Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Better night in the sim

Same instructor. Different session.

Simulator's are incredibly complex machines. They mimic every part of the airplane. Much like airplanes...simulators can have issues.

Started in LGA. Winter operations. Snowing. On pushback I started the number one engine and then shutdown the APU which is standard ops...for summer. Because it was shutdown we would have to do a cross bleed as it's company requirements to taxi on snow with two engines running.

We had to do a cross bleed start at the gate. No biggie...except I got no rotation on the number 2 engine. I thought I was doing it wrong. Reran the cross bleed checklist. Nothing. The instructor then asked me to do it again so he could watch. I was doing everything right. For whatever reason bleed air wasn't getting over to the number 2 engine.

Restarted the APU. Tried again. It worked. Something was up with the number 1 engine bleed valve. No errors were posted.

We checked for circuit breakers and faults on the simulator operators panel. Nothing. Ignored it. Reduced visibility snowy takeoff. Captains leg. On climb out we hit icing conditions. Engine bleed 1 wouldn't open. I reviewed the procedures for flying in icing conditions with just one bleed. Again the bleed valve was a simulator issue not set up for the lesson.

Later in the climb out we got a total ant-ice failure....while in icing conditions. I ran the checklist and performed the required actions. Nada. Called ATC asked to descend into warmer air. We were advised it was solid icing conditions all the way to DCA (our destination). We'd have to divert....PHL was warmer but cloudy. Away we went.

Assigned ILS PRM 27L. PRM stands for Precision Runway Monitoring. In a nutshell it's required when two ILS approaches are being conducted to runways less than 3000 feet apart. A high update RADAR is used and a second communication frequency must be monitored. On the second frequency is a controller that will give a "break out" instruction if planes get too close. The second frequency is monitor only. Any break out maneuver must be hand flown as to get in completed as quickly as possible.

Descending through 2200 feet a plane on 27R veered in too close. The PRM monitor stated "Regional 491 break out, turn left heading 180 descend and maintain 1800".

The Captain turned off the autopilot and began the descending turn. I synced up the flight director and away we went.

Brought in for another approach. Missed again. Brought around for the GPS to 17. Short runway. Landed.

Took off again. The Captain did his air work consisting of steep turn, clean stall, landing stall and a departure stall. Brought in for a visual and done.

The instructor called simulator mantenance to fix the bleed valve issue.

Coffee break.

Delayed. They rebooted the sim. If they couldn't fix it my training would be delayed.

Thankfully they said they fixed it...but it ate into our session time.

Crosswind takeoff. I did the ILS PRM this time. Breakout with a climbing turn. Climbing into the clouds the bleed 1 valve failed to open again. The instructor warmed up the air to eliminate ice. We then ignored the bleed valve.

Air work. I nailed all three of my stalls (clean, departure and arrival). ILS 27L (but no PRM) again.

The instructor advised this would be raw flight director or FMS. Fine with me.

Brought in at a 90 degree intercept. Late turn. It was busy configuring while slowing in the clouds. I varied a bit, but never more than 1/2 a dot vertically or laterally.

I was expecting to land. I forgot the never land in the sim unless you're on fire or it's time to end the session.

Missed approach. I had the FMS back. Textbook missed. Vectored around for the GPS 17. Again I nailed it. Nice landing.

Took off again. On level off the flight spoilers popped out without warning. It took a lot of power and pitch to over power them. Captain ran the check list. Done.

Brought in for a visual to runway 13 at LGA. My best landing yet.

Off for two days. Back on Friday....for my first V1 cut.


  1. Nicely done. My dream is also to get out of office and become an airline pilot. does not see how this could happen though. good luck with V1 cuts, Lev

  2. Matthias K√ľnnethOctober 14, 2011 at 3:25 AM

    Do you have some pictures from Sim? It would be nice....greeting from Germany. Have a nice weekend

  3. I'd like to post photos of the sim...but no able (anonymity) . I did post a photo of the sim control panel on my Twitter : .


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