Chapter 6: Scripted Pilot Proficiency Checks
- Record of Amendments
- Record of Bulletins
- Chapter 1
- Chapter 2
- Chapter 3
- Chapter 4
- Chapter 5
- Chapter 6
6.2.2 Scenario Details
6.2.3 Initial Scenario Setup for First and Subsequent Legs
6.2.4 Ongoing Scenario Details
6.3.3 Assessment Standards
6.3.4 Flight Planning (FLP)
6.3.5 Pre-flight (PRF)
6.3.6 Engine Start/Depart (ESD)
6.3.7 Taxi-out (TXO)
6.3.8 Takeoff (TOF)
6.3.9 Rejected Take-off (RTO)
6.3.10 Initial Climb (ICL)/En-route Climb (ECL)/Descent (DST)
6.3.11 Steep Turns
6.3.12 Approach to Stall
6.3.14 Approach (APR)
6.3.15 Landings and Missed Approaches
6.3.16 Go-Around (GOA)
6.3.17 Landing (LND)
6.3.18 Taxi-in (TXI)
6.3.20 Automation and Technology
6.3.21 Pilot Not Flying (PNF) Duties
6.3.22 Crew Coordination
6.3.23 Pilot Decision Making
Before the introduction of scripted PPCs, the conduct of simulator PPCs (specifically the determination of the sequence of events during the PPC) was left entirely up to each ACP or CASI (who developed and enhanced their own “scripts” over time). ACP’s were permitted to introduce whatever faults they desired and in whatever order they felt was effective within the ACP Manual guidelines. For new ACPs, development of effective scripts took time, and in many cases this led to significant variations in PPC duration, number and types of faults, locations and routes used, weather set ups, etc. This meant that flight crews could not be assured of a proven and effective scenario and that they could in fact expect just about anything to occur during a PPC. To the operator this meant that PPCs were not standardized making it more difficult to validate competence of their flight crews and verify the effectiveness of training programs. This was especially true for operators with a large number of flight crew.
To address these issues, the National Operations Division of Transport Canada developed and implemented use of the scripted PPC at the request of Air Operators, and the program has evolved to become accepted practice for managing simulator PPC’s.
The experience gained to date suggests that any operator who uses simulators for training and flight checking can benefit from the use of scripted PPCs.
TC has obtained considerable experience in developing and evaluating scripted PPCs and operators can benefit by working cooperatively with their POI during the development and review process.
By participating in this proactive process an ACP and/or Air Operator can be assured that all requirements are satisfied prior to the introduction of the script. The obvious benefit is that the ACP and/or Air Operator can avoid involving the flight crew in a potential conflict at a critical phase in the qualification process. For example, if during an inspection or audit it is noted that a PPC script is missing mandatory events, and the script has not been accepted by Transport Canada, the department would have no choice but to invalidate Flight Checks that had been conducted using that script. This would require the Flight Checks to be redone.
Accepted scripts are also more likely to take advantage of reduced checking requirements permitted in the CASS, specifically Flight Checks conducted under the crew concept. The operator is therefore assured that all appropriate training and qualification tracking procedures are properly addressed.
An ACP and/or Air Operator’s aircraft type specialists (experienced in training and Flight Checking) are normally responsible for the development of scripted PPCs. There are occasions, however, when CASIs may be required to develop, or assist in the development, of scripts for new aircraft types, companies and simulator locations.
At least two scripts will be developed for initial PPCs and two scripts for recurrent PPCs for each aircraft type. In addition, one initial and one recurrent script must be developed for
- PPCs conduct on a crew made up of two captains or two first officers, as dictated by the company, and
- single pilot PPCs.
These may take the form of an addendum to an existing script.
Where an operator conducts any annual checks the operator must have a process to ensure crews receive alternating scripts. To achieve this objective scripts must meet the following guidelines:
- scripts must be identified by number(s) or letter(s) or a combination thereof,
- scripts must have a defined 6-month validity period,
- where the operator does not track annual checking requirements by any other means, the script used must be identified in the “SCRIPT ID NO.” section of the 0249 forms, and a copy of the 0249 must be retained in each pilots training file, and
- re-qualification scripts that address all missed annual check requirements must be available for candidates whose qualifications have lapsed.
