FFS7 & Low Visibility Training
Yesterday, we practiced some more single engine flying including failures past V1 and were also introduced to windshear. We were placed in situations where we encountered windshear on the runway before V1, at or just after VR, on the approach and in other phases of flight. We found that it’s sometimes a challenge to keep the wings level and it can be quite scary when the airspeed suddenly decreases resulting in a possible altitude loss and stall!
We had some training in low visibility procedures today. We practiced monitored approaches, including CAT II/IIIA auto-lands and go-arounds. Various situations were simulated such as the autopilot disconnecting, the autothrottle disconnecting, flare mode (when the aircraft raises the nose slightly to land more softly) not engaging, and glideslope/localiser problems. The most difficult problem to take care of in time was the flare mode not engaging, since it should engage at 50 feet above the runway, and so it must be detected quickly and the go around executed in a timely fashion. We found the go arounds less relaxed in low visibility since a decision has to be made even more quickly and executed. In addition, before now all go arounds were manual and aided by the flight director, and these were flown by the autopilot, and so we had to resist the tendency to put forces on the control column!
We completed the exercises rather quickly, so we had some time to practice other maneuvers. We practiced more raw data ILS approaches and were then given situations of catastrophic failures to see how we would react and solve the problem. We were given a rather nasty problem involving an engine overspeed to the limit and the thrust levers had no effect, so eventually we were forced to glide in without engines once we were at a safe altitude.
There’s one more simulator session left, in which we’ll fly a profile similar to the LST (License Skills Test), which is designed to also build our confidence. Then the LST is on the 11th with circuit training the day after.