We had our LST today, and we both passed first time! The LST profile was similar to what we had done for the last simulator session, except the failures were going to be random – i.e. we would not know what we’d get beforehand, and we also did some extra maneuvers such as TCAS RA. We were both feeling (naturally) nervous before the session, but as I settled into the session, I felt a bit more relaxed.
The examiner briefed us on the profile, asked us technical questions which involved performance, limitations (aircraft & IR) and general technical knowledge about the aircraft systems including QRH and memory items for in-flight emergencies.
We got the top grade for CRM (crew resource management)! I was really happy about this since we made an effort to improve this as much as we could. I found that jumpseating simulator sessions really helped since it allowed me to observe and make notes on CRM, and on how other crews work. I would really recommend jumpseating to anyone since it not only gives you a heads up on what the next session is going to be like, or a review of the session you’ve just done, but it also will give you pointers on CRM. CRM is incredibly important in a multi-crew environment. Good CRM can make a flight incredibly easy, and bad CRM can make a flight a disaster. We found that polite prompts towards each other made the flow of the flight operation very smooth and promoted a positive & synergistic environment for teamwork, and strictly sticking to the SOPs helped. Also, using, what may seem as insignificant at first, techniques such as calling out each other’s names to get attention (i.e. the cocktail party effect) to avoid the other becoming fixated on a task really helped. We also gave each other space in the flight deck by avoiding over-prompting, and also actually watching what the pilot flying was doing, giving useful suggestions/recommendations and providing useful MCP inputs when flying manually. This made the pilot monitoring’s role critical.
We both now intend to continue to revise the theory and SOPs and jumpseat flights to keep current. The advice the TRE gave us was to avoid the tendency to let the dust settle on the books after the LST and instead go back into them to revise all the technical details and continue reading the SOPs & QRH to keep current. We’ve now got just over a month till base training, so I’ll be using the time to revise and jumpseat flights!