My long term goal is to become a commercial pilot. Therefore, when I was told by Mr Howley that there was to be a 3 days Airline Pilot Workshop running during the Term 1 holidays, I had no second thoughts about it and decided to join. This pilot workshop was organised by Flight Academy Australia and was held at Essendon Airport.
We started off with a meet and greet session with the Chief Flying Instructor of Flight Academy Australia, Michael Lanza. Throughout the session, we discussed our expectations and goals towards an Aviation Career and also received useful careers advice on how to best achieve our goals. After that, we had an orientation around the airport and managed to visit to the Control Tower. In the Control Tower, every air traffic controller was busy managing the safe and orderly flow of aircraft in the controlled airspace. However, we managed to talk to one of the controllers about his career and he also explained their daily workload to us. We proceeded to one of the typical flying training aircraft owned by the company. We sat in it and were given a very brief explanation on how the aircraft works. Before Day 1 ended, we started our first lesson which was a mass brief on Effects and Operation of Aircraft Controls as well as Air Law Introduction. We learned about the 3 main controls in an aircraft (Elevator, Ailerons and Rudder) and also their effects on an aircraft while flying.
We started the day with a Q&A session where students could ask any questions regarding aviation. We then started our pre-flight brief and revision on Effects and Operation of Controls, followed by a session on how to conduct a daily pre-flight inspection prior to departure. After doing all the checks, we were ready for our first flying lesson enroute to Bacchus Marsh Airfield. Throughout the flight, we did many air exercises on Operation and Effects of Controls. After landing back at Essendon, we had a de-brief on Lesson 1 and started Lesson 2 which is a mass brief on Straight and Level Flight. We ended our day sitting in an advanced Corporate Jet Aircraft. Those jets are owned by private companies to transport businesspeople. The aircraft was very advanced, spacious and luxurious. Besides that, we got to chat to one of the Corporate Jet engineers. We were told that engineers get the chance to travel in their jets with the businessmen to other countries as they need to maintain the aircraft in good condition while it is overseas. On the other hand, while they are on duty, they can be away from home for a few months the most. Pilots and engineers working on these aircraft get very good pay compared to normal commercial pilots and engineers.
As usual, we started off with a Q&A session then continued with our pre-flight brief and revision of Straight and Level Flight. After all the daily pre-flight inspections, we started our second flying lesson enroute to Bacchus Marsh Airfield again. This time, I was given the chance to make radio calls and did the takeoff and landing with the assistance of my instructor. When we were back at Essendon, we had our de-brief on Lesson 2 and completed our personal log book. Furthermore, we visited Ansett Aviation Flight Simulator Centre and looked at various simulators, where pilots are trained and endorsed to fly modern Jetliners. At the end of the day, we were issued with a course certificate of completion.
Overall, this 3 day Airline Pilot Workshop ended successfully and I learned many new things while broadening my aviation knowledge. I felt very lucky to be able join this program which has given me a great start in an exciting career in Aviation. Lastly, I would like to thank Flight Academy Australia and Wallan Secondary College for offering me this opportunity to participate in this wonderful hands on experience.