The Flying Begins

Flying has finally begun. I’m currently located in the UAE, beginning my Commerical Pilots License (CPL) with EAT (Etihad Aviation Training) as part of the L3 CTS Integrated ATPL. With my first hour now in the logbook, I’m more eager than ever.

Having finally completed the dreaded 14 ATPL EASA exams with L3 CTS at their Southampton training centre, I find myself in the middle of the desert, embarking on my flight training. Last week I took to the skies for the first time in the Cessna 172, an extremely reputable single engine aircraft. The flight was somewhat more of a demonstration and a ‘tour’ of the local airspace in Al Ain. It included scanning flows, which EAT have implemented for us to have a smoother transition from flying small aircraft to when we get to the airlines, checklists and preparation for the flight such as the mass and balance and aircraft performance. Due to the extremely warm weather in the UAE, the aircraft produces much less thrust and lift and due to this, cannot carry as much weight – something which we must consider thoroughly when planning quantities of fuel and baggage to take.

Moving from the classroom to the skies also sees an additional stripe added to my shoulders. At L3 CTS as a ground school cadet you begin with no stripes, gain one once you have passed ground school and another after your CPL skills test. They also provide a pair of wings once you have completed your first solo. Here’s me on our first day at EAT, rocking that one stripe epaulette…

One stripe epaulettes...

I feel really privileged to be able to wear the first stripe on my epaulette, hopefully the first of 4 as I begin the long journey to the left hand seat!

It was incredible to get into the skies to have my first contribution towards my CPL, and seemed extremely rewarding after working tirelessly on the EASA exams. Fingers crossed next week brings more flying and a new update to Aviator Taylor.

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