...
...
...

A while ago, I was asked if I wanted to be upgraded to check pilot. This is a level up from Instructor Pilot as a check pilot completes the induction process of new pilots and makes the decision whether a new pilot is ready to go solo for MAF.

A check pilot also conducts twice-yearly checks on every pilot to see if they are still competent and safe in doing their job and developing healthy habits. I felt challenged by it, but also see it as an honour to be able to play a role in MAF like this. So I accepted the challenge and now this week I'm receiving training to be a check pilot.

Today I did my first partial check. A check normally includes a ground part, where questions are asked about flight planning, aircrafts systems and safety, and a flying part. I was asked to do the flying part of the check. So off we went. I let the PUC (pilot under check) take-off and depart as he normally does, and we climbed up to altitude where I put him through a number of flight sequences like manoeuvring in steep turns and stalls, a bad weather scenario with lightning and zero visibility, followed by the simulation of an engine fire. The pilot had to take the appropriate steps and I had to grade his performance every step of the way. The checking progress is very thorough. For example on a check like we did today there are 88 items on which the pilot receives a score. Once a year a pilot receives such a check, called a base check. Then after six months the pilot has a check of another type, called a line check. I will learn more about that later this week.


One of our GA8 Airvans at a bush airstrip

The next day I conducted my first complete base check on one of our newer pilots. For pilots that have only been in the programme for a short period, a check is a great opportunity to show what they have learned in their first period flying solo for MAF. It also provides an opportunity to realign any unhelpful habits that have formed whilst operating an aircraft unsupervised and an opportunity to learn a few things. During the check I was supervised by an experienced check pilot and I was able to get some great feedback on my performance as well.

 
Bad weather on the way

The line check that I would conduct the next day didn't happen because of bad weather.This pilot is based at a remote base, and my supervisor and I had flown to the base hoping we could do his check. Because we flew via a few intermediate stops, I was able to conduct a line check on my supervisor on the way, which meant I experienced doing another check today, so not a wasted day after all!

Tomorrow there is one check left to do, which is a special one. This female pilot is currently using her HR background in her role as HR manager in Arnhem Land, so she is no longer an active line pilot. However she wants to do some outreach flying i.e. fly to an Aboriginal village with a few people and conduct a service or another Christian activity there, sometimes spend the night there and then fly back. Because this is classified as 'private' flying, she only needs to do a few take-offs and landings for her recency, however to help my training I will give her a full base check, under supervision. Hopefully the weather will cooperate!

 

Instagram

...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...