Flightradar 24 and Marine spotting odds and sods.

japseyewarrior

War Hero
We switched to annual sims 9 years ago. I can say this with certainty because the sim programme for this year is called ATE 9 - Annual Training Event 9.

The change was made after about 5 years of very detailed data collection and analysis and a great deal of persuading the CAA. Basically it was all about analysing which bits people consistently did less well.

What the data revealed is that about 5% of pilots are bastards; they were born to fly and everything was easy. Raw Data Single Engine NDB Approach was always fun, these guys would say “hold my beer” and do it single crew, inverted. Another 5% are at the other end of the scale and struggle, career FOs, multiple repeats etc etc etc. The remaining 90% are all pretty much the same, pretty good but they have to work hard to get there and stay there. It was done on a 1-5 scoring system over something like 100 elements per check and the Aces were averaging 4.8, the Numpties around 2.5 and The Rest around 4.1.

Its a really good system IMHO because I used to do something and get “Yep, fine, Pass, right, ext exercise”. Now I get a really detailed run down of both the practical and the soft skills, knowledge etc and guidance on improving.

When we first started it was 4 days of 3 hours a day in the sim with no mid sim break. It then changed to 3 days of 4 hours with a break mid sim and a 90 minute brief before and 90 minute debrief after.

All Day 1 is set piece checking Licencing items but they are woven into a real time scenario as much as is possible. There’s a 3 year rolling programme of stuff that has to be covered so one year you’ll have an hydraulic issue, the next an electrical issue etc. Same goes for various manoeuvres so one year it’ll be a TCAS (collision avoidance), the next a Terrain Escape etc. Every year you’ll do an Engine Failure on Take Off, a Single Engine Approach, Go Around and Landing and a Two Engine Go Around as well as a variety of Approaches. On the 787 we also have to do a HUD Take Off in 75m visibility. That doesn’t sound too drastic but it’s the kind of viz that brings motorways to a standstill so doing 160 knots only seeing one runway light ahead of you is a bum twitcher.

Half of Day 2 is more of the same but more on the Operator side of life so LVOs, RNP, Right Seat check for Capts, Cruise PIC checks for FOs etc. The other half of Day 2 is a Line Orientated Exercise where basically you are given a flight, something happens which usually involves a diversion with complications thrown in and away you go. The more experienced FOs usually get to lead on it to develop them for Command and the Capt plays Competent FO. There are usually 5 or 6 scenarios, sets of weather, routes etc of increasing difficulty and the TRE picks one s/he thinks will best suit the crew so they are stretched but not broken and get to learn loads based on his / her assessment of the crew in the previous set piece stuff. It works really, really well.

Day 3 is pure Training and often run by a TRI. It covers off stuff that’s been identified in all the data that the Head Shed feel is stuff that people need to polish up on or from trends in Flight Data, Safety Reports etc. We also do new stuff for changing types of operation or new kit on the aircraft so for example, last year we trained up on RNP (Approval Required) Approaches. Boeing have just (finally) published guidance on Baulked Landings (a Go Around from in the runway) so that’s in this year.
One assumes that the civvy sector doesn't have quite the same "flexibility" as a mil sim session where you get an hour or two to try something extra curricular?

Sometimes it can be serious, like we've tried reenacting the Leicester stadium to see if anyone could not get the red screen of death vs slightly more fun, pinnacle landings on the Statue of Liberty or engine off onto an offshore rig.
 
Aircraft Training.

The only time you’ll do pure aircraft training, circuits and bumps, is if you are doing a Type Rating onto your first large aircraft or are converting onto a “Glass Cockpit” from an analogue one. Thereafter as @Nicky swango says, it’s what’s called Zero Flight Time (ZFT), you do all the training on a sim and the first time you fly the actual aircraft is on a revenue flight albeit under supervision from a Line Training Captain (LTC)

Every 2 years (used to be annual) you get a Line Check which is a normal flight with a crew under check from an LTC sat on the jump seat. You’re just expected to do everything to standard and any funnies that come up need dealing with and are assessed. The LTC just observes and doesn’t get involved. If a real emergency crops up generally the check gets suspended and you get to use the LTC as an asset because things can get real busy, real quick. And yes, it‘s happened to me. Twice.
 
One assumes that the civvy sector doesn't have quite the same "flexibility" as a mil sim session where you get an hour or two to try something extra curricular?

