AQC going well

We have already completed one week of our AQC course and the first week saw us looking at operating in a multi crew environment and improving our non technical skills. This was achieved by looking at various frameworks and models which we can use in the cockpit.

We still have two more weeks and these weeks see us in the simulator for 9 details in which we will be improving our multi crew skills. The simulator is CTC’s fixed base Boeing 737-300 simulator, so we’ll also be learning how to handle jets.
It’s definitely going to be a set up from what we were used to in the DA42 as it’s bigger, faster and heavier. There are also a lot of memory items which we have to know – all in line with the SOPs which we have been given.

It’s going to be a good two weeks, but a busy one as the details are all 4 hours long and we have to do all of the prep for them in the time that we’re not in the simulator and the sims range from starting at 8am to ending at midnight!

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The end of our DA42 simulator phase

As Christmas approaches, the flying world doesn’t come to a stand still. This has also been true for us in training, with flights going on throughout the festive period, with various people training even on Christmas Eve!

However, fortunately for me, I’ve finished my training for the Christmas period and today saw me finish off my training in the DA42 simulator. We’ve covered a variety of things since returning to the UK, but most memorable were the flights where we flew from one major airport in the UK to another. Flying in and out of Manchester was a good feeling, as was taking off from Heathrow – even if we did get lost on the taxiways in the sim!

We have finished the sim lessons off by starting to look at the things which come up on our instrument rating test. I shan’t bore you with all the details, but it involves making two approaches, a hold, some general handing and simulating an engine failure.
So far, I think they’ve been going well and I’m making progress, I just need to stop making silly mistakes! Fortunately, we’ve got another 6 lessons to practice for the test before we sit a mock test and then the real thing. It’s odd to think that it’s now so close!

But now, it’s time to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Have a great festive season and I shall update you all again in the New Year when we are back in the aircraft for our final flights of training.

Simulated flying around the UK

Once again, I’ve become slack at giving updates on how the course has been going – it’s been a very busy start to this phase of the training! But it’s been worth it, I’ve really enjoyed it so far.

These past couple of weeks have seen our course in the simulator flying to various airports around the UK. We started by doing orientation flights to familiarise ourselves with the much busier UK airspace. The next stage was starting to make us think about commercial flying.
We are placed in a simulated situation whereby we have to fly a passenger from one airport to another. The flight is usually conducted in bad weather conditions and we have to make all the decisions along the flight and this includes the fact that we may have to divert to another airfield.

The flights so far have been going well for me and they’re going along quite quickly. Out of the 20 flights that are done in this phase of training, we’ve already done 8. At this rate, we’ll be finished by the middle of January.

Hopefully, next time I post an update, we’ll be flying the aircraft again and should have some pictures to share – making my posts a bit more interesting than they are at the moment!

The Bournemouth Phase Commences…

After a busy week at home trying to see all of my family and as many friends as I could, I’ve now moved down to Bournemouth where we’ll be completing our instrument rating.

I’m all settled in our house for this 8 week phase of training which sees us start off in the sims before going back onto the Twinstar to finish our training.

I’m hoping that, having done a lot of instrument flying in New Zealand, the transition to flying in UK airspace is going to be pretty straight forward. I know that it’s busier than in New Zealand and, as a result of that, the radio is busier, but hoping that it’s still similar procedurally! I should be able to let you know after my first couple of sims!

I also have to get used to driving a manual car again as I’ve only been driving properly in New Zealand and there I owned an automatic. It’s pretty poor to say that I can fly a plane but I potentially struggle to drive a car!