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The road to a professional flying career is a long and often challenging one. Aspiring pilots should be prepared to invest significant amounts of time, energy, and resources into participating in comprehensive training programs and obtaining the proper certifications necessary to pilot an aircraft for a living. They’ll have to work hard to learn the theoretical aspects of aviation, develop essential flight skills, and adapt to challenging situations both on the ground and in the air.

Fortunately, if you’re only just starting your aviation journey, there’s no need to weather the difficulties alone. Whether you’re only just earning your commercial or private pilot’s license or already working toward a particular type rating, it will help you to bear the following training tips in mind:

Use Your Radio Correctly at All Times

Communicating with air traffic control (ATC) is one of the most important aspects of flying. However, it can also get lost in the process of picking up other flight skills, learning to operate in-flight equipment, and adjusting in real time to changing flying conditions. Even seasoned pilots may sometimes struggle to use correct terminology and speak properly with air traffic controllers in the moment.

It’s essential that pilots in training remember to use their radios in a professional manner at all times, no matter how experienced they might be. At many points a pilot’s safety and that of their passengers will hinge upon their ability to communicate clearly and efficiently with controllers. Part of this is knowing how to convey your desired message in as few words as possible, as air traffic controllers often handle many flights at once and other pilots may also need to use the frequency.

Committing important radio communication calls and other aviation phraseology to memory is one important key to communicating more confidently with ATC. It’s also generally acceptable to identify yourself as a student pilot when speaking with controllers as this will let them know that you may need extra attention or assistance.

Communicate Proactively

Speaking openly and honestly with your flight instructor will help you make the most of all your learning experiences at flight school, whether you’re in the classroom, in a simulator, or in the cockpit of a real aircraft. While flight instructors are trained to adjust their teaching to students’ knowledge levels and individual learning styles, it’s still your responsibility to speak up about matters you don’t understand. Asking for additional examples and clarifications might be the key to fully grasping a particular idea.

Operating an aircraft is a complex process that requires not only an extensive understanding of aviation theory, but also the presence of mind to put these lessons into practice. It’s especially important to be honest with your instructor if you find yourself struggling with particular technical information or aeronautical conditions. They may be able to share additional learning resources or strategies to help you contend better with difficult aviation concepts.

Apply Yourself to Ground Training

When most people imagine what flight training is like, they’re likely to summon up the image of a student pilot in a cockpit with their instructor. While test flights and other practical exercises are indeed an integral part of learning to pilot an aircraft, the things aspiring pilots learn and practice on the ground are equally important. Some of the most integral parts of a pilot’s job, in fact, are done before they even board their plane, and this is no different for students who are only just learning to fly.

Professional pilots observe an extensive pre-flight routine that involves studying the weather forecasts for the day, planning the flight, and checking the condition of the aircraft itself. In a similar fashion, test rides with certified examiners form only one part of a student pilot’s certification process. They’ll also need to pass in-depth written knowledge tests to demonstrate their understanding of important aviation concepts.

Connect with Your Local Flying Community

Joining flying associations, regional forums, and other aviation communities is an excellent way to make the most of your flying education. Your instructors and more experienced peers should be able to point you in the direction of such communities, and you can also use social media platforms to connect with relevant pages or groups.

One of the major benefits of flying communities is the opportunity to meet, speak with, and learn from veteran pilots in a more relaxed setting than the classroom. Many of the people you connect with will be more than happy to share their stories and knowledge with you, listen to your own experiences, and give you helpful advice. You may even find future mentors and other helpful professional contacts in the process of growing your network.

It’s also important to note that you should try to associate yourself with a local community or group that’s credible and has a long history. This is to avoid picking up any bad habits or false information that might be prevalent within a bogus group. Student pilots should be especially discerning since this can affect their training in the long run. When in doubt, you can always consult with your school’s training team or flight instructors since they’re the ones that can give you the best advice on the matter.

While the process of becoming a professional pilot is by no means an easy one, these tips can help you maximize your learning opportunities and navigate any challenges that come your way. With the right mindset, adequate guidance from your mentors, and the support of your community, you’ll be well on your way to earning your wings.

Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga – AAG’s portfolio of world class training solutions is a product of the team’s commitment to training value and willingness to submit to audits and inspections of regulatory and other certifying bodies, both local and international, to ensure quality, safety, and compliance. The organization’s international, regional, and local approvals and accreditations serve as benchmark and an affirmation that clients are provided with nothing less than world-class pilot training.

