Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Back to the line

Tomorrow I start a 3 day trip. It was a 4 day but because I worked the last 3 days it created a 7 day conflict.

This morning I finished my last simulator training for the day. It was a very early show...4:30AM. Whenever I know I have to get up early I never sleep well. Sure enough I woke up on my own at 3:10AM.

LOFT, or Line Oriented Flight Training, benefits new hires who came from general aviation more than "seasoned" pilots. Reason being new hires from general aviation have likely never been above 10,000 feet or dealt with a swept wing aircraft at high altitude.

The flight was done in real time. A few issues enroute.

My Captain is an assistant chief pilot in another base. She flies about once a month. She took the first leg.

At FL290 we hit moderate turbulence that was strong enough to kick off the autopilot. Because we were in RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimumairspace, we had to go down as one of the requirements is a functioning autopilot.

A few more small issues and she landed at an outstation. Break.

My turn. The instructor showed us a few emergency situations such as hydrualic failures, electrical issues and flight control issues. We didn't have to run all the checklist but he wanted to show what it would look like and what equipment we had left.

I was given a visual approach. At about 50 feet I hit moderate wind shear. I went into the profile by adding full thrust and trying to escape the wind shear. Our profile calls for leaving the plane configured as is as changing the configuration could make things worse. It took a bit but we escaped.

We repositioned and the Captain took off. Severe wind shear at 150 feet. We sunk to just 50 feet before escaping. Eye opening stuff.

Next we went up to FL350 and pretended we had descended from FL370 and forgot to add thrust.

The plane stalled and I recovered...but not before dropping almost 3000 feet. Once again eye opening.

Happy to be out of the sim and I'm looking forward to flying again. I haven't flown since August. There might be a local NOTAM posted for me returning to the skies...ha!

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