After a month break, time needed to get our licences issued by the CAA, we're finally back in Bournemouth for one of the last steps of the training: the Multi-Crew Cooperation course.
It's broke down into two parts, starting off with the ground school, followed by 20 hours in a Boeing 737-200 Full Flight Simulator, 10 of which are flown as Pilot Flying (PF), and the remaining 10 hrs as Pilot Monitoring (PM).
It has nothing to do with Captain / First-Officer roles. The aim is, in part, to learn the tasks distribution among the two pilots. As "single-pilot Instrument Rated", we are taught to fly an aeroplane in which we perform all the tasks ourselves. Moving onto the airline, the flight crew is composed of two pilots, and we now have ground handling agents, cabin crew (flight attendants), company staff whom we can speak to over the radio while airborne, etc...
The roles (PF / PM) are usually swapped over every other sector, undependently of who's the Captain and who's the Co-pilot. And despite the designation of Pilot Monitoring (which used to be Pilot Not Flying), he is actually sometimes doing a tougher job than the pilot flying.
The simulator training is done in a Zero-Time Training Device, a six-axis full motion simulator, which allows to go straight on the plane and start the line training after a type rating. Unlike most type rating simulators, there's no need for touch-and-go training prior to flying with passengers.
Why is that useful during a MCC course? Well, it gives that extra bit of realism, and this is basically our very first experience at handling a swept wing jet, on a proper simulator.
As I haven't started the simulator training yet (other than learning the checklists, SOPs and cockpit layout), I can't comment on that part of the course.
However, the Phase 1 - Ground school has been focused on a lot of different aspects. Off the top of my head, those are the topics covered:
Communications among the flight crew, flight attendants and handling agents,
Cabin crew emergency messages,
Leadership / Followership, envisioning, Situation awareness,
Take-off Congifuration Warning (TOCW),
N1 / EPR gauges and icing errors,
Top of Descent (TOD) calculations and corrections,
Non-stabilised approaches and Go Around,
Checklists (Normal, Non-Normal and Expanded) and SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures),
PF / PM roles,
Handling a jet (flying on attitudes and thrust, Mach/IAS),
Airbus' and Boeing's philosophy on Automation, GPWS and EGPWS, TCAS, Flight director and Autopilot,
Refueling with passengers,
Slot time (reviewing plan, ordering fuel, notams WX, briefs F/A, exterior walk around, cockpit checks, departure briefing, load sheet, push/start,...),
Windshear / Microburst recovery,
B737-200 Flaps schedule (Take-off, Approach, and Go Around),
Conducting effective briefings,
Re-briefing an approach after a runway change,
B737 Operating procedures (who does what on the flight deck), challenge/response, ...