Gatwick Part 2…

Happy new year everyone, hope you’ve all had a good start to 2019. My first few weeks of 2019 have been filled with revision for three ATPL exams, Aircraft General Knowledge, Air Law and Radio Navigation. 

My examinations were due to start on the Monday with Flight Planning, then having one every day ending with Radio Navigation on the Thursday afternoon. Over Christmas I decided not to sit Flight Planning, and to sit that later on with General Navigation or some module 3 exams. I just didn’t feel I’d be prepared enough for the exam and importantly, not confident enough with the calculations. There are currently a lot of people failing this exam because they simply do not know the calculations and knowledge required to pass. For this reason I decided it best to really get to grips with it and know it backwards. It was also the weaker of the four in module 2 for me.

I drove down on the Sunday and in honesty, this was my first big drive so far from my hometown of Leeds. It really is a shame and slight irritation that there is nowhere in the north of England to sit CAA exams (Or even to attend initial Class One Medicals!). With that said, I did really enjoy Gatwick again. It is magical down there, the world’s busiest single runway airport until recently. Seeing so many aircraft of varying sizes and listening to them and the air traffic controllers with my aircraft radio scanner from my room in the Gatwick Travelodge definitely kept me motivated throughout last minute studies. I’m sure I mentioned it last time but the CAA’s building at Gatwick – Aviation House is rather impressive. The Airbus A320 winglet and windsock in the atrium never fail to bring a smile to my face whilst sitting awaiting exams. Aviation House always manages to send a chill down my spine, it’s a very powerful place full of very powerful people whom have so much control over the UK Civil Aviation Industry, I suppose it’s a bit like our very own Ministry of Magic without the Holywood actors!

I sat AGK on the Tuesday afternoon, panicking about the new European Central Database Questions that had been rumoured. Now I can say that this was a very hard exam with new questions which were not in the feedback or Bristol Groundschool Question Bank. This is why I paid particular attention to learning the subject in addition to potential questions. This stood me in good stead for these exams. Secondly came Air Law, a small exam in comparison to the other two, only 44 questions. The questions in Air Law were fair, with some tricky questions which left me concerned. Radio Navigation was thankfully very much based upon feedback and questions I had seen before. Again there were new questions, particularly on GPS and Satellites, but thankfully I had again paid attention to learning the subject in addition to potential questions.

Filled with anxiety and trepidation regarding my results, I drove home Thursday Evening, not managing to get much sleep thinking about results. No matter what exam from GCSE to present, I never know how I have done. I hate and struggle to gauge my performance and think about it too much but I simply cannot help but worry. Results are always emailed through subject by subject in order of the exam sequence you sat. I arrived at work at 8 O’Clock on Friday morning and did my best to work whilst waiting for my results. These didn’t start coming through until 9:15! As soon as my phone first vibrated I began shaking but was delighted to see I had passed AGK. The same applied to the second two results, shaking but being delighted to find two further passes.

6 exams done, 8 to go! It’s going to be tough! I have until the 31st of October or I have to start them all again! I plan to sit General Navigation and Flight Planning over my Easter Break from University. After graduation I’ll be blasting Mod 3 until I’m blue in the face. Until then however, it’s time to write the infamous University Dissertation.

But that’s for another post…


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