With Meteorology teaching complete, it was time to move on to the subject of Operational Procedures. Having operated in both Flight Crew & Cabin Crew capacity across both passenger and overnight cargo operations, our instructor brought with him a variety of 'real-world' experiences relevant to the syllabus. It's safe to say that being taught by current line pilots certainly puts everything in to perspective and I didn't once lose focus. Unlike other topics, which of course carry as equal importance for any trainee pilot, Operational Procedures is perhaps the one topic that applies the most to your typical day-to-day life as a pilot.
We started off by looking at exactly what an individual or group of people must do in order to form an airline, such as gaining authority authorisation and obtaining the holy grail of commercial aviation: the piece of paper authorising your operation, The Air Operator Certificate (example as above). These are all things you never really think about and it's great to have that background knowledge.
We then moved on to regulations surrounding the Flight Crew / Cabin Crew and the minimum training required by each. When you dig into the detail you soon realise that a pilot's career is forever on the line with recurring testing practically ever 6 months. Here's some of mandatory tests and training once qualified:
|Medical||Annually, until 60 then 6 monthly|
|Line Proficiency Check||Annually, examines competence on your aircraft type|
|Operator Proficiency Check||Six monthly, examines continued operation in compliance to airline procedures|
|Line Check||Annually, jump seat captain assess your co-operation as a crew|
|Refreshers||Annually, training on a different 1/3 of your aircraft systems each year|
|Emergency Drills||Annually, assesses your use of safety equipment on board|
|Dangerous Goods Training||Bi-annual|
Lots of training to do, eh! Never ending. I'm a fan of the Refreshers as it's amazing how quickly you can forget the particulars of something and going over a different 1/3 of the aircraft once a year and testing significant portions of that in your Line/Operator Proficiency checks will mean you're always competent.
When not looking at the flight crew training, we looked at the different terminology given to flight crew hours and their values. There's certainly a lot of them, as below. There's one thing for certain and that's that pilots can be rostered to work very, very long days. It is perfectly legal to work 12 consecutive days with no days off, for example.
|Daily Flight Duty||
|Cumulative Duty Limit||
When not looking at flight crew specifically, we then delved in to the variety of other requirements on board. This included things like, the types and grades of fire extinguishers and where to store them, the quantity of fire axes to be aboard and the indications of safe locations to use them on of a fuselage, the oxygen requirements for both passengers compared with crew, emergency exit lighting, turbulence operations and much much more. All in all, the majority of this topic was quite interesting. There's a fair few numbers to add to the already existing mountain of numbers from air law, so that'll certainly challenge my brain.
Like always, if you're interested, here's the full list of this topic:
Scarily, I now only have a few days of scheduled teaching remaining before Module 3 is complete. I'm actually bricking it if i'm honest as there's so much to remember and the exams are coming towards us at an alarming rate. With only electrics to go, i'm then going to be juggling the content from 6 ATPL topics. Meteorology is certainly the most meaty, followed by Aircraft General Knowledge. Fingers crossed I can do well in the mocks the week of the 6th.
I'll be back with another post soon enough, can't say when at the moment.