Airlines conduct simulator assessments of their pilot candidates for a number of reasons. Certainly, one area they check is the ability to fly an aeroplane with reference to instruments only but this is only part of the assessment. Other areas that the check captain will be paying close attention to are:
- Your ability to recover from errors.
- Your accuracy in regard to recalling power settings and attitudes provided to you in your brief.
- Appropriate use of checklists and standard calls.
- Situational awareness.
- Adherence to regulations i.e.: minimums and tolerances.
- Personal traits
Assessments are generally conducted in full flight simulators with motion selected off. The session will be hand flown with minimal input from the facilitator. It is essential that all parameters such as attitudes, power settings and calls provided to you are committed to memory.
Certain items that must be assessed are:
- Take Off and maintaining a set heading.
- Levelling off followed by level flight.
- Accelerating and decelerating to a set speed while maintaining or simultaneously turning onto a HDG.
- Changing speed whilst simultaneously climbing, descending or levelling off.
- Changing HDG while climbing, descending or levelling off.
- Climbing and descending at a set speed.
- Climbing and descending at a set ROC/ ROD.
- Steep turns.
- Nav aid intercepts inbound and outbound.
- Capture of a LOC.
- ILS accuracy and corrections.
- Go Around.
- Certain airlines will assess engine out sequences.
- Landing optional and not normally assessed.
Tips for your simulator assessment
Accuracy is of the utmost importance. If required to fly at 180kts, then flying at 185kts is NOT good enough, It is essential to be seen to be trying to correct the airspeed. The same goes for ALTITUDE and HDG. Continually work at finessing your performance and accuracy.
Handling a jet with large inertia requires that you make an adjustment and wait for the change in performance. Small adjustments can make large changes to the aircrafts performance. Remember POWER + ATTITUDE = PERFORMANCE.
Wait for the power and attitude to settle down before making further adjustments.
Armchair flying is probably the most valuable tool to succeed in your employment check ride. Set yourself up in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Picture the instruments and the environment. Run through the complete exercise in your mind paying particular attention to Attitudes, Power Settings, Scans and Checklists. You will be amazed how much this can help.
A study in the U.S. a number of years ago pooled thirty basketball players of similar ability and split them into two groups. The first group practised shooting balls with a coach for two sessions of two hours.
The second group were taken to a quiet environment and seated in comfortable chairs in a dimly lit room. Over four sessions of fifteen minutes they were asked to close their eyes and picture themselves shooting the perfect ball.
Can you guess the outcome? Both groups improved their accuracy at almost identical rates!
See Marty’s post on visualisation.
Practice Simulator Session
Purchasing a practice simulator session is well worth the time and money. There are numerous organizations around the world that offer this service. Be sure to take your simulator profile with you.
Ways to reduce cost can be as simple as enquiring whether there is another pilot in a similar situation that you could be teamed up with. This effectively doubles your exposure for the same price. You can gain as much by watching another candidate as you can by actually flying the sim.
If your employment check ride is to be flown motion off advise the sim contractor as this can further reduce costs.
For further tips and advice contact our interview consultant at FlightDeckConsulting.com