Monday, March 27, 2006

Hoops Ahead

Nothing in aviation is certain until it has happened. While I have been formally offered the job, here are the hoops I have to jump through before I am safely buckled in as captain. Most of this is normal training requirements at any airline.

One thing that is unusual, there was no sim check as part of the interview process. So the first thing I have to do is a sim check. No pressure here, but within an hour of arriving in the nearest city where Vole has a base, I'm going to be in a simulator, proving I can fly. Probably a couple of approaches, a hold, and an emergency. It wasn't done prior to hiring because they assume I can fly, but make no mistake: if I'm not up to standard, I'm going home. But I'll do fine.

The next morning, they will fly me to another one of their bases for company indoctrination. This probably includes WHMIS dangerous goods handling certification, familiarity with the emergency response plan (best thing about the ERP is you get everyone's phone number, for organizing parties), learning about the company structure, and so on. All the training that applies to no particular airplane type.

That complete -- I think it takes a day -- I am scheduled to fly to yet another company base for groundschool on the Weedwhacker. There will be a series of systems exams on that, and presuming I pass them all, I'll be introduced to a training captain and receive a few hours of training on the airplane. The last step is a pilot proficiency check. That's a flight test, with either a Transport Canada official, or a company pilot who has been designated by Transport to do internal rides. Occasionally you get both: a company pilot doing the ride, with a Transport official monitoring to make sure the PPC is being done according to spec. Or the other way around for the purpose of training a company check pilot. If you should happen to fail a PPC ride, even though it's on an airplane you just met two days before, that invalidates your instrument rating, and you have to go back to square one and requalify to fly IFR. No pressure or anything!

Once the official Transport Canada designation for the new type is inscribed on the back of my licence (the updated licence comes by mail a few weeks later), I will fly further north to my new base, not yet assigned. There I will undergo line indoctrination, flying with a pilot who is familiar with the routes until I and the company are comfortable with me taking command.

As usual, I will let you know how it goes. Or I'll write about holds.


Anonymous said...

Looking forward to hearing about your first class performance each step of the way!

Anonymous said...

best thing about the ERP is you get everyone's phone number, for organizing parties

So, SO true!!! hehehe

Best of luck (but you won't need it, I'm sure!)