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Atlas Air 3591 - perhaps EASA CPL/IR checkrides might include additional emergency scenarios



A lot of take aways on this NTSB case review: multi crew, automation, aptitude, upset recovery, startle effect, human physiology.

In terms of aptitude screening I wonder whether the IR checkride, which in Europe is highly choreographed, could do with throwing in some additional discrete scenario emergencies, while not piling emergencies on top of each other Soviet Air Force style. It is one of the main hurdles to an aviation career and outside of the EFATO scenario, which is carried out without any startle effect as the candidate knows when it will occur, there is no other emergency scenario tested. Arguably flying on standby (most training aircraft these days have standby instruments, and the limited panel is tested separately), or simulated or actual icing encounter is a separate abnormal scenario.

Perhaps some additional scenarios for example smoke in the cabin, or electrical system failure, etc which could occur on the diversion outside controlled airspace might test resilience and decision making. To be realistic they would be un briefed.

Oxford (EGTK)

That would make it more like a typical type rating check ride. A good idea and to free up the time they could drop the holding pattern…

EGTK Oxford

Thank you for posting the video. I’ll read the ntsb report.

I agree scenario or even evidence based training could make sense instead of pointless choreographed exercises (QDM QDR) but on the other hand such ideas can cause more harm than good and result in negative training when not done right.

Imagine an eager examiner secretly launching a smoke grenade etc… during a CPL/IR checkride (in for instance a DA42). No thanks!

I think this is better left to Level-D FFS training cycles.

It would make sense to simulate some equipment malfunction or abnormal situation on SEP/IR revalidation prof checks and train correct handling of a non normal checklist (the least would be to instill a reminder that atc can be called for vectors and „plant“ a strategy into pilots’ heads instead of becoming fixated on solving things alone).

Decision making tools/strategies would be next in line.

Airline/Mentor/Safety/Instructor - Pilot
Based Austria | Operating Worldwide

FWIW, the US CPL checkride includes a diversion scenario which the DPE can call at any time during the ride. This is part of the new(ish) scenario-based examinations that have been gradually being phased in. In my case it was the assumption of a rough running engine with diversion to nearest, followed shortly after by – you guessed it – a simulated engine failure.

It´s not only on the CPL checkrides. During my PPL checkride in FL, 2016 , I had a “rough running engine” followed by a “fire in the engine compartment”. I try to do this to my students from time to time, and it does not even have to be dramatic. A (practice) diversion because of physiological needs is all it takes to get student´s brains going.
But I´m not sure if the Atlas accident would have been prevented with different checkride scenarios. The FO had not come fresh from a flight school but had quite a bit of experience in previous jobs.

EDFZ, Germany

@JasonC I do wonder at the devotion to the NDB hold in particular – while I enjoy the elegance of the concepts and the use of gates, I have never flown an NDB hold in anger. GPS waypoint holds, VOR like Lambourne, sure, but never an NDB. As the procedural approach starts from a hold, and most training airfields have an NDB locator, I guess it is a train for test feature. Ideally more time on scenario based training might be useful.

Oxford (EGTK)

In EASA-Land there is no such thing as a PPL or CPL check ride. Licenses are valid indefinitely.

You do check rides for ratings so SEP/MEP/… and Typeratings as well as IR. Typically one does the IR-checkride together with the SEP/MEP/TR one – but they don’t differentiate if the underlying license is a PPL, CPL or ATPL

Last Edited by Malibuflyer at 20 Jul 19:19
Germany

Malibuflyer wrote:

In EASA-Land there is no such thing as a PPL or CPL check ride. Licenses are valid indefinitely.

You do check rides for ratings so SEP/MEP/… and Typeratings as well as IR. Typically one does the IR-checkride together with the SEP/MEP/TR one – but they don’t differentiate if the underlying license is a PPL, CPL or ATPL

Check ride is the FAA term for an initial test flight before you get your CPL or PPL.

EGTK Oxford

Or IR or ATP or CFI or CFII.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

@Malibu
I think what was meant were the initial License Skill Tests.
So a PPL checkride would give the PPL license and a SEP or TMG classrating.
CPL/IR gives CPL license and e.g. IR for the SEP.
And so on..

Airline/Mentor/Safety/Instructor - Pilot
Based Austria | Operating Worldwide
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