This guide was written mainly for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Pilots who are interested in adequately preparing themselves for an airline’s simulator check. Nevertheless, relatively experienced non-RSAF Pilots with no commercial flying experience might find this guide useful as well.
What is a Sim Check
A Sim check is usually scheduled before an airline offers an employment contract to experienced Pilots. If you were an RSAF Pilots joining Scoot or Jetstar Asia, you would definitely be put through a Sim Check in an A320 simulator.
What are they looking for
While the Sim check does not require you to do any studying of the Airbus or airline standard operating procedures as you are only expected to “fly”, it might be useful to read up a little on the SOPs as it might put you in better standing in a competitive job market. That is if you have time.
If you don’t, then the minimum requirement for this Sim check are
- Good airmanship
- Generally good flying
So, if you can do a good take off, show a good scan pattern during turns and landings, do a safe flare and safe landing, you should pass the Sim check.
Format of the Sim Check
While the format will defer from airline to airline, this is generally the profile.
- You will play the role of the Pilot Flying (PF), taking up the right seat.
- You might have a First Officer from the Airline playing support pilot as your “captain”. This “captain” will help you with your flight. Depending on your luck, this First Officer might become your best friend, or your worst enemy.
- Positioned on the runway. Take off. Set power FLEX or TOGA, stay on the centreline, and rotate at Vr. Thereafter, follow the line (SRS) to pitch up (about 15 degrees pitch up). Clean up the aircraft.
- Level off, intercept a radial.
- Radar vectors back to land ILS or Visual Straight in with auto thrust on or off.
- Reposition. Take off again, expect engine failure after V1. Continue with the take off, clean up. ECAM actions if required (should be accomplished by the PM. But if you know how to do it, your chance to shine here).
- Radar vectors back to land ILS or Visual Straight in, with auto thrust on or off.
The best way to get prepared is to fly in an A320 Sim before your Sim check. I’ll recommend getting a ride at HAITE. They are located at Changi Business Park and they operate a CAAS approved full motion simulator. This full motion simulator is generally cheaper to rent than other simulators in Singapore. I’m able to help you get a slot at USD$500 per hour, all in. You can contact me to make a booking.
Videos to Watch
Captain Joe has a series of excellent Youtube videos, great videos for an introduction to the Airbus. Watch this video to understand how to sit properly in the cockpit.
To understand Normal Procedures
This video on Youtube, published by Turkish Airway, is probably the best video to watch. It provides an excellent introduction to the concept of multi-crew operations in an A320.
The above video is the first part of a series of 5 videos. Spend some time watching all 5 parts. Thing to look out for in the video.
- The way the checklists are used. If you can impress your Sim check instructor when you ask for the “After Take-off/Climb checklist” or the “Landing Checklist”, he might ignore some of your errors during the Sim.
- Notice how the Pilot Flying (PF) delegates some of the things that you might be used to doing yourself. Raising the gears, raising the flaps, turning the head “bug” etc.
- Take note of some of the call outs by the PM. So that you don’t get weirded out when you hear them in the Sim for the first time.
To understand how to do Engine Failure after V1
Once again, another Turkish Airline video about Engine Failure after V1. Very accurate and vey useful study video that I still use before going for my regular Base Checks.
Somethings to take note of and hopefully you can do during your simulator check.
- How the PM (the left seat pilot in this video) does the ECAM actions, and how he only does it on the command of the PF. As the PF in the simulator check, you will be expected to command these actions.
- How actions on the thrust lever is to be actioned on by the PF, while the rest of the actions are done by the PM. Also, how some of the actions are done only after confirmation by the other pilot.
- When and how the “after take-off climb checklist” is asked for by the PF.
Other Thing to Research
The PFD is what you will be watching the most in your Sim check. It provides you with valuable information about your airspeed, altitude, attitude and also the Flight Directors. This excellent document by airbusdriver.net gives you a good overview of the symbols and what they mean.
The ND is positioned next to the PFD and provides you with navigation information. There are also a lot of symbols and Colours, so read this document by airbusdriver.net and get familiar with them.
If you watched the videos above, you’ll be wondering about the “checklist”. The checklist is attached below.
The checklist is the paper checklist from Turkish Airways, and is a reasonably generic checklist that most airlines flying the A320 follows. For the purpose of the simulator check, MEMORISE the responses from the following phases.
- Before take-off Checklist
- After take-off climb Checklist
- Approach Checklist
- Landing Checklist
Apps that might help
Yup, there’s an app for that.
A320 cockpit familiarisation. Aerosim Checkride A320. The app isn’t cheap. But nothing in aviation is. The app helped me a lot in getting familiar with the cockpit layout before my checkride. If you’re really committed to this, paying for the app is really a logical investment. Download it now.
A320 flight management familiarisation. The MCDU or Flight Management System is everything on most airline transport jets, including the A320. The Airbus Pilot MCDU App is my go-to app for me to familiarise with the MCDU. Download the Airbus Pilot MCDU App now.
I think that is all you need! Just fly the jet like a good pilot and you should pass! If you want, you can contact me with any questions!