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Sim Checks - Horror Stories?

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Sim Checks - Horror Stories?

Old 30th Mar 2019, 09:46
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Sim Checks - Horror Stories?

A current live thread has a post which highlights the difficulty of sim checks, the example given becoming more difficult with advancing age. What has been your general experience and has anyone got experience of airlines using it as a method of trimming down shall we say by making checks tighter and more stressful when the employment market perhaps isn't so buoyant and fewer staff required? Otherwise - what has been your worst experience and any re-training required?
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 10:50
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I rarely had a problem in the sim. In fact, mostly enjoyed it.
The only time a checkie gave me a hard time, I dutifully touched my forelock and invited him to demonstrate. He declned. No further comment from the back seat.
In my dotage I now check others in the beastly thing. When dreaming up new methods of torture I always try them first to make sure that they are flyable. Then brief, then train, then test.
Simulator is supposed to be a learning experience. If check pilots are using it as a culling tool this is an abuse of power.


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Old 30th Mar 2019, 11:06
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Join Date: May 2004
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I was briefed an unrealiable airspeed and got a runaway engine instead. Ended up leaving that airline through the back door. That checker is now in high management, I believe.

Also, a French instructor in Tolouse always liked to hit the back of my seat (with his bare feet) whenever I made a mistake.

Both situations equally terrifying.
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 15:05
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Are you talking about checks we do every 6 months or the sim check to get the job?

Never really had a terrible sim, had one sim in my early days. Volcanic ash (a training exercise, not checked) I believe and the sim instructor was just shouting commands at me what to do so I basically didn’t really get to learn anything or gain any training value from it at all. He then wrote a terrible report about me to say I was unprepared and didn’t study enough.

I could have taken that on the chin, but the thing I found was after that for every subsequent sim for about 12 months I would get absolutely grilled as they’d looked at this previous guys report to say I hadn’t studied enough. But meh, never failed a sim, occasionally bugger up a maneover a little bit, but apart from that no issues.

Strangely enough the checker and I became friends years later and always went for a beer after the sim, and he never wrote me a bad report again 😂
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 16:41
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If someone started kicking the back of my seat or shouting, I would politely say stop the sim and then get off, followed by a phone call to get me someone else.

Last edited by Stone Cold II; 30th Mar 2019 at 20:52.
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 18:43
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In five airlines , the worst " training" I have ever seen has been with , once upon a time, the "Worlds Favorite Airline".....................
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 18:59
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Have to add a comment from a flight engineer who came from an Asian airline. He said he was in the simulator of a Classic one day and the instructor had a bamboo cane which he would use to rap the F/O over the knuckles when he made a mistake. After a short time he reached round, took the bamboo cane out of the Checkers hands and folded it into several pieces, with the words, "I think we are going to get on much better without this."

F/Es were more than a third set of eyes...
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 20:30
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Originally Posted by Stone Cold II View Post
If someone started kicking the back of my seat or shouting I would politely say stop the sim and then get off, followed by a phone call to get me someone else.
SC II,

Precisely ! How do these screamers and abusers get into important spots like sim instructors ? More importantly, how do they stay in these positions after they've shown their true stripes ?
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 20:54
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Thankfully no assholes.

The airline I'm with now has a training department which emphasizes creating a nice comfortable atmosphere, throughly briefed, no major surprises and more a feeling of training than checking.

I feel it works well, and it increases confidence in your own skills instead of making you feel like a failure like some of the screamers can do.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 00:10
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The worst sim profile I ever heard about came from a German now defunct airline:

Engine start: Hot start condition, once QRH complete successful second start attempt, taxi to runway. On takeoff passing 100 kts, master caution: ELEC - continue takeoff roll, after rotation: engine separation. Once memory items completed: stab trim runaway. Cleared to a VOR to hold and once on the way to the VOR: FMC FAIL. Raw data hold due to radar failure followed by radar vectors for a manually flown single engine visual approach to land.
Reposition for takeoff: engine failure at 100 kts - RTO. Reposition for takeoff, wheel well fire after gear up, vectors to return with gear collapse and evacuation.
Reposition for takeoff: V1 cut with engine flameout and IDG failure, radar vectors for manually flown single engine raw data NDB approach to land.

Quite what the learning outcome of such a profile would be is beyond me...
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 00:17
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@november.sierra

No wonder how the germans were once on the verge of world domination.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 08:40
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I was doing an FCL check once, on the 737. It includes a performance calculation before we enter the sim. I was handed the following runway state message:
R22/520194
Metar: EFHK BKN006 200/05 04/02 Q1005
With all that info I started entering the relevant tables in the FCOM/QRH. Decided that despite the 25% coverage of wet snow, which would allow me to do a derated takeoff, I went for the full rated takeoff because the braking action was 94. (Medium to good)
So, slippery runway, medium to good, full rated as per fcom.
Instuctor said: “Wrong. You should have derated, because the runway is only covered by 25%. FAIL.”
Lengthy discussion followed, where I tried to point out that my decision was safer.. Did not even make it inside the sim. Ended up in the training department. Eventually ended up calling the union, which solved this whole charade within 5 minutes, albeit 24 hours later.
I learned a lot that day.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 09:17
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Originally Posted by fox niner View Post
Lengthy discussion followed, where I tried to point out that my decision was safer.. Did not even make it inside the sim. Ended up in the training department. Eventually ended up calling the union, which solved this whole charade within 5 minutes, albeit 24 hours later.
I learned a lot that day.


