Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Simulator

Within any establishment there are rumours, myths and general chit chat about certain aspects associated with that particular institution. At The Pilot Training College it is no different. During the later stages of training in Florida word is always being passed back from the eastern side of the pond related to the simulator here in Waterford.

Buried deep in PTC HQ the FNPT II has caused pain and suffering for many a cadet coming through the system. The 'sim' is a mock up of the Piper Seminole, an aircraft we have recently become accustomed to at the very end of our training in the states during the CPL stage. It is an analogue system encompassing all the relevant navigational instrumentation we will need to complete the Instrument Rating.

The problems so passionately described via the internet over the Atlantic are mainly focused around how difficult the simulator is to control with the lack of feedback and it's temperamental attitude to the controlling forces.

It was certainly an interesting experience the first time you start to play with it however after two lessons I do feel now that it isn't as bad as I've heard it being described. Although different from flying the real thing the idea behind everything we will be doing in it is pretty much exactly the same - the major difference being that the instructor is practically playing god with the ability to change almost everything! And apparently those horror stories contain no myths!

Having had the night shift for the first two lessons (21:30 until 01:30) it was quite tiring once the clock moved into the next day but enjoyable non the less. Two days off to revise and rest before starting another five days.

I have found Waterford to be a much more relaxed environment of training where they have found a balance of expecting high quality work from both instructors and students whilst nurturing that in comfortable surroundings.

Outside of the training there is nothing much really going on. The only point to note was in fact on the way to the PTC building for our first simulator session. We saw a plane on the terminal apron which seemed familiar to something we're hoping to be flying in only a few months time. As we got closer we realised it was in fact the Dash 8 from the afternoon Birmingham flight which had indeed 'gone tech' with a fuel leak and would be spending the night in sunny Waterford.

Hopefully I'll have all those wonderful problems to look forward to in the summer and beyond!


  1. Lots of tech planned for you! ha, the joys of delay from a different aspect. Glad things are going well!

  2. Are the questions similar to the ones in the mock ATPL exam?

  3. Yes the questions follow a similar line to the Consolidation exams.