BOEING 777 CADET TRAINING SUMMARY
Meet your 777 Training Pilot, Captain Myron Ashcraft. With a career spanning 37 years and having flown everything from the USAF Super Sabre to the Airbus A320, he is just the kind of guy you want in the left hand seat when that typhoon goes down over the South China Sea.
We find out here all about Myron’s long and fascinating life in aviation, a look back on the amazing number of types that he has flown and what we have in store over the Airline2Sim 777 Cadet Training Program.
There are a bunch of moving parts to a flight simulator.
Over this video, we’ll show you the essentials you’ll need to get the most out of flying the 777 on your desktop simulator and point you to some great resources to help you make yours look great and perform well, even with a demanding add-on aircraft like the 777.
No flight even gets off the ground without a bunch of stuff happening in the dispatch office beforehand. Here, Ben and Captain Ashcraft use the free flight dispatching website Simbrief to plan and create a full flight from San Francisco to Boston on a snowy and cold November morning on the East Coast.
With a bunch of useful information about fuel planning, destination alternates, minimum fuel and how the flight crew work with the needs of the cabin crew, you’ll see how this all goes together. And as you see, Mother Nature has a few nasty surprises in store for us on this flight when it comes to serving breakfast and lunch once we get to the weather maps!
It’s time to pull on those shorts, jump into a red Ferrari and show off our loud shirts, because the next stop is Hawaii, where we’re doing our training flights.
First up is a detailed walk around the exterior of the 777 on the ramp at Kona Airport, showing you all those nooks and crannies and why it’s unwise to stand under the RAT door.
We mount the steps for the first time and the 777 is cold (well not really, this is Hawaii – it’s sweltering!) and dark.
Myron shows us where to stash our stuff, including the famous number 1 hat peg which must only be used by the Captain. We bring the 777 to life, system by system and take you on the full tour, including why with a load of fish in the cargo compartment, it’s unwise to leave the cargo heat on too high!
It’s time to get to know a bit more about how the 777 ticks and the three big systems – Bleed, Hydraulics and Electrics – all start coming into play here.
With a practical demonstration of starting her up and pressing buttons (don’t try this in your real 777, folks), all this begins to make sense. Plus, learn why the 777 hydraulic system needs to be turned on in a particular order.
Now we’ve got to learn some of the systems on the 777, our tour continues down to some of the switches we hope we’ll never need.
It’s a good job we learn about the EVAC switch too, as later in course we’ll need it!
So it’s nearly time to go flying. We’ve brought the 777 up from cold and dark, we’ve learned about the major systems and now it’s time to set her up to take into the blue Hawaiian skies for the very first time.
See how to set up the flight deck for this training mission. Here we discuss loading, performance, V Speeds, trim and many other critical subjects.
With the initial setup complete, watch how we run a series of ‘flows’ in order to make sure we’ve done everything in the right way.
Finally, after a close shave with a set of stairs, see how the 777 is a beast to taxi at small airports and learn from Myron about how to get this enormous twin-jet to the runway safely.
With takeoff clearance from a hot sounding ATC controller in Kona, it’s time to turn and burn.
Ben gets into trouble almost immediately and ‘fails his checkride’, according to Myron, but once our takeoff is complete we then show you the basic autopilot modes of the 777 and how the PFCs (Primary Flight Computers) can keep you from killing yourself and your passengers!
Having tried to stall the 777 and rip the wings off with an overspeed, our demonstration of how the 777 can save even the most clumsy pilot is nearly complete and it’s time to return to Kona for the first of a few approaches and landings.
Not all goes to plan! Plus, see how beautifully the 777 lands itself when you just sit there and watch it.
So now we know how not to rip the wings off or turn the 777 upside down, Air America finally let us loose with some paying passengers. In this episode, under the watchful eye of Captain Ashcraft we take over the aircraft at the gate in Honolulu for the short and busy return flight to Kahului, Hawaii.
In this video we’ll look at all the tasks that the crew must perform before going flying, plus consolidating all the things that we learned in the earlier training episodes. Now with a real life flight plan, it’s time to program the whole thing into the FMC – the heart of the 777. All is not straightforward however as there’s a long taxi to the reef runway, plus the takeoff from Honolulu puts us onto a collision course with a volcano. As ever, Myron is a man with a plan to show you how it’s done!
With our preflight complete and the parking brake set, we give a cheery wave to the pushback crew and a flash of our taxi lights.
Next is a fast and furious 20 minute hop across the sea to Maui with plenty to keep us busy. Watch as we learn how to stay out of the dirt (and the golf course) as we take the long taxi to the reef runway at Honolulu.
Then we launch off into the inviting blue skies, dodging volcanoes and making sure that we’ve got absolutely everything done in time as we compress all the tasks of an ultra long haul flight into this real-world skip between the Hawaiian Islands.
‘The hardest thing you’ll ever do in a 777 is fly from Honolulu to Maui, and we did it – successfully’. The words of Captain Ashcraft ringing in our ears, it’s time to do the second hardest thing which is fly back to Honolulu for another crazily busy sector.
