Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Truth About Training

Since dh just finished his annual pc (proficiency check) I thought this might be a good time to talk about training and how much it sucks for everyone.  I have been fortunate enough (haha) to have gone through 4 major training events with dh as well as all the yearly proficiency checks.  They all have sucked some more than others. See the truth about training and why its awful is this; in every training event their job is on the line. Period.  It's super stressful and they are not allowed to make ANY mistakes. ANY.  This makes for some super happy fun times but understandable so.

Now I'm sure your thinking well someone must fail training and they don't get fired so it's not as bad as you make it sound.  True some people do fail check rides and make mistakes, after all we are human.  And true these people (probably) won't lose thier jobs.  But what does happen is it goes into the pilots "Permanent record" at the FAA, which if he ever goes to apply at another airline for a job they can see that he has failed a check ride, so this failure will follow him and haunt him for the rest of his career. True people do get hired at airlines with failures BUT not often, and who wants to take that chance when there are a lot of people competing for a few jobs it's a detriment if you have a failure in your record.

So this is how we end up with super stressed pilots during training, and why I do everything I can to be nice and support dh during training, because short of his parents or sister dying I wouldn't tell him anything.  Dh who is normally a nice even keeled guy can be short, snippy and do things that baffle me during training.  I just take it in stride and put it down to stress. I also don't call dh during training at all, unless its me calling him to make sure he's awake. I let him call me when its convient for him to take a break, these are usually short converstaions.  I wouldn't want to disturb him while he is studying or if he is asleep, I want in no way shape or form want to be at fault and add stress to his training.

The 4 big Training Events:

Upgrade-  I had just met dh right before his upgrade at XJT.  Honestly this was the best training event I have been through with dh maybe because we were dating and not living together so I didn't get the full awfulness of it.

MD-80 new hire training - This was awesome it was over his birthday and Easter and our Anniversary.  How many holidays can you hit in one training event?  I did get him a card and sent it with him, for his birthday.  Didn't see him for Easter or our Anniversary, he called me on our anniversary but that's as much as a I got.  Also his favorite dog died during training and I didn't tell him until he got home.

757  training - As far as training goes this was great in dh's book, they used the United sims in Denver and it was very thorough dh was very happy with how well the training program worked.  However I ended up having kidney surgery while he was in training.  Then had complications and ended up in the hospital for 4 days while dh went back to training and I spent some quality time by myself in the hospital until my mom came to stay with me.  Once I was released from the hospital I flew home by myself (surgery was out of state) drove home from the airport 5 days after surgery picked up our dogs from the kennel and went back to taking care of our horses, all while dh was in training.

A320 training  - Hands down the worst more stressful training EVER. There were no big catastrophe like me having surgery or a dog dying, but due to Spirits super condensed training dh was a basket case.  The days were really long and then they had  minimum number of  days in the sim before the type ride. It was awful, it was beyond awful, I would have rather sat in the hospital by myself again.  They also kept changing things while they were in training so one day it would be one way, the next day it would be a different way.  I am extremely thankful to dhs sim partner they were both panicked so it worked well and they worked well together. It honestly got to the point where I didn't want to talk to him because he was making me panic!  Thankfully he and his sim partner passed but every year the pc is awful, just something we have become accustomed too.

You never know the true hell of training until you live through it, your hubby (or boyfriend) might be the nicest person in the world but put them in a training environment and they turn into a person who is unrecognizable to you, trust me this is normal.


  1. Your timing is perfect. My husband started his upgrade training today. Leaving me home for 3 weeks with a medically complex toddler. Who is having a sedated procedure this week. This is the first time I've been through this kind of training since meeting him (other than annual proficiency stuff). I'm going to do my damnedest to hold down the fort, keep my whining to a minimum and only tell him what he needs to know!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. I am kind of seeing a pilot (it's long distance and complicated) but he left for training yesterday and won't be back home (his home since we live in different states) until Sunday. We don't communicate often, but I wasn't sure if I should text him on like Friday for some encouraging words or just let it be. I am so fearful of interrupting his studying since we are just starting to get to know each other, I don't know what he would do. I let him know I would be thinking of him and good luck yesterday before he left so I think I will leave it at that and contact him on Sunday when he is suppose to go home. Thanks again for sharing, this is all new to me and I am just trying to learn about what I am getting myself into. :) It's been a struggle, but I am learning.