Saturday, March 30, 2024

Training is always being tired

 Day 3 sim. Another 6:15PM show time for a 7:45PM-11:45PM simulator and a debrief that could end as late as 12:15AM.

This being my 3rd one...lack of quality sleep is setting in. This all started day one. Let's rewind for a second to that day.

I took a nap in the middle of the day to prepare for my sim session that day. I arrived back home after the session just past midnight. We debriefed quickly. I live just a few miles from the training facility. My head hit the pillow around 12:20PM. Since I was hopped up on caffeine it took a bit to fall asleep.

A few hours later it was 6AM and that was my normal wake up time. I couldn't sleep anymore. Breakfast, morning activities and I went back to bed at 10AM and woke up again just prior to 12:30PM. 

Lunch, treadmill, and study. Quick dinner with the family and I left home at 5:50PM arriving at 6:00PM. 

Another sim session.

Arrived home again just prior to Midnight and did the same thing again. 

I was a little more groggy the morning after the second sim session. I tried to stay awake longer but went to bed at 10 AM and slept until 1PM. Tired. 

This being the third sim session it was leg day.....AKA V1 Cut day.

For those that don't know, a V1 cut is the most over taught maneuver in aviation. The set up is to have an engine fail at the worst possible time....and survive. The worst possible time is the speed so high you can't stop on the runway anymore. 

So there you are at 170 MPH in a giant jet with one engine failed and you have to get airborne. The one remaining engine is pushing that wing forward yawing the plane to the opposite side. If you don't correct the yaw you will crash. Once you leave the earth that friction of the tires goes away requiring even more of a corrective action. Mess it up....crash. 

Your leg on the good engine side is pushing forward to keep the nose straight. Failure to do so adds a lot of drag...and you will crash. The bigger the engines generally the more force is needed.

My first aircraft type rating was a CL-65 for the CRJ-700. That plane is over powered. The V1 cut in that plane was busy. From what I recall I had to do several things when the engine failed like adding rudder trim to take pressure off my leg,  watch my altitude and call for a level off once clear of danger, watch my airspeed to know when to start retracting flaps and then keep climbing once clean. If a turn was needed I might need to press a button for a half banked turn. That's from memory.

Still here? 

If taking off from an airport with high terrain, buildings or other obstacles in the way there is a special engine out procedure we must follow. This is airline designed and ATC likely has no idea. In order to fly this special engine out procedure, while doing all the above, I have to tell the flight computer to execute that procedure. It's a few extra key stokes in every other plane I have flown...until now. I am in a 777.....I have a failed  engine. There are GIANT engines under the wings producing massive amounts of thrust. You would think I would need to really push hard with my leg to keep the plane straight...and not crash. Nope.

The 777 has a feature called Thrust Asymmetry Compensation. 

This TAC saw the engine failure before started adding rudder pressure right away. If on the ground I have to add a little...but just enough to keep my head in the game. Once in the air.....I add nothing. I can easily turn the autopilot on at 200 feet. From there the plane will automatically level off and start accelerating. I just call for flap retraction on schedule....once clean I press one more button and away we go. 

There's almost no stress. This is the easiest V1 cut across my 5 other type ratings.  

That was what day 3 mostly involved. Having engine failures on takeoff, climb out and even on final. We then would practice landing the plane and going around on just one engine. The 777 has so much available much's easy. All of my pilot skills and knowledge are cross checking and verifying everything is going as I expect....and it is. 

I feel guilty this is so easy. A good thing as I was tired...exhausted. I kept eyeing my EFB for the time. 

Finished at 11:35PM. We debriefed in the sim and I headed home. 

Today....2PM show for a 3:45PM-7:45PM sim. Earlier. 

After sim 5....2 days off. I then have just 2 more sim events until check ride. 

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