CTC Aviation with Easyjet Selection3 years, 9 months ago
Recently I applied for the CTC Aviation in partnership with easyJet integrated course. Whilst everything is going swimmingly and I’m approaching my first solo any day now at Liverpool Flying School, I thought I had better at least try to get on the course since it would guarantee me a job as First Officer with easyJet on an Airbus A320 all in the relatively short time frame of 18 months! Getting onto the course would mean that I could go and study full time in Southampton or Coventry for 6 months and then go and do the flight training either in the USA or New Zealand.
As I arrived, I signed in and was greeted by the over friendly fellow future pilots. I thought I’d be ahead of the curve having 9 hours of microlight and 9 hours of light aircraft under my belt, I was wrong, there were around about 3 other qualified PPL (Private Pilots License) holders. There was also a freelance…producer I think…that worked in London and just got back from some far off place filming the new Top Gear series.
After having a chinwag with the other candidates I put all my documents into a folder (the photocopies and the originals) and sent them away, which felt a bit weird. We then got herded into a meeting room to watch a presentation, where they explained what options you have if you don’t get onto the easyJet sponsored course (it involves huge amounts of bank loans), the others had a lot of questions too, where they were asking questions about how many spaces there were on the course and how likely it would be to get onto the course etc. After the presentation with TOO many questions that couldn’t be answered, there was time to grab coffee to get the head in gear and chill before the PILAPT (Pilot Aptitude Test).
The room was at first quite cool, in front of me there was a joystick, headphones and a strange keyboard…but not one that you can get from Amazon! We got told about the equipment and what will happen, then the room got REALLY warm.
To start, the maths test (or numeracy if you want to be fancy). This consisted of the following…
- Long Multiplication
- Long Division
- Currency Conversion
- Mass/Distance/Time calculations
- Time calculations
The test is multiple choice and if you’ve brushed up on GCSE maths then you’re pretty much sorted.
This consisted of many different parts, which got harder and harder.
The first part consisted of 3 images, each image consisted of a person with 2 hands out in front, on each round there are squares and circles appearing in the person’s hands and you’re given audio instructions to the effect of “Positive, Circle, Left Hand”. You need to count the circles in the left hand of the 3 images, enter the number and press enter…easy right? No, since the images swap which way round the person is facing and time decreases each time.
Next was centering the crosshairs. This was really hard since the crosshairs move and you move the joystick but the joystick is really sensitive. But that’s all this bit was, keep crosshairs in the centre.
Then there’s flying through gates. You have a yellow cross which indicates the nose of the plane, a line for the horizon and a series of gates. You must fly through all the gates smoothly to get high marks, it’s easy to get through the gates but to get through them smoothly is rather difficult (I also thought I was playing the original Elite).
Here we have colours at the top, shapes along the left like a grid, but the colours constantly change as do the shapes. Various shapes of various colours appear in the grid below and you tend to just look out for a colour, then check the shape. I found this to be quite easy, but it’s just holding the concentration that’s tricky.
Now it’s getting real, remember the crosshairs centering test from earlier? It’s back, with added challenge, you now have to listen to a countdown from a number, let’s say 465, it then counts down in 3’s to start with and when it changes the amount it’s counting down by you have to pull the trigger. Now on it’s own it’s not so bad, but with the crosshairs as well…oh boy.
The easier one was probably the coloured shapes with numbers in. You are told to look out for a shape and a colour, when you see that colour you have to select the colour on the keyboard and type in the number inside it. I loved this one, because I could do it!
Then the end of days happens…crosshairs centering, counting down AND coloured shapes. Yes I just said that triplet of doom. Needless to say this was hard, so very very VERY hard!
The tests were over and we were back in the room chatting, bitching about that last test! Also talking about how flying a plane is way easier than those tests. The results were meant to come on the Saturday but instead came LATE the Monday after it, leaving you waiting was annoying. I didn’t get in, I failed and I kind of expected it really. Whilst part of me was gutted I can’t hand my notice in to swan off and become a professional pilot with one of the most renowned flight schools in England, the other part was quite relieved that I can continue doing it the way that I am doing it, making progression and seeing results going at it the long way. I’m learning with normal people, or rather people who didn’t remortgage their house to pay for a course which promises so much…the easyJet ties are handy to have but it’s not impossible to get a job as a pilot going the long way. I just need to make sure I stay focused on the end goal and not let this get in my way.