Tuesday, 6 April 2010
I am working like buggery to revise (or learn) my RT for my Radio Telecommunications exams; written exam tomorrow, followed by a run through of the practical exam; then the practical-proper next week.
Lizzie and I did Richard Naish's ground school at Conington in February and it was excellent. We came away reassured that we could do this, having initially found the whole business horrendously daunting. At the end of the day, Lizzie who had done quite a bit of prep passed a mock and I was one mark short, relying very largely on the day's input from Richard.
The practical exam is reputedly the hardest flying-related exam there is and I have to admit I am definitely some way off being ready for that, as it involves following a flight through (using a computer linked to another in a different room) and doing all the calls along the route...and will include every type of call, all types of controller, etc. What I have done on the radio as a student pilot doesn't even begin to cover any of this, but at least I have achieved a small amount of confidence. I have never yet talked to an Air Traffic Controller but I have talked quite a lot to FISOs at Sywell.
When I had my engine failure, I had deliberately not taken my radio with me, even to monitor transmissions, having recently done the RT groundschool - didn't want to get tempted to make a call, when not licenced. I wonder if I would have got in trouble for calling in a Mayday? It was definitely a situation which called for one, ordinarily, except that in a microlight it really doesn't feel like too great a deal really, and maybe my time was better spent trying a re-start and finding a good place to land.
Right, well writing this isn't getting my revision done, so I am off now to revise. Think of me at Conington tomorrow.
Right, well I am now averaging 82% on unseen mock exams (75% is a pass), so I am just about ready....but mustn't get complacent. Incidentally, I get my mocks by subscribing to Airquiz, but I don't do them online. I opt for offline, print them off and am emailed a marking sheet. Then I use my marked scripts to highlight areas needing further study. So far I have taken 5 of their exams and have another ready. I am not sure how many questions they have but I have seen repeats. The trick is not to learn their answers but to use them to identify areas of weakness. In theory I can generate random exams for the next two years, without limit....which is bloody good for a subscription of three quid.
Plus, they welcome emails if you think you might have identified a mistake, which I did, but it turned out that I had got it wrong and should have relied on CAP413 (CAA document....a heavy tome designed to cure insomnia) rather than my now out-of-date Pooleys. Degrees is appended when the last digit is a zero, incidentally; headings normally would not otherwise have degrees after the digits. Jon at Airquiz got back to me with that advice even though it was late at night on a Bank Holiday. Impressive.