Completing Ground School During Lockdown

by Owais Culasy on Jul 14 2020

Hello, my name is Owais and I’m a cadet pilot at L3Harris Airline Academy. Having recently completed my module 3 exams at L3Harris I would like to tell you about my experience during my time at ground school, especially during lockdown.

I would like to start by giving a massive congratulations to my fellow cadets in CP226 and CP224, who joined me in finishing their ground school with some amazing results. Compared to my time at university I found ground school was particularly challenging but also very rewarding. We covered a huge amount of material in a very short period of approximately six months. At times this was very daunting, however I was constantly motivated and determined by the thought of eventually fulfilling my lifelong ambition of becoming a pilot. It was the stepping stone I needed to reach the ultimate pinnacle. I have never lost sight of this, despite facing the uncertainties that came with an unprecedented period, when the whole world went into lockdown in the space of 24 hours.

If there is one characteristic that I learned throughout my time at ground school it was building resilience in the face of adversity. My time so far at L3Harris has allowed me the opportunity to complete my studies, and learn new aviation-related skills in an environment which has been supportive and caring. I was part of a group of individuals that were all facing the same uncertainties and challenges as me, but despite the circumstances, we were still able to remain focused and motivated. I owe a lot of this to the excellent and supportive instructors that helped and guided me throughout the last six months. The instructors, along with my fellow students were so important to me during my time and I was able to build strong and loyal relationships.

The aviation industry is known as being volatile, especially during the current epidemic, and with other crises before. It has been important for me to keep sight of the end goal, and not give up on my aviation dream.

It can be daunting at the beginning of the ground school phase, and can feel as though there is a huge mountain to climb. However, after only a few weeks you soon get used to the lifestyle of revision and the classroom. I was incredibly fortunate to be part of CP226 who were an amazing group of people and each incredibly talented. This was invaluable to me especially coming back to a learning environment after a year out following University. All the instructors at L3Harris are incredibly talented and always make you feel comfortable and supported with the course material.. Especially during the period when we were not even sure if and when we would be taking our ground school exams. They were always helpful, supportive and ready to explain any queries I had on understanding concepts and topics.

I was fortunate to cover most of the course material in the classroom, prior to the country going into lockdown. I did however, have to prepare for my last exams at home. Initially this was very strange, but helped me build the resilience and determination I needed to keep focused on my end goal.

When it came to revision, I decided to fulfil the saying of “little and often” which was at times challenging, especially during the period when we did not have a date set for our exams. L3Harris did their best to arrange regular optional zoom sessions, this definitely helped in resolving any queries and questions I had, and kept the material fresh in my mind.

At the beginning of June we were lucky enough to be given a provisional date for our last and final ground school exams, which was both daunting and exciting. However, by utilising the zoom sessions offered, it cemented the fact that I needed to be exam ready very quickly. Thankfully I was able to complete the exams within the allotted time, albeit in a strange environment where social distancing and face masks were required.

I hope this brief summary was able to provide an insight into working through ground school during these strange and uncertain times.

If you did have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Instagram: pilot_owais

Stay safe. All the best,