Thursday, May 24, 2007

See that box on stilts? That's where I have been living for the past while.

I am at FlightSafety right now, and have just finished my second day of recurrent training. I have another day tomorrow, then a checkride on Saturday.

A checkride with a Transport Canada Inspector. I spend a couple of hours with a man I have never met, a man who hasn't seen me fly before, and I have to convince him that I don't suck at being a pilot based on a few semi-random, semi-scripted events.

Oh, by the way, this man from Transport Canada can take my license away if he thinks I suck at pilotage.

No stress, right?

A PPC ride is such an artificial situation. When we fly under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) we are not supposed to make any turns with more than 30 degrees angle of bank. When we do a checkride, one of the first things we do after we get airborne is to do 45-degree banked turns. Then we do an instrument approach to an airport, then miss the approach and immediately set up for an approach on the opposite runway. On a ride, it's par for the course for us to be about to land, like literally 50 feet above the runway when we are told to overshoot and on the overshoot have an engine failure, then have to enter a hold and circle around for a while before being allowed to return back to the runway. In real life, this is highly unlikely to happen. And those are just the discrepancies that occur to me right now, without actually thinking hard about it.

So what prepares us for the checkride?

Well, we practice the checkride sequences several times during the days leading up to the ride, and during our practice sessions the FlightSafety instructors are merciless; at least during our checkride the Transport Canada inspector can only give us one emergency at a time, but during our training the instructors will give us multiple unrelated emergencies in an attempt to load us up. I guess it's the (use an Arnold Schwarzenner accent) "I must break you to make you better" thing.

I really enjoy the simulator part; I am a die-hard video game guy, and this is just a big video game to me so that's fun.

It's the part about my license being in jeopardy while I'm doing a ride that I don't like so much.

More tomorrow, I spend 14 hours at FS today and I'm exhausted.

Here's a video from my crappy camera that I took today; I'll try for something more exciting later. Hey, maybe I'll get lucky and fail my ride, then I'll really have something to talk about :)

It'll take about 20 minutes for youtube to encode and recognize this vid, so don't sweat it if you happen to be dropping by right after I post this and youtube says it ain't available. They lie ;)

1 comment:

Aluwings said...

When I first flew a simulator exercise under the AQP program, it was the first time in almost 30 years that I finally felt like I was being trained properly, and then checked for the actual job I do, not some 'fantasy' day-from-hell.

Does the AQP type of training exist in the corporate world? It's a great step forward.

In the meantime - have a great check ride! If the stress doesn't kill you apparently it makes you better - ha ha!