Logistic notes regarding CAAC check ride
Bring all required documents in particular passport and license
-First day will be near Airport (probably Business Hotel). The VOR Holdings Chengdu Office is located there
-During the training period you must stay at the hotel located inside the training center
-the hotel in the training center is quite new with good standards. It has a fridge, hot water kettle, the electric sockets are of international’s standards (EU, US etc)
-After the training period you will return to the hotel near the airport (Business Hotel) which most probably is kept booked for you for the whole period of training regardless the fact that you don’t stay there.
-Meals are provided by SCAL (free of charge) either in the cafeteria in the hotel or in the simulator center at specific times. You only need to sign near your name ….. written in Chinese :-))
The training center hotel and the simulator building are in the same compound and they are very close to each other (50 meters apart)
-first day meeting point is at the simulator building, first floor in front of the coffee lounge
-first day you will be given training/study material
-some of the material shall be returned and some not (QRH you can keep)
-during training session/lessons jacket and tie is recommended for the whole period
The day after the CAAC check you will report to SCAL office near airport for formalities.
Bring the pictures with blue background. If you don’t have them it is not a problem since you will anyway be taken by VOR Holdings Local Support personnel to have pictures taken. You will need pictures full and half body. The suggestion is to take the full body picture with suite (jacket and tie) and the half body picture with a white uniform shirt with your captain espellete (shoulder rank)
-Bring information regarding your logbook hrs. You will have to fill in some forms.
The SIM training itself is good and it is adequate in order for you to pass the CAAC check.
Depending on the on the examiner’s english level you might have an interpreter in the SIM with you.
CAAC Check Ride
Sichuan Airlines gave me excellent training time during 10 days in its training center facilities, with very good Hotel internal accommodation, providing all meals.
I was scheduled and part of a 3 Captain training course from 18th to 30th March 2019, comprising of 4 MFTD, 3FFS, 1 Sichuan Airlines Pre Check sessions for the CAAC check evaluation.
Each Captain, was given on each simulator session 2 hours as a PF and another 2 hours as PM.
During the MFTD and FFS sessions, I was performing Sichuan Airlines SOP, normal operation (Preliminary cockpit preparation to Securing ), abnormal operations with basic failures (FCU 1+2, FMGC 1+2, Slats, Flaps fault, Unreliable airspeed, Emergency descent, Emergency electrical configuration, Wind shear, RTO, Loss of brakes, Engine Fail/Fire…) with supplementary operations (Engine start faults, Manual start, x-bleed…) as well as flying IFR (SID, ILS, VOR, ADF, Visual, Circling, Star, Holding, all flown in raw data with A/THS off and AP-off.
All sessions the weather conditions were marginal, with cross wind 30 kts and visibility 500m for Precision approach and 2000m for Non Precision approach.
The degree of difficulty was increasing with ongoing simulator sessions and technical performance proficiency was expected by Instructor with Fail/Pass criteria on each phase of MFTD, FFS and Sichuan Pre Check.
I was on a dual Captain evaluation, and the time duration was 6 hours, comprising 1 hour for briefing, 4 hours for simulator, 2 hours for each Captain as PF, and 1 hour for debriefing.
There was 2 CAAC instructor plus 1 translator officer from Sichuan Airlines.
First hour is to show documents, Flight/Medical license, Sichuan airline approved and released from Pre check simulator, passport, total flight hours…
CAAC instructor asked me about OEB red and white, SRS, CAR ops.
In the simulator, during taxi out, ELAC 1 fault with recovery after QRH system reset.
During takeoff after gear up I had severe wind shear with AP-off disconnected.
During Rnav SID on a turning point I had a NAV-Heading discrepancy with ECAM.
Few seconds after a Pack 2 Fault with overheat with no recovery.
During high level climb at 25000ft I had AP1 fault, I switched to AP2, and soon after I had the total AP fault with an Engine 1 red over limit temperature.
This scenario put me in a situation I had to start descent on High terrain MEA 18000ft with Cabin pressurization rising due Pack 2 off and Engine 1 in Idle with Pack 1 not giving enough pressure to maintain cabin altitude.
Due some delay for ATC clearance, the Cabin Excess altitude Warning sound and I had to perform an Emergency descent 30 degrees to the right offset then parallel to track after 10 nm.
May Day call to ATC and Emergency descent, Oxygen masks on call to cabin crew and passenger.
I requested stepped controlled safe descent, complying with MEA, for a diversion, in this case Chengdu was the closest airport.
At a safe altitude of 10000ft, Emergency descent was completed and a Cabin report was asked with 2 injury passenger.
Approaching a holding pattern, I had another fail of FC1+2 fault with no QRH system reset recovery.
Holding in raw data and no QNH altitude below Transition FL on PFD, I had to use Stand by altimeter.
After approach preparation and VAPP and Landing distance calculation, I was given radar vectors to a 10 nm ILS final runway 02L with cross wind 20 kts and visibility 800m in a single idle engine situation.
