We spoke to Stephen, who has just recently completed his first year CityJet.
Having successfully passed my CityJet assessment, the next step was my type rating. The type rating was done to a very good standard – but I found the aircraft challenging at the start, but easier as the type rating progressed.
The type rating started with lessons involving basic pitch/power settings, turning – but by the 3rd or 4th lesson you are dealing with malfunctions. The key is to know the knowledge / memory items before so when they teach you and go over the topics, you have the understanding behind it. When you start it feels like a vertical mountain to climb, but each day you improve and your handling gets better – thus, building confidence!
Now that I’m type rated on the RJ85, I’m very much looking forward to flying it. Not often you fly a 4 engine jet on your first job! The aircraft is very unique as it has a tremendous short take off / landing capability so it can go into the likes of London City and Pau Pyrénées. It can also perform a steep approach, such as the 5.5° ILS at London City. The older systems make you feel you’re actually flying more.
I was very nervous (good nervous) on Base Training, you realise that this is the real thing and not just a full motion simulator. However there is no feeling the same as advancing 4 thrust levers up for the first time!
Despite becoming more confident and experienced, I always have a buzz when flying, whether it’s a PA28, DA42 or an RJ85 – some days are more challenging, but still a huge sense of pride and a feeling of a good days work achieved!
Almost one year on at CityJet, looking back my journey was a really good one, future cadets will enjoy it. Yes there are good days and tough days and some days when you can’t remember a single thing! But smile, remember the goal at the end – but take each stage at a time.
It took me 6 years part time to reach my goal! Also don’t believe everything you read online. I read an email from CityJet asking for 1000 hrs minimum, applied anyway and got offered the job with only 261 hours!
Flying on the line is tremendously satisfying and I have around 70 sectors on the RJ85 now. Albeit London City is a Captains only landing, it has to be one of my favourite approaches – not only the views, but the fact it is a steep approach. I like the variety of work I have flying for CityJet, from one week operating as Lufthansa out of Brussels – to working as Aer Lingus from Dublin. Line Training is the hardest training you’ll go through but tremendously rewarding when you pass and the Line Training Captains at CityJet are of the highest quality.
I’m very happy at CityJet, but sadly the RJ85 isn’t going to be in the company forever. I believe I’ll be starting a new type rating within 18-24 months!