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Ryanair Mentored Cadet Blog – Hugh Maguire (Part 4)

Hi All, welcome back. This time I’ve passed my Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) test, and I’m delighted. It was tough but now that I can really say I’m a qualified commercial pilot it is amazing. We had a small stretch of bad weather when we couldn’t do it, but for those days I kept working through my MEIR simulator sessions.

Training for the CPL brought several new challenges, most notably the new aircraft, the Piper PA-34 Seneca. This is a super powerful turbocharged twin engine aircraft with little to no help from onboard computers used to fly it. The Seneca has ten levers to control the engines, five each, so the workload greatly increases. With that comes added mental capacity. A large part of the SEIR (Single Engine Instrument Rating) training previously was building this capacity, and here we build it further. Having built that capacity I began to love it, the complexity and challenges the Seneca presented really improved my skills as a pilot and will stand to me in the latter stages of training for the Ryanair APS/MCC (Airline Pilot Standard / Multi Crew Cooperation) in the Boeing 737 simulator.

The CPL test is a tricky test to complete. We have to plan a visual cross country navigation and all that is involved with deciding the route in terms of weather, airspace, terrain etc, and flying that route accurately. During the flight test we are asked to complete a diversion in flight, which must be flown accurately, and the calculated time must be within 30 seconds! Further to these, we do upper airwork such as stalls, steep turns, engine failures etc., before routing back to Cork Airport for several circuits under various aircraft configurations.

Additionally, all these flights are completed under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), as opposed to Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) used for the instrument rating modules. VFR is more restrictive on the days we can fly when compared to IFR, but that’s because we navigate with reference to external features on the map, whereas under IFR we use our instruments. I’m back now flying under IFR for MEIR (Multi Engine Instrument Rating). Loving this also, and a new aircraft again! Keep an eye out.