Ok.. I've been promising this for a while, so here it is.. Any questions, feel free to ask, and If I can answer, I will..
(This starts upon arrival ar ORD for weeks 2 and 3 of training)
Sunday, October 13th..
I was scheduled for UAL flight 1115 DTW-ORD at 1530.. My ride dropped me off at the airport plenty early, so I got to go sit and study some. Other people started to arrive, (there were 3 flights taking our group, some on each) and we all started talking about everything, how excited we were, etc etc.. Boarding came along, and I was in seat 7a, wonderful legroom, especially for coach.. My first UAL flight was great.. (Channel 9 the whole way too ) Upon arrival at ORD, we gathered up some of our group, and my instructor, Carole, took us down to baggage, (I had checked 2 bags, some as many as 5) and we got our stuff and waited outside door 1E for our shuttle to the Candlewood Suites.. After cramming more into the bus then we prolyl should have, we were off to the hotel, and the excitement level was sky high.. We got to the hotel, checked into our PRIVATE rooms, and went to settle in.. I was on the top floor, room 709. First order of business- Call my g/f and let her know I got there ok.. From there, I started unpacking for my 2 week stay in Schiller Park.. There was a Captain for our airline, (Ryan International Airlines) who loaded up a bunch of us in a company van and took us to the grocery store, as our rooms had refrigerators and burners and microwaves and stuff.. I shelled out about $49, and we piled in and went back.. I had a bit more homework left to do, so I fininshed that up and watched some TV and went to bed, as the next day was an ealy one..
Monday, October 14th
HazMat, CPR, Self Defense stuff.. At the hotel
I don't remember what time we had to be there, but we were in the conference room on the 5th floor.. Started out the day by checking homework, and meeting a couple more instructors, Steve and Tom, Pokum, and Ramone. For the first week at ORD, Steve and Tom were with our half of the group, while Pokum and Ramone were with Mike's half.. We learned how to preform CPR on adults and kids, how to do the himlech (SP) for choking, learned and practiced some self-defense moves, and learned about different classes of HazMats (Hazerdous Materials). Pretty basic day, got done and went back to the room to chill and do homework..
Tuesday, October 15th - Friday, October 18th
Training at the United facilites at ORD
We had to assemble in the lobby of the hotel by 710am, so we could all sign in and go over basics.. No eating on the bus, etc etc etc.. (But they let us anyway, apples and juice and stuff.) We found our classroom, and proceeded to take a test, then on to the A320 mock-up, which was fun.. we learned about arming, disarming of the door etc etc, and did some practice, as well as evac commands.. It was cool.. We also did te slide jump, which was a BUNCH of fun, and did stuff about the life rafts, and did comp checks (Competency) and more tests.... It was nerveracking, but got through it all ok..
Saturday, October 19th
Crew Resource Management with retired MArine Captain Sam Kirk
LAid back day, we rented a conference hall at someplace called Nicks Fish Market, and we listened to Mr. Kirk talk about the necessity of good crew communications.. (Imagine that.. ) A lot of what he said rang very true, and he told us a sort of joke... Someone he had done this lecture with another time, a pilot, came up to him one day and said "You know what? You were right about the Ailot Induced Divorce Syndrome (AIDS) ... I came home from one of my HNL runs, and my wife was waiting at the door, and said we needed to talk.. She proceeded to say how she felt I love my plane more than her, and I responded by saying Well, Yeah, but I love you more than I love my car!" Oh man.. I can only imagine her reaction.. My only question was what kind of car he has.. Short day, so we went back to the hotel and chilled, as we had no homework till tuesday, and Sunday was a day off
Sunday, October 20th
I had been in contact with LOT767-300ER and Access Air, so we decided to go shoot some pics outside of ORD, somewhere near 9R and saw tons of the Int'l arrivals.. Too many to list here, but it was totally awesome.. Thanks for the fun day guys
That night, though, I started to feel sick, getting a migrane (Sinus-induced) and spent the rest of the nite in bed..
Monday, October 21st
Service Training @ The hotel..