Things are made more complex on this return leg by the landing runway being the rather unusual Localizer DME 04R, which is not only rather narrow but prevents us from flying an ILS. Myron shows us how to set up the 777 for years an approach using LOC and VNAV, although as you’ll see even with a lot of preparation, the 777 can have a surprise up its sleeve.
With a couple more volcanoes to avoid on the departure, Ben having an itchy flap finger, some clouds bumping us around and a 717 taxiing slower than a tortoise after a heavy night out, there’s plenty to learn in this epic episode of our 777 Program.
Of all the places to building a parking garage, on the the final approach to a major airport probably isn’t a good one. Well that’s precisely what they did at San Diego and here you’ll see how to do the full RNAV approach into the airport formerly known as Lindbergh Field. For the first time, we’re now using LNAV and VNAV for the whole approach and Myron shows us the techniques used to shoot an RNAV approach, beginning from way back in the descent over the dusty desert town of 29 Palms.
As we make our way across Southern California and the Salton Sea, learn more about the 777s mysterious VNAV modes as we set ourselves up for this steep approach, avoiding terrain on final – and a parking lot!
One of the toughest approaches you can do in the simulator is a visual one and here you’ll see the stunning night time arrival into San Francisco with a difference as we’ve been cleared to do the Quiet Bridge Visual. Myron however has some tricks up his sleeve to make this an easier approach by using some pilot generated waypoints in the FMC so we can fly a bit more of the approach using LNAV and VNAV, before dumping all the automation and ‘flying it like a pilot’ all the way down to touchdown.
With crossing and speed restrictions that the 777 struggles with, a confusing arrival chart and traps on the ground, this is probably the hardest approach you’ll attempt of the Program so far. Thankfully though in true Myron style, a glass of Chianti and a spaghetti bolognese awaits at the end of it!
It’s time to go international as we move the action to Hong Kong International Airport where our 777 awaits for the 15 hour flight back home to Chicago.
Not only are we now very heavy, but the departure out of Hong Kong contains altitude and speed restrictions to allow us to thread our way between the high peaks around this former British colony.
Add to this noise abatement obligations, a line of thunderstorms as we head into the Guangzhou sector of Chinese airspace, flying in metres and a long night ahead across half the globe, you’ll be glad of a veteran Captain in command tonight.
‘They picked the place with most fog and that’s where they built the airport’ – the words of Captain Ashcraft about Munich Airport in beautiful Bavaria, Germany.
Good job then that in this episode you’ll learn all about CATIII airport operations and get this bird down safely in one piece when the visibility is zero zero!
‘A landing is a go around until you break open the reversers’ – so goes the saying. Well in that case, let’s learn how to go around.
Going around on two engines is the most messed up manoeuvre in the real aircraft as it’s done so rarely. In fact in 37 years Myron has only done it three times! So best to get some practice in and nowhere is better to try this than during another foggy Munich landing where we can’t see what’s going on in front of us.
Learn here about the traps of a go around and Myron’s little trick to keep things happening nice and slowly so we can stay ahead of the aircraft.
We’ve already nailed the NAPD1 Procedure out of Hong Kong, so it’s time to show you the other one that you might run into from time to time around the world. In this brief video we launch off into a hazy Doha evening in off to Kuwait with a slight tailwind.
As well as showing you how to plug that tailwind into the FMC (remember, only plug it in WITH a tailwind!), you’ll learn how to stop Air America winding up with a fine for busting noise restrictions.
EPISODE TWENTY ONE
We’re on the long STAR arrival into Washington Dulles after crossing the pond from Dublin, Ireland. The ATIS reports that the approach in use is now the non-standard ‘Circle To Land’ procedure to runway 30 due to crosswinds blowing from East.
With no ILS, no navaids, no RNAV arrival or in fact anything to help us down but the mark one eyeball and long strip of tarmac, this is one arrival that pilots dread after a long slog across the planet.
Far from an easy maneuver in a Q400, this is a big deal in a 300,000 lb 777! Thankfully you’re sitting next to a guy who’s done it for real more than once, and he shows you how to ace it every time with nothing other than a few green circles and a steady hand!
EPISODE TWENTY TWO
Remember way back in Hawaii when Myron showed us how to set off the Evacuation Alarm? Let’s hope you were paying attention as we move the action to Doha, Qatar on a sweltering hot Arabian Gulf evening for a heavy departure to head back home Stateside.
With the 777 near its maximum operating temperature, an intersection takeoff and a critical engine issue on the takeoff roll, we embark on the final lesson of the 777 Cadet Training Program – what to do when it all goes bad.
EPISODE TWENTY THREE
With our flying Program complete, we now take a closer look at how to set up the 777 inside your simulator, including a look at DX10 Fixer, Ultimate Traffic 2, GSX and the multitude of options inside the 777 FMC.
EPISODE TWENTY FOUR
As ever, there’s just one final thing. Well, actually there’s more like 10! Here we take a look at setting up your flight plan needs in just one click, Ezdok V2, FSUIPC, assigning controls and reverse thrust and more.
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