Frederik Valstar

I’m packed and ready to go!


After 5 weeks of constant learning and7 exams, 1 week of saying goodbye and packing my bags, I am ready to go.

Although I had some trouble getting into study mode again, after not have done very much of it for a few years, maths and physics came back to me pretty quickly and didn’t cause too much trouble. I had 1 exam for maths and 2 for phyics, all 3 of which I aced, scoring 100%!

That’s when a couple of weeks of non-stop learning started. Even during the holidays I spend over 8 hours a day studying, but it paid off! I had study a whole range of Private Pilot License theory, which was mostly new to me. But in the end I did well, I had 4 exams for this course and only made 1 mistake in total. So I scored 100% on 3 of them and 94% on the other one. Since I still got a 99% average, I can live with the one mistake ūüėČ

Last Friday I had a great time with my friends in Utrecht, thanks for a terrific evening and all the nice mementos! On Saturday I said goodbye to my friends in Eindhoven, with a great night out on the town. Thanks to the Ali Baba & de Roverstam (and Daphne and Maaike) for making it a night to remember!

Yesterday I was in Eindhoven for another goodbye: Daphne, I’ll miss you, Niek and the boys!

Tomorrow I’m flying of to Houston together with Wouter, my only classmate. ¬†All the Swedes got placed in the March class. From Houston we’ll fly to San Diego, where we’ll be picked up and brought to our new home, for the coming year. Once I have the exact address, I’ll post it on the contact page. I’ll also be getting an American telephone number, which I’ll post on the same page.

For everyone in Holland, I’ll miss you guys, we’ll keep in touch and we will see each other again in January¬†2013!

And off we go!

Yesterday I booked my ticket to San Diego and I passed my first test with score of 100%. It was maths test and to be honest, I was dreading it. Sure, I had 7 years of maths in high school, but I didn’t do anything maths related for the last 5 years… But, with the help of the study materials I got from the SAA, I managed to get my maths skills back up to par. Now it’s time for physics, this week I’m doing electricity and magnetism.

Wouter, my Dutch classmate, and I decided to leave for San Diego on the 13th of January, as we are to report for our first day of school on the 16th. This way we have some time to lose our jetlag and get acquainted with our appartment, Johan, our Swedish classmate (yes, we are a class of 3), the other students and the town of El Cajon, CA.

We’ll be flying to San Diego, via George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston. So I get to go to Texas and see if everythings bigger for 4 hours!

I’m still awaiting my medical license, but I don’t expect anymore trouble with that, after having replaced my glasses for onces without prisms and spending about 10 hours in the dentist’s chair, getting 3 root canal treatments, 1 pulled molor and another filling.

But I’m off, I’ve officially started flight school and am on my way to become a commercial pilot! I’m loving it!

Start your engines!


Last week I got a call from EPST, telling me my class is starting in less than a month.

On December 5th I will be starting the distance learning I need to complete before I (am allowed to) go to San Diego. Of course I still need te be medically cleared for flight, I need to get the loan signed and I need to sign a contract with EPST. The loan and the contract will be signed this week, and next week I will be going to Schiphol-Oost for my Medical. If all goes well I will be in San Diego for flight school on Januari 16th!

So now it all comes down to my medical… Keep your fingers crossed!

EPST, check! Weight, ….

feesttoeterToday I recieved some very exciting news!

I passed the selection at EPST and am now eligible to start flight school via their First-Officer Program! O Yeah!!!


They did have one condition, which will keep me busy the next few months. My weight has to come down to a BMI of 25. So my task for now: losing weight.

As soon as I get my weight up (or rather down) to par, I have to get my medical and if all’s well with my health, I will be starting school ASAP!

So, it’s time to get cracking with the¬†exercising¬†and get that belly flat again!

Hold short of phase 4.

Yesterday was the third and final phase of selection at EPST. After an early wake-up, I took my time to get ready. On my way to EPST I encoutered the first familiar faces from the day before. Today we would be with 8, and 2 assessors. Six of the other seven I had already met, but the last guy was also a great guy.

Before we started I heard Tolga had to redo phase 2 as well, making me the only survivor of the morning session of phase 2. Both candidates in the afternoon session did make it.

