The Initial Course (2)

Today’s post is about digging into the grooming, phonetic alphabet and airport codes.

The initial course, as said on the previous post, will give you an introduction in aviation. So during these 6 weeks I had different subjects, grooming evaluations, tests, exams but also frustrations.

Everyday, as the day started, we would present ourselves in a line, to have our grooming checked. We would show our hands, hair, make up and our business atire. As we did not have our uniforms till the end of the course, we would dress business. Important to mention that men also would dress business and also would have their grooming checked. Naturally no make up would be assessed but nails and hair was important to have them neat. In matter of hair, for girls, we were allowed a bun, french roll and ponytail. No matter what we would choose, it had to be perfect. For men, hair must be short and well trimmed. No beard by that time wasn’t allowed either.

Our nails, (for both men and women) was very important to be clean, short, not eaten. For girls, we could use specific colours; red, pink and french manicure. Other colours apart from those were not allowed and were considered what we started to call (and it was through my career) grooming discrepancy. A grooming discrepancy is everything that does not go according to the guidelines given. Our make up should be discreet, as natural as possible and even lipstick was allowed only 2 colours; red or pink. The colour of the lipstick would have to match the colour of nails. This is why, upon using french manicure (tip of the nail white) we could choose the colour of the lipstick and vary a bit. Boys would not have make up, but still, it should be clean face, treated. Least but not last, the business atttire was priority everyday and would be in the guidelines of our uniform. Skirt touching the knees, blouse and blaser. Tights had to be the same colour we would use for the uniform: barely black (somekind of grey) and mocca (like dark brown, chocolate). Men should keep their socks black. Black shoes were mandatory.

Everything was checked in the beginning and in case something wasn’t according to our grooming manual, we would have to come back to our building and fix it.

After our grooming check, we would start the lesson. One of the first things that we learned was the phonetic alphabet. The phonetic alphabet is a spelling alphabet that facilitates communication in aviation, but not restricted to. This is the first thing we have been taught in order to already get used to communicate by spelling what we had to. We did exercises, learned to read and be quick. Here follows the alphabet for you to have an idea and who knows, learn too:

  • Alfa
  •  Bravo
  •  Charlie
  •  Delta
  • Echo, 
  • Foxtrot
  • Golf
  • Hotel
  • India
  • Juliett
  • Kilo
  • Lima
  • Mike
  • November
  • Oscar
  • Papa
  • Quebec
  • Romeo
  • Sierra
  • Tango
  • Uniform
  • Victor
  • Whiskey
  • X-ray
  • Yankee
  • Zulu

This had to be memorized. For me, memorizing would imply a lot of work and dedication. Some people are born with that talent, but I am not one of those, so I had my methods which I will be talking in another post.

After learning the spelling alphabet, we had to learn the airport codes. Airport codes is what will facilitate the reading of your roster. Roster is your schedule; Where you fly, what time you should present yourself and flight times. All that you will be learning during the course and I will be giving you some hints here as well, but in another post, so come with me!

Alright, airport code is basically the location identifier. Is a 3 letter code that identifies the airports around the world. In another post too, I will explain you from where the 3 letter code came and which association regulates it. If you are too curious about it and need to learn now, check here: IATA

Here are some examples of airport code:

  • LIS (Lisbon, Portugal)
  • GRO (Girona, Spain)
  • HHN (Hahn, Germany)
  • EIN (Eindhoven, The Netherlands)

Together with the phonetic alphabet, we also had to memorize a list of airports too. In this case, we had to memorize the ones that Ryanair was flying too and a bit more. We should have been able to write them down without searching.

For the next post, I will, finally tell you about the subjects and who is IATA and ICAO.

Stay tunned! Bravo Yankee Echo!

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