Chocks away indeed!
First lesson in the Airbus A320 sim and to my great surprise it went quite well!
I volunteered to go first as pilot flying today, a risky move as the second person in is always going to learn from the mistakes you made and then completely out perform you. Why did I do it? Well in our practices I’d done pilot flying first and had done this particular route so I decided to stick to what I knew to make it simpler.
Fortunately my mistakes were not that bad, I rushed a little bit due to being nervous and this caused me to request a couple of check lists on the ground prior to needing them. Now the first sim is out of the way I should be able to go in tomorrow and do things at a normal pace and not feel so anxious about whether I’ll be able to complete the lesson to a good standard.
My route today was from Gatwick Airport runway 26L – Lambourne 4 Departure to the east then north – Daventry VOR – Trent VOR – Liverpool runway 27. The flight was fully automatic from approximately 300 feet to touch down and was mostly about practicing the SOP’s and management of the aircraft on a standard route.
After landing at Liverpool my instructor lined us up on 27 at Liverpool so that I could practice manually flying the aircraft. I took off, climbed to 4000 feet, levelled off, did some normal turns and some steep turns and then came back into Liverpool for a manual ILS approach to land. Besides a little float on the runway it went quite well and I’m pretty happy with my overall performance.
The Airbus is actually very easy to fly, the complexity comes in when you start managing the flight as well as flying and at that point nearly all of your spare capacity to think things through goes out of the window. Preparation certainly is key to flying an aircraft and even more so in something complex like a jet aircraft. Know your route, know what will be expected of you and have a plan.
Sorry for the poor quality, the lighting is really bad in the sim!
So here is my office for the next however many years – until I change type onto something else, possible a Boeing 787. We will see!
Next flight – Non Precision Approaches into East Midlands airport… I must study for this at some point tonight but at the moment I’m too tired and need to relax!
Thanks for reading,