I landed and simulator reset for next exercise.
New take off and due to side stick PF fault not at neutral position at 100kts, I rejected take off.
After simulator reset, new take off with engine failure with damage just after V1.
Normal Engine secure and clean up flaps, at green dot open climb with thrust MCT with resuming ECAM.
As I was single engine I requested immediate radar vector return for another approach and I was given the VOR runway 02L with broken at 500 ft AGL and visibility 2000m.
During selected Track/FPA, instructor asked to switch off AP and FD off.
At MDA +50ft I did not see the approach lights and runway and went single engine go around with FD off and AP off.
I requested another VOR approach and in the final 1000ft AGL, I had an APU fire, and I continued to land and decided to do the ECAM on ground.
After call to ATC May Day in flight, I stopped aircraft did the APU Fire ECAM and asked for QRH Emergency Evacuation.
Fire did not extinguished and passengers were evacuated.
With this, I finished my PF CAAC check session.
I found it not easy, but Sichuan airlines gave me all the training conditions to be successful and I managed to pass the CAAC check.
Even with the good training, there is a lot of external factors and reasons to put you in a lot of pressure on just 4 hours CAAC check, where a small distraction or non-intentional error can fail you.
Just fly safe, make adequate and good operational decisions with your FO, Cabin senior, ATC, and Company and inform passengers about the decision.
Don´t try to fly fast or very short on radar vector, by time for you to make sure every checklist was done, landing distance calculated and fuel penalty considered.
Build your confidence curve in the simulator but never take it as granted, so be relaxed and do your best!
I hope this helps you on your CAAC check preparation, and good luck.
Experiences for Simulator Assessment
First of all you should remember that this is a job interview and you should dress according to that fact. Which means you better be in suit.
I had this simulator two times and for both of them the instructors were really nice and kind. They provided a friendly environment during the whole process. They didn’t ask anything during the briefing but I am pretty sure they give you a score the first moment you met them. They observe how you look, how you talk, how you act, how you interact with him or with your sim buddies. So the first impression is very important. If you have a good first impression even you do something wrong in the sim, he may give you another chance to correct it.
Sim session may start with engine start up and low visibility taxi or he may just put you to takeoff position. Either way you do what you do in normal life, do all checklist items, do your briefing. If the instructor doesn’t want you to do something he lets you know. Don’t waste sim time on the ground because he is not interested in how you start the engine. Think the first part as warm up for you. If you do taksi on the ground, he gives you low visibility environment and loss of braking during taksi.
When you are in takeoff position he gives you low speed rejected takeoff (RTO) on a slippery runway with engine failure. Keep the aircraft on the runway and do what you have to do.
Takeoff position again. This time you do normal takeoff and he gives you severe windshear. Since you are in the simulator for assessment don’t rush to engage the autopilot do your manual flight. If the initial altitude is too low that you will cross it during the windshear let the ATC know.
When you are out of shear he gives you TCAS Resoulution Advisory (RA).
When clear now it is time for a major failure. It may be DUAL FMGS, DUAL HYDRAULIC, DUAL FCU, DUAL ADR, DUAL IR, FLAPS AND SLATS LOCKED (both of them). Manual flight is very important for the company that’s why they give tou these double failures. They want to see your flying skills without autopilot and autothrust. Instead of starting with the failures above he may tell you to contact with your dispatch. When you do that as a dispatch he may tell you that there are a few unchecked baggages in your aircraft and question your decision then give one of these failures. He may also give you EMC DESCEND after that one of the dual failures above.
Here comes the most important part: you are assesses not only with your flying skills as capatin but also how you assisst as a pilot monitoring and your commucation skills. If your partner is doing somerhing wrong warn him kindly, give him recommendations but don’t be pushy.
They don’t want to hear any Pullup, Stall, Glide slope, Sink rate warnings during the sim session.
Takeoff position again. This time single engine failure. You will do one type of non precision approach with single engine. It may be VOR or NDB. CTU doesn’t have a published NDB approach anymore. So he may initialize the sim to Sanya Phoenix Airport in the begining of session so you can perform NDB approach.
Here is the SIM profile used at Sichuan Airlines recently:
1. Cockpit Preparation
2. Normal Engine Start
3. No push back or taxi → Reset SIM to runway
4. Low visibility take off with windshear after V1
5. Come back for visual approach with 30 kts crosswind
6. Dual FCU or Double FMGS failure (one for each pilot)
7. Engine 1 or 2 failure after V1 → Come back for VOR approach → Go around → Come back for ILS approach with landing
8. Take off –> TCAS between two aircraft –> Come back to a visual approach at 25 its crosswind while hand flying
9. Take off, reject take off at V1 or 5 kts before with fire for emergency evacuation
Always from ZUUU (Chengdu) to ZUCK (Chongqing) on the MCDU, but never goes to ZUCK due to failures….