Last week, I had my first taste of Cyberexams! I decided to take Human Factors as the initial exam to ease myself into it. Now I'd prepared well and booked for first thing in the morning, I'd like to think that would be the best time, for me anyway, it wouldn't have been nice for three thirty itis to kick in just when that mental capacity was really needed. I'd read the book twice through (completing the reviews along the way) and second time made my owns notes then typed them up as an extra review and condensed each chapter into a page for reading later. There were 2 practice exams in the book plus I'd had a crack at 4 practice cybers as well. That all couldn't really prepare me for the "environment" that these exams are conducted in. When I say environment I mean not only the temperature but the manner and starkness of the tiny room we were all sitting in. I suppose when I think back to either high school, tafe or uni they were probably not very different but it had been a little while since I'd been in this type of setting (I think uni graduation was back in 2000 ).
When I was waiting out the front a few people would look at each other and ask what are they here for and they ranged from met. to an ATPL subject (all fixed wing) so I was the only helo type there. Pretty much the only response I received was wow that's expensive isn't it? Oh man I would have loved to have spent the next hour telling them why it's much better from the right hand seat than the left hand but...
Ok in a nut shell 1 hour exam took me about 20 minutes and managed a respectable pass (ok I'm talking about half way b/w the min and max). At least now I have an appreciation for the way the exams are run for real and will know what to expect next time I turn up.
But the best thing was I'd taken the day off work and after an exam there's nothing better to make you forget about it (some may disagree) than to go for a jaunt in a chopper. Circuits and GAAP ops were on the cards and not having flown again for a week took the regular few minutes to get back into something that resembled a groove. Up til now most of my flying had been in the morning prior to work, so after lunch time the little oven had the temperature up in the cockpit - geez I can't wait for summer - doors off! Up and around, separation issues I can appreciate much more now when you see a 152 meander past over the top of you probably not that far away (I'm pretty sure I was closer to my 700 than he was to his 1000) - hoping I wouldn't see him next time around. It's pretty cool when your hovering at the pad and a jetty tucks in beside you a run up bay and goes off first and gives a target to follow albeit for only short time before its off doing whatever- sorry i digress, it's one of those things I've only ever witnessed from the ground and now I'm pinching myself because i'm the one hovering next to the jetty (blah blah blah). So we'd had a go for a couple of circuits then ventured off a bit to enter the aerodrome from a couple of common inbound reporting points. Trying to remember look for that smoke stack, building, cross street, letterbox or that bloody big sporting venue (now I can see that one alright) while handling those pesky radio calls and trying to fly at the required IAS and altitude etc was a fair load at this stage (well from my 7 hour persepctive anyway) but a) I'd better get used to it, b) can't wait to nail it and c) it was awesome fun!
I knew that exam was on the way early in the week so I'd ordered the remaining theory notes and on Friday afternoon the courier came a knocking and grunted at me as he "dropped" the 20 something kilos of brain pain on my doorstep. Now while it definitley wasn't kid in candy shop kind of stuff, I was looking forward to what was packed inside. As each folder came though my smile was turning and my wife started smiling saying have fun with all that...with a small section of a Brazilan rainforest sitting on the table in front of me, I packed away all but 1 and decided Met would be next .
Next flight Max. Perf. T/O and Steep Approaches
Until next time...
Follow choppernut on his journey to CPL(H).
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