I have recently been promoted to Captain! 🙂
The course was scheduled across approximately 3 months and consisted of ground school, simulator sessions and training on line, acting as a captain with a trainer guiding me through the process. The easiest part for me was the ground school, the most difficult were the simulator sessions and the most tiring the line training. Ground school was over a few days and included presentations of responsibilities of a commander, aircraft performance, technical exams and also computer based training. The simulator sessions were enjoyable but difficult and the preparation certainly paid off. The most difficult bit for me was to get into the mindset of a commander – not so easy when you’ve been a First Officer for 4 years – but I got there!
The line training was the most enjoyable part! I found taxiing the aircraft quite exciting since this was my first time since flight school! The main difference I find moving over to the left seat is that I am now responsible for the management of the whole operation, and accountable for it. The flying is the same – though it takes a bit of getting used to the new motor skills with using the left hand for the yoke and the right for the thrust! I had my fair share of exposure to problems during line training – thunderstorms, delays, and dealing with problems related to aircraft/passenger/crew! I’m grateful for the exposure since it gave me confidence and I would much rather have an experienced training captain sat next to me on first exposure!
Overall my experience of being a Captain so far is it’s a lot more enjoyable and satisfying!