AAG takes pride for having FSTDs approved and certified by foreign regulatory bodies like the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). It was in 2012 when AAG got its first EASA certification for its Airbus A320 Level D Full Flight Simulator. And since then, the team endeavored to meet and satisfy the quality and safety standards set by EASA, and even expanded the scope of its accreditation by adding two (2) more simulators under the EASA accreditation. On its 10th year now, Team AAG has once again undergone and has successfully passed the EASA FSTD re-qualification audit. The audit happened last February 16 to 23 at the AAG Headquarters in Clark, Freeport Zone, Pampanga. Capt. Klaus Walkner and Mr. Marek Molnar – EASA inspectors, were sent to the site to facilitate the audit. The audit covers inspection on the FSTDs’ correct operation of controls, instruments, and systems under normal and unusual conditions. A recurrent audit for AAG’s Compliance Monitoring System was also conducted, with focus areas on quality / compliance, internal audit process, staff training / qualifications, safety management and risk assessment, and FSTD maintenance and safety. “These are all in line with AAG’s Quality Policy – one that adheres to local laws, rules, regulations, and internationally accepted best practices. And it’s how we show our commitment to continuously elevate standards and our readiness to serve operators and individual pilots with the training solutions they need, like training solutions as per EASA standards”, said Ms. Ayessa Ann Bajamundi, Head – Quality and Compliance.

This milestone – a decade of complying to EASA standards, is a result of the concerted and collective efforts of the Quality & Safety Department, the Simulator Maintenance Department, AAG’s Training team, and all the other support teams who worked hard to prepare for the audit and make sure that the auditors will see “world-class” in every focus area of the audit. Few weeks later, the EASA Accreditation certificate for the Airbus A320 Level D FFS, Airbus A320 Level D FFS 2.0 (NEO / CEO + UPRT Configuration), and the Airbus A330 Level D FFS were released and were published on EASA’s website, making AAG still the only facility in the Philippines with FSTDs certified by the EU aviation agency / regulatory body.

Kudos to Team AAG!

 

Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga – After months of ground school sessions, simulator and flight training, the cadets of APP 05-2021 successfully reached their first milestone as AAG-trained pilots – a successful first solo flight. On February 11, the 8 cadets of the batch finally earned their wings and proudly added another bar on their epaulets, signifying their readiness to take bigger and greater responsibilities as they move closer towards becoming world-class pilots.

The batch’s Pinning Ceremony, organized by the Student Affairs and Client Relations (SACRe) Department, was held at Simulator Bay 2, AAG Training Center – Annex building. AICAT’s new Head of Training, Capt. Gimby Cervania, formally opened the ceremony with his warm and firm welcome address, assuring the cadets that the training team will continue inculcating the knowledge, skills, and discipline needed for them to successfully complete the program. This was followed by an informative and inspiring congratulatory remarks from AAG’s Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Mr. Cristopher Magdangal. He underscored the value of adopting and implementing CBTA philosophy across all training modules and phases as a key enabler in training and developing the kind of pilots the industry needs as it navigates the path towards recovery. RD Cris also urged the cadets to keep their passion, commitment, and enthusiasm as they advance to the next phase of the training program, stressing that the first solo flight may be the most difficult and nerve-wracking experience they’ve came across so far, but it’s actually the easiest part of the entire training program, as it only marks the beginning of their pilot training journey. A video presentation showing each soloist’s experience before and after their flight, and their moments together that brought them to this day was also shown during the ceremony. This was further expounded by APP 05-2021’s representative, Cadet Michael James Francisco, as he shared the batch’s message of thanksgiving and appreciation to the people who helped them reach this significant milestone. Cadet Francisco also reminisced on their time together as individuals who share nothing but a single dream, and looked back on how far they’ve come despite their differences, the difficulties, and the challenges they’ve encountered. “Who would have thought that a single passion would bring us all here together,” he shared.

With this, the highlight of the ceremony was initiated. Each cadet, alongside their parents and guests, were called to the center for the ceremonial pinning of wings and changing of epaulet bars. Capt. Gaudencio Maniano and Capt. Gimby Cervania also assisted in awarding the first solo certificate and the cadets’ first solo aircraft model. To conclude the ceremony, AICAT’s Accountable Manager, Capt. Gaudencio Maniano delivered the closing remarks, quoting Neil Armstrong’s famous quote, “One small step for man, one big leap for mankind”- reminding the cadets that this significant milestone in their flight training may just be a small step, but is a giant leap towards their dream.

Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga – On January 26, The Department of Tourism (DOT) officially commenced the first day of the Philippine Education Tourism Conference (PETC). The conference was a three-day event that tackled topics such as the past, present and future of English as Second Language (ESL) Courses in the country. This includes rising industries such as Voluntourism and Aviation as alternative modes of ESL education in the country. In the inspiring and insightful welcoming address of Hon. Bernadette Romulo-Puyat stated, DOT’s goal is “To make the Philippines the multi-faceted education tourism destination in the region.”

