22 June 2012

School excursion

Remember when you were a kid and you went on a school excursion? You had to pair up and hold hands with the person next to you. Thankfully we didn't have to do that today, because there's only one girl on our course and I don't really fancy holding hands with any of the guys.

Anyway, one of the subjects we're studying at work is Principals of Flight. Part of that subject is a visit to the BAe hangar at Melbourne airport to have a look at a 737-200. The aircraft used to belong to Philippine Airlines, these days it's used to train future aircraft engineers.

So this afternoon we got to do something that not so many people get to do since 9/11, and that's sit in the pilot's seat of an airliner. Okay, it was in a hangar and didn't go anywhere, but we didn't care. One of my workmates said we were like a bunch of happy kids. That pretty much sums it up.

10 June 2012

ATC school

I feel like a bit of a fraud at the moment. After spending the last eight years getting a degree, three of those while filling shelves as a casual employee in a supermarket, I'm now getting paid to study.

I started work as an ATC trainee last Monday (two weeks ago) and spent a whole week going through the whole corporate induction thing. It's understandable that they want us to learn about the values of the company and all that, but it's so boring when you're looking forward to getting into the nitty-gritty of being an air traffic controller.

Anyway, here's a picture of my school.

The tall building in the background is the new tower, which should be operational sometime next year, and isn't part of the school. The other buildings make up part of the Airservices academy, where air traffic controllers are trained. There's a lot more to it than what's in the pic, but I'd just finished work and though I'd grab a couple of quick piccies. If you look closely, you can see my reflection in the window.

At the moment I'm studying air law, principles of flight, instruments and aids, and meteorology. Apart from air law, most of it is stuff I've studied before as a pilot, but I'm still learning a lot of stuff too, as are the other people I'm working with that have pilot's licences.

We've also been told that those of us on the tower course, like me, have to get a certificate in weather observing. I nearly got a job as a trainee weather observer with the bureau of meteorology last year. I ended up on the reserve list, meaning if someone had turned down the job, I would have got an offer. I'm actually going to get to meet the guys and girls that beat me to it, because that's where our training will be, at the BoM training school.

So you can imagine how much I'm enjoying my new job. Sometime in the next couple of months we get to crawl all over a Boeing 737, visit the museum at Essendon airport, visit Avalon airport, and visit BoM's HQ in the city. Did I mention I'm getting paid for this? It'll all end up on the blog too.

To top it all off. Back in Brisbane, most of the aircraft that flew past our backyard were 737s and A320s coming from New Zealand, New Caledonia, or Fiji, plus the daily Emirates 777 from Auckland. We get A380s flying over our place here. The picture below was shot from our backyard this afternoon.


Loving my new job at the moment.