Although it may appear in an aviation environment, I think such lessons have the potential to teach far beyond aviation. That’s why I eventually came to accept that ‘it takes all kinds’. I may have come to this conclusion when I had been a sim trainer for some time, or maybe it was after my career was cut short by illness. Either way, if you truly learn from something, it’s been worthwhile. Just maybe, we learn more from the bad experiences than we do from the good.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 11:35
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Originally Posted by red9 View Post
In five airlines , the worst " training" I have ever seen has been with , once upon a time, the "Worlds Favorite Airline".....................
Hey Red9 have you already left to Virgin? If not how many days left?

Last edited by Jumbo2; 31st Mar 2019 at 13:35.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 13:05
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Join Date: Sep 1999
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About 20 years ago I did a sim with one idiot TRE who criticised my descent planning on a "flight" from MAN to NCL. I arrived at the beacon a bit high despite my best efforts. When I looked at the stopwatch we had got there in about 12 minutes. Totally pointless if the TRE is going to cheat to try to catch you out.
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 16:27
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In my previous airline the simulator sessions were fun, briefed and when some time was left we could try whatever we wanted.

And the worst sim while getting a job? It was for a German airline. Raw data deprature using NDB’s and intercepting some radial shortly after lift off on an Airbus which I never flew before. I would have no problem flying it on the 737CL but the Airbus logic for the NAV setting was something new to me... To make it even funnier, the last callout from the Training Captain was V1-Rotate. And you had to order everything, like changing frequency with saying the frequency and callsign during the raw data deprature... So a single pilot sim, don’t know how they wanted to check my CRM...
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 07:28
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Only three in twenty odd years.

1: Brand new FO, TRE was a dour, very religious misery who would have been right at home burning heretics. Made me repeat the EFATO about twenty times for no good reason except that he may have suspected some deviation from the word of god. After the 10th or 15th repeat, with the LHS looking utterly horrified and me sweating buckets, the law of diminishing returns stared to set in and he threatened to ring head office and have me taken off the roster and given the airline at that time, probably dismissed. I survived but went shaken and pale to my base manager who informed me that the problem with Capt. Torqemanda was that "he's never had a blowjob".

Collapse of stout party.

2. Years later, TRE took an instant dislike to me as I have never served her majesties armed forces, unlike him and the LHS who were as thick as thieves. Got through day 1 (checking), license signed, then day 2 (LOFT) arrives. At the end of the exercise and in the briefing room, He ripped my paperwork in two and announced that he would never let his mum and dad fly in any aircraft that I was in. No further explanation given, do not pass go, do not collect 200 quid, sod off. Repeated the whole thing a few days later with different TRE who was at an utter loss as to why I was even there. That was a great educational experience.

3 Fast forward a few more years. Utter stitch up of a "command assessment" as it became obvious that I was never going to make it due to ticking all the wrong boxes - age, previous types and airlines, inside leg measurement, lack of military service, parentage and probable spiritual destination. Screaming bollocking during "debrief" after which I was asked if I had any questions. I asked if they could tell me where I had gone wrong to be informed that "no feedback is given" Looking at the blood running down the walls I started to wonder what the last 20 minutes had been about and if I was going to wake up soon and realise I shouldn't have had the fish last night. Nope, I was stuck with it.

I left their employ shortly afterwards.

Since then, nothing, such people seem to be being weeded out (the second airline had a major cull after the CAA sat in on a few training sessions). Now in the LHS and treated like a grownup it all seems like the dim distant past. Reasonable chance of being in the training seat myself at some point and I would NEVER do that, even to my worst enemy.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 07:44
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Join Date: Sep 1999
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I’m told of a new trainer in my outfit that has a “pointer”. If it ever makes an appearance in a sim with me, I will flick the cut off switch and walk out. No apologies or discussion.
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 08:03
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Once we where waiting in the briefing room , the F/O and me at proper time , and the instructor show up twenty minuts later ,
with a cup of chocolate in his hand ,entered the room and pointed the cup and is finger to to F/O and shout “ Telll me about the EM. ELEC.Procedure ! “ he was about to answer , i stopped him and WE went for a cup of choco , before leave the room i suggest him to do a quick reset , when we come back he started “ Good morning , sorry for delay...
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Old 2nd Apr 2019, 08:15
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Join Date: May 2001
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First sim of my Command course sitting in the briefing room ( Monarch Luton ) with Chief Training Captain and another upgrade candidate, maybe both a little apprehensive. Halfway through the brief, a knock on the door and one of the Sim Engineers pops his head around the door and says 'hi, should you actually be here ?'. After some scratching of heads and checking rosters we phoned the crewing training desk to be told that the times were good but the venue had been changed to LGW some weeks previously !
Exit stage left, back to hotel to pick up bags, drive down M1/M25 to LGW and straight into the box. CTC says right, I'll pop you on the end of the runway and for the rest of the session we will just tootle around getting used to the left seat, no assessments, no checking and we will start to catch up tomorrow. We both passed our Command course on time !

Most of the Sim instructors/examiners I encountered were good, some very good and the odd one or two exceptional. One thing that concerned me a little towards the end was that the majority of examiners had never done any training in a relevant aircraft other than checking on the jump seat. They had never done any asymmetric work in anything bigger than a Seneca; not their fault of course, its how these things are done these days but we now have a generation of line pilots and training captains who have no real non-normal experience in the aircraft they fly or instruct/examine upon. Just sayin'.............

Last edited by beamer; 2nd Apr 2019 at 17:59.
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