Annual checking exercises include takeoff at minimum visibility, Cat II and/or Cat III approaches and circling approach where applicable. These must be done annually and there is no extension provision.
Initial scripts will be reviewed and amended as required but, as a minimum, must be reviewed every two years.
Recurrent scripts will be changed at a frequency that coincides with PPC validity for company flight crew as follows:
- every six months for 705 operators. Re-qualification scripts may be required if the operator conducts any annual qualification on alternating scripts.;
- every 12 months for 702, 703 or 704 operators whose flight crew undergo an annual PPC; and
- every 24 months for 702, 703 or 704 operators whose flight crew undergo a PPC every 2 years.
The intent of this subsection is that a PPC script not be given to a candidate more than once. ACP’s and/or Air Operators will maintain copies of scripted PPCs for a period of 2 years after expiry. ACP’s and/or Air Operators are encouraged to develop a company standard format that meets the criteria defined here.
All scripts will contain the following minimum information, where applicable:
- company name;
- aircraft type;
- validity period – from and to dates (initial – 2 years; recurrent – 6, 12, 24 months as applicable);
- identification of the simulator(s) to which the script is applicable;
- an identification number or letter for each script;
- identification of initial or recurrent scripts;
- identification of the company manuals in which scripts are contained;
- page numbering (i.e., 1 of 10);
- departure flight plan information;
- initial departure load information;
- applicable weather;
- script activity summary page;
- amendment numbering (if required);
- briefing notes;
- identification of any differences between the simulator and the company’s aircraft;
- 26-0249 completion details (if required); and
- a detailed scenario of PPC activities.
Each portion of the PPC should be described in sufficient detail to ensure that no doubt exists regarding the set-up of the simulator and the information given to candidates prior to, during, and upon completion of each exercise. This includes PF/PNF as applicable.
Script scenarios must provide sufficient clarity to preclude any confusion that may jeopardize the successful completion of the exercises. Scripts must be sufficiently detailed to eliminate the requirement for additional non-scripted input by the ACP. These objectives facilitate the ACP monitoring process by making adherence to the script a straightforward exercise.
The items listed below are considered the minimum and may require additional information in some cases.
The objective is to clearly describe the PPC scenario in a manner that eliminates any confusion on the part of the flight crew or the ACP. The following contains those items included in a script at the start of each leg:
- all normal preflight crew information including weather and NOTAMS (initial leg only);
- departure weather only is required for subsequent legs;
- simulator settings such as aircraft position;
- weather settings to include wind, altimeter, ceiling, visibility, RVR, temperature, precipitation, cloud height, temperature aloft, wind shear, and temperature gradient;
- runway in use and runway conditions;
- runway lighting;
- day or night settings;
- fuel on board including fuel distribution;
- MEL item simulator configuration;
- Navigation facilities configuration;
- aircraft weights including aircraft zero fuel weight, load and distribution;
- V speeds (if not crew derived);
- thrust settings (if not crew derived);
- trim settings (if not crew derived);
- any notes regarding items which may require verification prior to flight, and
- where significant simulator changes are required; the script should provide a quick configuration checklist to preclude overlooking significant items. It is suggested that on each of these occasions, should the situation warrant, the ACP should accept responsibility for any items missed. This relieves the crew from trying to find the one thing they may have missed and helps speed the next departure.
The following contains those items that describe the ongoing activities once the crew is airborne:
- method of disseminating weather information (i.e., ATIS);
- simulator weather settings such as wind, altimeter, ceiling, visibility, RVR, temperature, precipitation, cloud height, temperature aloft, wind shear, and temperature gradient;
- runway in use and runway conditions, runway lighting day or night settings;
- MEL item simulator configuration;
- navigation facilities configuration;
- clear identification of the fault; including notes specific to each simulator to which the script is applicable;
- clear identification of when the fault is introduced and removed or modified; and
- all relevant ATC clearances or communications.
