Things have been rather stagnant for a month or so here, it’s meant a fair bit of money spending to keep occupied as there isn’t much else you can do. I’ve met many nice people and had a really good time whilst spending said money.
I recently asked for some observation flights so that I could focus my studies better and get to know the way the aircraft is operated so that when I finally get flying, I’ll be in a better position and hopefully with have learnt exactly what I need to learn.
My first flight was Doha – Dubai and back, this is a relatively short flight and there isn’t much time in the cruise before you are descending to land. It was good to see how the pilots operated in such a short space of time and I learnt a great deal about how they manage their time. This flight was scheduled to depart at 11:45 so I arrived around 2 hours before hand so that I was able to get involved in the preflight planning.
I was shown which documents needed to be collected and what needed to be checked. We looked at the weather and NOTAMs (notices to airmen) and decided on fuel requirements for the flight. After the paper work was signed and everyone was briefed we made our way to the aircraft.
We got on board the aircraft, got ourselves settled in and met with the cabin crew to have a briefing with them before the Captain and I stepped outside to do the walk around whilst the First Officer set the flight management system up for the flight to Dubai.
After take off we climbed to FL250 and before we knew it, it was time to come back down. The departure and majority of the flight was over the water although you wouldn’t know it as there was a thick layer of haze in the air blocking the view.
The approach into Dubai was a little bumpy but the F/O, who was pilot flying, handled the aircraft nicely and the touch down was very smooth.
On the turn around we had something to eat, had a nice chat with the cabin crew and an hour later were taxing out for take off to return to Doha. In all it was a great day, my first time ever on a flight deck whilst flying, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The next flight was to Kuwait and back, this was a night flight, departing at around 2030 and arriving back in Doha around 0100. The captain and first officer were very helpful, again taking me through everything on the preflight and also asking me questions on the various manuals that I have been reading through. To my surprise there were only a few questions I didn’t know the answers to, which means that somehow, the stuff I’ve been reading has actually been making it into my long term memory.
Personally I really enjoy flying at night, there is something so peaceful about it and of course there is the beauty of the lights all around. The approach into Kuwait was very beautiful, we were brought in over the sea and over the sky scrapers along the coast. I tried to take a good photo of them however the photos were blurry. I was only really able to grab one photo which looks half decent.
And another not so great one on the approach.
As with Dubai, we landed, ate between the turn around and then departed again to come back to Doha. Another great flight and a lot of good information gathered for me to come back home and revise in preparation for when I start flying.
The next event should be me doing my base training, I’m not sure when that is but I got a phone call from the UK CAA saying that my licence verification had gone through so it shouldn’t be too long now. If it isn’t base training then I’ll be doing more observation flights through August. I might even go to Dubai for a few days whilst I’ve got the chance.
Remember to keep those seat belts fastened until the aircraft has come to a complete stop and the seat belt light has been turned off!