Phase 2: Systems
After my first two weeks of ground school were complete, I was sent home with a USB drive with the systems and a bunch of study material to learn over the next few days. Some of the guys in my class only had 7 days to learn the systems, but I had ten and I was grateful for that. I flew home from Atlanta on a Friday and took the next day to relax my brain a bit. Then I made a study plan for me to follow so I could make sure I was done studying everything before I had to go back to class.
At the time, my son was still less than a year old and needed a lot of attention, so I had my best friend/neighbor watch him for 4 hours each weekday so I could get some solid studying in. This was so helpful! Not only did it give me uninterrupted time each morning, but I made sure those were very productive hours. In fact, I had finished studying all of the systems after only 4 days, which gave me plenty of time to review them again and make sure I knew each system front and back. By the time I went back to Atlanta, I was well prepared.
As a side note, I think many of the airlines nowadays are doing self study learning on the systems (like I did with the USB drive), but when I went through the Brasilia and CRJ training at my last airline, all of the systems were learned in a class. I enjoyed the USB method so much better because I could go at my own pace- I learn better that way. Both times I took the systems classes at SkyWest, they were about 3 weeks long.
Here's a pic of my most recent electrical systems study notes on the A220. I love this airplane so much! It might be my favorite so far... back to the story...
I flew out to Atlanta the day before class so I could get all settled in and spent the rest of the day relaxing, since I'd studied some more on the flight and my brain was full. The next day began with a one-on-one learning the FMS on the 757/767. It's pretty similar to the CRJ so it wasn't too difficult to learn. I think it was day 3 that the rest of the 757/767 students arrived (they were already pilots at the company so they didn't get the extra couple of days that I got) and we started reviewing the systems. There were a couple hours of class in the morning and then an FTD session to help us tie all the systems together with hands on knowledge. This part was done with an instructor and our sim partner, and it was so helpful! Learning a system from the book is one thing, but being in the flight deck to see how the system actually works- how we can control the system- brought everything full circle for me.
I continued to study the systems after class each day, and by the end of that block of training, I was ready for my systems test. If I remember correctly, there were 10 questions per system, and around 15 systems; so 150 questions total. However, if at least 8 questions weren't answered correctly, the test would go into an overflow mode and give more questions to stay over the 80% pass rate. I never ventured in to the extra questions, but it was nice to know they were there just incase. The test was completed on the computer so I knew my results immediately. I passed! Phase 2 of training was now complete.