PPC activities are specified in the appropriate CASS schedule.
This section will discuss how these requirements permit significant latitude in the design of a scripted PPC. Recurrent scripts are valid for a limited time and therefore past scripts will always form the basis for analysing and creating new scripts. In this regard, the assessment of flight crew is an ongoing process and scripts should reflect this philosophy.
By far the most significant assessment is one where the candidate demonstrates an understanding and application of learned techniques and procedures. Duplication of training day faults does not allow assessment of the application of learned techniques and procedures to new situations. It is therefore strongly recommended that scripts include similar but not the exact fault or approach from the training day.
In addition to the required items specified in section 4.5.1, a PPC Briefing Guide has been prepared that further expands on briefing requirements. This guide can be found in Appendix F. It is suggested that the information presented in the guide be considered when developing a script briefing. Briefing notes should also indicate what information is not to be included. Operators should remember that the script is not to be briefed in detail but a required item/event list can be briefed if desired.
6.3.3 Assessment Standards
The following information recognizes that flight crews undergoing PPCs have successfully completed an approved ground and simulator training program. To evaluate each specific item, the PPC will be conducted in a manner that enables the crew to demonstrate their knowledge and skill and the ACP to effectively assess these skills. All items/events are to be evaluated against the performance criteria specified in the Pilot Proficiency Check and Aircraft Type Rating Flight Test Guide.
All relevant company flight planning information will be made available to crews as part of the scripted PPC. This includes all computerized flight planning information and computer generated takeoff performance data where applicable. This not only permits the crew to become familiar with the initial departure but reviewing this information gives the crew an opportunity to relax while performing normal crew duties.
Where the flight crew normally develops departure information such as V speeds, thrust settings and so-forth the required information to create this data will form part of the script.
The initial flight leg must be conducted from either an “originating” or “through” state and this will be specified in the script. Scripts should not contain preflight cockpit setup faults. The reason for this is twofold. First, the simulator is very often different from the company’s aircraft in some regard. Secondly, most simulators have more than their share of minor warm-up problems. This combination can very often contribute to the nervousness of the flight crew and make the assessment more difficult. It is far more effective to ensure the crew become comfortable and observe normal cockpit activities.
Engine start faults are not encouraged, as crews are normally nervous in the first few minutes of the PPC. By giving the crews this period to settle down it reduces the opportunity for problems with the first takeoff event. Furthermore, it reduces the stress on an ACP who may be forced to fail a crew for mishandling an event shortly after starting the PPC.
Initial scripts for 2 captains do not require a cockpit setup and departure taxiing for each captain, as this would make the PPC excessively lengthy. It is acceptable for the second captain to start from the runway with the engines running.
Scripts will include a portion of the taxi from the gate to the runway, including where possible, a runway incursion potential at a complicated intersection. In some cases an excessively long taxi is required and the script will identify if a reposition is permitted. If this is the case, the reposition should follow all normal pre-takeoff activities.
Where 2 captains are undergoing an initial PPC, the first captain does the engine start/depart and taxi-out while the second captain should conduct a taxi-in and ramp shutdown.
Identify in the script if it is acceptable to assist in taxi orientation by reducing the visibility gradually as the aircraft approaches the runway. Except for the very first takeoff, it is acceptable to reposition the aircraft to the button of the runway with the engines running and setup for departure from that point.
For initial PPCs the initial cockpit setup and taxi should not have any faults introduced unless they are MEL items and have been discussed in the briefing.
Recurrent scripts may introduce faults during taxi that lead to an evacuation. This moves the evacuation to a new area and defines this procedure by itself without having it preceded by an RTO or landing.
It should be noted that a takeoff with an engine failure above V1 is mandatory while an engine failure on the missed approach is not. The V1 event is not required at the operator’s lowest RVR minima. V1 engine failures may occur between V1 and 50 feet RA. It is not acceptable to introduce a fire only as the V1 event must introduce a thrust asymmetry by 50 feet RA.
