Monday, September 14, 2020

Another trip in the box

 At my last airline I had a check ride every year. 

For the first 7 years or so it was a "bet your job" single pilot check ride events. There was another pilot in the simulator, but they could never help you. 

My last 3 years they finally were approved for AQP (Advanced Qualification Program). I was in the small group trials for AQP and was actually the first pilot to ever pass that training. Even with AQP at my previous airline there was a lot to do, written exams and an oral exam.

When I came to my current airline, things changed. I am training in the same building as my last airline....but now I am at the majors. 

My first week here they told me , "you're not at Eagle anymore, relax.....we are here to help you." While it was nice to here....I couldn't just relax.

I was then training for the MD-80 down the same hall where I used to get 3 hour orals over almost every button on the flight deck. I used to have to recite over 15 different memory items. Now they were telling me to relax?

While I did have about 7000 hours of flight time before I started at AA, I still felt inadequate. I studied harder than I did for my previous regional jet. For the MD-80 I had my initial check ride in January 2018 and a probationary check ride in October of 2018. Training at AA is every 9 months instead of every year. 

Both events were stressful, especially the probationary ride as that was a job in jeopardy event. Of course I passed....I over prepared. There were written exams and a kind of oral (computer based) for the MD-80.

When I went to the Airbus I again studied hard. The Airbus 320 program was a huge step from the MD-80 but similar to the ERJ-175 I flew. I missed one question on the written exam. My initial check ride I felt just adequate....but did well. That was March 2019. 

In December 2019 I had my R-9 check ride. I started studying 3 months in advance. I read EVERY manual cover to cover.......twice. I did very well.

This morning, September 2020 I had my R-18 check. With all the craziness going on I have been stressed. I didn't start studying until a month out. During the break today my instructor pulled me aside and asked if I was former Eagle. I said I was...he said he can spot us....all of us come more than prepared and don't accept mediocre. 

The ride went very well. I stressed myself out preparing for it.....but was relaxed during the event. I'm an average pilot. The 13 years, 5 fleet types and 8200 hours in the air help, but I think it's my over preparing and conscious effort to know everything I need daily that helps. 

Good till June 2021. 

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