Sunday, October 16, 2011

The most unreliable jet in the world

Simulators are the most unreliable jets in the world. Engines will catch fire, gear will fail to extend, you will go around, thrust reversers will pop out in flight, flight instruments will fail and new Captains will swing the tiller way too fast.

My instructor gave us these words to live by last night : I will complete every takeoff to an abort. I will complete every abort to a V1 call. I will complete every V1 call to a V1 cut. I will complete every approach to a missed approach.

Words to fly by not just in the sim, but out on the line. Always expect and be prepared for the worst.

The last two nights have been busy. Friday night began single engine time. Yay!

The Captain went first. Normal takeoff. While climbing we got an engine fire.

It should be noted every airplane jet engine is designed to burn and FALL OFF the plane. Thus an engine fire alone isn't a life threatening event.

First were the immediate action items. We identified the correct engine, shut it down and then shot a bottle of halon into the engine after starving it of fuel and air failed to put it out. Single engine party time!

I ran a series of checklist setting the plane up for single engine flying. Very tedious. Once done we were vectored for an ILS.

Too bad for us the weather dropped. Missed approach.

This is where I had an "ah ha" moment.

The missed approach profile and performance of my new plane is easier and lower.

I felt like I had time to make and eat and sandwich in the time took to go from 200 feet AGL to acceleration altitude , 800 feet. The single engine performance leaves much to be desired.

We were vectored around for a GPS approach. This time he landed. Brought back for a takeoff. V1 cut.

Vectored around for another ILS. Full stop.

My turn.

I used to be a V1 cut king. I got compliments on my V1 cuts from check airmen and Captains on my last plane. In the ATP RJ course I had pilots performing to ATP standards after only there 2nd or 3rd attempt.

In the new

The trick to V1 cuts is to leave the plane on the ground until it and you are ready to fly. This means the plane has reached a safe takeoff speed with a single engine and you have full control of the plane.

At V1 the left engine flamed out. I applied right rudder to keep the plane on center line. At V2 I began the rotation. Once off the ground I over rotated a bit and blew through the flight director which was pitching for V2. I quickly corrected.

One of the hardest things for a sim to do is replicate yaw.

I looked at my slip/skid indicator and applied more rudder. Too much. I took some out. Too much. Hold on folks we were in for a ride.

After a few Pilot Induced Oscillations (PIOs) I regained control and got back on profile.

It's been noted than when a pilot is under stress they revert to burned in skills and actions.

I began calling out the correct profile calls....for my old airplane. Ugh.

Thankfully the plane is a poor single engine performer and I had time to correct myself.

Same memory items and check list done. Single engine ILS.

At decision height there was only clouds. Go around. GPS approach. Full stop.

I then had a normal an engine fire. Single engine ILS to a full stop.

The instructor debriefed us. I need a bit more control on the 1st segment of the V1 cut as I was over controlling the plane. I'm still getting used the difference in performance.

In my last plane it required quick and accurate movements to successfully complete a V1 cut. I have to slow my actions down to 1/2 speed in the new one.

I did better last night. Both my Captain and I are much more confident in our abilities and skills.

Tonight we do "specialty" training. Wind shear, terrain avoidance and dealing with weather. Tomorrow is a phase check where everything is reviewed. Tuesday is check ride day.



  1. Matthias K√ľnnethOctober 18, 2011 at 2:08 AM

    Good morning,
    please can you explain what a V1 cut is? I have problems to understand that.....
    Thank you


  2. Here ya go Matthias


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