Now the REAL fun starts...
I arrived in Toulouse on Sunday night 2 weeks ago, after saying goodbye to my wife and kids for the next 6 weeks.
No I did not cry.
The airline organised the flights and hotels for me. I flew with Air France from Arlanda (Stockholm Airport) to Charles de Gaulle in Paris, sat around for 2 hours, then continued on to Toulouse.
It turned out that 2 other guys on my flights were also travelling to Toulouse for the ATR ground school and would be on the same course as me.
The hotel is ok. Not great, but not terrible either. I had to change rooms because the first one had no fridge, then only after unpacking in the second room did I realise the aircon was stuck at 25 degrees. Its ridiculously hot in here, but bearable with the window open.
We hit the ground running on Day 1. There was a quick introduction, then straight into classes. I've been pretty impressed by the ATR training facilities so far. They have these digital touch screen flight deck mockups, which are far better than the old paper-tigers we used at Qantaslink. The simulators are really good too, much larger than what I'm used to. And everything is all shiny and new!
We were all given a stack of manuals to read, as well as a new ATR flight bag. I thought that was a nice touch. I was going to have to buy a new flight bag since I sold my old one when we left Australia, now I don't have to. Plus, since it's issued by ATR, it'll be sure to fit on the flight deck!
So far we've had a week of classes combined with computer based training, and a week of procedure training using the touch screen mockups. It has been INTENSE...no days off for me yet!
Next week we start flying the simulator every day. I'm looking forward to that, it'll be harder, but more realistic.
One thing I don't like about it here is that the internet connection at the hotel is shite! I've only been able to Skype with my wife and the boys 3 times in 2 weeks, that's simply not enough. I hope I can get a good enough signal for a Skype call on Christmas, I want to see everyone opening their gifts :)
Right, time to get back to the books.
All images by Ryan Hills
Music by audionautix.com
My name is Ryan, and this is my website.
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