Real Answers from Real Pilots

737 Training, Phase One

A few months ago, I made the decision to switch from flying the Airbus 320 to the Boeing 737. The primary driver for this decision was a better schedule on the 737 and better routes. I began training in late December at our training center in Denver, Colorado.

United splits training into five phases, they are as follows:

  1. Systems
  2. Procedures
  3. Maneuvers
  4. Line type experience in the simulator
  5. Operating experience in the actual jet.

The emphasis during systems training is on how the various systems of the aircraft work, how they interact with each other and how possible failures affect the aircraft. Systems training started with several hours of home study time using computer based training. From there, we go through four days with an instructor that consist of two hours of lecture, followed by four hours in a Flight Training Device where the various systems, and failures, are demonstrated. A Flight Training Device (FTD) is like a simulator, except it is stationary. There really is no need to be in a simulator for this type of training.

On the fifth day we take a multiple choice test on our knowledge of the aircraft systems. The company calls this a “systems validation test”. I completed this phase a few weeks ago and am about to move on to phase two.