CORONAVIRUS INFLUENCING PILOT STUDENTS

The Government has decided that Norway is in lockdown until after Easter (at least). This brings a lot of challenges for my flight school with regard to flight operations and ground school. Although, I feel like one of the lucky ones for currently having theory only. I can study and do my tasks at home.

DISTANCE LEARNING
Since my class was not able to sit for our CAA exams this time, we have proceeded with the lessons as per scheduled originally. Due to the virus outbreak, we are not allowed to physically go to school, and instead, we have started the new semester with distance learning.

We are following our instructors’ lessons through video presentations and we are given different tasks to finish for due times. The progress tests also continue as before but from home. A new situation both for students and instructors, but I think it is solved in a convenient manner.

On the other hand, I am lucky that I am a student right now compared with all airline employees laid off these days. The good news is, for each day passing, we are one day closer to get our lives back to normal. Stay home and take care ❤️

MEDICAL REVALIDATION

One year has passed since my initial medical examination and that means it is time to revalidate the certificate. I was supposed to have my medical check in Tønsberg, but as this COVID-19 situation appeared, I fortunately got a last-minute appointment here in Sandnes.

I started with filling out a standard form followed by blood and urine samples, balance exercises, eyesight/vision tests, blood pressure, weight and height. Pretty much a simplified version of the initial examination. I got some updated allergy medicines as well, so now I am prepared for spring and summer.

The check took about 1 hour and everything was fine. 3100 NOK poorer, good to go and certificate valid for one more year.

CANCELED EXAMS

Due to the challenges Norway and the rest of the world are facing right now, the Norwegian CAA exams are all canceled for the coming weeks. No one knows for how long, and that’s totally fine, our health is the most important altogether. Hopefully, this crisis will cease faster than expected. Fingers crossed.

I was supposed to go to Poland after my exams and during Easter, but as for now, it looks like the smartest thing to do is to stay in Norway.

I’ve lucky enough managed to fly over to my mum for now. Such a surreal situation being the only passenger on board the flight to get here. A big thanks to Widerøe for still flying.

Take care, stay at home and wash your hands 🤍

LATELY

Already the end of February. Once again, time flies!

School is going fine and so far I´ve enjoyed the subjects. We have already finished both Radio Navigation and Meteorology. It has been so cool to know and understand more about the weather phenomena occurring around the world and to reflect on how much a pilot´s life revolves around the weather.

And by the way. A few weeks ago we got a little sneak peek of the B737 simulator during RNAV class. Mostly to take the theory into practice. Excited for what the future holds!

Nowadays my days are spent reading Air Law and Flight Planning. Mostly it´s about plotting charts and learning laws and regulations. When finishing the two subjects it´s time for CAA exams again. Before that, I am ready for some more weeks of hard work and dedication.

Some days Robin is flying by Torp and that’s an own little motivation to see him land and take-off through the classroom window. My favorite pilot 👆🏼🥰

Weekend is almost over and tomorrow it’s back to business. Ciao ciao ✈️

SNOWY DECEMBER

December has been all about charging my batteries for the challenges that await me in 2020.

The most beautiful there is.

I haven´t done too much, but luckily I´ve had the time to visit both Robin in Gdansk, my mum on the west coast of Norway and my dad in winter wonderland. Pretty much covered it all.

I’ve enjoyed my mum’s homemade food, spent time with family, been out skiing and I’ve eaten loads of Christmas candies.

Moving on to one of the highlights of my month off. I luckily got to hang out with some of my former colleagues on my way from SVG to OSL. It has been quite a while since last time I jumpseated. So much fun to see how much more I understand now, compared with before I started my flight training. Such a motivation boost aswell.

Early morning at OSL.

Robin is arriving later today, and we will head to the cabin for New Years’. Another chance for both of us to relax, and most importantly, I will try to learn the Swede how to do cross-country skiing!

On Friday it´s time to go back to Sandefjord already and next week it´s back to school again. Time flies. Ciao!

MY FAVORITE INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS

Instagram is by far my dearest social media platform and one of my biggest inspiration sources. It also boosts my motivation whenever I need it.

If you´re ambitious and an Instagrammer I guess you´ve seen these guys before, but anyway. Here are my five favorite aviation accounts which for sure will make your Instagram feed complete. Each and one of them unique and creative in their own way. (Too bad I do not have any helicopter people on this list, but if you know any heli accounts worth to check out, let me know).

👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

1. the_bassen

2. @aeromanu

3. @lumix_aviation

4. @syjorgen

View this post on Instagram

Longing for better days . Days like this .

A post shared by 🇳🇴✈️ (@syjorgen) on

5. @500kts

That´s it for now. I hope you´ll enjoy these accounts as much as I do!

EXAMS DONE

My first CAA exams. I’ve done my absolute best and last week I finished 6 exams for the CAA. All in all my first sitting has been a nice experience. The good (or bad) thing now is that I will be finished with all the 14 subjects within the next 18 months. Hopefully!

It has been an intense period with a lot of ups and downs. I’ve felt like being stuck in my room as I’ve been in front of my desk the whole day for the last weeks. Even the weather has matched my boring indoor life. Luckily it´s Christmas leave already. A well deserved and needed break.

The most exciting pictures from my exam preparations. A pink motivation boost came by mail, thank you ❤️❤️

Now I’m in Poland and will be here for a few weeks before I go home to Norway to visit my family during Christmas. It´s time to be social and to turn on notifications on my phone again. At least for a while.

And December, I’ve been waiting for you. The coziest time of the year. Gdansk needs some snow very soon, though!

STUDENT LIFE UPDATE

The first months at school have been very intensive. We have lessons from 8 to 15 every day except weekends. Weekends are “off”, but that does not really mean off, because all available time is spent on studying. Not much (or any) time left for other things.

We are now almost done with all of the subjects for this semester. We are through Human Performance and Limitations, General Navigation, Principles of Flight and VFR & IFR communications. Before we start on the last one, Mass and Balance, we have had one week of self-study.

I went straight to Poland after our progress test on Friday. Long time no see, and it has been so, so nice to be here. Absolutely perfect with an environmental change. I really miss being here more often, Gdansk (and this apartment) has my heart. I do not want to go back yet.

My batteries are now fully charged and I’m ready to get started with Mass and Balance on Monday morning. So far so good and I am still a happy student!

MY FIRST TWO WEEKS AT SCHOOL

Wednesday last week was my first day at school. And I guess most of you know what that feels like. The first day was all about orientation, information, and uniform fitting. We ended the day with some relevant maths for aviation personnel. 

Thursday we had some more orientation, study methods and a safety course. This was also the first day in our uniforms. Friday we just uploaded our documents, medical and passport, and then we took some portraits to our student ID.

This Monday we started with the theory. Our first two classes are General Navigation and Human Performance and Limitations. So that’s what all my days basically have consisted of. We are finishing the whole theoretical part before we get to fly. Eat, sleep, read and repeat.

Next week we have our first progress tests, and I hope I´ll become best friends with the navigation part during the weekend.

From a permanent job, with a safe and sound everyday life to a completely new student life in an unknown city, with unknown people. It has been kind of weird, but I guess it takes some time to get used to this new life. Anyway, the last weeks have flown by.

After three weeks as an unemployed (haha), I am happy to make me some normal routines again though. Actually, I appreciate being back in Norway (for now), with no need for Google Translate in the grocery stores. 😀

All in all, it´s exciting to finally be a pilot student!

STEP TWO: FUNDING YOUR PILOT TRAINING

The second step from being a cabin crew to become a commercial pilot: funding.

The financial part of the education might be the first and most important factor to figure out. I know this is one of the main obstacles for many aspiring pilot students out there because pilot training is pretty expensive. 

In the Nordic countries, we are lucky to have different student loan organizations, like the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund (Lånekassen) and The Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN). These organizations allocate low-interest loans and grants for students attending government-approved schools. Most schools have some information about this solution in their web pages worth to check out. You can read more about pilot training and the Norwegian Lånekassen here.

Some schools have deals with selected banks to grant student private loans, some people finance the whole training from their own pocket, some work hard for years and save their money, and some people do their training at government-funded schools (or in the military).

As you see there are multiple ways to finance your training and most students end up combining several options. The most common being governmental support, bank loans, and own savings.

Unfortunately, the schools catching my interest abroad did not have approval from the Norwegian student loan organization, and that´s the main reason why I will do my pilot training in Norway. For me, it was essential to find a school where I would be able to finance the entire education upfront, to get the chance to finish on time and avoid involuntary breaks (due to financing) along the way. 

My best advice is to research a lot, and to ask people who has done this before. Everyone has a different story to tell and it may be helpful to hear the experiences of others.