I started the month of with a line check. Line checks are usually done on an annual cycle, however an initial line check is followed up with another one 3 months later. I’ve had so many checks or assessments in the last few months during the type rating and line training, that I’ve gotten used to being poked and prodded with them! The line check was during the last 2 sectors of the day – a flight to Limoges, France and back, with a Captain who was also being line checked. This meant that a line training Captain was sat in the jumpseat behind us assessing our adherence to and knowledge of SOPs and line flying. I passed the line check and was told that I will now be checked on an annual basis. We were given a piece of paper noting the check and given grades on the check and some notes on our performance, which I keep with my license.
Once the line check was out of the way, it was time to concentrate and study up on my first simulator check since the LST, which I did at the end of the type rating! For each simulator check, we are given study guides, CRM modules, and technical & CRM questionnaires which we must complete. I used my time wisely in the longer sectors to study for the check, and whilst I had nothing to do in my hotel room when I was flying away from base, I focussed on studying for the check also! I found studying in the flight deck ideal since all the manuals are there and I could do touch drills to refresh my memory items and certain maneuvers. The CRM modules involved reading through notes that were made available to us, and CBTs – after which we were to complete some questions to test our comprehension. The technical questions tested our knowledge of the aircraft and SOPs. I found that using the longer sectors on one of the days out of the block of 5 days that we work at a time, to refresh my memory & other QRH items, technical knowledge (reading a chapter), and a few pages of the ops manual, goes a long way to lighten the load when it comes to a sim check!
The sim check was at the East Midlands Airport training facility, and was scheduled early in the morning and was over 2 days. This was for 2 simulator sessions, each session lasting 4 hours with a break after doing half a session. The first day was with a simulator instructor. The first 2 hours involved LOFT (line orientated flight training), which was a flight from A to B without input from the instructor – so as if we were on a line flight without anyone else in the flight deck. After a break, the next 2 hours involved flying through different scenarios such as dual engine failures, windshear on take off and recovering from unusual attitudes with input from the instructor. The LOFT involved a flight in winter operations, dealing with a malfunction in flight and pilot incapacitation – which I really enjoyed (in the sim only of course!) since I got to be the hero!
The sim check went well on both days and I passed, and so was happy to get it done before my month off (March)!