Archives for April 2015

CRJ-700 Simulator Check

CRJ-900 in flight

CRJ-900 in flight

My training to become a First Officer flying the CRJ-700 for Mesa Airlines is progressing nicely.  I achieved a significant milestone this past Sunday when I passed my simulator evaluation to earn an FAA type rating for the CL-65 aircraft.

CL-65 is the official FAA designation for the Canada Regional Jet (CRJ) 200, 700 and 900 series of jet transport aircraft.  A new First Officer requires the type rating on their Airline Transport Pilot certificate in order to act as a Second in Command (i.e. a First Officer) flying the aircraft.

CRJ-700 flight simulator

CRJ-700 flight simulator

The simulator rides were challenging and at all sorts of start times (think a flight between 11:00 pm and 3:00 am).  The Mesa instructors are superb and all the students learned a great deal.  The majority of the sim sessions were in Toronto, Canada with the last two held in Phoenix.  While the simulator check ride was stimulating and lasted just over 90 minutes, I was well prepared and the profile went well.  Happy to get the call from the evaluator “Congratulations on becoming a pilot for Mesa Airlines.”

Mesa First Officer wings and epaulettes

Mesa First Officer wings and epaulettes

We next require four observation flights in the aircraft.  I’ll do these trips tomorrow with regular scheduled legs from Phoenix to Long Beach and back, then Phoenix to El Paso and return.  I will sit in the cockpit jump seat and observe a line crew perform these sorties.  These should be motivating events as I’ll see everything from the preflight, taxi out, take off, cruise flight and landing at the destination.

Integrated Procedures Trainer for the CRJ

Integrated Procedures Trainer for the CRJ

After the observation flights is the final segment of my training, Initial Operational Experience (IOE).  I do not have my IOE schedule yet but it could be here in Phoenix or one of several other Mesa crew bases.  I will advise once I have the timetable for these important flights.

IOE should be complete within three weeks, and then to Washington Dulles Airport and regular line flying.

Once I am done with Mesa training I am looking forward to getting back into radio control model airplane design and construction.  I have more than a few projects in mind!