I really enjoyed the first lesson, having been given another opportunity to further consolidate the way to handle an entire flight with all multi-crew aspects from before start to after landing. Although I think there were a couple of places where I could have been slightly more polished, more thorough, we all performed well and got through to the next lesson.
We continued to fly some normal aspects of flying, including precision approaches (manual and automatic) as well as getting into failure scenarios. The second and third lesson focussed on electrical failures.
|In Electrical Emergency Configuration - note how dark most of the cockpit is (hence the grainy iPhone picture)|
|A Picture of the Ram Air Turbine (RAT) underneath the aircraft. It's normally stowed away never to be seen, unless you have an emergency|
|The electrical systems page in Electrical Emergency Configuration. As always, amber = faulty. The main systems are all inoperative (AC 1 + 2, DC 1 + 2)....yes I dislike electrics, too!!|
We ended up running through the Emergency Electrical Configuration (EEC), where the aircraft is electrically powered by an emergency generator only, which is powered by a RAT (Ram Air Turbine) that pops out from under the aircraft when the engine generators fail to work. When the failure starts, the right hand screens go blank and most of the lights in the cockpit go dark. A quick assessment of the situation needs to be made (in our case necessitating a handover of control to the left seat pilot) and the A.N.C.E. philosophy followed.
A.N.C.E. is a way to ensure the correct sequence of operating is followed, and works for any stage of flight and for any situation:
Aviate - Fly the aircraft!!! most important thing to do. This can be as simple as ensuring the aircraft is still flying straight and level, or to regain control if the flight path is not as desired
Navigate - Ensure the aircraft is going where required. On takeoff, this could be to fly an emergency turn to ensure terrain clearance.
Communication - Only now should you take time to communicate a problem with ATC if appropriate. It is no use telling ATC that you have a problem if you then fly into the ground due to lack of 'aviating', for example.
ECAM - Once the situation has been stabilised, then the crew can move into the ECAM procedure to assess the problem and run the procedures to attempt to fix (or at least secure) the issue.
It's important to have a structure of priorities when flying to ensure that, even with a very obscure or surprising failure or situation, the correct actions are taken. We used this structure throughout these lessons, leading to good performances and safe landings all round.
It's now less than a month until we join the airline, and we are all very excited to get there. Preparation for the LST (Licence Skills Test) continues....