Approved Check Pilot (ACP) / Advanced Qualification Program (AQP) Evaluator Bulletin - No. 04/20
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Subject: Scripted pilot proficiency checks (PPCs) - Aeroplanes
- A - Introduction
- B - Development, Review and Acceptance
- C - Required Scripted PPCs
- D - Consistent Format / Required Content
- E - Scripted PPC Activities
- Value of Past Recurrent Scripted PPCs
- Candidate Eligibility & Flight Check Briefing Notes
- Flight Test Exercises
- 1 - Technical Knowledge
- 2 - Flight Planning (FLP)
- 3 - Pre-flight (PRF)
- 4 - Engine Start / Depart (ESD)
- 5 - Taxi-out (TXO)
- 6 - Takeoff (TOF)
- 7 - Rejected Take-off (RTO)
- 8 - Initial Climb (ICL)
- 9 - En-route Climb (ECL)
- 10 - Cruise (CRZ)
- 11 - Steep Turns
- 12 - Approach to Stall
- 13 - Holding
- 14 - Descent (DST)
- 15 & 16 - Approach (APR)
- 17 - Go-Around (GOA)
- 18 - Landing (LND)
- 19 - Ground Arrival (Taxi-in)
- 20 - Flight Close (FLC)
- 21 - Pilot Monitor (PM) Duties
- 22 - Engine Failure
- 23 to 27 - Abnormal / Emergency
- (A) - Additional Flight Test Exercise - Rejected Landing 50 Ft
- (B) - Additional Flight Test Exercise - Power Loss on Initial Climb (ICL)
- Crew Coordination
- Pilot Decision Making
- F - Characteristic of Effective Scripted PPCs
- G - Reference Material
- H - Scripted PPC Development Process
- I - Developing Scripted PPCs
- J - Final Considerations
This purpose of this bulletin is to provide guidance on developing and managing scripted PPCs.
Guidance on scripted Pilot Proficiency Checks (PPCs) was previously provided in chapter 6 of the Approved Check Pilot (ACP) Manual (9th Edition). This information is not provided in the current ACP Manual (i.e., 10th Edition). Instead, ACP Bulletin No. 02/17 originally provided a web link to the original (unedited) information.
Transport Canada is in the process of updating web-based information associated with the Approved Check Pilot Program and the link to scripted PPC guidance (provided in ACP/AQP Bulletin No. 02/17) has been removed.
The joint TCCA / industry working group (see ACP/AQP Bulletin No. 01/20) will examine the relevance and effectiveness of current checking practices (including PPCs) in commercial aviation. For this reason, scripted PPC guidance provided here has not been significantly amended nor has it been expanded to include PPCs conducted on helicopters in full flight simulators.
A - Introduction
Before the introduction of scripted Pilot Proficiency Checks (PPCs), the conduct of simulator PPCs (specifically the determination of the sequence of events during the PPC) was left up to each Approved Check Pilot (ACP) or Civil Aviation Safety Inspector (CASI) who developed and enhanced their own “scripts” over time. ACPs and CASIs were permitted to introduce whatever faults they desired and in whatever order they felt was effective and consistent within guidelines provided in the Approved Check Pilot (ACP) Manual.
The development of effective scripts took time and, in many cases, led to significant variations in PPC duration, the number and types of faults, routings, and weather. This meant that pilot candidates were subjected to a variety of scenarios.
For air operators, having the competency of their pilots consistently validated and verify the effectiveness of their training programs was more challenged. This was especially true for air operators with a large number of pilots.
Some time ago, to address these issues, Transport Canada’s National Operations division developed guidance and implemented the use of scripted PPCs for CARs Subpart 705 air operators. This program evolved to become accepted practice for managing simulator-based aeroplane PPCs in general.
The experience gained to date suggests that any air operator who uses simulators for aeroplane training and flight checking would benefit from the use of scripted PPCs.