Sometimes it can be serious, like we've tried reenacting the Leicester stadium to see if anyone could not get the red screen of death vs slightly more fun, pinnacle landings on the Statue of Liberty or engine off onto an offshore rig.
No. There’s usually time at the end of each day for “anything you’d like to look at chaps?”. Mostly it’s serious but even a bit of fun can be useful handling. As a TRI the one I’d give them if they didn’t have anything they wanted to do was to fly “Triple Manual” (no automatics and Flight Director) at a given speed (Balls Out) under the Golden Gate Bridge then pull up, find SFO and land visually, no Approach Aids. We don’t often fly the aircraft with everything switched off but are required to know how. The bit into SFO is pure piloting because they’re starting from an unfamiliar height, speed and configuration so it’s back to basics. To clear the bridge but not hit the water gives you about +/- 10’ but they have to fly looking out of the window and in at the speed, good manual handling, visual flying skills.

Another one is an Engine Seizure on a wet runway for a full power take off just as the power comes up at the start of the take off roll. Unless you are very quick, the aircraft will go off the side of the runway because you’re hands are on the controls not the nose wheel steering tiller, the rudder pedal steering of the nose wheel doesn’t have enough authority, there’s no airflow over the rudder so that has no authority either and with full power on on one side only, standing on the brakes just locks the wheels so you skid rather than roll off the runway.

I’m a right bastard me.
 
Last edited:

9.414

War Hero
Which
...

Every 2 years (used to be annual) you get a Line Check which is a normal flight with a crew under check from an LTC sat on the jump seat. You’re just expected to do everything to standard and any funnies that come up need dealing with and are assessed. The LTC just observes and doesn’t get involved. If a real emergency crops up generally the check gets suspended and you get to use the LTC as an asset because things can get real busy, real quick. And yes, it‘s happened to me. Twice.
Which is what happened during the first A380 engine problem with QANTAS flight 32 with the uncontained engine failure where there were 2 additional very experienced pilots on the flight deck!

"... In 2010, Richard Woodward, a vice president of the Australian and International Pilots Association, reported that five pilots were in the cockpit of this flight. In addition to the normal crew of captain, first officer, and second officer, two additional check captains were in the cabin; one being trained as a check captain (CC) and the supervising CC, who was training the CC.[9] Captain de Crespigny concentrated on flying and managing the aircraft and monitoring the 100 electronic centralised aircraft monitor checklists being sifted through by the first officer. The supernumerary pilots monitored all actions and assisted where necessary... "
 
We switched to annual sims 9 years ago. I can say this with certainty because the sim programme for this year is called ATE 9 - Annual Training Event 9.

The change was made after about 5 years of very detailed data collection and analysis and a great deal of persuading the CAA. Basically it was all about analysing which bits people consistently did less well.

What the data revealed is that about 5% of pilots are bastards; they were born to fly and everything was easy. Raw Data Single Engine NDB Approach was always fun, these guys would say “hold my beer” and do it single crew, inverted. Another 5% are at the other end of the scale and struggle, career FOs, multiple repeats etc etc etc. The remaining 90% are all pretty much the same, pretty good but they have to work hard to get there and stay there. It was done on a 1-5 scoring system over something like 100 elements per check and the Aces were averaging 4.8, the Numpties around 2.5 and The Rest around 4.1.

Its a really good system IMHO because I used to do something and get “Yep, fine, Pass, right, ext exercise”. Now I get a really detailed run down of both the practical and the soft skills, knowledge etc and guidance on improving.

When we first started it was 4 days of 3 hours a day in the sim with no mid sim break. It then changed to 3 days of 4 hours with a break mid sim and a 90 minute brief before and 90 minute debrief after.

All Day 1 is set piece checking Licencing items but they are woven into a real time scenario as much as is possible. There’s a 3 year rolling programme of stuff that has to be covered so one year you’ll have an hydraulic issue, the next an electrical issue etc. Same goes for various manoeuvres so one year it’ll be a TCAS (collision avoidance), the next a Terrain Escape etc. Every year you’ll do an Engine Failure on Take Off, a Single Engine Approach, Go Around and Landing and a Two Engine Go Around as well as a variety of Approaches. On the 787 we also have to do a HUD Take Off in 75m visibility. That doesn’t sound too drastic but it’s the kind of viz that brings motorways to a standstill so doing 160 knots only seeing one runway light ahead of you is a bum twitcher.

Half of Day 2 is more of the same but more on the Operator side of life so LVOs, RNP, Right Seat check for Capts, Cruise PIC checks for FOs etc. The other half of Day 2 is a Line Orientated Exercise where basically you are given a flight, something happens which usually involves a diversion with complications thrown in and away you go. The more experienced FOs usually get to lead on it to develop them for Command and the Capt plays Competent FO. There are usually 5 or 6 scenarios, sets of weather, routes etc of increasing difficulty and the TRE picks one s/he thinks will best suit the crew so they are stretched but not broken and get to learn loads based on his / her assessment of the crew in the previous set piece stuff. It works really, really well.

