Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Haha, no this photo is not me or anyone else i know. Infact it was pretty much the first photo that came up in google when i searched for "wet drills." So that's what i'm going to talk about today. We had to do all our emergency procedures last week, which involved ground emergencies and also ditchings. We don't actually carry life rafts on our planes, so it was a little silly, but it's more for the rare occaison of a double engine failure or something and a search and rescue plane would assumedly drop one in our position till further help could be made.

So the day starts off with a lot of theory and learning basically what each bit of equipment is, where it's located, how it's used and also the limitations. A lot of this was box ticking exercises, but it was also very interesting to see it in a practical manner, rather than just reading about it. There is virtually an acronym for everything in the airline world, and an acronym on how to use the before said acronym. So for all the equipment we had SLOP (serviceability, location, operation and precautions.)

This meant for the fire extinguisher, that the serviceability was the pin in place, its in its holder and it was full pressure, located in the cockpit, forward cabin and 2 at the rear, operation was the PASS acronym (pulls, aim, squeeze, sweep) and precautions included the BCF can be quite harmful to breathing and in a closed space, and that you cannot use it on metal fires. I won't go through too many of these, but trying on the portable breathing equipment, such as the smoke hoods and also the pilots quick don oxygen mask was kinda cool. Its weird, you put them on it and it's like you forget how to breathe normally. Anyway, it's basically to show you so you have a feel for it all before you go on the line to fly.

So the first day also involved going to the plane, seeing the equipment stored, and also playing with the emergency exits, and how we would do a brief for a land evacuation. It's fairly involved as to what equipment a first officer carries and what exit he is responsible for. (PS- we are the first to find an exit and get out of the plane!! just saying!) So it was definately a good experience. The second day was an exam and the practical ditching side of things, where we exited a mock cabin into a pool, inflated life jackets and did a few exercises involving rafts, such as climbing into it and also trying to set up the roof that the raft has. This was not easy!! They also turned off the lights and have a huge sprinkler system in the roof that simulates rain. We got very cold and wet trying to do this, but it was also a really good experience.

So thats my EP's done for 12 months. I guess the biggest thing out of this was really how hard cabin crew work on safety and how much responsibility they have in the cabin. For just about everything, pilots have a locked door policy in flight and are virutally forbidden to go back and check out anything. They have to deal with fires, passengers, angry passengers, potentional threats, passenger safety, and know it back to front, all while keeping a smile and having good customer service. I don't think i could do it, so a big kudos to them for keeping the cabins safe.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

2 More

Training is going well. Got all the emergency procedure training and wet drills (in the pool) the next few days, followed by the FMS course. That concludes the ground courses as such, and then comes the simulation endorsement and training. Once that is done, i will start line flying! Lots to look forward to, and even more to study. It's a lot of work in areas you just don't realise. One of the hardest parts is forgetting everything you already know to learn new procedure so you can focus on actually flying the new plane.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Learning the drills, and cockpit sequences is seriously a lot of work and study. It is a pretty steep learning curve from what i am used to doing. Don't get me wrong, i'm all about the challenge and ready/up for it, but it feels like never ending work at the moment.

Between learning the QRH recalls, the FCOM standard operating procedures, the correct calls, the correct read backs! It's definately an amazing experience though, and putting everything from the books into a 3d picture doing observation flights is great.

Next stop, the simulator!

Monday, May 2, 2011

The new plane

Sorry its been a while since i have posted! Been very busy and intense to be honest. Not sure what i expected, but it was a lot more work in a short amount of time than i anticipated. I still have another month of ground courses, ranging from an FMS course, to emergency procedures and wet drills.

It's a big learning curve! I struggled getting my head around the electrical system, which is basically set up in 3 main areas, each with a system redundancy. We have the left and right main electrical bus, which is driven by the DC system of the plane, powered by the DC generators, which also doubles as the engine starter. We then have the left and right secondary buses, which are powered by the AC system, but supply DC power via 2 transformer rectifier units (TRU). Power to the secondary buses can be connected so that it powers the main bus, and vice versa. It essentially means we can lose 2 DC gens, 2 TRU's, or a combination of each, and still supply power to the entire DC system.

The DC system is also supplimented by the battery system, which feeds the left and right essential bus, the hot battery bus, and also supplies emergency power. The batteries are charged and kept charged via the main buses, which also feed power to the essential buses when the plane is operational, on the ground with external power, or the APU, or with the engines running. The hot battery bus has essential items such as fuel cut-offs in the event of a fire, and other critical items that need a direct power source. The essential bus feeds things like avionics, so in the event that all was lost, the batteries can still supply power to critical flight instruments. The avionics need AC power to operate, so there are 3 inverters to convert the DC power into AC.

The AC system is powered by 2 AC generators which supply 2 AC buses. One generator can supply enough power for both AC buses. As stated before, the AC gens feed the TRU's, which also supply the secondary buses on the DC system.

Well thats about all my brain can write about now. I have finished the engineering side of the groundschool, now i have performance this week, which should be interesting. Photos to come soon. Enjoy, again apologies for delayed posts, but i have to find time to study, let alone writing a blog. Thanks for reading