Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another SIC rating

My check ride was at 4PM. I had a 3PM show time to do the briefing.

Around 11AM I found out updates for my manuals came out last week and were effective yesterday. Thus I needed to update them.

While on the line I get emails about updates. While in training I am at the mercy of the training department to hand out updates. Bleh.

I got the updates. Not enough time to properly file them. I simply inserted them into the binders at the front of each binder. Legal. Yes. Proper? No.

The briefing began with a preflight of the aircraft using slides. It would have been nice to use the real plane...but not feasible.

I did fine.

The examiner was the same Check Airmen who gave me my oral two weeks ago.

After the preflight he told me what the check ride would consist of. It's all items I've been training for. Many can be combined such as a crosswind, instrument and normal takeoff. All can be done on the same takeoff.

He let me know the ride would be conducted in Memphis. I haven't done any training in Memphis since my initial training 4 years ago. An approach is an approach though...for the most part.

We would leave on runway 18R. I would shoot the ILS to 36L, GPS to 27 and ILS 36L glideslope out of service.

The non flying pilot during a check ride is always another check airmen. This way the examiner is watching me and not another pilot candidate.

I met the check airmen whom would be my Captain. Nice guy.

We started at the gate. All normal.

Clearance was to climb runway heading to 7000 feet for RADAR vectors to the practice area. Current weather was 200 overcast, 1/2 mile visibility, winds 270@15, 1200 RVR, Temperature 20, Dewpoint 20, altimeter 29.92.

RVR is Runway Visual far one can see down the runway which is measured by transmissometers. RVR 1200 means one can see 1200 feet infront of them on the runway.

Due to the reduced RVR we could not return for landing as the ILS requires 1800 RVR. I asked for, and got a takeoff alternate, Little Rock...which was VFR.

The Captain taxi'd out while I ran the check list. A Fedex heavy took off right before we arrived at 18R. I started my clock...2 minute seperation.

The Captain lined the plane onto the centerline while I finished the checklist.

I've taken off with RVR 1000 before in real life and down to RVR 600 in the sim.

Normal takeoff. I was vectored east. I then briefed and performed the takeoff, departure and clean stall series. Once done vectored back to the airport via an arrival for ILS 36L.

Normal 2 engine ILS. At 200 feet the Captain called the approach lights. I kept descending. At 100 feet he called the runway. I went visual. At 50 feet I lost visual contact...must have entered a fog bank. Go around!

Given new missed approach procedures...runway heading 3000 feet.

Given vectors for the GPS 27 approach. I briefed it while the Captain flew the plane getting vectors. Once done I took the plane back.

Down at MDA I was still in the clouds. I passed the Visual Descent Point (VDP) and prepared to go around. At the Missed Approach Point I initiated the go around.

On the missed I noticed the oil pressure in the number 1 engine got very high. It failed while climbing out. Memory items and checklist done. Vectored back around for the same ILS I previously shot.

Single engine ILS. All hand flown. Same 200 foot "approach lights in sight" call. At 100 feet I went visual.

The transition from instruments to visual in the sim is pretty difficult as the depth perception just isn't there.

I got a "sink rate" call from the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS). I thought for a second and said, "correcting" as I could still make a safe landing in the touchdown zone.

I landed and was told to taxi to the end and prepare for another takeoff.

During the next takeoff roll I lost an engine at V1. I performed a very nice V1 cut profile. Once again memory items and checklist were preformed.

After level off we discussed the situation and decided it was safe to restart the engine. Thankfully it restarted.

Given vectors for the same ILS but this time the glideslope was inoperative thus it turned into a localizer approach.

I was vectored in tight. Briefing done. I began the approach. I delayed descending from MDA for about 3 seconds....why I don't know.

I blew past the VDP. I was high.

Runway in sight I tried to salvage the approach. "Sink rate ! Sink rate!"  again.

I looked at the touchdown way I could make it "safely". I got to perform an extra go around.

I announced I was going around. The instructor gave new vectors and then told me he brought me in tight to see if I would take charge and tell the Captain to begin the approach while I continued briefing.

Standard Operating Procedure is for the non-flying pilot to setup and brief the approach before the flying pilot. Thus the Captain was all setup.

If I had done that the plane would have been slowed earlier and I likely could have made the landing.

I understood.

On the next approach I was on my game. I was right at approach speed when I left MDA.

The visuals still through me off a bit. A tad high with one red and three white on the PAPI.

Over the threshold I reduced to Ref speed. Still descending I gave up the hope of a greaser and planted it onto the runway. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the Captain tense up a bit. Done.

Taxi to the end and prepare for takeoff.

At 100 knots (V1 was 124) a baggage fire indicator went off. Per profile I announced, "Abort, Abort, Abort. Tower Regional 9148 aborting on the runway, Standby."

The Captain took over control of the airplane. Crash Fire Rescue inspected the baggage area. No fire. We returned to the gate.

Checkride complete.

I went home and then went out with a few of the First Officers and new Captains for dinner.

So what's next? Well I'm supposed to have one more sim session which is a normal flight flown in real time. It's optional since I've flown the line before. After that is IOE. Training is backed up a I could have a few days...or weeks off...with pay.

Training for a new plane isn't easy. It takes a lot of hard work and self discipline.

I now have two SIC (Second in Command) ratings. They aren't type ratings. The SIC rating is somewhat new and is only needed for international flights as ICAO (International Civil Aeronautical Organization) requires it.

I'm looking forward to getting back in the air and being a fairly senior line holder. If things continue at the current rate I should be a Captain sometime in the next 12-15 months.

At which time I get to do this all...over....again.

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