A TRAINING COLLEGE IN OSTEND AIR, A REFERENCE ... IN AVIATION
"Ostend Air College, my way to heaven!
It all started about 24 years ago with me being a little boy at that time - staring to get these huge jets racing through the air, safely and high, daydreaming about far away and more nearby places they were heading to. Imagining myself at the controls of these giants I was convinced: I wanted to become a pilot!
It all became a bit more realistic at the time my father bought us a pc at home and installed a flight simulator on it… and numerous digital take-offs later finally came the moment that I took place behind the “real stick” at the time – it must be some 13 years from now – that I became a flying member in a soaring club. The summit of satisfaction sure was my first flight on the Ka8 sailplane, the little brother of the Ask13-twinseater on which I had learned the skills from a motivated team of instructors. But the dream to aim further and higher really got into shape at Ostend Air College.
As a commercial pilot training requires quite an investment, one will certainly understand that signing in for such training should not be based on just an impulsive feeling. After a thorough screening of a few flight training organizations in Belgium, France & The Netherlands, a good look around on pilot and aviation fanatics forums on the internet and visiting a couple of open door days and talks with student pilots, I had been able to list myself the pros and cons of the offered possibilities. And after all there was the financial aspect, that required I would have to be able to combine the training with a fulltime job for the living, which – for example – would prevent me from changing Belgium for a few months in the USA. As such I was able to make a selection of training organizations that could fulfill my criteria and would guarantee completion of the training within the 36 month period an integrated commercial pilot training may legally last. It may sound strange to tell you that Ostend Air College was not on top of my wishlist at first. Wasn’t it a very small player? And at the cost… so remote? Could that be ok anyway? “And you díd choose for Ostend Air College after all?!”, is what I almost hear you thinking aloud. Well, yes I did! Allow me to shine some light onto the arguments that convinced me in making my choice…
I remember visiting an open doors day on a sunshiny summer’s day in 2007and looking at a fleet of brand new and top notch airplanes I already knew that I would have to correct my point of view on what I had erroneously regarded as a “small player”. I also learned that Ostend Air College puts its students in a glass cockpit plane as from first flight, which is the environment where it’s all about within respectable airline companies. Where some other schools organize part of their training abroad, I was quite positively surprised that Ostend Air College emphasizes the importance of a training that fully takes place in European airspace, which belongs to one of the busiest in the world Add the erratic weather. I was wondering being ‘thrown’ in such airspace wouldn’t be too dangerous. The answer sounded “No”, at least… not with a quality training focusing on a professional approach of these possible stress factors as well as a thorough knowledge of the onboard tools and sound flight preparation, helping one to reduce the high workload to a feasible level of flying.
Ostend Air College’s home base is not just a small aerodrome. Being an international airport, Ostend is well equipped with the most advanced approach instruments that make it a very appropriate and easily accessible training location for instrument flying. No surprise that in recent years an increasing number flight training organizations, even from abroad, is visiting! Furthermore, Ostend is located a stone’s throw… or should I say “winglength” away from France and the UK, giving a boost to flying internationally during flight practice.
“Loads of theory, about 200 hours ahead to fly, a feasible project or a bridge too far?”, this must have been the final question I asked the friendly guide who was also a student that had combined a fulltime job with the training at Ostend Air College… and although he had finished already, he still was looking very motivated! And now, about 3 years from that particular date, I can confirm his answer as motivated: “it sure is a feasible project!”. It turned out I was not the only person combining job and training at Ostend Air College, the school did have experience with students having the same profile as I had. Did you know that Ostend Air College has a team of motivated flight instructors that literally make it possible to fly from Mondays till Sundays?
I have never had the feeling to be regarded as a “number” at Ostend Air College, where I want to put stress on the fact that it never got impersonal, which, being quite a social minded person, I have always found an extra strength. A good training program should be tailor made, adapted to the needs of the individual. That requires a thorough knowledge of a student’s personal file, a regular planning and a short term followup!
Although a practice training may be perfect, it would completely miss the target wouldn’t it be supported by a strong theoretical basis. Ostend Air College offered its student pilots the opportunity to have ground instruction on Saturdays, ideal so to say if you have to combine it all with a fulltime job and a bunch of flight training hours to go. At first sight this pile of manuals and courses seemed quite a mountain to conquer. Would that all be possible to “digest” in only 50 Saturdays of ground instruction? Yes it would, gradually my doubts went away, The course teachers all turned out to be passionate about flying, each of them very well motivated in his/her area of expertise. The preparation we received through this weekend course seemed well enough to successfully complete the theory exam. I do have to say I have spent many evenings studying at my desk at home but… that’s part of the deal, isn’t it? I still have to find the first school that sends its students home without homework J.
