Week 23 [Part Two]: Operational Procedures 2017-01-27 10:45:00 2018-06-17 15:25:55
Pilot George
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Week 23 [Part Two]: Operational Procedures

27 January 2017

Cabin crews doors to manual and crosscheck...

british airways 1533242 1280

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.

Air Operator Certificate...


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. 

Training Never Stops...

Life Raft

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.

 Duty, Duty Period, Flight Duty, Night Duty...


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
  • Maximum of 13 hours flying a day.
  • Reduced by 30 minutes from sector three onwards.
  • Reduced to 11:45hrs when flying between 22:00 and 04:59.
Cumulative Duty Limit
  • Maximum of 190 hours on duty in any 28 days.
  • No more than 60 hours permitted in any 7 day period.
Block Time
  • Maximum of 900 hours flying in any 12 months.
  • No more than 100 hours flying in any 28 period. 
 Minimum Rest
  • 12 hours rest when at home base location.
  • Reduced to 10 hours if down route or working at base away from home.
  • No more than 168 hours (12 full duty days) before at least two nights off must be given.

Other Procedures (The Rest)...


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:

  • Air Operator
  • EU OPS 1 
  • Flight Crew
  • Cabin Crew
  • Flight Duty Time
  • Aircraft Instruments & Equipment
  • Dangerous Goods
  • Pre-Flight Planning & Final Preparations 
  • Transatlantic Flights
  • Approach & Landing (All Weathers)
  • Decompression, Fire & Smoke
  • Emergency Landings
  • Security

What's next?

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. 


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