Aug 15, 2019 – First introduction to the Simulator

This blog and others like it represent the updates I’ve been sending to my teammates as I go through the training required to get a type rating in the Gulfstream G280 corporate jet. These are intended to help them understand how the training is structured, and be even more prepared than I was.

I passed my written test with 93% and am moving into the next phase of training.


Take this with a grain of salt. I’m under pressure.
Spend some time reading the AOM (Operating Manual) in Planebook before SIT01 (systems integration training – where the hell are the buttons at in real life). We weren’t on motion, but did a considerable number of maneuvers that I hadn’t reviewed. Basically we did the checkride profile, as the instructor put it.
My general impression is that everyone I meet is still learning. For example, in steep turns we were told to use 30-20-10 calls from the PM.  Those calls are actually incorrect for this airplane, as you’ll see on 06-03-00 page 3 – there is only one call now at 15 degrees, where you initiate the reversal. Power is managed by the PM. Note: turns our we ignore the book and use a standard 30-20-10 call. 
You recover from stalls to 180 kts. That is more difficult than it sounds, since you have two Atlas rocket motors strapped to your ass. You have to watch the airspeed predictor on the left side of the PFD (energy bar), and get off the power soon after the recovery. Note: I’ve since learned to keep the power full until 170 knots while recovering altitude – THEN get back to maybe 60% and stabilize.
I spent the session grossly over-controlling. If you forget auto-throttles in the steep turns you’ll be riding a bronco all the way around. Holy shit, I suck at this. I’m told it is much more difficult doing all this when your aren’t on motion.
The TOGA button is harder to find. In fact, I only have a general idea this evening where it is. It isn’t where I expected it to be from the training. Regardless of how harried the instructor is, shine a flashlight on the throttle quadrant and figure out where all these buttons are. I was mashing away and nothing happened, since I couldn’t find it.  Ended up overpowering the auto-throttles to save the day.
Concerning the training environment. I am paired with an experienced Saber Jet pilot/instructor who has had nothing but bad right seaters, in his view. I interpret this to mean that he is awful at CRM and he knows it. It definitely shows. He’d rather leave me home. Nice guy, but I wouldn’t want to fly with him.
He was first in the left seat and started doing everything on his own. The instructor excitedly worked with him, until I stopped them both and explained that I wasn’t here for kicks and giggles, and I would not tolerate him doing everything. I have one goal – to pass a check ride. In order to do that I need to be involved in everything. Not a good start, but we got that sorted out.
During the the first half I did see more of the same, but I had the chance to do a few things, and continually inserted myself into what were supposed to be the PM (Pilot Monitoring) duties. At the break the instructor asked if we had worked together at all and I told him No. We hadn’t. the client preferred to work on his own. That is true.
During my left seat first venture off of motion, I tended to overcontrol. It would have been good to have reviewed all the procedures before I did this. I thought this session was just about getting the airplane started and finding all the switches, but we were moving on this one. Steep turns were over-controlled and +/- 200′.  I had left the auto-throttles on inadvertently, and the instructor hadn’t noticed. What a ride.
Stalls weren’t difficult, but recovering to only180 kts specifically was. the skill there is that last part – getting the power off and recovering straight ahead. You have to get the power OFF quick to do that. With no sound and no force feedback it is tough for the first time.
Note that 5 degrees is EXAGGERATED on the EAI. It threw me off repeatedly. It is very much exaggerated compared to typical airplanes.
Instructor thinks I won’t have any problems and tried hard to call this thing I’m doing incredibly easy.  Bullshit.
Note: this next comment is harsh. I’m coming to realize that everyone is working hard to re-staff a new program after the airlines pulled a bunch of experience all at once. DFW doesn’t count optimizing the chances for my success as important. That may be due to the stress of training all new people as fast as possible; they are losing people; or a host of other reasons.
I say that because they have me in the simulator with an instructor being trained, plus another instructor supervising. My partner routinely instructs in the Saber, so at times I had THREE people telling me how to fly the thing. In truth, the third guy wasn’t paying much attention and when he did have something to say, it was generally ill-timed.
My instructor uses a laser pointer, and it reflects off of the screens and hits me in the face occasionally. Flash back to Fate is the Hunter – Ernie Gann. Read that one if you haven’t yet. I’ll tell him about that today, and ask him not to do it. I was in the midst of a maneuver that last time he did and I just chuckled…..   No one knew why, but I had a good laugh.
At one point I was given an unusual attitude where we are flying along fat dumb and happy and all of the sudden the display went to 60 degrees of left bank. We weren’t on motion, so I assumed the simulator broke. Not like I have seen that before. I slowly figured out we were still moving and the instructor thought wake turbulence was a good idea during SIT01. Coming out of that I got a TCAS RA and had to fly an evasive maneuver. Really?!
My brain hurts trying to keep up with this guy, but today I will have a better idea how he operates.
My partner and I went to dinner last night and had a come-to-Jesus meeting. I told him if I was a problem for him, to let the folks at FSI know and we’d go our merry ways. The situation improved from there, we acknowledged that he sucked at CRM and wanted to be single pilot; while I had low experience and need to pass a check ride. I will be hands on – period.
Note: This get better between us in the near future. We are not an optimal pair, but decided to give it our best shot. I told him I’d accept guidance from him AND from the instructor in the back. If the third guy speaks up I’ll start complaining.
After my last LOST I’ll lose all of these guys for my check ride, after two down days, They decided to give me ANOTHER instructor in training that is being observed by the FAA.  My needs and concerns are not even on their radar, so all the love we’ll see comes from the north.
Having said that – I am getting support from a few instructors I am meeting. I’m sure it will get easier on me and I’ll feel better about it if I personally do better. that last part is up to me.
This is my unfiltered assessment.  SIM 01is today, so I’ll sure I’ll get a V1 cut and an inverted unusual attitude. Just kidding – it is supposed to be the same as yesterday.  Here we go.