Center Air Pilot Academy and Air Greenland have introduced the first APS MCC (Airline Pilot Standard) in Denmark, a new and improved standard in pilot training. Chris Long reports.

The APS MCC has been introduced by EASA to deliver enhanced MCC training to Airline Pilot Standards, a new framework which is intended to "equip a pilot with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required to commence initial type rating training to the standards generally required by a commercial air transport operator".

Center Air Pilot Academy (CAPA) has been working with Air Greenland and the Greenland NAA for several years, and was, right from the very beginning, focused on training the pilots for the specific needs that Air Greenland faces, so an enhanced MCC was not a new idea to either of the parties.

Captain Peter Lethin Larsen, director of Training, head of Training & NP Crew Training explains: “Air Greenland is responsible for initial pilot education for two to three pilots each year. We have accepted this on behalf of the Greenlandic government “Selvstyret”, to assure that the money spent on this project is used in the best possible way.”

He goes on to say that “Air Greenland decided to evaluate on the benefits – and lessons learned – from the MPL education when compared with conventional pilot education and agreed on a plan that - among other improvements - had an extended MCC course. This was based on the fact that most of the cadets went directly onto a multi-pilot job in Greenland. In fact, all our students for the last four years came out from CAPA with what is now known as APS MCC. A bit premature, but we recognized the need of a brand new low experienced pilot to fit into our existing specialized crews, by making him understand the needs of being part of a multi-crew, to increase safety and maintain our high standards.”

As Anna Kjær Thorsøe, general manager and chief Theoretical Knowledge Instructor (CTKI) at CAPA, remarks, “with the APS MCC course it was possible to raise the bar of training even further, and with input and active involvement from instructors from Air Greenland, it is like putting the cadets through a mini type rating before the initial type rating, and prepares the cadets better for what to expect after they have completed their time at the flight academy. The program can also be compared to an MPL program, which was also something that was debated as a training scheme, but, as Air Greenland only needed a small number of new pilots every year, in this specific case the APS MCC showed the potential to be a better and more flexible solution than an actual MPL program.

In addition to multi-crew cooperation training, the APS MCC syllabus also incorporates advanced airline operations scenario training followed by a final assessment. The new regulations include regular progress checks throughout training, and only those students who achieve the required performance level in their final assessment can be issued with an APS MCC certificate. The APS MCC is a challenging training course which requires a high level of commitment and self-discipline, so it is only suitable for motivated and hard-working students, which has proven not to be an issue in this case, as all of the cadets we are training from Air Greenland have been through a thorough selection process before entering the flight academy.”

The final call is from Larsen, whose judgement of the selection of this course is revealing, “It turned out to be a wise decision. Compared to other cadets, we experienced that these guys were much better prepared for the job as being a part of a multi-crew, understanding their responsibilities and the simple basics of being part of a crew.

All of our CAPA students passed base release and final line release on minimum time, making the entry into the complex world of being a pilot in Greenland smooth and safe.

I strongly recommend and welcome APS MCC and believe that this will be a new basic requirement for airlines, when employing pilots directly from basic flying school in the future.”

This is a training process to watch.

The APS MCC comprises:

- 20 days total duration including rest and study days.
- Four days of Theoretical Knowledge Instruction.
- Ten days (40 hours) of simulator training in a brand new B737-800 simulator.
- Unlimited access to a full-size cockpit mock-up, FMC trainer and study facilities.
- A personal Standard Operating Procedures book.
- Further simulator training for refresher or assessment preparation.
- Access to the CAPA network.

Published in CAT issue 6/2018