Most scripts will include only one takeoff configuration since in most cases the simulator scene has an excess of runway for normal PPC weights. However, it is recommended that both initial and recurrent scripts make use of all operational flap settings where they require different operational techniques, limitations, procedures or crew knowledge.
Scripts must also address minimum visibility take-off requirements for all crewmembers. Where applicable, the operator must ensure that PPCs are scheduled such that Captain annual 600 RVR requirements will be met. This is one reason that PPCs have validity periods and why operators are encouraged to clearly identify scripts and record this information on the 0249 form. It is also why training periods should be permanently designated. Moveable windows will make scheduling and scripting very difficult and will result in mandatory checks being missed for some crewmembers.
It is desirable to introduce more than one type of fault that initiates the RTO procedure. In reality, a great many faults may cause a reject. These can be engine fires without a failure, engine compressor stall, crew incapacitation, or some other system fault necessitating a reject. It is recommended that the flight training program and operator SOPs be consulted for additional checking considerations.
Where applicable, it is desirable to have the reject occur during the first officer’s pilot flying leg on occasion. This adds realism and evaluates the crew control hand-over.
Scripts should utilize a SID, where available, and will include departure instructions for each leg. ATC clearances will respect all applicable Noise Abatement Procedures.
STAR transitions are normally too long to accomplish effectively in most scripts. A transition to an approach via a hold at the FAF should be introduced where the operator conducts approaches that do not have published transitions and are not in a radar-controlled environment.
6.3.11 Steep Turns
These requirements are withdrawn provided the ACP and/or Air Operator complies with the stipulated conditions. This is highly recommended since this skill is normally well honed during training and uses valuable PPC time better used elsewhere.
These requirements are withdrawn provided the operator complies with the stipulated conditions. Where required, this sequence is best done after the initial departure and prior to any faults being introduced.
Scripts require at least one complete hold with the aircraft passing twice over the holding fix (once on initial entry and the second after completion of the entry pattern). Crews flying FMS equipped aircraft need only fly the hold once, as the second hold may be a programming exercise only.
This is normally a straightforward exercise and is therefore a good location to introduce faults without overloading the crew. Scripts should, over a period of time, address most of the hold types listed below:
- PUBLISHED/enroute/intersection; or
- FAF/with a transition to the approach.
In addition to the above, FMS aircraft types may introduce holds at the following waypoints created by the crew:
- DATABASE/ including modifications to the stored hold; or
- CENTELINE FIX/ with a transition to the approach.
Category II and III Approaches
To make full use of simulator time operators should plan to introduce a minor fault prior to the Cat II or III approach to permit observation of the crew’s ability to assess the approach capability of the aircraft, if possible.
Both landings and missed approaches should be scripted to keep variety and decision making a part of the qualification process. Variety should be used when scripting the need for a missed approach. Missed approach events should be introduced within 50 feet of DH or alert height.
The airports used during the PPC limit the variety and realism of non-precision approaches. It is desirable to mix the type of non-precision given each crew member where possible. If the captain was given an NDB in script 1 then script 2 should be something other than an NDB approach. Scripts should also reflect the use of flight management technology, if appropriate.
Pilot Monitored Approaches
Where an air operator requires the F/O to fly the approach to a decision point/height the following criteria must be considered in preparing scripted activities.
Initial CAT II and/or III Qualification
The F/O will fly the approach and missed approach until such time as the Captain makes the “land” decision and takes control of the aircraft.
In scripting the requirements for Schedule 1,(2) (f)(vi) the following additional Schedule 1 requirements may be met for each crew-member.
Schedule 1 Flight Test Report Captain First Officer (2)(f)(i) normal landing 5A YES NO (2)(f)(ii) IMC landing 5E YES (if not auto-land) NO (2)(f)(iii) X-wind landing 5A YES (if X-wind) NO (2)(f)(v) missed approach 4D, 4E NO YES (2)(f)(vii) manual landing YES (if not auto-land) NO (2)(d)(iii) 2 approaches 4B, C NO NO
Recurrent CAT II and/or III Qualification
The above chart will apply with the exception of (2)(f)(v). Therefore a missed approach must be scripted elsewhere for the F/O.