But on to phase 3: We had to do 2 group assignments today. First we were told a story about how we were sailing in the Indian Sea and we got in to a storm. We had a piece of paper detailing the event and 2 lists, one with what to do, the other with stuff we had. We had to prioritize both lists for our selfs and afterwards we had to discuss our choices in groups of 4. Within this group we had to come to a consensus on which item needed to go where on the list.

The second group assignment, in a new group, was building a bridge 3 legal papers wide and 1 legal paper high. It had to be able to support a glass of water (or a highly explosive and corrosive substance) and we could only use the blocks and sticks provided. Ours stayed up, although none of us could grasp why. It was on the point of breaking down.

Afterwards there was a math test, which didn’t go that well. I failed to manage my time correctly, resulting in some unanswered problems. I hope this doesn’t kill me…

During lunch we had to decide an order in which the interviews with both the assersors would take place. We decided to keep it fair and devide ourselfs by travel time. I therefore was last and had to wait about 2,5 hours, together with Tolga until we were asked in for the interview.

After the interview, the selection was done. Tolga was already waiting for me and we headed back to the train. And now all I can do is wait, wait for the phone to ring (or not)… So keep your fingers crossed!

Phase 2, check!

Well then, today I had to get up early because I had to be at EPST at 08:15h. Never knowing what the NS does, I made sure I left in time and arrived 30 minutes early. Two other candidates were already there, waiting. Within no time we started talking and the other 2 candidates came in as well. One of the candidates had already passed phase 3, but had to do a re-examination on phase 2, so he won’t be there tomorrow.

After a multiple choice test on the booklet we had to learn, we got a briefing on what we were going to be doing today. Today was going to be 40 minutes of fixed base flight simulator flying in a 737-800 flight sim. We needed to perform climbs, decents, banks, steep banks and a combination, while being asked questions and doing math problems.

After the briefing Stefan was up first, since he had to do the re-examination. He succeeded this time, so congrats to him!

Meanwhile, Tolga, Timothy, Jelle and I had to determine the order in which we were going in. Since Timothy and Jelle had a longer trip to go, we concluded they should get the first 2 slots and Tolga and I took the last 2. Fate (a coin) decided Timothy first, then Jelle, then me and finally Tolga.

Timothy unfortunately didn’t make it, he has to do a resit and buy some training time to prepare. Jelle got out after only 5 minutes, it turned out the simulator had broken down. So we had to wait, and wait some more until Jelle could get into another simulator. Meanwhile the afternoon group started coming in. Unfortunately Jelle didn’t make it either, he also has to do a resit.

After Jelle it was my turn. I got in to the simulator and is was incredibly cool, an exact replica of the flight deck on a 737-800 and I was going to be flying it. The flying was pretty hard, the controls take a lot of effort to operate and is nothing like flying MS Flight Sim on your PC, but it was fun! I only lost control of the plane once. Even though I didn’t crash it, I lost focus for a few moments and the instructor immediately caught on to it…. But, after 40 minutes (which went by in 5), I had to go and wait for my results…

One of the instructors came and ¬†set my mind at ease, he told me I had passed. The comments I got on my performance were that I had to be more methodical in instrument flying, I was flying too impulsively. This on the other hand did mean that I have a natural ability to fly. I also had to listen to the instructor better at times. But I definitely showed potential and (perhaps) most importantly I was trainable. “The impulsive flying won’t be a problem, we have two years to beat that out of you” , my instructor concluded the debriefing.

On to phase 3 tomorrow! Where I will also find out if Tolga made it or not. I hope he did!

Passed Phase 1!

Today I went to EPST for phase 1 of the selection. The first phase consists of 4 tests. Two of these tests determine whether you pass or fail, the other two are for future reference during the selection.

First of all there was the COMPASS (COMputerized Pilot Aptitude and Screening System), which is made up of 6 sub tests, each earning you between 1 and 7 points. These tests are as follows:

Control: With a joystick you need to keep a needle from moving up and down,keeping it on a fixed point or correcting the needle to get back to that fixed point.. At the same time you need to use pedals to keep a ball from moving left and right, thus keeping it at a fixed point, or correcting the ball when it does move.

Slalom: With the same joystick used in the “Control” test, you need to move a blue triangle between red and green squares, just like and old-school driving game where you need to keep a car on the road.

