I had my 2 part licence skills test on the Airbus A320 on Friday and Saturday. I was really nervous for this test because I know how easily I can make stupid mistakes.
The first day I didn’t really get much of my own test done, it consisted of a line orientated exercise from Liverpool to Birmingham. On take off I was given a 15 knot cross wind and within 10 seconds or so I had a wind shear warning. Fortunately I was able to react instinctively and go to full power straight away. When I was clear of the wind shear the examiner gave me a hydraulics failure in the yellow side which basically meant a loss of system redundancy and loss of reverse thrust on the right hand engine, increasing the landing distance of the aircraft.
As I approached Birmingham I was cleared for the LOC DME procedure which went surprisingly well. Because it was LOC DME I was able to use the automatics to capture the localiser on it’s own, rather than intercept it manually. The descent was managed by me, using the flight path angle function to descend at -3.0 degrees down the glide slope. Approaches like this are so easy in the Airbus, it works so well. I landed quite smoothly, which is always nice, the motion can be quite harsh when you do a heavy landing, and that was the end of Fridays test.
The second day I was given an engine failure on take off from Birmingham and had to show my ability to control it, get the engine secured and then make a decision on the next step. I ended up landing back at Birmingham doing a single engine manually controlled ILS. Not too difficult because the flight directors are on to show you where to go. Afterwards I did a manual approach, two engine without the flight directors and then did a visual circuit to land. Last but not least was a rejected take off.
I’m happy to report that the day went really well and I was really happy with my performance. After the test had finished the instructor allowed us to do a couple of bits and bobs, we both did a a dual engine failure from 10,000 feet to landing which actually went quite well… I took flap 3 a little early and ended up just short of the threshold but there weren’t any houses so it’s all good!
I leave for Doha on Saturday and can’t wait. It’s going to be a great adventure!