Besides the fact that I have flown a lot during these 36 months, time flew as well! 36 months later, I was able to conclude that Ostend Air College had fully met my expectations. During these 3 years I could experience from nearby how Ostend Air College’s modern infrastructure is supported by a strong team. By setting high quality requirements and focusing on the market demands, Ostend Air College is able to deliver ab initio pilots that are ready for the real stuff up in the skies. Suppose I would be able to turn back time and having myself put in front of the choice between this “small player at sea” or another flight training organization… I bet you’ll be able to guess my choice after reading this report!
Building a career in the civilaviation ... By the time i was in secundary schoolI was already convinced that thats what i wanted to do. And so began my quest for the flying school which would give me the highest quality training and thus could offer the greatest opportunities for my future plans to come true. After the necessary personal research, my attention was soon drawn to the Ostend Air College. I could immediately come in contact with the CEO of the school, as well as the CGI, CFI, Operations Manager and Accounting Manager. Furthermore i also did interviews with student-line pilots and a visit to the ultra modern glass cockpit Diamond training aircraft during one of the open days. After that it was an easy decition to choose Ostend Air College.
End of September 2007, I started with Ab Initio 9 on the theoretical part of the training. The teachers of Aviation Academics tought in a very professional way, their passion and love for their work was transfered on to us. With their enthusiastic style, their sometimes humorous anecdotes involving their personal flying experiences in the classroom activities they could easily hold your attention. The choice of OAC to start practical flying training during the theoretical part, caused an extra motivation. This brilliant approach, and organizing intermediate theoretical tests and school exams A ² made sure that I, along with many fellow students, could drop an excellent result at the examinations of the Directorate in Brussels.
The next challenge was to obtain a PPL and CPL license. Ostend-Bruges International Airport is a fantastic location. To land a plain with a view of the sea and beach is always an experience to remember. I can also assure you that in Ostend, takeoff with a trainer after a 747 jumbo jet or an Antonov with roaring engines, leaves a huge impression on you. I have not yet talked about the impressive image of Ostend by night during your night flights. Both for VFR and IFR portion, the instructors of OAC really make the most out of every flight hour. With their wealth of experience,they succeed in an admirable way and pass their flying skills onto their students. They bring you the necessary dose of self-confidence, which in turn comes in handy during your solo flight time and building hours.
The transition to multi-engine is then greatly facilitated by the DA 42 simulator which OAC features. During the simulator sessions, I learned the most adequate way of thinking and acting in all kinds of emergencies. Flying with the DA 42 Twin Stars is really a separate adventure. Everything should be just slightly faster and thereby the greatest possible standardization of procedures, for which OAC has added the Standardization Pilot, a great help.
It is during training at OAC that you not only maximize your flying skills, but also they push you to your limit which in turn causes your situational awareness to increase. These are all items that will be of great importance during your career. Imparting the course with a correct and open-minded attitude is one keypoint to which a lot of attention is given to in OAC.
The end of my training was a successful CPL-ME-IR exam, after which an MCC course in Amsterdam followed, athat gave an international flavor to the training. This course includes a week at Boeing 737-800NG simulators at Flight Simulation Company in Schiphol. Here one focuses on learning to communicate effectively in a multi-crew environment and experience jetvliegtuigen tastes clearly more ...
I will remember the unique and warm atmosphere during my entire training at OAC forever. I want to finish with sending the whole COC team a cordial and sincere word of thanks for all their efforts, they are highly appreciated for managing our training in optimal conditions.
The flying bug got me very early: already at the age of 15 I started a training glider in the Belgian air cadets. And I clearly wanted more.
Trying to build a career in aviation was not so easy. So after my secondary school I went to study industrial engineering electromechanics.
During that period, the flying bug stubbornly continued itching. With the necessary student jobs here and there I could enroll for a PPL theory course and I flew several hours on the Cessna 152.
After studying industrial engineering I decided to go for it and follow a professional pilot training. I enrolled in at Ostend Air College. My choice for OAC was certainly influenced by the many positive stories I heard from various sides.
Thanks to my successful PPL theory exam, the education program was accelerated. Therefore I could start immediatly with my practical training, without having to wait for further theoretical examinations. OAC has helped me very much. The whole course was a fantastic, very interesting experience. Each flight was a new challenge and a step further into the world of aviation. No matter how hard each flight was, there was always that feeling of "wow, that was fun!".
The theory and practice was taught by a highly motivated team with a lot of practical experience. The quizz tests keep you up to date with the course. The combination practice / theory also work, stimulating you when you have a hard time with the theory.
My theory exams were successful and eventually I could end my last flight hours with a successful practice exam. The whole training lasted a little more than 21 Months.
