I haven't written much yet, as I was largely involved in going to classes. I missed a few but managed to attend almost every Tuesday and Friday.
We just finished the second of nine modules. The two we have covered already are:
- Human Performance
Module 1: Human Performance
This module covers the effect flying an aircraft has on a human and vica versa what being a human means when you are flying.
It answers questions like: what effect does a loss of pressure have on your body? What is oxygen shortage (hypoxia) and how do you recognize it? When shouldn't you fly an aircraft?
A large part of the module is related to the effects of pressure on the body. Disorientation is also a very important aspect to be aware of.
We learned that decompression sickness is caused by the nitrogen in your body that form bubbles, much like the CO2 when you open a bottle of sparkling water.
We learned that if you are disoriented (and aware of it!) you have to rely on your flight instruments, a practice called scanning (look briefly at all intruments - and outside - continuously).
It also covers the inner workings of the human body: the ear, how lungs and blood allow oxygen to flow through your body, the eyes and what effects stress have on a pilot.
Module 2: Meteo
This module was quite substantial. It started off with details of how an altimeter works and how you can calculate your actual height based on the readings from the altimeter.
This is in meteo because it is largely about air pressure, which is how an altimeter tries to measure your height.
Furthermore, we dealt with the basics of how weather works: The wind goes from high pressure areas to low pressure areas but doesn't go straight because of the earth's rotation. What the effects are of a cold and a warm front.
The types of clouds and what they tell us about the weather. How updrafts work, what stable and unstable weather is ...
And lastly, how to interpret things like the METAR and TAF information a pilot can use to know the current and upcoming weather.
This is all very interesting stuff, but sadly I can't find the time to write more in depth summaries of these modules on this blog as I first intended!
I'll have to complete some practice tests on the student platform soon for the second Module.
The next module we'll deal with is "regulation". Some people in the class are already doing instructor-led flying courses, but I'm waiting for next year to start that.
I can imagine that doing this together with the theoretical modules would be very helpful.