B - Development, Review and Acceptance
Transport Canada has obtained considerable experience with the develop, evaluation and acceptance of scripted PPCs. Air operators can benefit by working cooperatively with their Transport Canada Principle Operations Inspector (POI) during the development and evaluation process.
By participating in a proactive process, an ACP and/or air operator can be assured that all flight check requirements are satisfied prior to the introduction of a scripted PPC(s). The obvious benefit is that an ACP and/or air operator can avoid potential conflicts at a critical phase during the pilot qualification process. For example, if during an inspection or audit it is discovered that an individual PPC or scripted PPC is missing mandatory events and the script had not been accepted by Transport Canada, the department would have no choice but to invalidate the PPC(s). This situation would be avoided by way of the script acceptance process.
Accepted scripted PPCs are more likely to take advantage of reduced checking requirements permitted in the Commercial Air Service Standard (CASS), specifically PPCs conducted under the multi-crew concept as discussed in the ACP Manual.
Note: Some Transport Canada Regions and/or National Operations may provide enhanced review processes such that Scripted PPCs will be approved as opposed to accepted.
C - Required Scripted PPCs
An ACP and/or an air operator’s aircraft type specialist (i.e., individual experienced in training and flight checking) are normally responsible for the development of scripted PPCs. There are occasions, however, when a Transport Canada CASI may be required to develop or assist in the development. The entry into service of a new aircraft type, the establishment if a new air operator certificate (AOC) or new simulator training/checking facilities are a few examples.
Multiple / Coordinated Scripted PPCs
At least two (2) scripted PPCs will be developed for initial PPCs for each aircraft type. At least two (2) scripted PPCs will be developed for recurrent PPCs for each aircraft type.
Additionally, one (1) initial and one (1) recurrent scripted PPC must be developed for the following:
- PPCs conducted on a flight crew consisting of two pilot-in-command (PIC) candidates or two second-in-command (SIC) candidates, and
- Single pilot candidate PPCs.
- Note: The above additional requirement(s) may take the form of an addendum to an existing scripted PPC.
Where an air operator conducts annual PPCs, that air operator must have a process to ensure pilot candidates receive alternating (i.e., different) scripted PPCs. To achieve this, scripted PPCs must meet the following:
- Scripted PPCs must be identified by number(s) or letter(s) or a combination thereof.
- Scripted PPCs must have a defined 6-month validity period.
- Where the operator does not track annual PPC requirements by any other means, the scripted PPC used must be identified in the “SCRIPT ID NO.” section of the PPC Flight Test Report - Pilot Proficiency Check (form 26-0249) and a copy of this form must be retained in each pilot’s training file.
- Re-qualification scripted PPCs that address all missed annual check requirements must be available for candidates whose qualifications have lapsed.
Note: Annual checking exercises include takeoff at minimum visibility, ILS category II and/or III approaches and circling approach where applicable. These must be done annually and there is no extension provision.
Review Periods and Record Keeping
Initial scripted PPCs – These scripted PPCs will be reviewed and amended as required but, as a minimum, must be reviewed every two (2) years.
Recurrent scripted PPCs – these scripted PPCs will be changed at a frequency that coincides with PPC validity period for air operator flight crew as follows:
- 6 months - CARs Subpart 705 air operators, whose flight crew undergo a 6-month validity period PPC, or
Note: Re-qualification scripted PPC may be required if the air operator conducts any annual qualification on alternating scripted PPCs.
- 12 months - CARs Subpart 703, 704 or 705* operators whose flight crew undergo a 12-month validity period PPC, or
* Note: 705 operators utilizing 12 month PPC validity periods are exercising CARs 705.113(1) and providing a six-month recurrency training credit/LOFT. Approval for 705 operators to utilize a 12-month scripted PPC review and amendment cycle is subject to approval by the appropriate Transport Canada oversight entity (e.g., National Operations).
- 24 months - CARs Subpart 702 or 704* operators whose flight crew undergo a 24-month validity period PPC.