CAT I Approaches
Where an Air Operator always conducts PMA approaches, all approaches will be scripted accordingly. However, some Air Operators may conduct PMA approaches only under certain conditions. When this is the case, the PPC script will provide at least one approach where the Pilot Flying (PF) both flies the approach and transitions to a visual manual landing.
Where authorized, circling approaches are an annual requirement and may include a landing off the approach or a rejected landing from 50 feet. Where a rejected landing/missed approach is desired scripts should ensure that missed approach instructions are clearly defined.
It is possible to integrate a landing off the non-precision approach in a script. This is the best way to assess of the effectiveness of the non-precision approach and will introduce some variety into the script while meeting the requirement for a landing without the use of an auto-flight.
A missed approach with an engine failure is not mandatory. Therefore, it is reasonable to conduct a normal published missed approach. It is reasonable to continue the missed approach to a hold at the clearance limit. This provides effective assessment of a probable situation especially for those operators that conduct approaches in uncontrolled airspace or outside of radar control.
It is also strongly recommended that engine failures, when planned, occur at a variety of points during the missed approach. Each script should clearly specify the window within which the ACP should fail the engine. The window should be unique to each script and crewmember.
Missed approaches may be introduced in a number of ways. The two most common are through ATC or due to lack of acquisition of the runway environment. It is also possible for equipment failures such as navigation aid failure to force a missed approach and this level of variety should be sought where possible.
The crosswind requirements for a landing are 10 knots. It is suggested that this not always be a 90 degree wind at 10 knots. It is desirable to have the wind at some other angle and at a higher speed.
Some simulators will shift the upper winds as the surface winds are modified. If the simulator does not do this automatically the upper winds should be reviewed to ensure a significant wind shear is not inadvertently introduced.
It is desirable to have a normal taxi-in and gate shutdown procedures for initial PPCs.
Where 2 captains are undergoing an initial PPC, the first captain does the cockpit setup and departure while the second should conduct a taxi-in and ramp shutdown.
The introduction of the system faults requires the greatest planning in the creation of a script. The major criterion is that the faults be realistic and not lead to multiple unrelated failures. The type and number of faults is also an area of significant discussion. An ACP and/or Air Operator may wish to cover every exercise in the QRH over a period of time while others will be restricted somewhat by the complexity of the aircraft, the fidelity of the simulator, and time limitations. The general consensus is one major and one minor abnormal per PF.
Given the vast differences in aircraft types specific guidelines are not possible. However, the following should provide some direction:
- Minor Abnormal: The aircraft system fault requires crew recognition and simple action(s) to remedy. The fault is related to a single system or has minimal impact on crew or aircraft operations;
Major Abnormal: The aircraft system fault requires crew recognition and action. The fault may affect several systems and affects crew and aircraft operations;
Note 1: Faults that do not require crew action, advisory or crew awareness messages, will not be considered to meet this standard unless subsequent aircraft operation is affected.
Note 2: A Medical emergency will not be considered an aircraft abnormal but may be recorded as a fault under the Flight Test Report, section 6 for tracking purposes.
- where a choice of faults exists the most demanding and assessable fault should be chosen;
- faults should be introduced at a time where they can be followed to their logical conclusion;
- no unwarranted actions or events will be introduced for training or exposure purposes. Training credits cannot be obtained during the PPC;
- dual failures are acceptable where a single QRH or ECAM/EICAS procedure exists to correct the fault;
- multiple failures are acceptable where they are the result of a single failure such as an engine failure. A second unrelated fault might be introduced where the first fault has been actioned and is benign for the remainder of the leg;
- system faults should change with each recurrent script period and may be compatible with the recurrent training matrix, if applicable. The exact fault from training day is not recommended. In addition, faults from systems not on the training matrix for that period should also be introduced;
- system faults should be different for each recurrent script;
- system faults should be different for each crew member;
- fault pick lists may be used provided each list is identified and once selected the ACP continues with the fault on that list. ie. Option A or B lists may be incorporated but once the ACP starts on the A list he must continue with the A list; and
- engine fires and or fire/failures are required by regulation and do not count as system abnormalities.