The first day of the event could be summed up by the word ‘demand’, as the topics during this day were focused on providing the data and statistics for ESL internationally. The discussion pertained to the Asian, European and USA markets, and what the Philippines have provided and could provide moving forward. Although, as Ms. Soleil Tropicales of DOT-San Francisco stated the Philippines must invest in marketing and promotion in order to compete with other [gap year] programs being offered in Asia.

The second day, however, could be summed up by the word ‘supply’, as the exhibitors and topics during this day consisted of experts from the Philippines who discussed the history of ESL, and other courses such as Culinary Arts, Voluntourism, and last but not the least Aviation, which could provide and cater to the demands of the markets mentioned the day before. AAG’s very own Region Director for the Asia Pacific, Mr. Christopher Magdangal was invited to speak on the topic “Philippines: Asia’s Center of Aviation Education”, highlighting Alpha Aviation Group’s competency to cater to the international demand, and what AAG has done for the Philippine aviation market in general through its world class training philosophy and support infrastructure.

For the final day of the PETC, a Business to Business (B2B) Virtual Networking was held for businesses and attendees who would like to inquire and know more about the exhibitors during the three-day conference.

The conference was attended by over 500 virtual participants, which consisted of both international and local participants, which were composed of students, organizations, and government agencies.

 

Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga – Revenge travel is brought about by the “new normal” and is an occurrence that the hospitality industry is keeping an eye on, as people are eager to make up for the time they’ve “lost” during the pandemic. Hence, the objective of this year’s AAG Mentoring Hub was to inspire the cadets to continue their training passionately, and encourage current aviators to re-equip and update their licenses, preparing them for the bustling future of the tourism industry ahead.

The mentoring hub focused on promoting teamwork, communication and cooperation, with the incorporation of the theme of resilience, through group discussion and activities. The attendees were already divided into eight teams prior to the mentoring hub, namely: Neo, Phoenix, Team Titan, Mission Possible, Eagles, Skywalker, Achievers 7 and Palaban. Each group, composed of both mentors and mentees, had a lead mentor and deputy mentor that guided the mentees and helped in facilitating the activities held in the online environment, due to COVID-19 restrictions. Mentees were students of AAG and those who are having their recurrent training, while mentors were AAG’s flight instructors.

At the end of the day, the mentoring hub proved to be successful for both mentors and mentees, as they imparted great knowledge upon each other, and understanding that resilience isn’t about getting through problems on their own, it is about learning to accept help from others and leaning on them for support during difficult moments, because we are stronger together than we are alone. After all, flying and landing an aircraft isn’t a one man job, it takes a dedicated synergy from a great team of individuals.

Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga – “Thank you for choosing AAG as your partner institution. Our ultimate goal, our common objective is clear- you are here to become no less than airline-ready pilots.” Inspiring and warm words of greeting from AAG’s Regional Director, Mr. Cristopher Magdangal, welcomed the first batch of APP cadets for Year 2022 during the first day of their Induction Program.

For the AAG Family, Year 2022 is still all about training and developing world-class pilots, and making AAG ready to support and sustain the industry’s recovery and growth. And it’s always a delight to the Family to welcome new members in the organization who share the same spirit of optimism, resilience, and commitment to contribute meaningfully to the community and the industry. This week, 6 aspiring pilots joined the AAG Family through the Airline Pilot Program (APP). Half of the batch was able to attend onsite, and the other half joined the program through online platform.

AICAT’s Head of Training, Capt. Robert Jake Ching, delivered the welcome address and imparted a motivating sentiment for the future pilots. “Innate talent is an advantage, but hard work and your positive attitude are more valuable in this journey that you are about to embark,” he said. This was then followed by a corporate briefing facilitated by Ms. Precious Joy Sunga, from the Corporate Affairs Team. And to conclude the first part of the 2-day Induction Program, Capt. Gaudencio Maniano, AICAT’s incoming Accountable Manager, relayed the closing remarks.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions and AAG Safety Protocols, some participants and AAG staff joined the Induction Program through online platform instead of attending onsite. But nonetheless, each one’s participation, support, and warm welcome was no doubt felt in the room, making the Induction Program a meaningful and memorable one.

The APP Induction Program is an activity organized and spearheaded by the Student Affairs and Client Relations (SACRe) Department, supported by the Training Team, Operations, Safety, F&A Department, and IT, Admin, and Marketing & Sales Team.

Kudos to everyone who participated and took part in this program!