* Note: 704 operators utilizing 24 month PPC validity periods are exercising a formal exemption to CARs 704.111 regarding ‘additional training’. ‘Additional training’ in this case is either a 1- LOFT, 2- PPC like training profile or 3 - TC approved alternate training profile. Where a scripted PPC is used as a ‘PPC like training profile’ (e.g., non-jeopardy PPC), 704 operators must adhere to 12-month review periods (above).
The intent of the above is that a particular scripted PPC is not used with the same candidate(s) more than once.
ACPs and/or air operators will maintain copies of scripted PPCs for a period of two (2) years after expiry.
D - Consistent Format / Required Content
ACPs and/or air operators are encouraged to develop a consistent format that meets the content criteria defined below. All scripted PPCs will contain the following minimum information as applicable:
- Air operator name,
- Aircraft type,
- Script validity period – From/to dates should be provided based on Initial scripted PPCs being valid for two (2) years and recurrent scripted PPCs being valid for 6, 12 or 24 months as applicable
Note: script validity periods differ from a candidate’s individual PPC validity period.
- Simulator(s) identification,
- Script identification number (or letter),
- Initial or recurrent PPC,
- Identification of the air operator manuals in which scripts are contained,
- Page numbering – The total number of pages should also be provided (e.g., 1/10),
- Departure flight plan information,
- Initial departure load information,
- Applicable NOTAMS,
- Applicable weather,
- Script activity summary page,
- Amendment numbering (if required),
- Briefing notes,
- Aircraft to simulator differences - Identification of any differences between the simulator and the air operator’s aircraft,
- Important Flight Test Report - Pilot Proficiency Check (form 26-0249) completion details, and
- Detailed scenario of PPC activities.
Detailed Scenario of PPC Activities
Each portion of the scripted 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 flight test exercise. This includes pilot flying (PF) and pilot monitoring (PM) instructions as applicable.
Scripted PPC scenarios must provide sufficient clarity to preclude any confusion that may jeopardize the successful completion of the exercises. Scripted PPCs must be sufficiently detailed to eliminate the requirement for additional input by the ACP. These objectives facilitate the ACP observation and assessment process by making adherence to the scripted PPC a straightforward exercise.
The items listed below are considered the minimum and may require additional information in some cases.
Initial Scenario Setup for First and Subsequent Legs
The objective is to clearly describe a PPC scenario in a manner that eliminates any confusion among the candidates or ACP. The following contains those items included in a scripted PPC at the start of each leg:
- All normal pre-flight crew information including weather and NOTAMS (initial leg only) - departure weather only is required for subsequent legs,
- Simulator (e.g., Instructor Operating Station (IOS)) 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,
- ATC clearances and instructions,
- 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 scripted PPC should provide a quick configuration checklist to preclude overlooking significant items.
Note: 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.
Ongoing Scenario Details
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 scripted PPC is applicable,
- Clear identification of when the fault is introduced and removed or modified, and
- All relevant ATC clearances or communications.
E - Scripted PPC Activities
PPC activities are found in the appropriate Commercial Air Service Standard (CASS) schedule. For example: Standard 725 SCHEDULE I - PILOT PROFICIENCY CHECK (PPC) - SYNTHETIC TRAINING DEVICE. Activities referenced are provided as flight test exercises in the Pilot Proficiency Check (PPC) and Aircraft Type Rating Flight Test Guide (Aeroplane), TP 14727.
This section discusses identifies some latitude and efficiencies in the design of scripted PPCs.
Value of Past Recurrent Scripted PPCs
Recurrent scripted PPCs are valid for a limited time. Past scripted PPCs should form the basis for creating new scripted PPCs as the assessment of flight crew is an ongoing process.
Candidate Eligibility & Flight Check Briefing Notes
Guidance on establishing candidate eligibility and providing a flight check (i.e., PPC) brief is provided in the ACP Manual. Within a Scripted PPC, notes (i.e., instructions) on both activities should be provided in a scripted PPC.
