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Old 14th Feb 2019, 14:47
  #5949 (permalink)  
eckhard
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: France / UK
Age: 64
Posts: 901
Sorry, I should have explained more clearly.

Training Copilots (TCP) are a cheap way for BA to get TRI/TRE for sim duties without having to pay a Training Captain’s (TC) training emoluments (which are pensionable). By contrast, a TCP’s emoluments are not pensionable and in any case are much lower.

The scheme originated at a time when Copilots were stuck in the RHS for years and years and Command slots were scarce. It was seen as a way of giving copilots something interesting to aim for and also prepared them for future TC roles.

Selection is by merit and interview. ‘Merit’ being evidence of a reasonably clean training record and interview being a Q and A session and a pre-sim briefing in front of a panel of senior trainers.

The successful candidate then undergoes the ‘Core Course’ to learn the fundamentals of teaching and learning, followed by a full TRI course in the sim. They then observe a number of actual sim sessions (preferably conversion courses as opposed to LPCs) before being formally assessed for the TRI Rating. They are then able to give sim instruction towards the grant of the Type Rating.

After a variable interval (in my case almost immediately), they are sent to the CAA to undertake the TRE standardisation course. This culminates in an Assessment of Competence in the company sim, after which the TRE Certificate is issued.

So far, exactly the same as for a TC.

The difference is that TCPs are not Captains, and so cannot undertake line training duties in the aircraft. This causes the TCP’s roster to be somewhat ‘sim-heavy’. In my day, we did five training months in a year, during which we would be rostered about 17 sim sessions in the month plus an actual trip for recency. I think things have changed since then.

When there were periods of few conversion courses, it got a bit tedious running the same sim check 17 times in a month! One certainly got to know the common pitfalls in the procedures. I also learned a lot about my own capabilities and picked up lots of good stuff by watching others, far better pilots than me.

One looked forward to running a series of conversion details with the same crew. It was very gratifying to see them advance and improve over three or four days, learning how to operate the Queen of the Skies.

The TCP contract was limited to three years which meant that BA didn’t have to pay for a revalidation. It also meant that others would get a chance to apply. In my case, due to a particularly busy training programme, a few of us were asked to extend by one year, so we did revalidate after all.

All in all, an enlightened programme which used the latent talent in the P2 community and was a great starting point for many a TC’s subsequent career.
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