As air temperature increases, density…?

Air temperature and density is most important to the aviator.  On Monday the temperatures rocketed to levels I didn’t know were possible for the UK in mid summer, never mind May.  The thing is, I wasn’t doing any aviating so all it did for me was ensure I got frostbite from the air conditioner in the classroom.  It also made me enjoy my lunch too so that’s two things.

Last week I was two weeks away from T1’s, now there is only one week to go.  I’m not as wound up about it, there’s no need to be.  There has been an improvement in Principles of Flight; Meteorology too but there’s still a long way to go.  The rest of the subjects are going quite well, the pace is still rapid and there is a lot to remember but they are not quite as complicated.  Human performance is the least complicated and is just based on remembering stuff – including how the memory works!

Recently, in Instruments, we started looking at gyroscopes.  I knew they were cool and all that but I didn’t know how cool.  It turns out that they are extremely useful.  I finished off my studies this evening by answering some questions on gyro wander.  I was going to offer a decent explanation as to what gyro wander is but it’s really late and I can’t get my head round it enough to do so.

Resident Squirrel

I tried to find a ‘picture of the week’ but there were only two options and I didn’t think either of them were suitable.  One was a picture of the resident squirrel attempting to break into some bin bags left over from a party and the other was the address of a local dentist.  See what I mean?

It has been a crazy week, there has been so much to do.  In each of the subjects we are more than one hundred pages into the text book.  Some of them we are more than two hundred pages in.  I managed to get some studies done at the weekend but not as much as normal because I went home for my Dad’s birthday.  When I first decided I’d go I almost talked myself out of it thinking that it would stress me out too much with the amount of work I had to do.  When the time got closer, taking a break and seeing my family became ever more important.  Now, post-weekend, I can definitely say it was the right decision.  It’s not something I can do too often but it was a great refresher.

We’re in our fourth week of ground school and today finished the third day of that fourth week.  In two weeks we will have our T1’s.  Test 1’s are some school tests to see how well we have understood the things we have been taught so far.  They will be a good measure of how on track we are – something I’d quite like to know.  Before our JAR exams we have school finals but they are a little further down the line right now.  Not as far as you think though, by the end of this week we’ll be a third of the way through Phase 1.

I’m finding Meteorology and Principles of Flight the hardest right now, for reasons that I’m not quite sure how to explain.  Simply put, they are complicated subjects.  I’ll see if I can expand some more on this later, I’m not even sure what you want to know.  All I know is that it’s time to get a decent sleep so I can pay attention tomorrow.  On occasion the only thing keeping me awake is the freezing cold air conditioner blowing in my face.

Quote of the day:  You know this stuff, you just…forget it.

Punk Planes, Punk Instruments, Punk Readings

CRP-5, timetable and a calculator.  What more could
a trainee pilot wish for?

Our instruments teacher is hilarious – and a very good teacher.  We’re already finishing his sentences for him.  One of his favourite is ‘you only get what you…’ ‘…PAY FOR’  comes the response from the group.  He was applying the principle in question to instrument error – manufacturing imperfections.  He then came out with the best summary ever and said: “If you’re going to fly punk planes with punk instruments then you’re going to get punk readings.”

It’s been an interesting week, I’m still coming to terms with the work load.  Some subjects are going really well and I’m finding it relatively easy to keep up with them.  Other subjects, such at Meteorology, are a different story.  I’ve reviewed some of the earlier stuff this evening and it’s making more sense now.  There is still a lot I’m yet to understand though so I’m going to have a quick chat with the instructor over lunch.

Talking of lunch, I was happily munching away on my ham sandwiches when this nice shiny jet rolled past.  That’s motivation enough to finish those sandwiches and get back to class.  Apologies for the top photo, it was taken on my iPhone in poor light conditions – not a good combination.  That’s about it for now, I’d like to tell you some more but I don’t want to bore you to death.  I’ll see if I can pull some more highlights out of ground school during the rest of the week.

The Wonders of Subsonic Airflow

How many times have you stepped onto an aircraft and wondered about the subsonic airflow that would occur over the surfaces of said aircraft?  I think the answer is highly likely not many.  It’s okay though, I hadn’t thought about it either before this week.  The first I heard of it was in ground school.  It’s all very interesting but at the same time quite complicated – you know, the kind of stuff that never goes in first time.

This week we have begun studying the principles of flight along with six other subjects.  Those other subjects are:  DC Electrics, Airframes, Instruments, Human Performance, Piston Engines and Meteorology.  I don’t have a picture of those book because they are scattered around my room and some are in my flight case.  Take a look at the following picture and imagine twice the amount of books.

That pretty much sums up my life for the next six months.  The pace is rapid, in some of the books we have already covered more than sixty pages.  I’m determined though, I haven’t made it this far by chance.  With it being a bank holiday today I had the day off school.  Normally that would be cause for a celebration but in this case it was cause for more study.  I really needed the time, I don’t know how I’m going to get through the work next weekend in just two days.  I’m sure it’ll be fine, hundreds of others have somehow managed it.