Well it’s almost the end of week two of my Airbus type rating and I have to say; I am exhausted! I’ve taken on so much information in the last week that my brain feels like it’s in a vice!
We are still in the ground school phase of the type rating, learning the aircraft systems and ‘standard operating procedures’. Everyday, we complete 1 – 4 modules on the inner workings of the Airbus and this week it’s been navigation, anti-ice, auto flight, flight management systems and many many more. Each module is mostly filled with audio of some unenthused woman telling us how to operate a button, switch or knob interspersed with some images and video. Fortunately the enthusiasm is there on our side so it isn’t too bad!
At some point during each day we go into the virtual flight deck which, at this stage is a set of touch screen monitors where you can carry out check lists and the standard operating procedures I spoke about earlier. The benefit of these touch screens is that it works almost exactly like the real thing so you can simulate each phase of flight accurately. There are two roles in a multicrew environment, pilot flying and pilot not flying. Each has their own set of tasks to complete in the aircraft and if that flow breaks down it can endanger the flight so therefore it’s very important that each role is played accurately and harmonious as possible. In the VFD it can be difficult to recall the SOP’s at times as it’s difficult to put them into context… actions at pushback, taxi etc can get muddled up just because you aren’t technically in the situation that you are doing the checklists for. I’ve taken to drawing out the route on a piece of paper and putting in where the PF/PNF actions need to come so I can visualise it better and build up a flow to remind me.
So far we’ve completed 2 progress tests which I’m happy to say I passed and next week we have our final exam prior to starting in the full motion flight simulator. I’m looking forward to this but I’m very nervous. At the moment I don’t feel like my SOPs are up to a standard where I could jump in the sim and carry them out flawlessly and I think that they’ll be looking for that from the get go as we only have two sessions of normal operations out of 4 weeks of sims, the rest will be abnormal and emergencies.
I just hope I can pull it all off…
In regards to instagram, I’ve not had the time to search for photo opportunities and non have presented themselves which is very unfortunate. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some photos taken soon :-).