Whew, glad that’s done!


Our recurrent training is always a stressful event. We do our training in Tucson, AZ for several reasons. The first is Flight Safety has the Lear 45 sim there, the second is the incredible weather and the third is the great local cuisine. Our company employes 25 pilots, most based in Omaha, NE the others in Boise, ID and Aurora, IL. So when winter rolls around it is nice for a little break from that. We are only required to go to training once a year, but our company believes that the extra event each year makes for a safer flight department and I agree. All that being said the training is filled with ground school and simulator events. System after system is the main course for the ground school, brushing up on those obscure parts to aircraft systems that rarely get used but are good to know. Now for the sim, that’s where the fun begins. The whole point is for you as a pilot to see events that could happen in the real aircraft but in a safe environment. For example on one takeoff my left engine just decided to catch on fire forcing me to shut it down to prevent further damage and harm. Those events can’t be done in the real aircraft for obvious reasons. We train in groups of two, my partner is based in Omaha with me, so we fly together often. We know how each other fly’s and each others normal behaviors. But when the proverbial “blank hits the fan” the stress level goes up. The sim is meant to take you to the very edge of your breaking point and then bring you back. This week I had 4 sim sessions, each 2 hours long as the flying pilot and the non flying pilot (we are all captains in our company). So in the 8 hours of flying time that I had I had ten engine failures, two fires, every electrical issue I could think of and hydraulic system malfunctions. So by the end of the week I’m a little stressed and not sleeping well. I spent 8 years flying for the regional airlines for United. The stress there was just as high with the added pressure of a failure would lead to being fired. Here that stress is not there, did I mention I love my company! To add fuel to the fire, I found out last week that I was promoted and that I would be relocating to Aurora, IL! Ok now my stress level just doubled. This is my first major move, I can’t believe how much has to be done in such a short time. Right now I am working on the bare necessities of life: a place to live! I’m excited as this will be the beginning of a new home and new garage which will be my new RV-8 workshop! I’m sitting on an American MD-80 at FL350 typing this post, gotta love GoGo internet! I look forward to getting home, to see the girlfriend and to get my second box from Van’s aircraft from the FedEx shop (I put the girlfriend first in that list!!). I think a cold margarita is in order tonight for a little de-stressing. Cheers!