MCC – Simulator Session 1

We had been in the simulator before, but that was for familiarisation so we only got as far as doing the initial checks and taxying the aircraft.  This session, we were going to depart as per the departure clearance and then do some manual flying.  This included steep turns, 30 degree bank turns, climbing and descending, configuring the aircraft, stalls and recoveries.  Then we were going to finish the session off with an autopilot assissted ILS approach and landing.  The use of autopilot was a luxury, since before now we had done all instrument approaches manually.

The simulator sessions are 4 hours in total and split into half with a 30 minute break in between.  We decided that for the first two hours I would be the pilot-not-flying (PNF), and so the Captain, and my partner would be the pilot-flying (PF), the First Officer.  This worked out well since my partner had one session already and this was an extra one for her, which gave me a chance to observe her flying before I had a go.  My task for the first two hours was to monitor the PF and make the appropriate calls, assisst when asked and handle liason with ATC, ground crew, dispatch and cabin crew.  Whenever there were times one of us missed something, the other gave a prompt, so things flowed a lot more smoothly with both of us helping each other out at the right time.  Surprisingly, the 2 hours went by really quickly and before we knew it, it was time for a break and my turn at the controls!

I got the opportunity to fly everything manually with “raw data” up to the ILS approach, which was facilitated by use of the autopilot.  The jet required smooth inputs and a high scan rate of the IVSI, which is now an accurate instrument compared to the normal barometric VSI found in most general aviation aircraft.  I really enjoyed flying manually and reluctantly gave control over to the autopilot!  We’re going to have another session towards the end of the MCC to have a go at flying manually, so I’m looking forward to that.

This was my first taste of multi-crew flying and found it vastly different to single pilot operation.  Everything must be co-ordinated, the other pilot must be kept in the loop whenever you’re doing something, and use of standard calls such as “1000 to go” carry a lot of significance.


  1. Ximensions says:

    The graphics are inferior to the ones provided by MS Flight Simulator. However, that’s not really important when it comes to the commercial sim, as we’re more interested in how it simulates the flight characteristics of the aircraft and instrument flying… the eye candy given by MS Flight Sim is just to satisfy the market the product is put out for really.

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