CRJ200 Airline Pilot

The personal experiences, thoughts of an CRJ captain

Proficiency Checks, Just A Given

Posted by Jeffrey on June 23, 2008

CRJ200 Instrument PanelHow many jobs do you know that have what the airlines call “Proficiency Checks”? A proficiency check for an airline captain, someone that flies passengers under Part 121, has to go to the simulator roughly every six months. It usually consists of two hours of briefings where you cover what your company would consider “hot” topics. Items of interest that other pilots, albiet mostly captains, are doing that are wrong, i.e., busting altitudes, landing with out clearance to land, etc. Then the checkairman covers their pet peeve like the electrical system or the hydraulic system or failure of the fire monitoring system. After this is done, and the necessary paper work is completed, you go to the simulator for a battery of situations that you never see in real life but always prepare for like engine failures at V1, hydraulic anomolies, upset recovery, and windshear encounters. Then there are the single engine approaches, non-precision approaches, and the ever present go-around. The funny thing is that they always start with steep turns and departure stalls. In real life you never get close or experience any of these situations, but the amazing thing is that eventually, after you start doing these things each and every six months, it becomes ingrained in your subconcious. The steps you need to take are automatic. In fact, you don’t even realize you are doing them most the time. All the mystery of it is gone and it is just “your job.” How many other jobs do you know that do this type of thing? Doctors, like many other professions,¬†get constant training, but how many jobs do you know that, you are constantly evaluated and on which your career can rest? Anyway, I’m glad that I have to go to simulator training often. As an airline pilot, you are responsible for hundreds of lives, thousands of dollars worth in luggage, and don’t forget the airplane that is worth millions of dollars—I would rather be prepared!

Till next time…

P.S. OK, it is no joke that the airlines are raising the price of tickets, so you owe it to yourself to search for the best options available when you travel. Priceline is still the way to save you money. Name Your Own Price & Save up to 30% on Rental Cars!

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