Wednesday, March 4, 2009

T-t-t-t-training Day Three.

More of the same. Classroom was Fuel Systems (What's that smell?), Powerplant (What's that noise?), Fire Protection (What's that smoke?), Pneumatics and Air Conditioning (What's that stench?), and Pressurization (What's that Payne Stewart thing?). All pretty interesting in a new and interesting way to die sort of way.

Oh, and air conditioning isn't about blowing cold air on a hot August afternoon. You see (you can take a nap now) we tap air for pressurization off the engines. We tap it after the turbines but before the combustion chamber. Big deal you say. Well, physics being what it is and gas laws being the way they are, we're tapping air that's either 350-ish (degrees F) or close to 800 F. That's just from compressing the air from ambient. There's not fire going on yet. Well, even with losses in the system, we'd be pouring 130-150 F air into the cabin if we didn't run it through a heat exchange systems first. Thus we condition the air. See, Bob's your uncle.

The sim was a fun day. We did hot and heavy. Which is fun if you're on a date with someone of non-traditional ethics, but not so much when you're watching the end of a runway rolling up way too quickly. We sat down first, figured out the numbers to give us a V1 cut that was 40 feet shorter than the runway we were using and believe me, they got those performance numbers right. Then it was engine outs on takeoff, runaway trim , jammed stabilator (or I don't need to do arms in the gym today), hydraulics failure, no flap landing (which follows nicely from the hydraulics failure), wind shear and then a right seat pattern. And the sadist that is my sim instructor failed an engine on me in the right seat. Thanks for the warning, buddy.

No seriously, we've got one of the better instructors and surprising us with odd stuff like that makes me respect him even more.

On the other hand, the new sim schedules with shorter periods means we don't have any extra time in any of the sessions anymore. It used to be if you were on the ball and worked through the scheduled stuff you could do stuff you wanted to work on with any of the extra time. Stuff like what wind shear looks like on takeoff, what a lightning strike does, asymmetric flap or spoileron deployments, or how we would've fared in the USAir Hudson landing in the jet we're flying. Stuff that might not be on the company or feds lesson plan, but we individual pilots either worry about or would like to try. Yes, some of us ask to fly under the bridges at St. Louis, but really, where's the benefit to training there. Just a gripe on my part. I might mention it on the course critique. And these guys take those critique comments seriously. These guys do a helluva job as it is. I don't want to belittle that at all.


phlegmfatale said...

Sounds stressful! Hang in there!

WV: jectos

Unknown said...

I'm doing mine week after next. I have a good instructor as well and have, after 30 years, finally come to look forward to it. I specifically liked the "...lets fail the EFIS and see if you can do this single engine approach partial panel..." last year.