After completing the Type Rating I was ready to fly with passengers from A to B in a Boeing 737-800. Line Training is the final part of the training. You get familiar with passengers, tankering, dispatchers and all kinds of unusual stuff which does not happen in the simulator. It is completely different than all the other parts and therefore very exciting! I started last week and I will tell you about my very first flight with passengers.
Based in Barcelona
Last week I looked at my roster and found out that I was based in Barcelona. To be honest I was like, seriously.. Barcelona? You are probably thinking: ‘What are you saying? Barcelona is great!’. Everyone says that to me haha but I don’t look at it like that…yet. Maybe I am not used to this city yet and all these new things scare me but I am sure that I will love the city eventually. 😉 Makes me think about Arizona, America. During my flight training I had to go to Arizona for the flying part. Everyone was also so excited but I was not looking forward to go there at all. Right now, it is my dream to live in America since it is such an amazing place with the kindest people ever. I hope that will be the same case for Barcelona!
The day before my first flight
The day before my first flight I was so nervous. I am not a nervous girl at all. But for this… Wauw. I could not even sleep well the night before! All kinds of questions popped up in my head. Questions like. What if I am not there in time? Will all 4 flights on that day be delayed? What if I can not find the correct crewroom and I will end up being late which results in the worst first impression imaginable? I can continue for a while with all the things I was worrying about but I guess you get the picture… I stayed in the BC Events Hotel and went to bed quite early. However, since I could not relax I ended up falling asleep very late… BEEP BEEP BEEP! 3 hours later my alarm clock ruthlessly awoke me.
The morning before my first flight
I set my alarm at 3 O’Clock in the morning and I went to the airport at 4. With my phone in my hand reading the instructions, I was trying to get to the correct crewroom. You can not believe how happy I was when I realized I found that room in time! Sounds very strange maybe.. I am always worried about being on time. I looked at the weather, printed all the paperwork and before I knew it the safety pilot and captain arrived. Incredibly nice people, luckily! Imagine having your first flight with someone who is not that nice to you uh haha.
Could you repeat that taxi instruction?
Off to our airplane by a bus. My first meeting with Barcelona apron: How big is this airport and where are we? 😮 When we got to the aircraft we performed the walk-around, the stairs situation (Base Training article) and entered the cockpit. I completed the preparation and before I knew it, the passengers boarded the plane. In the simulator you always have plenty of time left and the loadsheet always comes at a convenient time but here it, naturally, arrived in the middle of some busy situation haha. ATC called us and gave us a long and quick taxi instruction in a Spanish accent. I looked at my Captain like ‘Whooot?’ and luckily enough for me he repeated the call. Oke, this definitely needs some improvement from my side haha! Before I realized, we were taxing and were ready to take off.
First flight with passengers
I flew the plane according to the, special, noise abatement procedure in Barcelona, which is a turn at 400 feet/500 feet and acceleration at 3500′ . Our first destination: Ibiza! The flight went so quick, you can not imagine. It was one continuous flow of dealing with things which needed to be done. The safety pilot did my paperwork since I had no time and space left in my brain to concentrate on that. We arrived in Ibiza in the early morning. 25 Minutes later we departed to Barcelona and during the take off I could see some very nice beaches and bays for at least a good 3 seconds! 😉 After we arrived in Barcelona we continued to Rome and back. A longer flight and therefore some more time to deal with everything that was going on. Around 3 O’Clock in the afternoon we were back and surprisingly enough I did not feel that tired. After completing the paperwork we were done for the day! 🙂
This first day was packed with a lot of new experiences. I was very happy with all the things I learned during my first few flights and I am looking forward to complete as much Line Training sectors as soon as possible. The hardest part of the job is not the flying itself… It is all the other stuff besides the flying that you need to take care of. Great respect for the crew who handled it all so well and were willing to explain me everything. Stay tuned for more stories from Barcelona 🙂