We have moved to the jet age! I finished my Phenom 100 training just about a week ago with a checkride. I now have my very first type-rating for a jet! And I’m looking forward to moving on to bigger things in the future!
This part of the training was the one I waited for the most. To be able to fly that beautiful Phenom 100 jet. It fulfilled all my expectations and it was worth the wait. One thing I didn’t expect though, was how easy it felt flying the plane. Of course it’s the most sophisticated aircraft I’ve flown so far, but still I expected it to be more challenging, as in complicated. A quite a big difference to other aircraft so far was how peaceful and not hurried all the maneuvers were. During the very first flight when we did the stalls for example, the actions were very calm. Of course it’s a bigger, heavier plane than the ones before so you can’t just yank it however. The peaceful nature of doing things was anyhow striking to me.
Flying the Phenom brought a new concept into our flight planning and flying. So far in case of failures during take-off roll, we would have just stopped. That wasn’t the case with Phenom. The V1, decision speed, was introduced in practise. During take-off roll it’s the speed, which determines if you can still stop the plane on the runway. Once V1 is exceeded it’s a go no matter what, be it an engine failure or engine fire. Once you call out “V1” you take your hand off the thrust levers and keep your both hands on the yoke. This is to prevent pulling the thrust levers to idle inadvertently.
The preparatory studies for the Phenom were more extensive than what we’ve had before in relation to a new aircraft type. We started the type rating with a web-based self-study, whichafter we had another week at school when we reviewed what we had learned and also studied flight performance and planning. Then we had three exercises in the avionics trainer and a couple of flight deck training session in the Frasca trainer. These helped us to get acquainted with the avionics as well as the start-up flow. The checklist philosophy in the normal operations of the Phenom was to do things by memory (the flow) and then vefiry from the checklist that all the critical items were accomplished. In case of an emergency some situations required the recall items to be done by memory and the rest was accomplished by read-and-do method from the QRH (Quick Reference Handbook). The situations requiring the recall items were generally the ones where you would have to act fast, like smoke in the cockpit, cabin decompression or engine fire to name a few.
We flew 12 flights in the Frasca trainer and nine flights in the real aircraft plus the checkride. We started with, you guessed it, general flying, stalls, slow flight, steep turns etc. Quite quickly we got to practise engine failures and other failures as well as approaches with both engines and one engine inoperative. Our Phenom Frasca trainer is a pretty good machine and it was great to be able to practise things there we couldn’t do in real life, like emergency descent.
The real joy was the first flight with the Phenom! Everyone seemed to be all smiles afterwards! My first impressions were how calm and easy it was and how similar it was to the Frasca trainer. The feeling was amazing the morning of the first flight as well as afterwards. Something I had been waiting for so long had come true. The happy feeling never really went away, all the days flying the Phenom were great!
With the Phenom I got my first experience flying abroad. Our cross-country trip headed to Visby (ESSV) on the island of Gotland in Sweden. It was a great trip and a great feeling making an approach and landing the first time somewhere else than in Finland! I got lucky in the draw and got to fly the way over there.
The skill test included some general handling, stalls, steep turns, unsual attitudes, a short cross-country part, three approaches of which two with single-engine after a simulated engine failure. It was over quick just like the whole Phenom training. What a fun plane to fly and what a fun way to end the school flights!
During summer we also had the Upset Recovery Training with the Extra 300 aircraft. URT has been given in our school since 2008. In the future it will become a mandatory part of professional pilot training. Here are a couple of videos shot by our teacher Jari during school flights: Slip stall and Skid stall In the videos you can see examples of what happens during the URT flights.
Right now all the school flights are done and what’s left is the MCC (multi-crew co-operation training) course. And the graduation is just around the corner!