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OT: Where do new Captains learn to taxi big jets?

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Since most airlines require that the Captain do all of the taxiing, even when it's the F.O.'s leg to fly, how to F.O.s build the necessaray skills and instincts to taxi when they finally become Captains themselves? Surely they don't just hand over a 747 to a new Captian who only has experience taxiing 737s from a previous captaincy and tell himn to have at it? Perhaps it's like drivers ed, and they have a special taxi training center center, where there are dozens of 777s and 747s taxiing around orange cones at an empty airport? Okay, that's far fetched, but the image in my head is quite funny so I thought I'd share it :-)I just hope they dont make you parallel park using diferential reverse thrust ;( Andrew

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You do a lot of training in the sim during the Type Qualification Training. But after that you will have a few weeks of linetraining. You fly with all the duties you've been trained for but next to you is an instructor. He/She will guide you through these weeks. Just like when you learn to drive a car. You may find that taxiing the real thing is quite different than taxiing the sim.Remco(And of course they practice with the PMDG products!;-)

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In our airline if it is the F/O's leg then he/she does the taxiing.Most F/O's will have taxiing experience on other reasonably large aircraft types so it is no big deal. Taxy experience is also gained during the simulator phase of the type training. Other than that your first flight on the line is the first time you will taxy it for real.The instructor will provide you with a few guides to assist you. It does not take long to feel comfortable taxiing.CheersSteve

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When I flew a BA B777 level D sim a few years back, I didn't find taxying that difficult :( The only time the instructor assisted was when I was at an extremely tight right turn after vacating a runway so we could join another taxiway leading back to the runway. He opened the left throttle and she turned with ease.

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As I see it, its not a matter of the taxiing being so difficult in itself, especially when everything is going well. I just imagine that it takes a while to build a good instinctual since of the extent and maneuverability of the aircraft. By this I mean getting a feel for whether or not your wingtips will snag something and knowing with confidence when a turn is just too tight to attempt without ending up in the grass. There are probably some optical illusions that could confuse a new pilot until he's done it himself for a while. I just imagine it could seem a bit intimidating at first. If you are a new 767 Captain and your first flight is a late afternoon flight out of a tight place like Laguardia or Midway, then I can guess you might break a sweat before reaching the runway.Andrew

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Steve, thanks for the info. I've always wondered about taxing as well, but never bothered to ask the question.Alaister, I'm jealous. You got to fly a Level-D sim. I've only ever flown on FS, and I've only been in a cockpit a couple of times. Although, one of the times, I was lucky enough to get in an Air New Zealand 747 cockpit during flight. That was a blast even if it was only for cruise.Speaking of that, Steve, you didn't happen to be on the 747's about 10 years ago did you?

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It was an amazing experience, although a little on the expensive side, but I would definately do it again :( Unfortunately the events of 9-11 put an end to BA offering their sims :(

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Yeah, I can imagine it wouldn't have been cheap, but that's something that you'll never forget I'm sure.Maybe I'll become VERY rich, with billions of dollars, and I'll be able to buy and maintain my own Level-D sim. HAHAHA Seriously though, wouldn't you just love to have your own Level-D sim in the backyard? Complete with an instructor and all.

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Yeah :D If I had the money, and if you are allowed such a toy, I would have one too - would be kinda weird not having to tinker with files and configs :-lol

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Steve,That was very appropriate - not the tunes u were floating away - the pics... very clear message, very candid!I just blew my lid off aft following ur thread to that one!HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! :-xxrotflmao.... may be its not that funny, but it just tickled me watching something like that happen on the tarmac! I mean - in the Virgin Atlantic DVD the Cap is so particular about shaving the lids off the tanker trucks & I can only try to imagine what sort of an eighteen wheeler was that guy thinking he was hauling!- Jay

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Steve, too bad. Would have been something if you had been a pilot on a flight I was on 10 years ago.

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Not a pilot, but someone has to drive these things around when the crews are napping. They sat me in the left seat, and my instructor pal drove from the right for a couple of turns then said "See?". "Ahhh . . . Yea, right" I said, but the airplane was already headed for a turn and my good buddy was on the way to the back for a cup of joe. That's how, in the old days anyway. And then later in life, it occurs that airplane has to be moved from some obscure, remote parking spot to the gate. Now get this. You are the single, solitary soul at the airport rep'ing the company. Ya'll know about that ladder that flops down just behind the nose gear? You're gonna get to put it to use. (BTW, that's the way one can get from the ground into the airplane without stairs.) Guess what your training elects you to do? Go get one of those cuttie-pie counter girls and ask if she want to go for a ride in a 747 . . . just to keep up appearances. Let her try the brakes, maybe even steer a bit along a straight stretch. Works like a charm. Don't give her the radio, though. You'll learn all those tricks. The moral is this. If anyone ever offers to teach you to taxi one of these things, just say NO!

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We've just starting operating Virgin's new 747-400 level-D full-motion sim at Gatwick and I find taxiing really fun as it's trickier than flying the thing!

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James, I've looked at that website before. It's just too bad you need a UK or EU passport, as I'm American. Would be nice to try the 4 hour exclusive on the 744.

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hehe, I can imagine :DWill the 787 sim be availble as soon as it is operational, or will there be a lot of demand from the carriers wanting to train crews first? Also will it be at the same location as the 747? I wouldn't mind a bit of sim time when I get back to the UK :Dp.s. do you get to fly the sims a lot?

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Mike - Yes it's a shame about that rule. The 747-400 sim is owned by a different company who have different ID procedures. The UK/EU-only rule doesn't apply to any of the other sims.Alaister - I remember you came to BA Craneback, several years ago now! The 787 will be at Gatwick. It will be used for training European crews prior to the aircraft's entry into service, but there's always spare time! Yes, I'm very lucky to be in some kind of sime several times a week, and the novelty still hasn't worn off!

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Man I want your job :-lolYeah was a long time ago now, but it feels like it was yesterday :) Thanks for the info :D

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If you want to fly the 747-400 real sim, it is located in Miami, Fl and you can look up Alteon on Google for the details.Regards,jack

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Mike,Sorry about the above, I meant to say it was available in Seattle, WA in the USA.Regards,jack

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