Freshly back from recurrent training. It's kind of like a visit to the dentist: no one really wants to go, but you know that there is
a benefit in the process. And you have that "clean" feeling when you leave.
My classroom for the last two days...
767 Sim with bridge down (walkway for entry)
Bridge up, ready for action (different angle)
Here's some of the things I did during these sessions:
• V1 engine failure at Bogota (high altitude airport with mountains in the vicinity; adherence to special procedures is essential)
• Single engine approach and go-around
• Autoland (done mainly to reset my autoland currency so I can fly them on the line)
• Loss of pressurization over critical terrain (i.e. high elevation). This requires special procedures to get down quickly and also exit the area of high terrain expeditiously.
• Flap failure on takeoff
• Familiarization with new Atlanta arrival procedures
• Windshear recovery on takeoff and on landing
• Recovery from stall in cruise
• Recovery from CFIT (controlled flight into terrain scenario)
• Failure of airspeed indicator (inspired by Air France accident)
• TCAS event (resolution advisory, requiring escape maneuver)
• RNAV/RNP approach, including a missed approach
Day 2 included an LOE (line oriented evaluation), which is a flight training scenario intended to present a real life situation. This is conducted as if we are flying a real flight, i.e. we get a flight plan (JFK-BOS) and we start at the gate. All you know for sure is that the flight will not go perfectly smoothly. The problem(s) you encounter are selected randomly from a set available for these sessions. I actually drew a pretty easy one. We had a medical emergency en route and the point of the LOE was to observe crew coordination and decision making. It was uneventful.
At the end of yesterday's session we still had a little time available in the sim, so the instructor asked if there was anything else I'd like to try. I asked to try a deadstick landing of the 767. He set me up in cruise flight at 35000' about 90 miles from SFO and we killed both engines there. We didn't attempt a re-light (as we would in real life), but we did start the APU so that we would have electrical power.
At this point, I simply turned directly to SFO and set myself up in a glide at about 230 kts. It became apparent after just a couple of minutes that we would have no problem making it to the airport. In fact, the descent itself was not an issue at all...borderline boring in fact. I just kept monitoring the descent progress. We put SFO in our fix page and put rings on the display at 50, 20, 10 and 5 miles. This was just for situational awareness and to help monitor the altitude vs distance to go.
The crucial part of this exercise was determining when to get the airplane dirty (lowering flaps and gear) and start slowing. It's an energy management puzzle and you get one chance at this so you don't want to find yourself too low.
I started slowing at 10 miles, getting some flaps out. I lowered the gear as we approached the 5 mile ring. We were well above glide path, which is good. Once we were dirty and started slowing to our target approach speed (154 kts in this case), it was a visual maneuver. Just like a private pilot, I'm now watching the runway sight picture and determining if we're on a good path for our point of intended landing. I didn't actually get down to that speed until just over the runway and I was perfectly willing to accept a fast landing (long runway, good brakes). The main goal is get the plane on the ground and be able to walk away from it.
The descent rate was greater than normal and we actually got the "DESCENT RATE" aural warning at one point, which was expected. It was classic energy management at this point: trade speed to arrest descent rate and try to do that so we touch down with adequate runway remaining.
My attention was completely outside and I touched down about 1500-2000' down the runway. It turned out to be the best landing I made in the sim in the two days I was there.
This was a very interesting exercise. It gave me great confidence in the plane to see how well it glided.