My name is Brona Bergin and I am 20 years old. I am proudly part of the first intake of the joint program between AFTA and Munster Technological University, Global Business and Pilot Studies. I started off my flight training in AFTA with no flight experience, which is no problem, but I would recommend taking a flight or two before starting your assessment process if possible. There are people in my class with different levels of previous flight experience and thankfully I was up to speed up in no time, and you can too!
I’ve always aspired to become a pilot and the MTU and AFTA program felt like the perfect fit for me. This program allowed me to experience college life and gave me some time to mature before getting into the intense, demanding flight training aspects of the program which comes after two semesters in MTU. During that time spent in MTU, we studied International Business, giving me a great insight into the world of Business Studies, which no doubt is great to have a broad understanding of before entering the workforce. After my initial two semesters in MTU, I moved onto AFTA, located next to Cork International Airport, for my ground school and flight training, once I am finished my ground school and flight training with AFTA, I will spend my final two semesters studying with MTU online.
Ground school in AFTA began in June. We began with 10 days of theory for the subjects that make up the PPL. Our instructor, Eoin was very diligent, helpful and explained everything for everyone to understand and helped us to apply to our self-study leading up to our exams in October.
After ground school, we had 3 days of long briefs. These detailed and explained what the first few flight lessons would consist of. Our next step was to get flying! Everyone in my class got booked in for lessons in the next few days, so we could finally take to the skies. We had great flying weather which meant we got plenty of flight training in during this period.
The next step was circuit training which takes place in Waterford Airport. Thankfully, AFTA organsies this accommodation in Waterford for this period and we, the students, could focus on training.
This was enjoyable as Waterford Airport is a lot quieter than Cork Airport yet you still have plenty of traffic , to get good practice and exposure in. Weather can be a challenge at times during flight training as was the case for us in Waterford, but we still got through the required lessons no problem.
It was a great feeling to see such progression in just the few short weeks we had been studying and training with AFTA. The instructors are very encouraging which helps greatly when approaching solo level.
Your first solo flight is hard to describe. By this stage, you will have been doing 6 or 7 circuits in an hour, you don’t even notice the left seat empty until you land! It is a super feeling though. It was a nice break, which brings us to now, our navigation training.
We have to complete the last few hours of solo and nav and have started night flying while keeping up with study for our PPL exams.
It’s a tricky balance watching the weather, preparing for bookings and trying to study all at once but hopefully it will all be worth it in October! I’ll keep you posted.