The introduction of new technology has redefined the way a great many tasks are accomplished on the flight deck. Effective assessment of this area requires assessment of the crew’s inherent understanding of the system operation and how to properly manage both the technology and the flight deck. Meeting this objective requires the introduction of some challenge to the flight crew beyond normal operations. This may be completed by requiring a simple task such as programming an offset, or a crossing restriction, to a complex task requiring the manual creation of a way-point for a holding fix or the complete loss of part of the flight management or other integrated system.
Events should also be considered to provide realistic opportunities for autopilot off flight operations. This will permit assessment of crew coordination during the different FCU/MCDU operational philosophies.
Two crew scripts offer a significant opportunity for the PNF to demonstrate his/her ability. However, single crewmember PPC scripts should identify a scenario for the assessment of PNF duties. This cannot be accomplished by merely handing over control to the other pilot for a period of time while airborne. It is recommended that crewmembers operate at least one flight leg from takeoff to touchdown as PNF. During this leg an abnormal or emergency must be introduced.
It is also recommended that scripts allow flight crew to alternate PF duties with each leg thus allowing crewmembers both PF and PNF activities before the break. This provides some variety that can keep crews focused on all the tasks at hand. Operators may also have the first officer fly the first leg for added variety.
Scripts must permit effective assessment of flight crew coordination. This can only be accomplished by realistic and timely scripts and is one of the reasons that freezes, repositions, and resets are best avoided.
Scripts should provide adequate opportunity for each pilot to demonstrate the ability to make timely and effective decisions and to delegate tasks to other crewmembers. Where scripts provide opportunity for crews to request options, the desired option/information should be provided in the script.
This is a significant challenge since it is in our nature to become familiar and accepting of the status quo. As discussed earlier, ACP’s must accept the reality that a PPC permits assessment of but a few abnormal exercises. ACP’s must therefore expect that constant repetition of the same types of scenarios will, over time, tend to shift the focus of training towards excellence in these few areas.
Scripts should attempt to cover new areas wherever and whenever possible, to ensure that the training is driven by overall proficiency, and to broaden the scope of the flight crew assessment. This may require that an exercise of lesser difficulty replace the previous fault. Provided this is part of the ongoing diversity of the recurrent scripts, this will tend to enhance the scope of training and proficiency.
Realistic scenarios are a top priority when reviewing or developing a script. ACP’s should therefore address as many real world criteria as feasible and eliminate resets, freezes and repositions, if at all possible. It is also crucial that all contact with outside agencies occur in a realistic method and time frame.
For example, it is unrealistic for emergency response vehicles to leave the station and give feedback to the flight deck in less than 2 minutes following a rejected takeoff. Therefore, any feedback that is given to the pilots should be in a realistic form such as stating: “ The first officer sees smoke and flame from the #2 engine when he looks out his window”, or “The in-charge flight attendant calls to say that the left wing is on fire.” These are realistic, timely and appropriate scripted responses.
6.4.3 Training Effects
Despite the fact that a PPC is an assessment tool, there is always an element of training, and more significantly, a reinforcement of training that occurred prior to the PPC. A script should therefore support effective training and safe, logical operating practices.
One of the characteristics a script must avoid at all costs is a negative training effect. This is most often the result of having a fault removed and the exercise completed before it normally would be in the aircraft. Consider, for example, the case where a crew conducts an RTO due to an engine fire. In this case the exercise was simply to see the RTO and so the procedure is called complete after the aircraft comes to a stop. Yes, the RTO was validated but what behaviour was reinforced in the crew by not completing the fire drill? Did the rescue vehicles respond, and if so, how quickly? Was this realistic? Did this set an unrealistic time frame in the crew’s mind? A script that requires cessation of an exercise before it’s logical and realistic conclusion should be reviewed carefully for any negative impact it may have on future crew behaviour.
