Thanksgiving 2013, I decided that I wanted to officially change careers and become an aircraft dispatcher. After that, I ended up reading up on airline operations and schools to become a certificated dispatcher. I had to work January-March at a job to have the money to attend school and March I registered for June/July class at Airline Ground Schools in CVG. I spent the next 4 months doing the online course and teaching myself about turbine systems and everything dispatch. Now, July 5th, I can say I’m a certificated FAA Aircraft Dispatcher!!
I’m so excited to have earned this new FAA certificate and make it through my second FAA checkride! While, I’ve enjoyed so much learning dispatching. It can be frustrating at times because you don’t get the fun flying part like with other ratings! It’s all theory and regulations and flight planning. I love flight planning so that was good.
It’s been a whirlwind. I came to Cincinnati for 6 days of intense classes. 10 hours a day of class time to teach us flight planning and reviewing for the oral exam. My intention was to come to class prepared to pass the oral, and I was definitely one of the better prepared students. Even though out of all the pilots in class, I was the only one without an instrument or commercial rating, I had the advantage I had recently learned flight planning and still remembered it so it came really quickly to me while many others struggled.
Every day was class until 6 or 7pm, come back to the hotel, rest for about an hour, eat dinner and study at dinner with classmates and then back to my room to study some more and bedtime. Rinse and repeat, that’s been my week. I’m exhausted, but it hasn’t hit me until after being done with the exam.
I always freak out about oral exams, and I heard my examiner likes to focus on weather. I’m scared of weather (well, not anymore) and I prepared for that. We made it through FARs and weather and I moved onto my flight planning. I made a mistake and forgot to take off the burn fuel to landing and I kept thinking I was over my maximum structural landing weight no matter the route I did around thunderstorms, and I wasn’t going to fly right through them. It took me doing three different routes to realize my mistake. I was glad though and picked my second route, and luckily he wasn’t in the room so it didn’t matter for my final flight plan.
He came back into the room. I briefed him as I would a PIC (if that ever happens). And then we got into weather charts some more, approach plates, and more FARs, alternate requirements. All the fun stuff that comes with being a dispatcher!
In about 3 and a half hours I became an FAA Aircraft Dispatcher! I’m very happy and now I just need to get a job!