Thursday, January 17, 2019

Citation II type rating - Day 9 - Lousy engines!

I thought jet engines were supposed to be very reliable - well not today they weren't!

It was "Engine Failure Day". That's not what they call it, but they should. We had low oil pressure, we had clogged fuel filters, we had engine fires, we had bird strikes.

They failed on takeoff roll. They failed after V1. They failed in cruise. They failed on approach.

Throw in a couple of other more minor issues like flaps not extending and the AC system failing (that's AC as in "AC power" not as in "Air Conditioning", although that would also be a true emergency in the summer!)

I can't even begin to remember the order of everything. But we did fly around single-engine most of the day. Even did some single-engine missed approaches. Good times.

Flew four instrument approaches each, and one visual approach (oh sure it was easy until the flaps broke and the engine fire light came on...) The instrument approaches were two ILSes, one Localizer-only, and one NDB.

Yes, I said NDB.

Why? I have no idea. I assume the Citation II training syllabus was approved by the FAA in 1947 and not updated since. Okay, maybe not that long ago. Now, NDB approaches are great for building situational awareness but I just can't think of a good reason for them to be in this type rating course in 2019. If you really did need to be able to fly them, you should seek out additional training.

Granted, it was kind of fun. I don't remember the last time I flew one for practice. Fortunately we were given vectors to final and it was pretty straightforward at that point. And it actually turned out pretty well for me!

I definitely learned today that the copilot can easily be busier than the pilot. There were so many checklists to run, right after each other, that it got a little hectic and confusing sometimes. Especially since the problems always seemed to happen at absolutely the worst time - while setting up for an approach, for example. However, we got very good at saying "Citation 2SF request delay vectors to work the problem", as you would likely do in real life.

My sim partner is a former airline pilot who hasn't flown for about 10 years. I, on the other hand, am very current but have never flown in a two-person crew environment. I want to do everything myself in the plane (whether I'm pilot or co-pilot), but am learning to call things out to him. We're helping each other out as much as we can.

Tomorrow will hopefully be a bit less exhausting. We're simulating a cold-weather (meaning icing) trip from Seattle to Portland. Good times!

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