“Today” we were able to finally board one of the aircraft in our fleet to do some basic safety drills. I say “Today” because the only time an aircraft was available was in the wee hours of the morning. We had class yesterday until 13:00 (ended early), and then met up again at the airport at 00:30. By the time we were finished all our drills it was around 04:30. By the time I got home and went to bed the sun was about to rise! It’s needless to say we had the rest of today off. I spent most of it sleeping and the rest of it catching up on chores and errands that I’ve been neglecting since I started training.
It was so exciting to meet up at the airport to get on the plane. I’ve been looking forward to this part since day 1! Once security was ready for us, they handed us our visitor passes and escorted us through the employee checkpoint. We walked through the terminal to the gate and boarded the aircraft. Not before getting a few dozen pictures of the aircraft and the group of us in front of it of course.
Once the pictures were taken and the group was settled in, we got started with our aircraft familiarisation drills. We started out with the simple things like how the Passenger Service Units work. Those are the panels above the seats with the FA call buttons, reading lights, and air nozzles. From there we moved on to the Galleys, Washrooms, and Flight Decks. We covered everything we learned in class. It was great to finally use everything in a practical way. When you are just reading in a page how to open an aircraft door or dial the interphone it seems somewhat detached. Once you’ve actually done it everything is clear and makes sense.
In the Galleys each of us had to arm and disarm the doors, open and close the doors, use the PA and the Interphone, conduct pre-flight checks on various pieces of equipment, and of course show our instructors where every piece of equipment is. The washrooms were a little easier in that we only had to demonstrate we knew where all the equipment is for the most part. Not that any of this was all that hard by now. We’ve reviewed it a million times on paper after all.
One area where I had trouble however was with the interphone. You see I assumed it was like a regular telephone where you just lift it off the receiver. Of course if it were really like that the phones would constantly be falling off during flight. When I went to lift the phone off the wall I pulled and tore the cradle off with it! YIKES!! Upon further inspection it turned out that this phone was inoperative and in the process of being replaced. PHEW! It wasn’t my fault.
Next up were the emergency exit drills were opened the over wing exits according to procedure. I’ve always wanted to open one of those windows! I was very glad to have the opportunity.
After working in the cabin, we went two at a time to the flight deck where each of us sat down and fastened up. We then demonstrated that we knew where each piece of emergency equipment was located. That was about it for the flight deck.
After completing all our drills we cleaned up any mess we made, tidied up the seats, and left the aircraft. That plane was scheduled to leave at 10:30 for its next service so it was important we leave it just as we found it.
It was a tiring day, as I was up for a full 24+ hours but I enjoyed it thoroughly. The time on the aircraft was spent mostly doing normal operating drills, we’ll be coming back again later for emergency drills. Although now my focus is on our pool drills which I will be completing tomorrow!