Today was an early session, starting at 5.30am, and surprisingly, I felt quite fresh in the morning. I think I prefer early mornings, as we finish quite early, have time for a quick nap and time to study also. We’ve now got Friday & Saturday off, and then Sunday will be our first full flight simulator session, where we move from the fixed base trainer into a full motion simulator.
I’ve not really mentioned OAA itself, so here are a couple of photos:
Oxford Aviation Academy - where we spend many long hours!
OAA in Stockholm is a very spacious facility with lots of free tea/coffee!
OAA is about a 10 minute drive from or 15 minutes on the bus from where we are staying. The facility is really well equipped and we all enjoy the free tea/coffee/hot chocolate from the machines that are dispersed around the building! The building also has a free gym & sauna, which is at our disposal and I’ve also seen a tennis court. There are classrooms, study rooms and free wi-fi internet and a canteen on the ground floor that is open at lunch time. The airport is few minutes away by bus and free buses run every 15 minutes to the airport. A very nice facility to train in!
The 4th session in the fixed base trainer involved a complete flight from A to B again, but introduced icing conditions and how to deal with them – which we may encounter in Winter. Icing conditions require the use of wing & engine anti-ice and also have performance considerations, as less engine power is available if anti-icing is in use, which in turn limits the weight we can carry. This session also included practice with go-arounds. We’re all feeling a bit more confident now with setting up the aircraft and the normal procedures including the briefings. The main briefings are done before pushback from the stand and another in the air just before descent, which is the approach briefing. The briefings have a definite structure, which everyone in the airline uses – which makes it quick and easy to understand.
CS5 built on the previous session, and involved further details on using the FMC (flight management computer), which uses the automatic systems to fly the aircraft. There was also some discussion on approach and reference speed calculations and how to correct for wind in this session. We did an ILS approach, as we did last time. This was also a progress check, since the next sessions would introduce non-normal procedures (such as how to deal with system failures) – so it was to ensure we were comfortable with the procedures so far before moving on. At the end of the session, I felt quite confident and the preparation had paid off.
CS6 then introduced non-precision approaches and the QRH (quick reference handbook). The QRH contains checklists for non-normal procedures and tells us how to deal with problems such as an engine failure in a structured, easy-to-follow and logical manner. It also contains performance tables and normal checklists. CS7 built on this by more practice on how to deal with failures, with an enroute diversion followed by another non-precision approach.
A lot of new material & procedures have been introduced this week, and no doubt, we will have to review it & consolidate it all and practice it before we start again on Sunday – just as I did last week. I feel quite confident with the normal procedures now, and I will be reviewing the material learnt this week, especially since our timetable has made it so that we’ve not had much time to study in between sessions.