Of course I am very happy and I can only recommend such an interesting experience to anyone interested.
Pieter-Paul De Gendt
Freedom... that is the feeling that brings me to fly! OAC was the first step in the direction I wanted to go. I was received warmly and got all the useful information i needed.
One of the main reasons why I chose OAC, is because they offer, right from the very beginning, the possibility to simultaneously undergo the practical and the interesting theoretical part of the training. That has always motivated me during "Studying".
After the theory was the real deal. IFR (instrument flight rules) for me was an intense experience. It gives the necessary explanation on the basis of various briefings with the expectations and preparations for a flight to be determined. The experienced instructors will teach you not only fly but they give psychological lessons, you will learn to make the right choices, even and especially under stress. Discipline, self-confidence and assertiveness are key for a skilled pilot.
The planes are very well equipped with modern equipment that meets today's airliners demands. The school ensures that our preparation for the line is as professional as possible. Trips are also included in the 195 hourspackage ; Jersey, Groningen, Oxford are some of the many destinations that are scheduled.
A brief summary of the training is ...this is an unforgettable and exciting experience. Here I thank everyone their bit in OAC.
"I started my pilot education in September 2007. The reason to select Ostend Air College instead of any other flying schools in Belgium is different for everyone.
The biggest advantage is the location of Ostend Air College, you receive your entire education on an international Airport with little international commercial traffic. This gives the student a perfect opportunity to learn and develop his skills with a professional airport team and the several type of approach installations which are available at all times. Also the metrological conditions at the Belgium coast will allow you to learn to fly a correct cross wind approach and landing.
If you are looking for a professional school where you are not just a number you have to be at Ostend Air College. Unlike other schools you are known to the school, the follow up on each student is very intense which prevents any unwanted developments during your stay at Ostend Air College.
The team which will teach you the theoretical part of a pilot's knowledge is highly motivated and devoted to the job, and highly experienced.
The flight instructors at Ostend Air College are something nobody can give comment on. You will be trained by pilots who have flown the big jumbo jet B-747 for Singapore Airlines, both captains and first officers currently employed by Brussels Airlines, DHL, Ryanair, Jet Air, Vueling, TNT and many more. Experience is something there is no shortage off within Ostend Air College.
I personally finished my entire training from scratch till the CPL Qualifying Check including the MCC in a little more than 2 years, after which I had no problems finding sim assessments or interviews, even in this current economical crisis. Ostend Air College reputation is not limited to the borders of Belgium, they are known abroad and most important, we are highly recommended.
Below you will find a feedback of a Training Captain of Easyjet giving his opinion on his first impression of the knowledge and skills I was provided off by Ostend Air College.
If I should start all over again, I would go back to Ostend Air College again with no doubt.
Also I would like to thank the entire Ostend Air College team for the good care during and after my education and for the pleasant 2 years I have been with them.
Kristof De Boevere
“Kristof has taken a place on our A320 type rating and line training programme. He was required to take a technical and practical assessment to be able to be offered a place. His flying skills were strong with a good scan and the capacity to cope with the task. The 737-300 is a demanding aircraft to fly raw data, Kristof's flying training has obviously been very good as flew both accurately and smoothly.
He will make an excellent jet first officer from what I have seen.
Capt Jonathan Curd. TRI/TRE A320. Head of Training.”
Some of the airlines that fly OAC students
Brussels Airlines is the result of the alliance between SN Brussels Airlines and Virgin Express - a collaboration that has existed since 2005 when the shareholders of both companies under the same SN Airholding group were placed. In early 2006, the shareholders an innovative step and put the two brands into a single airline.
Jetair is part of the World of TUI - A world where hundreds of the best known holiday brands from many European countries working together for the best time of the year.
Ryanair is the world's favorite airline and operates more than 1,400 flights per day from 44 bases and 1100 + low fare routes across 27 countries, connecting 160 destinations. Ryanair operates a fleet of 250 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft with firm orders for a further 64 new aircraft (before taking account of planned disposals), which will be delivered in the next 2 years. Ryanair currently has a team of more than 8,000 people and expects to carry approximately 73.5 million passengers in the current fiscal year.
Qatar Airways flies one of the youngest and most modern fleet of aircraft in the air today. Our expansion is phenomenal with ongoing orders for more than 200 aircraft worth over U.S. $ 30 billion.
News and events
De start in september gemist? Begin februari 2019 is er opnieuw een instapmogelijkheid.
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Interesse in het dagonderwijs
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If interested, you can always make an appointment.
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On Saturday, May 25 and Saturday, September 7 OAC opens its doors again.
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Ostend Air College has purchased a new Diamond DA40 TDI Next Generation with callsign OE-DDC.
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