How to Prepare for 121/135 Training

Hey readers and welcome back to the website! Writing this hoping that everyone had a good January and good start to 2021.

 Back in November I went to my first official jet training at SIMCOM in Orlando and honestly had no idea what to expect. I already had a type in the Citation II so my first time was for recurrent training, which was kind of intimidating but VERY VERY insightful. 

I definitely could have prepared myself better, so I came up with some tips I wish I would have known and even advice my instructor gave me for a better experience next time. 

SIMCOM Training Supplement

First thing is know the plane you're training on before you get there. There's only so much time to study before your check ride (if you have one) so you might as well get a head start. Don't leave everything to the time that you're there. 

Memory items and limitations are 90% of the oral part of your ride and will also be expected to have memorized when you jump in the sim. If you don't know these items, you don't know your aircraft. So if your training facility sends these before you arrive, take FULL advantage of that. 

The next steps will depend on how long you're there. Are you there for a quick 3 day recurrent or a full 14-21 day initial? 

For recurrent, as previously stated you should know your aircraft before you get there. Know the memory items & limitations, performance factors, and especially how all the systems operate. Questions like what's on the emergency bus, what triggers a master caution light, what happens when the bottle armed push light comes on etc WILL be asked. 

If you're there for initial, take everything your instructor teaches you (meaning take thorough notes) and study what you learned each night back at the hotel. Don't waste each evening watching tv, study as much as you can. You should be studying 2-3 hours after class each day to truly retain everything. 

If you need to practice your memory flows, utilize the cockpit poster. Set it up on your hotel room wall and you can especially run through memory items while using this. It will bring your level of knowledge past the rote level (just memorizing the steps) to correlation towards applying to a real application for if you actually had to use them in an emergency. 

I'd recommend to spend the first 2 hours studying all the new knowledge you learned for that day, and the last hour reviewing flows with the poster.Citation II Instrument Panel

The absolute best piece of advice I took advantage of is to transfer all of your handwritten notes to the cockpit poster too. It helps you apply it in a real world application and will help so much when you jump in the actual cockpit.

The last piece of advice I can give....don't forget to take time to relax. Training is a lot of work, ESPECIALLY if you're there longer than recurrent. Any initial rating will be exhausting. 8 hours of ground and flying and absolute knowledge dump? That deserves time off after a few days. So take the weekends or 2 nights each week to study just 20 minutes then go enjoy yourself. Remember this is important because it's also possible to burn yourself out and any studying after that no longer becomes beneficial, it's then just a waste of your time. 

Don't forget to keep thorough training records and you can log all of that ground and sim time! It's good for currency purposes (obviously) but also valued by future employers. Our FAA Logbook is perfect to help you do this, and you can expect some new features in the future as we continue to develop it!

What kind of tips and advice do you have for training? Comment below!