Day 3 is pure Training and often run by a TRI. It covers off stuff that’s been identified in all the data that the Head Shed feel is stuff that people need to polish up on or from trends in Flight Data, Safety Reports etc. We also do new stuff for changing types of operation or new kit on the aircraft so for example, last year we trained up on RNP (Approval Required) Approaches. Boeing have just (finally) published guidance on Baulked Landings (a Go Around from in the runway) so that’s in this year.
Thanks. I retired 10 years ago so that accounts for my confusion!

When I started as a TRE (1990) there were no sims available - actually Bristow had a very basic sim but it was non visual and mostly non available to us across the runway as they had a large pilot workforce.

Training for emergencies was very limited - engine, hydraulics and some minor electrical stuff. Testing was a different world than it was today, basically the briefing was "Your co-pilot is proficient but lacking in initiative" Meaning "you're on your own mate" No use of automatics permitted.

Gradually over the years things progressed, particularly with the advent of CRM whereby the co-pilot suddenly became part of the crew.

When we were finally able to use the sim things moved up another notch. The introduction of Line Oriented Flying Training was a breath of fresh air and as I approached retirement we were pretty much doing what you’re doing now except three two-hour slots twice a year

Good to see the CAA has adopted a pragmatic approach in allowing you to do annual checks. Puts a lie to their old slogan.

“CAA – We’re not happy until you’re not happy”
 

Ritch

LE
The 777-9 being put through its paces in Dubai. The takeoff was very impressive.

 
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A question on autoland, if I may. Does it just handle the approach so that the heading and glide slope will put it down on the runway, or does it handle the rollout too? If so, on the latter bit, how does it maintain the line down the runway as the speed bleeds off and the rudder becomes less effective?

I am thinking about @Toastie’s fog takeoff, and wondering if there’s a technology solution to keep the aircraft on the centerline. I’m sure it’s a 5p/50p thing doing 160kt in fog, but seconds later you’re above the fog into possibly a crystal clear day. Seems like a good thing if there was a way to take the stress out of the takeoff roll.
 
A question on autoland, if I may. Does it just handle the approach so that the heading and glide slope will put it down on the runway, or does it handle the rollout too? If so, on the latter bit, how does it maintain the line down the runway as the speed bleeds off and the rudder becomes less effective?

I am thinking about @Toastie’s fog takeoff, and wondering if there’s a technology solution to keep the aircraft on the centerline. I’m sure it’s a 5p/50p thing doing 160kt in fog, but seconds later you’re above the fog into possibly a crystal clear day. Seems like a good thing if there was a way to take the stress out of the takeoff roll.
Don't know about other aircraft but the A380 has a routine which calculates the roll out, how much braking to apply etc. Mainly due to the brakes getting VERY hot if applied hard, then it can take a long time for them to cool down so that the aircraft can be turned around quickly ready to do another sector. In Dubai ground temps of 50 Deg C aren't uncommon with a surface temperature well exceeding that (hence part of the need to resurface one runway next year and replace all of the LED lights which have gotten fried, never having been designed for such temperatures). Those temperatures only serve to keep those brakes and wheels hot.
 
Don't know about other aircraft but the A380 has a routine which calculates the roll out, how much braking to apply etc. Mainly due to the brakes getting VERY hot if applied hard, then it can take a long time for them to cool down so that the aircraft can be turned around quickly ready to do another sector. In Dubai ground temps of 50 Deg C aren't uncommon with a surface temperature well exceeding that (hence part of the need to resurface one runway next year and replace all of the LED lights which have gotten fried, never having been designed for such temperatures). Those temperatures only serve to keep those brakes and wheels hot.

But how does it keep the aircraft on the centerline? Bit of crosswind, or slightly more efficient brakes on one side, or even tyre pressures could see it off the side. How does it correct the nose wheel(s)?

Well aware of the temps in DXB/RUH/JED etc. Like a hairdryer to the face walking outside!
 
But how does it keep the aircraft on the centerline? Bit of crosswind, or slightly more efficient brakes on one side, or even tyre pressures could see it off the side. How does it correct the nose wheel(s)?

Well aware of the temps in DXB/RUH/JED etc. Like a hairdryer to the face walking outside!
One of the sky gods will have to answer that :) I just know that autoland with a Cat IIIA ILS isn't unusual.
 

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