Another short day, but one where I was in total agony the whole time. Learned about the order of service for the tour operators, and did the demos.. (Safety card, seat belt, etc.) Nothing to really note about that, but afterwards, I had to go back to my room and I did not eat or get out of bed for the rest of the day.. Migrane was so bad, I couldn't sleep..
Tuesday, October 22nd
More training @ United
This day was pretty much a blur for me.. I had a hard time staying focussed, as my head was pounding.. I had to leave the mock-up to try to get ahold of my doctor so I could get some stuff called into the pharmacy to pick up after training.. (thank you Dr. Oneill). After training that day, Tom took me to Walgreens and I picked up my meds.. Took them, went to bed, and was already feeling better by a few hours later.. still sick but doing much better.. (I had called my g/f and another friend to say hi, and both were so worried that they were trying to get flights to ORD to take care of me..)
Wendesday, October 23rd and Thursday, October 24th
Training @ United..
We had to wrap up our training at United by the end of the day Thursday, as Friday was the final.. Finished up tests, Comp checks and all, more mock ups and 737 drills.. Then on Thursday, we went into a full-scale mock up of a 767, it moved and all, and did actual evac drills.. it was awesome..
Friday, October 25th
FINAL AND GRADUATION!!!!!!
My half of the class wanted to take the final earlier, to give the instructors more time to grade and send off on time.. so we elected 830am instead of 9am. It was not hard, I was the 2nd one done.. For the rest of the day, until 6pm, we could do whatever.. Some ppl went into the city, some stayed around.. My dad flew in for the graduation, arrived at 330pm.. He brought my suit.. so I got that, and he went and checked into his hotel, and came back to mine and we went to the Grad ceremony.. Access Air and LOT767-300ER were present, which was great too.. You cannot imagine how happy I was when Tom pinned my wings on me, and everything..
After the ceremonies, my dad and I went to The Mirage restaraunt and had food, the most substantial thing I had in 3 weeks.. ( Filet ) and he ended up booking me on NW to come home with him the next morning, as I would've had no ride if I took UAL back..
I'd like to take this time now to thank some people who really helped me before I even got hired all the way through training..
First and foremost- My parents (Step included) and the rest of my Family.. Without you guys telling me I can do it, always making sure I tried my best at whatever I did, and knowing when to give me a good kick in the butt when I needed it, thank you.. And my Brother Andrew- For faxing me lyrics to songs that my g/f liked so I could sing to her..
Second, but no less important- My Girlfriend, Audrey.. She would talk to me for hours on end, sometimes more than once a day when I was done training for the day.. Always knew how to bring a smile to my face when I needed it, Surprised me with little "Thinking of you" calls and some wake-ups too. I love you, and I am glad that we are together.
Third- My best friend Heather. She called to make sure I was doing ok and all, and left me a message that Air FOrce one landed at PTK. (It was the VP Plane, but Bush was on it ) If it was not for her, I may not have been here today to tell everyone about my experience.. She may have kept me from doing something very stupid one night.. Thank you Heather, You are like the Sister I never had..
Fourth- I have to single out a few of my classmates for their help in getting better.. Sonja called me that night I thought I was on my deathbed, just to make sure I was doing ok, and to see if I needed anything.. Alfie- She is like the den-mother of the group... So spunky and happy... Donna- Although she was in the other half of the group, she made sure I had SOMETHING decent to eat while I was sick, gave me some microwave Lasagne, which was wonderful.. And to my instructors: Carole, Tom, Steve, Pokum, and Ramone- Thank you for working so hard with all of us to make sure we got through it, and for giving us all kicks when we needed them..
Fifth- Friends here at Airliners.net... With special mentions to Access-Air, LOT767-300ER, KROC, Superfly, and from chat, some of you know these people, some don't, my good friends Kel and Nikole.. Always telling me I can do it when I felt like things just sucked..
There are a lot more, and I do not have time (or prolly room) to list them all, and I do not have any pics online yet, but when I do, I will link them..
I have now achieved my dream, and I am really happy and am looking forward to starting to fly..