The Light Blues

First Officer Victoria Auld of Flybe has become the first pilot in UK to be presented with a Multi-crew Pilot Licence.

Victoria Auld.JPG

Holding the first UK MPL

On 12 November 2010, the Civil Aviation Authority’s Head of Approved Training Organisations, Licencing and Training Roy Burden delivered the first six UK Multi-Crew Pilot Licences to Flybe for presentation to newly graduated Bombardier Q400 First Officers.

Roy Burden CAA, Andrew Strong COO Flybe.JPGRoy Burden has handed over the first six MPLs to Andrew Strong, Flybe’s Chief Operating Officer

MPLs are light blue. There’s no particular significance in that, but for the record CPLs are dark blue. When Victoria has 1,500h in her log book she will get an ATPL (dark green), just as she would have done if she had qualified as an airline pilot by the traditional CPL route.

Following Victoria – the first presentee by virtue of alphabetical order - her five fellow graduate First Officers received their light blue licences

Holmes, Orr, Jones, McCullough, Auld, Batten.JPGL to R: First Officers Michael Holmes, Jamie Orr, Claire Jones, Warren McCullough, Victoria Auld and John Batten

Unlike CPLs, before these student pilots qualified for their MPL all six had to complete not only an approved flying training course and the associated academic work, they also had to carry out their type rating training on the Q400, then perform their base training.

The flying training consisted of 14 months with Flight Training Europe, which they completed in August. After that they joined Flybe for 17 days groundschool followed by type rating training in a Flybe Q400 full flight simulator, and carried out base training at Exeter airport.

On Monday the new First Officers will be working in the right hand seat of a Q400 on scheduled passenger service, and undergoing their line acceptance checks.

But back to the ceremony.

It wasn’t only the student pilots who earned recognition. Bob Pooley, founder and managing director of Pooley’s Flight Equipment, presented Peter Sadler, managing director of FTE, with a Pooley Sword of Merit to recognise the FTO’s work.

Peter Sadler FTE, Baston, Pooley.JPG

Peter Sadler (L) receives the Pooley Sword of Merit from Bob Pooley (Flybe’s Chief Pilot Ian Baston in the background)

Sadler didn’t keep the Sword very long. He presented it to this course’s Best Student, Claire Jones

Sadler presenting sword to Jones.JPG

Sadler presents the Sword of Merit to First Officer Claire Jones

So that’s it. A little piece of aviation history performed in Flybe’s New Walker Hangar at its Exeter airport headquarters.

And this is just the beginning: There are already six more Flybe MPLs in the pipeline undergoing training at Oxford Aviation Academy’s Kidlington base. 


3 Responses to The Light Blues

  1. David Connolly 15 November, 2010 at 1:31 am #

    Why not be really radically practical and simply title it a Multi Pilot License/MPL or Crew Pilot License/CPL. that is what it is. A Multi-Crew license is a demonstrable oxymoronic moniker of moronic muppetry and undermines it’s holders in a holding pattern of confusion. Dear CAA/EASA Muppets : A pilot is singular, a crew is plural and does not need a multi prefix, that is a bit crowded. A CRM-Crew is always greater in effect than the additional sum of it’s constituent parts.
    Memo to CAA don’t descend to EU/EC/EASA level of universal Reggie Perrin Grot. speaking of which, what in the name of chivalry,does the award of a “sword of merit” have to do with MPL attainment ? I know tradition is the spoilt child of bad habit, but this is a clear and present piss-take, by any metric.
    My FDR conclusion is that Sadler was embarrassed and opted to jettisson the Pooley sword, PDQ to FO Jones. Pooley did not wear any hat for the sword proferring event becuase he is so far up himself, he wears himself as one. “Yes, I think you chaps are so good, you deserve my sword, it cuts right through CAT III fog to enable a CAVOK landing, believe me, jolly good show, what ?,oooohhh yes !”
    Pooley and Alan Bramson are 2 sides of the same coin and take themselves far too seriously. But luckily for both of their legacy pretentions, if parody was to dash on a sprint in contrail to them, it could not possibly catch up on their stroll. QED !

  2. Mick Boulton 18 November, 2010 at 6:06 am #

    David Learmont, any change of heart after your rather damning “MPL holders on the scrapheap article”?

  3. David Learmount 18 November, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    Somehow you’ve misread me completely. I think, and have always thought, that MPL is the way that a sizeable proportion of the world’s future pilots will be produced, and that it’s a good system for preparing pilots to fly airliners.

    If the aviation system chucks out MPLs because of a downturn, am I supposed not to report that? Couldn’t you read disappointment in the narrative? Did you see triumphalism? If you did, that says more about you than me.