Flight Test Exercises
All items/events (i.e., flight test exercises) are to be evaluated against the performance criteria specified in the Pilot Proficiency Check and Aircraft Type Rating Flight Test Guide (Aeroplane), TP 14727.
Additional information scripted PPCs and flight test exercises is provided below.
Note: The numbering provided below corresponds to that found in the Pilot Proficiency Check and Aircraft Type Rating Flight Test Guide (Aeroplane), TP 14727.
1 - Technical Knowledge
Examination of technical knowledge using oral questions is not always required. Consult the appropriate CARs Subpart.
2 - Flight Planning (FLP)
All relevant air operator flight planning information will be made available to pilot candidates as part of the scripted PPC. This includes all computerized flight planning information and computer-generated takeoff performance data where applicable.
This information not only permits the pilot candidates to become familiar with the initial departure but reviewing this information gives the pilot candidates an opportunity to relax while performing normal crew duties.
Where pilot candidates normally determine departure information such as V-speeds, thrust settings, the required information to create this data will form part of the scripted PPC.
3 - Pre-flight (PRF)
The initial flight leg must be conducted from either an “originating” or “through” state and this will be specified in the scripted PPC.
Scripted PPCs should not contain pre-flight cockpit setup faults. There are two reasons: First, the simulator may be different from an air operator’s aircraft in some regard and second, some simulators have present unintended setup faults. This combination can very often contribute to the candidate nervousness and make assessments more difficult. It is far more effective to ensure candidates become comfortable and observe normal cockpit activities.
4 - Engine Start / Depart (ESD)
Engine start faults are not encouraged, as candidates 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 unsatisfactory performance not consistent with their true proficiency during the first takeoff event.
Initial scripted PPCs for two pilot-in-command (PICs) candidates do not require a cockpit setup and departure taxiing for each PIC, as this would make the PPC excessively lengthy. It is acceptable for the second PIC to start from the runway with the engines running.
5 - Taxi-out (TXO)
Scripted PPCs 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 scripted PPC will identify if a reposition is permitted. If this is the case, the reposition should follow all normal pre-takeoff activities.
Where 2 PIC candidates are undergoing an initial PPC, the first PIC should complete engine start/depart and taxi-out exercises while the second PIC should conduct a taxi-in and full ramp shutdown.
Identify, in the scripted PPC, 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 contain any faults unless they are MEL items which would be considered inconsequential and would allow the flight to continue.
Recurrent scripted PPCs 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.
6 - Takeoff (TOF)
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 scripted PPCs 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 scripted PPCs make use of all operational flap settings where they require different operational techniques, limitations, procedures or crew knowledge.
Scripted PPCs must also address minimum visibility take-off requirements for all crewmembers.
Where applicable, the operator must ensure that PPCs are scheduled such that PIC annual 600 RVR requirements are met. This is one reason that PPCs have validity periods and why operators are encouraged to clearly identify scripted PPCs and record this information on the Flight Test Report – Pilot Proficiency Check (form 26-0249). 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.
7 - Rejected Take-off (RTO)
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 air operator SOPs be consulted for additional checking considerations.
Where applicable, it is desirable to have the rejected take-off occur during the SIC’s pilot flying (PF) leg on occasion. This adds realism and evaluates the crew control hand-over.
8 - Initial Climb (ICL)
Scripted PPCs should utilize a SID, where available, and will include departure instructions for each leg. ATC clearances will respect all applicable noise abatement procedures.
9 - En-route Climb (ECL)
(See guidance for item 8 above)
10 - Cruise (CRZ)
(Refer to the Pilot Proficiency Check and Aircraft Type Rating Flight Test Guide (Aeroplane), TP 14727)
11 - Steep Turns
These requirements are withdrawn provided the ACP and/or air operator complies with stipulated conditions.
This is highly recommended since this skill is normally well-honed during training and uses valuable PPC time better used elsewhere.