Memory: The screen shows 1-3 of 4 data relevent to flying (altitude, speed, heading and radiofrequency) and you get a couple of seconds to memorize the data. Directly afterwards you need to fill in the data you have just memorized.

–¬†Math: 24 math problems are presented and you need to solve them within a given amount of time.

Orientation: You get a screen with a grid on it. On this grid several planes are represented by a blue plane-like stick figure and an arrow. Three plane instruments are displayed above the grid and you need to figure out what plane goes with the instruments on the screen. You need to get as many planes right as you can, within a certain amount of time.

Taskmanager: While entering data in to a simulating auto pilot, you need to watch for red lights lighting up and turning them of by pressing the corresponding key on your keyboard.

Like I mentioned before: each test gives a maximum of 7 points, leading tot a maximum total of 42 point. I scored as follows:

– Control: 4
– Slalom: 4
– Memory: 6
– Math: 6
– Orientation: 7
– Taskmanager: 7

So my total was 34 point, more than enough to pass this part of phase 1. The lady who talked me through the results said everything above 30 was to be consired really good and especially the 7 point for Orientation was excellent.

Part two of phase 1 was a Tech test, to see¬†whether¬†my technical aptitude was up to par. I had to answer 15 different questions on a couple of ¬†physics¬†subjects. Only 1 of those questions came up wrong. So apparently my knowledge of physics hasn’t complete disappeared in the 5 years since I was last in a physics classroom.

After a short break it was time for part 3: a psychological test, the only test in Dutch. This test meant choosing between two statements displayed on the screen, picking the one that suited me best. A total of 225 pairs of statements were presented, most of them showing up several times, but never the same couple.

Finally there was the English test. This test checks your understanding of English grammar and texts, as wel as testing your ability to listen to English conversations and being able to answer questions about those questions.

This is when the waiting starts, while the results of the tests were entered into a computer and the results were calculated, I passed the time drinking some coffee and reading aviation magazines. So no real punishment there, except for the waiting itself.
But, after about ten minutes, the results were in and now I’m on to phase 2!

On May the 10th I have to return to do 2 sessions in a fixed-base 737-NG simulator! ūüėÄ
If all goes well, the day after will be a long one, the day of phase 3. A day filled with group exersices, some more mathematical tests and an interview with the selection team.

But¬†until then¬†I’ve got my work cut out for me. I need to fill in a couple of forms and write an two page essay on why I should be allowed to start flight training at EPST. Beside that, I need to memorize 18 pages of instructions, in order to be allowed into the simulator on the 10th of May.

Phase 1 coming up


Last thursday I made a very important call: I made an appointment for phase 1 of the selection procedure at EPST in Utrecht.

On thursday April 28th at 10 am I will be expected at their office to do 3 hours of computerized tests, through which they will try to determine my capabilities and my personality and whether my capabilities and personality make me capable of becoming a pilot.

Basically it comes down to having to score a minimum of 24 out of 42 points in a series of tests, focused around my hand-eye-foot-coordination, my spatial aptitude, my technical aptitude and my personality.


The website of EPST mentions the following on the first phase of selection:


This phase consist of our COMPASS (aptitude) test, a personality assessment test, Aviation English test and a technical comprehension test. […] ¬†The duration of the test is about three (3) hours. The results will be available at the end of the test and will be discussed with the candidate.


Of cours I will post how it went, when I’m back home thursday. Hopefully with good news!



Welcome to my blog.

Welcome to my blog!

After years of dreaming and wondering, I’ve made a big decision: I’m going to try to become a professional pilot or more specific: an airline pilot.

To some this will come as a surprise, seeing that the last few years have been spend studying Theatre, Film and Television Sciences, and others will not be surprised at all, having seen this coming for years.

I’ve started this blog after I decided which flight school I will be trying to attend.

After a couple of weeks of researching the internet and visiting flight schools I’ve made the decision: I will be trying to get accepted to the¬†EPST flight school and follow the First Officer Program they offer.


But before this will all go down, there are a few obstacles to overcome. First I have to make sure that my financial situation allows me to attend a flight school and then I still have the big (or huge) hurdle of getting through the selection procedure of the flight school.

As each phase of the selection is coming, I will fill you in on the details of what I’m to expect and of course afterwards: how the phase went.



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June 2019
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