Flight training is the second phase of the First Officer training program. The ground school class of 8-10 is divided into groups of four (maximum.) Accompanied by two of our Instructor Pilots, they head to Scottsdale, AZ, for an intensive 16-hour session in a Flight Training Device (FTD) designed to exact Pilatus PC-12 specifications.
The course itself combines basic flight maneuvers in visual and instrument conditions and gives students the opportunity to practice maneuvers such as: normal and short runway take-offs and landings in various conditions, including high winds and low visibilities; recovery from stalls in a range of unique configurations; and, every type of instrument approach in every type of weather condition imaginable. Importantly, this training is done in a crew environment since every flight through the PlaneSense program is operated by a two-pilot crew.
In addition to standard maneuvers, students receive training on various airplane abnormalities and emergencies so they can safely land the aircraft under different weather and aircraft conditions.
Although the FTD is excellent for economically teaching procedures and safely practicing emergencies which cannot be executed in the airplane, we continue our First Officer candidates’ learning with hands-on training in the actual aircraft. This includes two hours of in-flight training and their initial checkride as second-in-command.
With the FAA's and our company’s own standards as the benchmark, each visual and instrument maneuver during the checkride is evaluated by a Check Pilot. Our team of Check Pilots have been with our company for over six years. Each one of these pilots usually completes over 20 checkrides annually in addition to his or her regular flying duties for the PlaneSense program.
Next, First Officer candidates proceed with the third and final phase in their training with us, Emergency Training.
To be continued…