12 - Approach to Stall
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.
13 - Holding
Scripted PPCs 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. Scripted PPCs should, over a period of time, address most of the hold types found in FLIPs and available to the aircraft and operation.
Both published and non-published holds should be considered. When holds associated with an approach are provided, the transition to the approach should be exercised.
14 - Descent (DST)
STAR transitions are normally too long to accomplish effectively in most scripted PPCs. 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.
15 & 16 - Approach (APR)
ILS Category II and III Approaches - To make full use of simulator time, operators should plan to introduce a minor fault prior to an ILS category II or III approach to permit observation of the crew’s ability to assess the approach capability of the aircraft, if possible.
Initial ILS Category II and/or III Qualification - The SIC will fly the approach and missed approach until such time as the pilot-in-command (PIC) makes the “land” decision and takes control of the aircraft.
In scripting the requirements for CAAS, Standard 725, SCHEDULE I - PILOT PROFICIENCY CHECK (PPC) - SYNTHETIC TRAINING DEVICE, section (2)(f)(vi) (i.e., ILS category II or III approach requirements), the following Schedule I requirements may be met.
|CASS 725 - Schedule I Requirement||Flight Test Report - PPC||Pilot-in-command (PIC)||Second-in-command (SIC)|
(2)(f)(i) - Normal landing
(2)(f)(ii) - IMC landing
(2)(f)(iii) - Crosswind landing
(2)(f)(v) - Missed approach
(2)(f)(vii) - Manual landing
YES (if not auto-land)
(2)(d)(iii) – Two approaches
Recurrent ILS Category II and/or III Qualification - The above chart will apply with the exception of (2)(f)(v). A missed approach must be scripted elsewhere for the second-in-command (SIC).
Non-Precision Approaches - 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 pilot-in-command (PIC) was given an NDB in script 1 then script 2 should be something other than an NDB approach. Scripted PPCs should also reflect the use of flight management technology, if appropriate.
Circling Approaches - 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 scripted PPCs should ensure that missed approach instructions are clearly defined.
Pilot Monitored Approaches (PMA) - Where an air operator requires the SIC to fly the approach to a decision point/height the following criteria must be considered in preparing scripted activities.
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 scripted PPC will provide at least one approach where the pilot flying (PF) both flies the approach and transitions to a visual manual landing.
Landing from a Non-precision Approach - It is possible to integrate a landing off the non-precision approach in a scripted PPC. This is the best way to assess of the effectiveness of the non-precision approach and will introduce some variety into the scripted PPC while meeting the requirement for a landing without the use of an auto-flight.
Landing versus Missed Approach Decisions - 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 Decision Height (DH), Decision Altitude (DA) or Radar Altitude (RA) as applicable.
Minimum Approach Weather Settings - Some simulators require higher than published weather programmed into the visual controls to ensure proper acquisition of the runway environment.
17 - Go-Around (GOA)
A missed approach with an engine failure is not mandatory.
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 scripted PPC should clearly specify the window within which the ACP should fail the engine. The window should be unique to each scripted PPC 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.
18 - Landing (LND)
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.
19 - Ground Arrival (Taxi-in)
It is desirable to have a normal taxi-in and gate shutdown procedures for initial PPCs.
Where 2 PICs are undergoing an initial PPC, the first PIC does the cockpit setup and departure while the second should conduct a taxi-in and ramp shutdown.
20 - Flight Close (FLC)
(No guidance provided)
21 - Pilot Monitor (PM) Duties
Two crew scripted PPCs offer a significant opportunity for the pilot monitoring (PM) to demonstrate his/her ability. However, single crewmember scripted PPCs should identify a scenario for the assessment of PM 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 PM. During this leg an abnormal or emergency must be introduced.
It is also recommended that scripted PPCs allow flight crew to alternate PF duties with each leg thus allowing crewmembers both PF and PM 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.
