is I'll sort of share that with people, the sort of hints and tips that they've said you know, cause they've all been through this. Some of them have been free. Recently as well. And they've come from from Stapleford flight center where I am now going into other airlines. [00:08:24] So it'll be good to see actually what, you know, how they've done that and to share that with you guys and girls, okay. Speak to you soon.

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