Free time at Ground School

by Lauren Hughes on Aug 29 2019
Since I was little, all I ever wanted to do was be a pilot. In my final year of A-Levels I sent off an application to L3Harris, undertook selection, and started ground school in Coventry immediately after the summer holidays.

Ground school was nothing like I expected it to be, and free time was few and far-between. However we made sure to make the most of our time and take our minds off the strain of the ATPL course. Every Friday we would take a night off from revision, and go out for dinner. The routine quickly evolved into a weekly Nando’s trip followed by drinks around one of our course mate’s houses. Sometimes, if it wasn’t a busy week, or if we were celebrating, we would brave one of the clubs in Coventry, and return home in the early hours of the morning. For me it was extremely important to make sure you got your head out of the ATPL mindset, and give yourself some personal time to get you through each week.

Weekends weren’t all that different to weekdays- in the respect that we spent most hours of the day in the library revising. But the beauty of Saturdays and Sundays, was that you weren’t learning anything new, you were simply consolidating and memorizing information you had been fed through the week. Rather than lessons by day and revision by night, you can revise by day and relax by night! My friend Jamie and I often spent our evenings on the weekends having a film night. Some people chose every couple of weeks to a month to go home for a weekend and see their families. I must admit, it was nice to go and remind yourself that you do have a life outside of ground school, and get the support from your family.

We happened to be at ground school over the Halloween period, and so one Sunday after School Finals, about 6 of us took a day trip out to Thorpe Park for the fright night, before knuckling down with revision for our EASA exams. We also took a trip to Northampton to the fright nights there, and had so much fun taking time out from ground school and just spending time with each other in our new-found friendships.

Jamie and I, one Saturday drove down to London for a day out. We just played Tourists for the day looking around London and taking in the sights, before getting an Uber to Myrtle Avenue to watch a few planes make their approach into Heathrow. Once an ‘Av-Geek’, always an ‘Av-Geek’!

L3Harris were also particularly good at organizing events, like a Halloween quiz night, and a Christmas quiz night, which were a good way of bonding with other CPs and Instructors in a different setting. We actually managed to win one of the Quiz’s in which we won a free Simulator Session down in Southampton.

For me, making sure I had plans and things to do in my spare time at Ground school was so valuable. Not only did it give me time to spend with my friends, it gave my brain a break and some time to recuperate! It restored my motivation to carry on with my studies, and a view from above- seeing that Ground school is just temporary!

Ground school finished a few months ago for me, and I have spent my break period resting, working and holidaying before I make my move to Hamilton to begin my flight training in September! I am so excited to see where the next year takes me, and how I adjust to a new way of life in New Zealand.

Follow my Instagram: @laurenrose_h to keep up to date on my move to New Zealand, and my progress through Pilot Training!

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