Thursday, January 10, 2019

Citation II type rating - Day 3 - the sim!

I was wrong - in the Day 1 post I said we wouldn't get into the simulator for another week. But we did a little in it today! More about that in a minute.

Spent some time today on the "paper tiger". I have no idea why it's called that.

pa·per ti·ger
/ˈpāpər ˈtīɡər/
  1. a person or thing that appears threatening but is ineffectual.

It's just a simple mockup of the cockpit in the classroom. One thing that's nice about the training here is that the facility is open 24 hours a day. I could come in at 3 AM and practice if I wanted to!

But today I ran through some checklists sitting in front of this thing:

It definitely helped a lot with figuring out where the various switches and controls are. On the checkride, I don't want to have to hunt for the "Surface De-Ice" switch or the "Windshield Bleed Air" knob. Plus it helped me develop some flows for use with the checklist and some muscle memory.

But the instructor had a surprise for us later in the day. We were supposed to not be in the simulator for another few days, but he found out that it was going to be free at 2:30 and coordinated for us to have it at that time. Great!

The intent for this simulator session was really pretty simple - get us in it, see how it works, practice some with the avionics, and fly a little. Very low stress; it was designed to be a relaxed flight. Since there are three of us in the class, we took turns. But that was valuable as we got to see the others work. Next week there will just be two of us at a time for our sim sessions.

Obligatory "hero" shot...
The sim is based on an older Citation II - all round gauges, no glass in sight. But since that's pretty much what I fly with every day, it felt like home.

The visuals themselves are perfectly fine, especially since I generally won't have anything to look at anyway (inside of clouds), though the projection system itself is a bit wonky. You have to hold your head just right to get the best view, otherwise there are misalignments and large black areas. But that may just be because it's an older simulator.

Even though it was just the first day, after a simple trip around the pattern the instructor decided to spice it up a little and threw some engine failures at us - I got one below V1 and one above V1 (V1 is the speed at which below that, you will abort on the runway. Above that, you will continue the takeoff and deal with the problem in the air).

So, a fun day and a good intro to the sim. Now I think I'm correct when I say it will be another 5 days until I get back in it for the real work.

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