Saturday, 7 July 2012

No time to think

It has been an extremely long week for all students and their families both across the pond in Florida and here in Ireland.

In Europe the Irish and British governments are sending representatives to speak to those in the United States about proceedings for getting them back to their respective homes. There is a very public argument going on between many different parties and it has spread through Irish aviation like a knife.

We are now here in Dublin two days into our Multi-Crew Course (MCC) and Jet Orientation Course (JOC). The company we're being trained by here in the capital are fantastic. Their facilities are state of the art being the main centres of simulator training for Aer Lingus, Aer Arann and CityJet.

The simulator that we are using is based on the Boeing 737-800 series, one of the most successful and modern aircaft in the sky. Those who fly with the likes of Ryanair, Continental or American Airlines will certainly know which machine I am talking about.

With it's glass cockpit encompassing more information and facilities that our brains can possibly take in in such a short space of time we will be taught the basics in how to operate this piece of kit. The main aim is not to master the plane, but to learn to work together as a dual crew. This is paramount in our future capacities as commercial airline pilots. In only a few weeks (if the training schedule is kind to us and we can finish on time) we will be jumping into the specific simulator for our future aircraft with our airline and it's now here where we learn to work as a team, the benefits, risk and responsibilities involved in creating a synergy on the flight deck.

The ideology is to create a slick, efficient and most importantly safe environment where all pilots within a company work towards one set of rules and instructions when operating their aircraft. These are called 'Standard Operating Procedures.' These are created by each airline in conjunction with the manufacturer and national authority of their home country.

The idea is that two pilots who have never met each other before can jump into the cockpit together and work seamlessly throughout the operation from gate to gate. It is something that has worked very successfully throughout many decades and with a lot of fine tuning over the years has become a stalwart in cementing commercial flight as one of the safest modes of transport available today.

We hope to be here for only another eight days before heading down to Cork to recommence our instrument training and finish up before the end of the month. Plans haven't been finalised yet so I'm not able to say what the training will involve.

I'm hoping that many of my friends and colleagues that I've come to know over the past fourteen months or so will be able to sort the remainder of their training out in the very near future. I know some are looking at continuing the same type of training while others are looking at different options with regards to their aviation career paths.

It really is a sad state to see so many people, their families as well, having to go through such a terrible time. We're the fortunate ones, we have a company looking over us and seeing us through to the end. The majority don't.

Unfortunately we don't have time to take in what is going on around us at the moment. We're on a strict programme with only limited time but maybe when it slows down in coming months we'll actually be able to come to terms with what has happened this past week.

A video from today when we had a 'practice' in the simulator.


  1. When you refer to "the Company", I assume this is Flybe? When are you starting your Type Rating?
    Good luck on the next steps and congratulations on those accomplished so far, not easy in those tough times.
    It is well worth it in the end.

  2. Yes it is.

    Thank you! Yes it's difficult but hopefully get there soon. The TR starts at the end of the month hence the need to quickly get finished!

    Flying the 737-800 also makes me a little bit jealous of your office!

  3. It must be a very worrying time for those in the midst of their training over the pond - timing is everthing I guess...

    Great vid by the way - I just spent 30 mins in the ipilot sim in london and couldn't believe how quick task saturation sets in during the final phases of the landing! Great work!

    All the best

    Dave from the UK

  4. Believe it or not, I would have loved to fly the Q400 a little while before starting on the 737.
    I flew the Kingair before and I loved it even more than I love the 737.

    A friend of mine is based in SOU for the same company, he's been on the Q400 for four years now and just doesn't want to leave for any other aircraft or airline. That's how much he loves it.
    It beats the ATR's by miles in terms of performances and as far as I know the ATR's is a wonderful aircraft too.

    I flew as a pax a couple of times the SOU-AVN route and was always impressed by the acceleration on take-off. God this aircraft is amazingly powerful!

  5. Hey Dave - thanks for the message! Yes the sims are amazingly real! Kudos to the computer programmers! It's quite amazing the difference in workload throughout a whole flight profile!

    Golfcharlie232, yeh it's supposed to be a superb aircraft to fly! I'm really looking forward to it. I am starting to love the 737 more and more everyday though - what a machine!

    Yeh the Q400 is one of the most powerful things out there for it's size. Very excited! :-)