A Former Students View
How did you experience the intermediate and advanced phase?
As Lund University School of Aviation (LUSA) have close connection to the airline industry the preparations and mindset for the host airline already starts at day 1. My course started to use procedures from our host airline Norwegian Air Shuttle already during the basic instrument flying. When I reached the intermediate and advanced phase (Boeing 737 simulator) I felt well prepared and ready for the great challenge it means to learn to fly a jet airliner. As the callouts and some of the procedures already where imprinted and automatic it freed capacity to focus on new tasks in the simulator. With the MPL I got about twice as much time in the 737 simulators as compared to a normal type-rating course. This alone meant that I felt even more prepared for the upcoming skill test, base training (12 touch and goes in an empty aircraft) and line training (flying with passengers). I actually remember that it felt very natural to move onto the next phase when we finished the simulator phase.
What did you think about the line training?
The line training (LT) was a fantastic experience! First we did the base training which basically were touch and goes with an empty Boeing 737-800 aircraft. A memory for life. The first 20 flights of the LT were accompanied with a relief first officer that could come with inputs and monitored the flight, as I was new. The first days with line flying felt a bit overwhelming, as there are so many new impressions from things that I wasn´t used to. Some things like ground handling and air traffic control was a new experience. We did around 100 flights/sectors before line check. During this time I could develop my flying skills, CRM, procedures and experience a lot of different situations.
Have you met people that been questioning the MPL?
I have been meeting some questions during my time as line flying first officer in the Boeing 737-800. Most of them are of a more interested kind where people want to know more about the MPL certificate, how it actually works and what I think about it now that I have graduated. Some captains and colleagues have been more reserved and questioning about it as they don´t know much about it and at the same time get to know about my relative low flight experience. These persons have actually been surprised of how well prepared me and other MPL-students from LUSA are. Afterwards they usually give feedback of very good flying skills, knowledge of standard operating procedures and CRM for such relative low flight experience. Otherwise I believe it has been as for any new pilot in the airline industry, if I am uncertain about something you just ask and my colleagues are more than happy to teach me or let me try.
Now that you graduated, how are your thoughts about LUSA and your time at the school?
I think that I got a very good platform to stand on. The MPL studies were a continuing development on both a personal level and professional/flying level with all that it includes during the time at LUSA. After graduation it felt natural to let that continue, find ways to still develop and get more experience as it is an industry that constantly changes with one day never being like the other.
How would you summarise MPL?
MPL for me is a very good opportunity to get into the airline industry as a first officer flying an airliner all over Europe. The connection with the airlines and experience LUSA offers is unique and very hard to get otherwise. My course of 12 got an integrated education and experience that took us from no flight experience straight in to the right hand seat and contract on the Boeing 737-800 for Norwegian Air Shuttle.