22 - Engine Failure
(No guidance provided)
23 to 27 - Abnormal / Emergency
The introduction of the system faults requires the greatest planning in the creation of a scripted PPC. 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.
By far the most significant assessment is one where the candidate demonstrates an understanding and application of learned techniques and procedures. Mere duplication of training exercise faults does not allow assessment of the application of learned techniques and procedures to new situations. It is therefore strongly recommended that scripted PPCs include similar but not the exact fault or approach from the training day.
Given the vast differences in aircraft types, specific guidance is not possible. The following information, however, provides general 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 – Pilot Proficiency Check (form 26-0249), section 6 for tracking purposes.
- Choice of faults - where a choice of faults exists the most demanding and assessable fault should be chosen;
- Fault timing - faults should be introduced at a time where they can be followed to their logical conclusion;
- Unwarranted actions or events - no unwarranted actions or events will be introduced for training or exposure purposes. Training credits cannot be obtained during the PPC;
- Dual failures - dual failures are acceptable where a single QRH or ECAM/EICAS procedure exists to correct the fault;
- Multiple failures - multiple failures are acceptable where they are the result of a single event 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 - system faults should change with each recurrent scripted PPC 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 scripted PPC and system faults should be different for each crew member per scripted PPC;
- Fault pick list – a fault pick lists may be used provided each list is identified and once selected the ACP continues with the fault until a logical conclusion is observed; and
- Engine fires and or fire/failures – while these events are required by regulation but do not count as system abnormalities.
(A) - Additional Flight Test Exercise - Rejected Landing 50 Ft
(Refer to the Pilot Proficiency Check and Aircraft Type Rating Flight Test Guide (Aeroplane), TP 14727)
(B) - Additional Flight Test Exercise - Power Loss on Initial Climb (ICL)
(Refer to the PPC and Aircraft Type Rating Flight Test Guide (Aeroplane), TP 14727)
The introduction of automation has redefined the way in which many tasks are accomplished. Observation and assessment of a candidate’s understanding must include both basic knowledge and skills.
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 course track or inserting into a flight management system (FMS) a waypoint crossing altitude restriction.
More complex automation tasks may be developed requiring the manual creation of a way-point (e.g., en-route or 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.
The level of complexity and the time allotted to these exercises must allow the PPC to be completed within the required timeframe.
Scripted PPCs must permit effective assessment of flight crew coordination. This can only be accomplished by realistic and timely scripted PPCs and is one of the reasons that freezes, repositions, and resets are best avoided.
Pilot Decision Making
Scripted PPCs 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 scripted PPCs provide opportunity for crews to request options, the desired option/information should be provided in the scripted PPC.
F - Characteristic of Effective Scripted PPCs
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.
Scripted PPCs 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 scripted PPCs, this will tend to enhance the scope of training and proficiency.
Realistic scenarios are a top priority when reviewing or developing a scripted PPC. 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.
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 scripted PPC should therefore support effective training and safe, logical operating practices.
One of the characteristics a scripted PPC 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 scripted PPC 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 led into a repetitive regime.
This characteristic speaks in many ways to the effectiveness of the scripted PPC. A good scripted PPC 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.
G - Reference Material
The following is a list of the required reference material to assist in the development and review of a scripted PPC.
CARs Subpart 705 and 704 / Personnel requirements / Pilot qualifications
Specifies requirement for a PPC, refers to CASS
CASS 725 and 724 / Pilot qualifications
Specifies general requirements, refers to respective Schedule 1
CASS 725 and 724 / Schedules 1
Specifies the requirements for PPC content
PPC and ATR FTG
Specifies assessment standards
ACP Manual TP 6533
Chapter 4 specifies assessment guidelines
Air Operator Training Manuals
Specify approved training program
Air Operator Approach Plates
Required to review clearances and procedures
Simulator Scene and Fault Guide
Required to determine simulator capabilities such as:
Air Operator Flight Operations Manual
Required reference material for operations specifications and operations procedures.
