Friday, July 21, 2017

It's a beautiful morning, I have the windows wide open and fan running.  My day off for the weekend, having had a gloriously extravagant shower (a whole ten minutes!), the day stretches out ahead with endless hours... for studying.

Sim 3 is behind us, although it was terrifically messy and I didn't think particularly well done.  I had my EASA medical yesterday morning - my, the Swiss are intense - and I'm pretty sure after that experience I am guaranteed to live at least 1,000 years.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday hold three sins at 1245, 0845 and 0445 respectively, so today is trying to get ahead of the study as especially between Sunday and Monday there will be little to no time to prep.  Then we get a couple of days off - hurray!

Maybe this afternoon, if I have an efficient morning, we will go for a swim in the lake.

Last night we went to a Chinese restaurant - well, three of us did - and it was really nice.

F refused to be in the photos.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


It is storming again, which is lovely as it brings the musty but fresh storm smell along with it, and the heavy thunder.  I open my windows wide so I can enjoy it: what's a little rain on the floor?  

It was another long day for sim#2, I'm not sure why I always get left with the weird ones but there you go.  For me, it went well, for my sim partner, let's say that he is walking on very thin ice.  I truly hope it improves in sim#3, which is incidentally tomorrow night 2045-0300.  I then have my EASA medical at 0800!  Whoopee :)

The weekend off, I think will be spent studying, as apparently the sims ramp up from now on in! 

Monday, July 17, 2017

At 0700, the bells woke me, having no compassion for the fact that I didn't sleep until 0130.  I went to bed at 2230 like a responsible citizen, but was wide awake and unable to rest for hours.  I'm putting it down to a combination of stress before the sim today and pain from the pulled muscle in my neck (not to be confused with nerve pain).  

I'm actually sleeping in the spare room, as one of the many tricks I tried last night which included eating popcorn, reading a book, showering, changing rooms to enjoy the freshly laundered sheets in Room #2, and despairing of ever getting to sleep.  It's weird how the more one wants to sleep the more one realises that one has absolutely no idea how to achieve it.  

Yesterday we had Emergency Procedures which was the most pointless course I've been on - as we have to do a company specific course anyway - but the fire fighting was fun!

I'm the stubby one, second from the left 

It is now Sim Day, full flight sim #1, but I have until lunch time before I go in.  Wish me luck!

Swiss update

A week has passed! 

Michael left on Monday, which was ever so sad as I so enjoyed having him here.  We didn't do any big outing together after Resetenstock as I had to study, but we did wander around Zurich and swim in the Limmat.  After he left, it was back to work: a week of ground exams.  

The exams finally over, we had our last fixed base sim session... which was a disaster but which I'm not going to complain about on the blog.  Suffice it to say, I hope tomorrow's first full flight sim goes better.  I have done ever so much prep so here's to hoping someone else does also!

Yesterday afternoon, K (the FO with us) and I went down to the lake to the chinese gardens and met up with some friends of hers, played volleyball (sans net) and swam in the lake.  This being mainly out of my depth was a little scary and more work than I would have liked.  However, I survived.  Of course, I did not let on to the Other People that I did not like being so far away from a foothold! 

Today we have Emergency Procedures which is unnecessary and nobody seems to know why we have to do it as we do company specific EPs when we get back to Aus.  However, we also get to fight real fires so I don't really mind as I'm an arsonist at heart. 

This is the church Dad and I visited on Monday:

Monday, July 10, 2017

A weekend with Michael

Apparently I have been here for 10 days as my data expired this morning.  Panic not, I have updated it. 

I have had the most wonderful weekend with my father, who flew over to join me, topped off with 100% in both of my exams this morning: the times systems exam scheduled for 80 minutes took me 25, much to the instructor's horror - and then relief when he marked it.  I think he thought I had made a terrible mistake.

On Saturday, Dad and I took the train to Luzern (or Lucerne, if you must) which we had been recommended to see - Luzern, not the train.  We didn't actually hang around to see the place, but having also been recommended to take a ferry, we jumped on the first boat.  This took us around the lake for an hour, finally stopping at Beckenreid, from which we took a cable car up to Klewenalp.  All of this at great expense of course.

Having found ourselves at Klewenalp, there was nothing else for it but to climb a mountain - all of this strictly ad libbed and unplanned of course, as what is a day if you know what you are doing?  Indeed we chose Beckenreid because it was as far as we could go on that particular boat, and chose Klewenalp because that is where the cable car went, and I did so much want to experience a cable car.

View from the cable car

We decided to hike to a restaurant called Brisenhaus SAC, which we had been told about by the woman who sold us the cable car tickets.  It will take about an hour and a half, she said.  She was probably about right, but when we got up there we decided to stick with a large beer each and a Mars bar, as the place was certainly rather more hovel-ish than restaurant, and filled with flies.  After our energy had renewed somewhat, Dad seemed to want to climb higher.

I agreed on the strict basis that we would "go a little way up" and then finding ourselves high above the hovel-chalet, I couldn't help myself but continue.  I am not a quitter!

The chalet in the far distance

The last couple of hundred metres to the ridge were some of the most painful in my life to date.  In fact the last ten or so I barely managed to squeeze out.  However, reaching said ridge we found a view so breathtaking that the energy seemed renewed instantaneously. 

The first peek

We continued along the ridge gradually higher to Resetenstock, a peak of 2290m, and the view became more and more immense.  We even found snow!

Every last agonising step became worthwhile just to see that view.

The way down was almost as hard, with burning knees especially as we were trying to out-descend the incoming weather.

Yes, we were up there. That little lump, top middle right.

We got back to Zurich tired and sore at about 2200, having stopped in Beckenreid for fondue and beer on the way back.  I do like the Swiss food - but I am not so keen on the prices! 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Type rating progress

Well, it feels like this TR has been going forever, and it is not even the end of week 1!  I have just completed CBT (computer based training) which technically finishes tomorrow so I have an extra day to review before the systems exam on Monday.

Unlike the previous course, who had an entire week before their first fixed base sim, ours was rostered on day 2 this first week, so we are about to go in to our third session.  Mind you, we have had zero time to prepare as all our energy has been spent on our systems.  Thankfully, our latest instructor actually teaches us rather than expects us to know things to begin with.

Tomorrow is the last fixed base sim for the week and then we will go home early so we can review at home: much nicer than in the training centre environment, and it means I can eat popcorn while I prep.  Ha!

Saturday I hope to make an explore-Switzerland day, to be followed up by one more day of review.

It does seem to be dragging on awfully: I'm not really a studying sort of human bean.

PS, on the subject of beans, the sim centre is a veritable rabbit warren of corridors, stairs, elevators, and about six different buildings to boot.  Unfortunately, unlike the Battle School, the LAT buildings do not have light up stripes on the walls to show me where to go.  

Friday, June 30, 2017

Switzerland Day 1

My first impression of Switzerland is that everything costs money.  It may just be the hotel, but wow.  Our hotel rooms are paid for, but then the hotel charges a 2.50CHF city tax per day for staying in the room.  I got up this morning to make coffee... no kettle.  Called downstairs and was told it would be 6CHF per day to hire a kettle.  What?  Does that come with tea, coffee, milk and a mug, or is there a separate tax for each?  I thankfully brought my own coffee and French press, so went to reception to fill up with hot water... only to come back to the room and realise there was no mug.  I am resorting to drinking coffee out of a Heineken glass.

In an hour or so I will be making my way to the airport to buy a SIM card as the wifi here cuts in and out every minute or so, and I want to explore the city and feel I would get lost without my phone!  

View from the hotel window