Sunday, 18 December 2011

Boeing 737-3/900 Type Rated

Perfect timing for Christmas celebrations, two months after enrolling in the B737 Type Rating course, the group of people I trained with and myself are now qualified First Officers and will start line operations within just a few weeks.

The training isn't complete yet as we still have to complete the Base Training (6 to 10 circuits flown on the actual aircraft, without passengers) and the Line Training which will last around two months.
The Line Training envolves normal operations however the first few flights are supervised by a third pilot (safety pilot) and all flights are flown with Training Captains only.
At the end will come the Line Check which we will have to re-take twice a year from then on.

The LST (Licence Skills Test) goes through the same process and has to be re-taken once every 6 months during recurrent simulator training (RST), to keep current with emergency procedures and failures management.
As pilots, we are tested all the time and in some ways the training never stops.

The Full Flight Simulator sessions included all the aspects of the fixed base training but added much more complete decision making processes and line operations.
We reviewed pretty much all the phases of flight where we could have any kind of engine issues (failure, fire, overheat, abnormal vibrations, high EGT, severe damage, etc ...) whether this is on the ground, on the apron, during take-off, just while taking-off (between V1 and VR), after take-off, in cruise, during descent, on landing, etc...
Some airports have circle to land procedures (visual maneuver) in place and we practiced them in the simulator.
We are now CAT III ILS approaches qualified.

We reviewed so many failures or critical scenarios that I stopped counting. The worst we had were probably the loss of all AC power, manual reversion (complete loss of all three hydraulic systems, which makes it almost impossible to move the flight controls and maneuver the aircraft) and double engine failure on take-off.

Next step: First flight on the real aircraft.

Airborne life continues...