Real Answers from Real Pilots

FAR/AIM and Sims

Hey Everyone!

As I go through my PPL ground lessons, we get assigned reading assignments in the AIM. When you go to an airline, how much do they test your knowledge on the FAR/AIM? I was told that it never goes away and that it’s a pilot’s bible.

Also, how realistic are the Level D sims compared to the actual aircraft? To my understanding, you do all your training in a sim and get sent to fly trips without stepping into the actual aircraft.

As always, thank you!
Yuran

Yuran,

The FAR/AIM IS the pilot’s bible, more accurately it’s the OFFICIAL FAA rules and regulations and governs EVERYTHING we do as pilots. Violate one and all you hard work, time and effort (and of course money invested) can go “poof” and disappear! The thing about the FAR/AIM is it covers all flying and all operations much of which doesn’t concern us as airline pilots (PPL, instruction, other classes of aircraft, etc). Once you get to an airline you are obviously responsible to know all the material that pertains to you and the operation as an airline pilot. All airlines equip their pilots with a manual called the FOM (Flight Operations Manual). Each is unique to each airline and contains specifics regarding that airlines operation. It included everything from the companies security policies, approach minimums, and dress code. ALSO in there you’ll often find the relevant pieces of the FAR/AIM that effect that you as an airline pilot. So while you will not be tested on the FAR/AIM specifically, you will be tested on the FOM which is kind of the same thing.

Modern Level D sims are incredibly realistic right down to the visuals and yes you will do ALL your training in the sim. They are full motion (some people get sim sick) and allow you to practice things that you could not safely in the actual aircraft (my last recurrent we replicated the Air France 447 stall/crash). The first time you actually touch the controls of the real airplane you will have a load of passengers sitting behind you (which you’ll quickly forget because you’ll be so overwhelmed by the experience). They are really are amazing machines. My only critique is the flight controls are often more sensitive than the actual plane and most find the real planes easier to fly.

Adam

Adam,

It’s interesting to hear about the FOM. I just figured that dress code and similar items were just part of the code of conduct (had to know it, but not be tested on it. Break a rule, get slap on the wrist and try not to be a repeat offender). Thanks for the info!

As far as the sim goes, I knew there would be some discrepancies, but wasn’t sure where it would lie. How was your very first flight at Xjt with passengers on board? Must’ve been one those flights that you’d never forget, just like your first solo!

Yuran

Yuran,

I generally make a point of NOT breaking a rule and avoiding the slap on the wrist altogether. Repeat goes without saying.

I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but comparing my first solo to my first flight in the RJ is like comparing my first kiss with my wedding day! While I guess they’re similar you’re talking about a completely different level. Don’t get me wrong my first solo was a great accomplishment but let’s be honest, there are plenty of people who solo a Cessna. Sitting in a jet painted in Continental colors in uniform on a runway at Newark Liberty International Airport where I’d seen planes take off since I was a child was the manifestation and realization of dream that was 30yrs in the making. To this day I look up, see large jets pass overhead and I still can’t believe I actually do that! The first time I had actually done it for real I honestly don’t have the words to express the level of emotion other than to say it was a very good day :slight_smile:

Adam

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Adam,

I never really thought about it that way! It’s a completely different experience for sure! Something I look forward, but for now, I’m going to try and soak up as much as possible and enjoy where I am. Though I won’t finish in as fast as an ATP student, I believe that I’ll get there soon!

Side Note: Hawaiian has always been a place where I would potentially want to be at. So, who knows, you just might be the captain sitting next to me if I get the privilege of being hired by them! :smiley: For now, I’m just going to enjoy training and retain as much info as possible!

Yuran