This week I am in the simulator in our simulator centre in London. I normally work 3 weeks "on the line" where I am flying and training in the aircraft, followed by 1 week in the simulator doing recurrent training and checking.
Yesterday I was doing a recurrent OPC (Operator Proficiency Check) on 2 of my colleagues and this evening I am doing another one.
In my airline we divide the re-current training cycle up in 2 parts where during the 6 months of the summer we do the OPC and during the 6 months of the winter we do the LCP (License Proficiency Check).
The LPC is more comprehensive and requires a full, 5 hour, sim session but the OPC is shorter and takes only 3 hours. Because of that, we can do both the OPC and a training session in one day during the summer.
I really love the training element of my job. It is such a joy to see my professional colleagues work and to see how they get excited when they get to practice some part of the job that we rarely do and get better at it.
I always strive to get my colleagues to exit the simulator with a sense of achievement.
Right now we are practicing a lot of manual handling and raw-data flying (Flying without flightdirectors).
We make sure to practice this in the simulator because it is not recommended to practice this type of flying in the real aircraft.
All pilots enjoy doing this type of training and because it is done under very challenging conditions (high crosswinds etc) it is not assessed and that takes the pressure of people so they can really focus on learning as much as possible instead.
An unfortunate downside of doing my week in the simulator is to have to spend a week away from my family. It's nice to spend a night or so in a hotel but I am starting to realise that the older I get, the more I want to spend time with the ones I love and not with myself.
And with those wise words i will finish of this blog post.
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Have a fantastic day!
Also check out this review of my app in the Aviation Blog Shimoda Pilot. His blog is a really interesting perspective on the struggles of training to become a professional pilot while simultaneously juggling family life.