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FTA Cadet flies solo after just 10 hours flight training

Emily Clayden11 Oct 2016 Posted in: pilot training, start pilot training, become a pilot

Integrated student, Hemal Gandhi shares his first impressions of training at FTA's satelite base in Teruel.

Here’s what he had to say about his time so far and going solo for the first time:

What are your first impressions of Teruel?

Teruel is a city that is built upon Ancient Ruins, which possesses a lot of history and culture. The citizens of Teruel all seem to be continuously happy and have been very friendly towards us.

Where we are based in Teruel is very convenient because everything is pretty much in walking distance.

Their lifestyle seems quite different from ours back home in the UK, the locals seem to be awake pretty much all of the night, which means it is very quiet during the day time out here. Where we are based in Teruel is very convenient because everything is pretty much in walking distance. We have lots of shops and restaurants nearby, there is also a railway station which makes it a lot easier to get around.

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How does Teruel airport and environment differ to Brighton City Airport?

The airport at Teruel differs from Brighton City Airport in a number of ways. For example, there are a vast number of different and interesting aircraft stored here for maintenance, it becomes extremely noisy (which sounds fantastic!) at several points throughout the day when aircraft engine tests are conducted here, and there is no air traffic control tower here so when you’re flying, the air is virtually silent – like you’re in your own bubble. All in all, the atmosphere in Teruel is very chilled out and the weather conditions are perfect for most of the day.

What have you enjoyed most about your training in Spain so far?

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The great weather conditions are definitely something that I have enjoyed while training in Teruel. The fair weather means that I can go out flying nearly every day and often have multiple flights within the same day.This volume of flying lessons is great because it helps me to gain more experience and more confidence within myself.

I feel a sense of belonging at this airport because we have so many flights constantly coming in and out that we, the FTA students, are responsible for.

I also enjoy the fact that FTA accounts for the majority of movements within Teruel airport– I feel a sense of belonging at this airport because we have so many flights constantly coming in and out that we, the FTA students, are responsible for.

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How was your first solo flight in Teruel?

Before my first solo, I was actually really nervous. It’s an anxious time knowing that eventually you will be completely in control of an aircraft, completely alone with no one to guide you or offer advice. Once my flight instructor had left the aircraft I immediately knew what to do. At this point it made me realise the importance of my ground school theory and previous flight lessons. It was all of these things combined that helped me to get through my first solo flight.

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 What is the view like from the aircraft when you’re flying in Teruel?

There are some fantastic views you get to see when flying over and around Teruel. The most noticeable points of interest are definitely the huge lake south of Teruel airport, the large mountains and hills dotted all over the country side and also a big crater located north west of the airport. When you are in the aircraft it is very hard to miss the airport down below due to its size and the amount of aircraft stored there. The views you get at sunrise are also great too!

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 What would you say to someone considering the economy programme?

If I were to meet someone who was considering the Economy Flight Deck Programme, I would say it is well worth it in terms of price, location, and the amount of flying hours you receive from FTA. What you can achieve in such a short amount of time is really encouraging and gives you an incredible sense of achievement. 

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