The week leading to graduation was full of excitement. The graduation day was finally approaching. It was also the last week we were all together. I suppose a sense of melancholy was felt in the classroom. The last week we sat in class for the Multi-Crew Co-operation (MCC) theory.
The MCC course aims to develop the skills to operate in a multi-crew environment. The future job most of us want will be in such an environment, the flight deck of an airliner. The areas covered in MCC theory include communication, division of tasks during all phases of flight, under normal, abnormal and emergency conditions, use of checklists when there is more than one pilot, mutual supervision and teamwork, which all should lead to optimized decision making. We also covered fatigue, stress, human error and psychological factors, all that affect the work in the flight deck.
During the MCC theory week we also did case-studies on many well-known accidents from the past and discussed them in groups and as a class. Many of the accidents had been discussed previously, but this time we took the MCC perspective and tried to figure out how the co-operation or the lack of it resulted in these accidents. In some cases it was quite obvious how the division of tasks is crucial, and that you should stick to it. Sometimes there was no one flying the plane!
In a two-pilot flight deck there is usually a pilot flying (PF) and pilot not flying (PNF), also called a monitoring pilot. The tasks are divided between them and it’s common that the PNF handles the radio communication and for example adjusts the flaps and handles the landing gear, while the PF concentrates on flying the plane. The roles are usually switched during the day and both the captain and the co-pilot can be in the role of a PF or a PNF. This way both pilots get to fly the plane. In all situations the captain still has the responsibility and the final say in things.
The second part of the MCC training was a week of sim training in the Phenom trainer where we learned the multi-crew flying techniques. The week consisted of five 2×2 hour sessions that we did in pairs in the weeks following the graduation. Each day we got to be both in the role of a PF and a PNF as well as a captain and a co-pilot. We practiced task-sharing in different situations, emergencies and normal operation. At first it was a bit strange since all the previous training we have flown as a single-pilot, but quite quickly we got the hang of it and it felt natural that you have someone to do things for you when you ask! We also faced all kinds of problems during our flights like fuel leakage, emergency descent due to cabin decompression, diversions due to low visibility as well as problems with unruly passengers. We got to solve the problems as a crew, which made the week very rewarding and interesting.
The graduation was held at the Pori Old Town Hall in very nice surroundings. Some very nice speeches were held and the certificates were handed out. A few of the boys had written a great song about our time in school and they performed it at the graduation. It got huge applause! It was a great and dignified event to sum up the time in Pori.
Now that a few months have passed after we graduated, I feel very privileged to have gotten such a great education and flying skills. Our teachers and our training was really exceptional. It was a tough press to go through. But they say that a diamond is a piece of coal that did very well under pressure. That’s what we all are! In addition to the great flying skills I feel that I’ve acquired a very professional attitude towards flying. That’s thanks to the great and some even greater teachers I’ve had. These past years have only strengthened my desire to work as an airline pilot. I know I’ve taken the right path.
I started this blog to keep a diary to myself, to share my experiences with my family and friends and also to give something back. I’ve enjoyed very much reading a number of aviation blogs over the years and I felt this was my chance to contribute to the world of aviation fans, dreamers and wanna-bes. I wrote my first post just over 3 years ago. This will be my 56th post. I’ve had over 12 000 visitors from 125 countries and nearly 50 000 views. I’m greatful for everyone who kept reading and a special thank you to those who left some very nice comments! And a very special thank you to Rob, I’ll always remember your wisdom!
I think it’s time to look back in pictures..
Let’s hope the circle closes and the next photo will be taken in an Airbus again. The aviation world looks a whole lot different now than it did when we started our training. There’s certainly some positive changes happening in the job market all over the world. But of course most importantly, our flag carrier Finnair has just announced they will recruit 100 pilots. Yes, I’ve already sent in my application!
Thank you again for reading and following my journey! I hope you enjoyed it, I know I did! :)