VA Airline Training APS MCC

Without a doubt the highlight of my flight training to date. The moment where it all begins to feel within touching distance. Despite having no passengers in the back and just an instructor, waking up early and getting used to airline flight sectors and rosters really made this course feel like a few weeks on the line in training. I hope the reality isn’t too far away…

I opted to complete an APS MCC due to two main reasons. I first visited VA Airline Training in February 2019 with two friends whom were nearly finished with their training and required a Multi-Crew Cooperation course in order to then apply for their first airline jobs. I was sold by VA straight away, the friendly yet professional atmosphere, the quality of instruction and support and the amazing simulators were extremely attractive. I signed up on the day. Secondly, I opted to complete the APS MCC because I believed that following my MEIR CPL in Poland, it would give me a solid foundation in the Standard Operating Procedures of an airline and allow me to have a greater chance of employment with some of the airlines. I even opted to complete the Ryanair Mentored APS MCC and was successful in the initial assessment required to move on to the Ryanair Mentored APS MCC. It seemed like the best course of action in light of the Covid-19 crisis. Ryanair would surely be one of the first to recruit!

The APS-MCC is a three week intense course. I must admit it was the most intense and demanding part of my flight training to date. However it was also the best part of training and although my training was finally complete, on passing the final assessment, I was somewhat disappointed I could not continue to learn and fly the Boeing 737 (albeit a simulator).

Week one is based upon the theoretical knowledge required to succeed in the course. Great emphasis is placed on the SOP’s (Standard Operating Procedures) and this is vital because all airlines are required to provide clear and strict SOPs that all employees are able to understand and conform to. It enhances safety and ensures everyone is performing in a uniform manner. The importance of the SOPs was demonstrated during this week and we then began to learn the profiles. This is perhaps the most challenging phase of the course because there are varying profiles that must be learnt in order to make the most of the course and succeed. For example, a profile for a standard take-off must be learnt alongside a standard ILS approach, a non-precision approach and varying other profiles common in the airline flight environment.

It’s also a highly entertaining course when instructors come to the front pretending to be cabin crew whilst you perform a NITS brief in a simulated abnormal scenario. The satisfaction from your first reasonable landing is also incredible and the progress made at the end of the course really is something to smile and reflect on.

Perhaps one of the most important parts of the APS MCC is the development of your ability to work and fly as a team. All training prior to the MCC is based upon single pilot flight and suddenly, you are required to act as a pilot monitoring or pilot flying. This proves a huge learning curve but is in fact really enjoyable and rewarding. It’s fantastic to work as a team and learn how to help each other and bring one another into one’s mental model to enhance situational awareness. After all, this is one of the greatest and most beneficial factors in mitigating against human error. A huge thanks to my sim partner throughout the course, Pilot Olivia.

As a Ryanair Mentored Cadet, the SOP’s learnt were of those that Ryanair use in their operations and this itself was exciting and interesting. When Ryanair come to recruit once more, it means that myself and all other Ryanair Mentored Cadets will be called on for assessment and hopefully end up in the flight deck of a Ryanair B737-800 some day soon! Of course I will be returning to VA for some refresher training should I be invited to Dublin.

A massive thanks to VA Airline Training and all whom made the APS MCC the best part of my training to date!

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