B-777 Simulator Training Complete

I am happy to report that I successfully completed my B-777 training and check ride at the Boeing simulator center in Miami.

Inside view of a Boeing 777 flight simulator

Cockpit view of a Boeing 777 flight simulator

The check ride lasted 2.5 hours. As Southern Air First Officers have to serve as International Relief Officers during portions of Oceanic flight while the Captain rests, new First Officers took this check ride in the left seat with a Boeing instructor performing co-pilot duties in the right seat.

The simulator flight was challenging but went well. Very happy to be complete with that portion of training and have a new type rating added to my pilot certificate.

After the check we had two more simulator sessions. One on LOFT (Line Orientated Flight Training) covering Oceanic crossing procedures to include radio and datalink check in, position reporting, weather diversion, equal time points, etc.

Nice picture of a World War I Spad aircraft at the Joe Nall flying field

Nice picture of a World War I Spad aircraft at the Joe Nall flying field

The next simulator was on Category II and III landings. The B-777 has an autoland capability that, depending on FAA permissions, allows us to land in weather as poor as 300 feet visibility. As you can imagine there are detailed procedures on how to safely accomplish this demanding task.

I am home now for a few days with plenty to study for upcoming OE (Operational Experience) flights. OE is a normal part of any airline check out. OE procedures are detailed for each airline and allow a specially trained Captain to ensure all of the “real world” line flying knowledge is successfully passed on to incoming First Officers.

Picture of radio control aircraft at the Joe Nall fly-in

Picture of radio control aircraft at the Joe Nall fly-in

I will start my OE training on April 9th flying from Cincinnati to Bahrain, around a 14 hour flight. After Bahrain stops will include Hong Kong, Anchorage and Los Angeles. It will be interesting to see how things work out on the line.

Once I am complete with OE and have a more regular schedule I am looking forward to finally getting back to building and flying radio control model airplanes.

One event on my calendar is attending, for the first time, Joe Nall Week (in nearby South Carolina) 13-20 May at the world famous Triple Tree Aerodrome. Triple Tree is just a 2.5 hour drive from my house. So no matter what my flying schedule turns out to be I should be able to get away for a day to check out the flying at this world class event. More to follow!

E-Fest Dates for 2015

Inside the E-Fest Armory Field House at the University of Illinois Champaign

Inside the E-Fest Armory Field House at the University of Illinois Champaign

Some good news! The folks running the annual E-Fest (Electric Festival) in Champaign, IL have announced the dates for their next show. This season’s two day event will be on January 24 and 25, 2015 at the University of Illinois Armory Field House.

Outside view of the E-Fest Armory flying site

Outside view of the E-Fest Armory flying site

E-Fest is truly a fun, interesting and well attended indoor electric radio control model airplane event. If you are anywhere near the Chicago area, Champaign is just a 2.5 hour drive south of the city.

Attendees at E-Fest indoor RC model airplane show

Attendees at E-Fest indoor RC model airplane show

The Amory is a wonderful venue for this indoor flying gathering. The facility offers lots of natural light and has plenty of flying space for a wide variety of radio control models.

You can view the usual mix of ARFs and foam models. There are numerous kit built aircraft as well as original designs on display. A wide range of vendors are on hand answering questions on their various modeling products that are for sale.

Look forward to seeing you there in January!