Let’s see, when I left off last I was in the Full Flight (Simulator) phase of training and had completed the first two sessions. I had two more practice sessions and then the ‘Maneuver Validation.’ These simulator periods aren’t really ‘practice.’ Each session introduces some maneuver that you have not accomplished in a previous period. In addition to the obvious precision (ILS) and non-precision approaches (LOC, LOC B/C, VOR, RNAV), crosswind landings and go-arounds/rejected landings we also practice windshear recoveries, EGPWS escape maneuvers and TCAS resolution advisories. The sessions are extremely full each day. The Maneuver Validation consisted of at least one of everything I have listed above (only one type of non-precision approach). It went well and I headed home for the turkey feast.
I returned to training the following Monday and had simulator sessions Tuesday-Friday and had the check ride scheduled for early Saturday morning. Up until this point my simulator sessions had been flown from the right seat, my bid position for the airline. Now I was shifting over to the left seat for the remainder of the training. Since I would be awarded a full type rating at the end of the course, the check ride was to be conducted with me operating as a captain. It is an additional hassle for the co-pilots going through training, but a full type rating rather than one with left seat privileges only at cruise when flying for this carrier is worth the extra effort required.
The simulator training now shifted to operational flights rather than ‘pattern rides’ practicing approaches and maneuvers. If my memory serves me, the first session was a flight across the Atlantic using the NAT Tracks with their requisite clearance requirements through Gander and Shannon. It also covered contingency operations should something happen that required a deviation off the tracks and to an alternate airport. Subsequent sessions had flights across the Pacific with a diversion to a Russian alternate airport and a flight within Asia with a landing in Beijing. Those completed, I was finally down to the last simulator session.