19 April 2018

Back in the Netherlands!

It's been a while since I posted here. This is mainly due to the fact that I have been taking some time off from everything that had to do with flying, including this blog and aviation photography.

After successfully obtaining my Instrument Rating (see previous blogpost) and doing the UPART training I had a couple of days off to catch up with family and friends before starting the MCC/AJFC with EPST in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The majority of these days I spent at my parents' house in Westkapelle.



Westkapelle is the place where I grew up as a kid and I still love going. It is situated on the westernmost point of the Netherlands in the province of Zeeland and is surrounded by the sea. It is very popular amongst tourists from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Especially in summer in can get quite crowded there!

As it had already been over two months since I had seen our dogs and the weather was lovely, I decided to take them to the beach for some playtime! 

The days off were well spent and in the blink of an eye it was time to head back to my apartment in Amsterdam, where I am currently writing from. The final part of my training to become a fully licensed airline pilot - MCC/AJFC - was about to commence.

Up until now all flying has been done according to the Single Pilot principle, where I (the student) have been doing all the flying etc. myself. The main goal of the MCC/AJFC is to create good Crew Resource Management (CRM) and to prepare the student for the airlines. The MCC/AJFC with EPST is a very intensive course that requires upmost concentration and dedication (especially with the current weather in Amsterdam). The first day we received a big folder which contains all the information that is needed to complete the course. The folder is also known as the 'bible' for the MCC/AJFC. One important part of it is the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that need to be memorised for completion of the course. The SOPs embrace a huge part of learning how to fly a Boeing 737NG (the aircraft that is used as the framework for the MCC/AJFC). The first two weeks we were given the time to learn these procedures by heart. A very important and handy tool to do so is the mock-up.


Mock-up of a Boeing 737NG cockpit

Last Monday we had our first day of ground school that was supervised by a former student of EPST who currently flies the MD-11F at Lufthansa Cargo after spending several years as a first officer with Germanwings on their Airbus fleet. He told us that - apart from the technical skills - non-technical skills would embrace a big part of the course as well. This all to make us better teamplayers, decision-makers and thus pilots. From here we continue our journey with the MCC/AJFC, which should all be completed in about 6 weeks time. 

So apart from the few days off I had prior to starting the MCC/AJFC I have been studying everyday and I am pretty sure I will be doing so for the coming 6 weeks! 

I'm happy to be back!

Sunset over Amsterdam

© Daan van der Heijden