A PPC can also reinforce negative behaviour when it always asks for the same reaction to a decision process. Always evacuating after an RTO or always landing from a specific approach could cause this. Events requiring a decision by the flight crew should always demand that crews make a decision and not be lead into a repetitive regime.
This characteristic speaks in many ways to the effectiveness of the script. A good script will balance the needs of the person doing the assessing, the desire of the crew to be challenged, and the need to leave the crew with an experience that gives them the confidence they need to return to line duties feeling comfortable in their abilities.
6.5 REFERENCE MATERIAL
The following is a list of the required reference material to assist in the development and review of a scripted PPC.
CAR 705 and 704 Personnel requirements – Pilot qualifications Specifies requirement for a PPC, refers to CASS CASS 725 and 724 Pilot qualifications.1 Specifies general requirements, refers to Schedule 1 CASS 725 and 724 Schedules 1 Specifies the requirements for PPC content ACP Manual TP 6533 Chapter 4 specifies assessment guidelines PPC and ATR FTG Specifies assessment standards Company Training Manuals Specify approved training program Company Approach Plates Required to review clearances and procedures Simulator Scene and Fault Guide
- Required to determine simulator capabilities such as:
- faults available·
- scenes available·
- weather capabilities·
- navigation database available
Company Flight Operations Manual
- Required reference material for operations specifications, and operations procedures
Aircraft Operating Manuals
- FCOM or AOM ·
- must be current and company specific ·
- Aircraft Operating Manuals must be company aircraft envelope volumes
Recurrent scripts for the past 2 years Provides the details of the previous simulator PPC activities Prior and current initial scripts Details initial PPC program TC AIM Reference material CAP General Reference material
An ACP’s and/or Air Operator has the following responsibilities:
- develop scripted PPCs for each aircraft type;
- submit scripts to the POI for review and acceptance a minimum of 30 days (90 days preferred) before the start date;
- assign a contact person responsible for the review/development process;
- make all relevant reference material available or submit it with the scripts;
- develop a process to test fly the scripts before the start date, if practicable. This may or may not be monitored by TC;
- keep a file of all the scripts each aircraft type for a period of not less than two years after the expiration date;
- ensure that scripts and any amendments are distributed to all company Type A ACPs;
- ensure that all feedback from the check pilots & flight crew regarding scripts is addressed in a timely manner;
- follow up on any lessons learned at the end of the usage period;
- ensure all check pilots are aware of the correct procedures for the use of a script;
- ensure all script amendments are issued to all ACPs and TC CASI; and
- ensure all ACPs adhere to the script.
Transport Canada has the following responsibilities:
- the Issuing Authority/POI will assign a type-qualified inspector to review the script(s);
- the inspector will review the script(s) and initiate feedback to the operator, keeping the POI informed, until the scripts are acceptable;
- the inspector should monitor a trial of all new scripts, or assign a company representative to provide feedback, as soon as possible after their introduction. This may coincide with normal PPC monitoring activities;
- the inspector will forward copies of the accepted scripts to the POI;
- the POI will send a letter to the operator indicating that the scripts are acceptable and specifying the validity period; and
- the POI will ensure that copies of acceptable scripts are distributed to each base.
The development process is quite demanding and requires considerable attention to detail and an organized review process. Operators are encouraged to have scripts developed by small teams of two or three ACPs. Teams should be assigned to work on new scripts six months before the script will become effective.
Developing new scripts is best started with a review of the scripts used for the last two years. In addition, it is recommended that ACP’s and/or Air Operators review problem areas that they wish to include in the next training checking cycle.
After completion of the script it is recommended that a thorough review take place before submission to the POI. The following sections will provide some information on areas common to all scripts.
The choice of locations must meet company requirements and be available in the simulator database. It is suggested that a nearby city pair be used if possible and that the city pairs be varied from one script to the next.
Ideally, identification of major differences in FMGS database should be noted where the company’s database is not loaded for the PPC.
Differences between the aircraft and the simulator should be noted on the script and passed to the crew before the PPC.
