So what’s the deal? It’s a 23 episode video training series showing you how to fly the Boeing 777, taught by a former United Airlines Captain. We’ll take you from standing at the bottom of the aircraft steps as a rookie 777 Cadet up to negotiating some of the most challenging yet rewarding to master approaches that real 777 crews would expect to encounter out on the line.
For those who want the full long haul experience, we will release early next year an additional set of videos that we’re calling Cadet+. This set will feature an in depth ULH (ultra long haul) flight from Dubai to Newark, taking in NATS tracks, ETOPS considerations and a bunch of other things – like flying over Iran, for one. There’s a considerable amount to learn about a long haul operation over the North Atlantic in winter and this flight will culminate in another challenging approach – the RNP RNAV circle to land into Newark, New Jersey which requires very accurate flying so as not to upset all those grumpy New York area Air Traffic Controllers. In addition Cadet+ will feature a section a section we’re calling ‘777 Training Secrets’.
So – the Cadet Program will show you around the three big 777 systems – BLEED, HYD and ELEC – and how they keep us in the air. There are no long systems videos - the demonstrations are all entirely practical and we only use the system diagrams inside the aircraft to show what is happening. The training mantra now is if you can’t fix it from the flight deck then you don’t need to know it. If you want a 50 minute explanation and animated diagram of the fuel pump inside the APU then you’ve come to the wrong place. But as a 777 rookie you do need to know that the 777 APU switch has a funny quirk in that if you turn it to the on position and then just let go, the spring inside is often sufficiently strong enough to actually spring it back to OFF. That’s what we do - real aircraft knowledge and practical training from someone who flew this aircraft across millions of miles.
The full episode list will follow but here’s a course overview:
- Meet Myron, your trainer for the course and a look at his long and fascinating career taking in everything from the USAF Super Sabre to the Airbus A320.
- Setting up the PMDG 777 inside your sim, setting viewpoints and a look at what which sceneries and utilities we used to make the course.
- Loading and performance calculations, flight planning and weather.
- Exterior Walk-around.
- Detailed flight deck tour.
- Training Flights around Hawaii, perfecting the takeoff and approaches, speed control and getting configured to make an approach.
- Demonstration of high and low speed protections, including over bank protections and the role of the PFC (primary flight computers)
- Full line flight from Honolulu to Kahului – full flight setup, SID departure and short runway ILS arrival, dodging volcanoes.
- Return line flight back to Honolulu to a LOC DME approach, using VNAV and LOC modes. There’s a big 777 gotcha with this mode, as you’ll see.
- Lengthy STAR approach to the RNAV approach into San Diego, with steep glideslope and a shortish runway leading to depth perception challenges late in the approach.
- STAR into San Francisco with both speed and alt constraints (the 777 VNAV struggles with this one) to a night visual QUIET BRIDGE approach to KSFO Runway 28R. Lots and lots of traps here, we’ll show you how to get it down.
- CATIIIB Auto-land at Munich in a pea-soup morning fog. Never has LAND3, FLARE and ROLLOUT been so important. Landing is easy, finding the gate not so much!
- Go Around from low level at Munich in CATIII conditions. This is often cocked up in the real aircraft as it’s not practiced much. We show you how to ‘TOGA, flaps 20’!
- NADP1 Departure from Doha with low visibility. The often overlooked Takeoff Ref Page 2 is needed here to get your climb profile in order for this short hop to Kuwait.
- NAPD2 Heavy Departure from Hong Kong. We’re off to Chicago with a long night ahead and the departure is heavy, terrain limited, performance limited and there’s a thunderstorm on the SID track. Oh and within a few minutes of departing you have to fly in metres. I was VERY glad to have Myron talking me through this one, it got pretty tense.
- Max Weight Rejected Takeoff from Doha. We’re off back home to JFK and an engine fails just before V1. See why stopping a heavy 777 from almost 200 mph can be expensive…
- Circle To Land KIAD. When the wind blows the wrong way, the ILS runways at Dulles aren’t much help and you have to do something you almost never have to do in a 777 – a circle to land. We’ve got you covered. When someone who’s done it plenty of times shows you how, it’s almost easy…
That’s just the Cadet Section. The ETOPS Dubai to Newark flight and a section we’re calling ‘777 Training Secrets’ will follow at the end of February.
What’s the price? The Cadet Program will cost $39.99 and the Cadet+ Program will cost $11.99.
Why do it in two sections? Well, not everyone is interested in the whole ETOPS section as it can get pretty involved, plus lots of 777s fly long routes that are over land so it’s not vital to know it. Including it would have increased the cost and length of the Cadet course. So we hived off the ETOPS section for those who want the knowledge to do long haul properly into a separate course.
What is ‘777 Training Secrets’? When we were making the course, lots of 777 pilots were involved, although you’ll only hear from one of them – Captain Ashcraft. At times, they would disagree vociferously about how to fly the airplane! So consequently we ended up with a shelf full of 777 training material and guidance from the airlines and training organisations. Someone came up with the idea of filming all those 777 training tips and then releasing them as a video. You’ll find it super-useful!
Ok – gimme the dates! Release for Cadet Program is going to be Dec 30th. The master HD videos that we upload to our site are up to 25GB each and they then transcode at the website end so you can stream and download the transcoded versions. As this conversion can take 24 hours per episode, be prepared for the final few episodes of the initial 23 episode run to not be available to view or download for a week or two after release. With some of the early episodes being an hour or longer each however, you’ve got plenty to watch in the meantime.
Cadet+ is scheduled to release around the end of February, but won’t be on sale until it’s completed.
This is our longest, most expansive, most in depth and I believe best Training Program yet. As with the Q400, I now feel supremely comfortable with the 777 and there’s no ‘what’s it doing now’ problems when I fly it, as I know exactly what it’s doing – or at least I know how to stop it doing stuff I don’t want it to. You might think you know the 777. I thought that too, until I sat next to someone who flew it. Roll on Dec 30th!