Aircraft Operating Manuals
FCOM or AOM
Recurrent scripted PPCs for the past 2 years
Provides the details of the previous simulator PPC activities
Prior and current initial scripted PPCs
Details initial PPC program
H - Scripted PPC Development Process
Air Operator Responsibilities
An ACP’s and/or Air Operator has the following responsibilities:
- develop scripted PPCs for each aircraft type;
- submit scripted PPCs 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 scripted PPCs;
- develop a process to test fly the scripted PPCs before the start date, if practicable. This may or may not be monitored by TC;
- keep a file of all the scripted PPCs each aircraft type for a period of not less than two years after the expiration date;
- ensure that scripted PPCs and any amendments are distributed to all air operator Type A ACPs;
- ensure that all feedback from the check pilots & flight crew regarding scripted PPCs 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 scripted PPC;
- ensure all scripted PPC amendments are provided to all applicable ACPs and CASIs (i.e., POI); and
- ensure all ACPs adhere to the script.
Transport Canada Responsibilities
Transport Canada has the following responsibilities:
- the issuing authority/POI will assign an aircraft type-qualified inspector to review the scripted PPC(s);
- the assigned inspector will review the scripted PPC(s) and, with the POI’s concurrence, dialogue with the operator until the scripted PPC(s) are acceptable;
- the assigned inspector should monitor a trial of all new scripted PPCs or assign an air operator representative to provide feedback as soon as possible after their introduction. This may coincide with normal PPC monitoring activities;
- the assigned inspector will forward copies of the accepted scripted PPC(s) to the POI;
- the POI will send a letter (or formal email) to the operator indicating that the scripted PPC(s) are acceptable and specifying the validity period; and
I - Developing Scripted PPCs
The development process is quite demanding and requires considerable attention to detail and an organized review process. Operators are encouraged to have scripted PPCs developed by small teams of two or three ACPs. Teams should be assigned to work on new scripted PPCs six months before the scripted PPC will become effective.
Developing new scripted PPCs is best started with a review of the scripted PPCs 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 scripted PPC, 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 scripted PPCs.
The choice of locations must meet air operator 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 scripted PPC to the next.
Ideally, identification of major differences in FMGS database should be noted where the air operator’s database is not loaded for the PPC.
Differences between the aircraft and the simulator should be noted on the scripted PPC and passed to the crew before the PPC itself.
The scripted PPC must meet the CARS/CASS mandatory items. It is suggested that the air operator’s special authorizations (SAs) 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 scripted PPC should then be reviewed to ensure that each mandatory item is conducted. Having a well-written scripted PPC 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 scripted PPCs 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.
Level of Detail
Does the scripted PPC 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 scripted PPC are reviewed and acceptable, the flow and pace of the scripted PPC 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 scripted PPC. 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 scripted PPC 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 scripted PPC 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 scripted PPC 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.
Scripted PPC Trials
Where it is practical a CASI should be available during the scripted PPC trial. Whether this is done by using the scripted PPC 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 scripted PPCs on annual ACP check-rides with TC present. This achieves both the evaluation and the monitoring goals and has worked quite well. If the scripted PPCs 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 criterion and verify simulator operation. As the scripted PPC 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 air operator’s aircraft. Differences in the operation and configuration of each simulator the air operator 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. Scripted PPCs should include this level of detail where problems may arise or the action is not intuitive.
The cooperative nature of the scripted PPC development process makes it difficult to define one process that will work for every operator, aircraft type and Transport Canada oversight entity (i.e., Region or National Operations).
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 scripted PPC. 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 scripted PPCs without reviewing minute details of the scripted PPC such as every clearance and simulator setup. This requires the ACP and/or Air Operator to change the scripted PPC 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 scripted PPC,
- 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.
J - Final Considerations
While designing scripted PPCs, the following broad considerations are offered:
- 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.
8 December 2021
Chief, Commercial Flight Standards