The script must meet the CARS/CASS mandatory items. It is suggested that the company operations specifications be reviewed to determine what special requirements exist, such as circling or 600 RVR checks.
It is suggested that the CARS/CASS requirements be listed in point form for each crewmember. The script should then be reviewed to ensure that each mandatory item is conducted. Having a well-written script summary page simplifies this process.
Review the list of faults assigned to each crew to determine if they meet the requirements and ensure the workload is evenly distributed. Reviewing past scripts can provide opportunities to assign faults to crewmembers as PF, who have always handled the fault as PNF, for example.
The simulator fault guide should be consulted to ensure the faults listed are possible and duplicate the desired fault.
Airbus simulators contain a variety of FWC standards and this may play a role in the PPC. Differences are sometimes difficult to note, but where major differences become apparent the briefing notes should indicate the differences.
Does the script clearly define where activities start and stop? Is it detailed enough that you could run the simulator and have no doubt about when each activity is to be accomplished?
This is a difficult area to quantify but now that the basics of the script are reviewed and acceptable, the flow and pace of the script should be reviewed. This is best done with a view to making the scenarios flow as much as a line flight as is possible. The following questions can help in this regard.
- Are there any resets, and if so, can they be eliminated by changing the order or position of an event?
- Do faults occur in the same place consistently or would it be logical to assume the fault could occur elsewhere? Is this possible?
This is a test of every part of the script. Errors often occur in clearances and simulator setups. Does the weather in the setup match that required in the approach plate?
This review determines that the activities are set to meet the criteria but are not more difficult than required. The script should keep the flight crew challenged but periods of high workload should be distributed where possible. Are there periods where the flight crew can relax for even a minute? If not, then the script should be modified to provide some time to collect their thoughts. Time is perceived differently by crew and ACP and what seems like a long time of inactivity can, in fact, be only 30 seconds.
Does the script meet the time criteria? This is best done in the simulator but can be done if each leg is timed out and the total time calculated. This is also an opportunity to again ensure that events are not too rushed.
Where it is practical a CASI should be available during the script trial. Whether this is done by using the script to qualify a line crew or as part of a review trial is up to the ACP and/or Air Operator. Some ACP’s and/or Air Operator’s trial run the new scripts on annual ACP check-rides with TC present. This achieves both the evaluation and the monitoring goals and has worked quite well. If the scripts are prepared well in advance of the introduction date this is almost always possible. It should be noted that for timing purposes the trial PPC flown by an ACP(s) should be completed with at least one half hour to spare. This accounts for the extra time needed by the average line crew.
The most important aspect of a trial is to establish an accurate time criteria and verify simulator operation. As the script progresses, any areas of concern should be noted and solutions defined. Attention should be paid to how the simulator reacts to each fault, to ensure it accurately reflects the company’s aircraft. Differences in the operation and configuration of each simulator the company has identified for use, should also be noted.
This is also an excellent time to review the exact simulator button/switch that commands the desired fault. Some simulators have more than one way to enter a fault but each way produces a different reaction. Scripts should include this level of detail where problems may arise or the action is not intuitive.
6.7.11 Acceptance Process
The cooperative nature of the script development process makes it difficult to define one process that will work for every operator and aircraft type. It should always be remembered that a proactive system would be the most rewarding and effective way to meet the significant challenges of building a script. The key is to keep the lines of communication open and always work towards the net objectives.
It is normal practice for TC to accept the PPC scripts without reviewing minute details of the script such as every clearance and simulator setup. This requires the ACP and/or Air Operator to change the script as required and this is acceptable provided the following conditions are met:
- the ACP and/or Air Operator will identify the person in charge of amending the script,
- all required changes are forwarded to this person who will issue an amendment to each ACP and forward a copy to the POI, and
- all ACPs will use the amended copy.
Just A Reminder
Always try to:
- provide consistent, fair and effective flight crew assessment scenarios;
- provide a positive and realistic experience for flight crews;
- utilize available technology to the maximum;
- enhance and encourage effective CRM practices during PPC activities; and
encourage effective training through standardized evaluation processes.