Student Blog Part 2 – Beatrice Secchi – Ryanair Mentorship Programme

Ciao a tutti!

Here we go with the next stage of my journey! ????

It has been another busy few months flying but I have to tell you about one of my highlights as a Ryanair mentored cadet. My classmates and I had the chance to visit Cork airport to have a tour with Base Captain Brian Coomey of the crew rooms in Ryanair and a Boeing 737! Of course as a former cabin crew member I was used to being on this plane and even in the cockpit, but doing the walk around and the shut down checklist in the cockpit with the base captain, really had me daydreaming of what my new job is going to be like.

While studying for the PPL theoretical exams I also continued to work through my flying lessons. These lessons have been about steep turns, basic instrument flight and navigation, which I definitely like the most!

The first step for good nav is accurate flight planning on the ground using your map. Precise track and heading calculations, will make your work while flying much easier! In flight you have to be really situationally aware and sure of your position on the map at all times. You need to calculate the estimated time of arrival for each checkpoint you have previously chosen and of course maintain constant communication on the radio. It can seem overwhelming, but the more you practice, the easier it gets!

I can’t wait for my hour building to navigate and fly to different places, Ireland is beautiful and I’m looking forward to exploring it! ????

Here I am planning my first diversion up in the air, a very intense moment but very rewarding when you succeed in getting were you wanted at the time you planned!

Before I knew it PPL theoretical exams came around. I prepared taking notes in class, studying the books provided and answering the exercise questions at the end of each chapter and those provided by our instructor. I also used an app to get a little extra practice..

The 9 exams were split in two days. After each of them you find out the result straight away! Every time the result page was loading my heart was beating like crazy! Most of the people in my class passed them first time with high grades! Good job everybody!! 

Not all of the class could make it unfortunately, but some of us celebrated together this first success with a well deserved night out! 

In this picture me and my friend Lionel are at the Safety night organized by the General Aviation Safety Council UK and Ireland in Cork.

It was a great opportunity to reflect about general aviation safety and it focused on maintaining situational awareness and on threat and error management as a mean of preventing mid-air collision, loss of control and airspace infringements. A nice way to learn new interesting stuff to enhance safety, which can never be stressed enough!!!

Last but not least my FIRST SOLO!
AFTA has a second training base at Waterford airport, a small aerodrome east of Cork. It is perfect for solos as it has less traffic than Cork. As in Cork the air traffic controllers are great, really nice and patient and Waterford was where I completed my first solo flight.

I needed some extra time to go on my first solo circuit as I struggled a little to get it right, especially landings. I think my major problems were confidence and stress, but thanks to perseverance and determination (mine and my instructor’s) I did it at last!! It was such an emotion, hard to explain in words… I guess is one of those things you can only truly understand when you live them personally.

I really want to thank my AFTA instructor for the patience he had and the help he gave me. Also, I want to thank my grandma sitting in the back, who’s tea I can’t spill ????

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