The Initial Course (1)

In my previous post, I started to write regarding my open day. Most of the airlines will make their recruitment through open/assessment days or directly inviting you to go to an interview if they approved your CV. It can happen as well, that some other airlines will do phases of recruitment. From online tests finishing in the final interview. It really varies on the airline. So, when applying, make sure you read the whole process instructions.

Today, I give continuity to what I wrote yesterday. After receiving positive response over my open day, I had around 2 months to prepare myself and go. 22nd of October I departed from Porto and on 23rd of October, my course started.

What does it mean Inital? A initial course like the name already says, is the training that is given upon your first airline/first aviation experience. Think like this, when you have a job and get trained for it, but you never worked before, somehow, you are also getting an initial training. It is the beginning. A general training. After the initial, you will also have a conversion. Conversion means an specific training on a certain type of aircraft. With Ryanair, you get trained on Boeing 737-800 which is a type of aircraft.

When you already have experience, did your initial course, some airlines will only provide the conversion course. The course that will train you to the type of aircraft that airline is working with.

It can also happen that some countries (Like Brazil, France, Spain and probably more) will only allow you to apply to an flag airline (flag airline is the main airline of a country) if you have done a general aviation course. It won’t be specific to an aircraft type but aviation in general. It can last up to 6 months depending where you are. In general they are similar but it will be adapted to countries and aviation in those countries.

Many airlines do not require that type of course as they will provide themselves a course. Example of those are indeed Ryanair, Emirates, Aer Lingus, and many other more. Those airlines, upon passing successfully the recruitment stages, will do their own course. When airlines provide their own course it can go up to 8 weeks. Mine, in Ryanair, lasted for 6 weeks.

How does the course work and what did I learn? First, we are assigned to our classroom and per each classroom there is up to 35 students. We are all together in a training center and there are 7 classrooms. So, it can be up to 245 students at once. There is normally one main instructor per class, that may vary depending on the subject that will be taught.

We start with a presentation class where we determine some ground rules, that involve starting time to finishing time, grooming regulations, presenting ourselves and learning basic information.

I remember we reviewed already some things from our pre-study pack and did some ice breakers (method used when instructor/teacher wants the class to know a bit of each other). Usually starting from 09am and going till 17pm. That is also settle on the introductory day. In our case, it was determined by the transportation as not all of us stayed in the same building.

Usually first day is a day that goes very quickly, with tendency of finishing early. We are also required to finish some documentation, receive our manuals, get assignment for the next day. We also set up some sort of “punishment” when we did not arrive on time, our grooming was not perfect, when we did not know properly the subjects that were taught.

This first day is only to understand the method, how the course works and get to know the instructor. We also get to know where are the main important places and how to reach.

For the next post, I will be writing about the grooming in more detail, phonetic alphabet and airport codes.

Stay Tunned!


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