Standz

heading180

New Member
Every now and then I log on and see whats going on here. Just to give those of you who may be interested an update as to where I stand at the Academy I just started STANDZ on Friday 1/6. Looks like its going to be a challenging course but definately achieveable. For those who are wondering what STANDZ is, it is the "initial hire" course that all instructor candadates are required to attend before donning that white shirt. Once a candadate completes his/her interview they are, hopefully, placed into a pool of applicants who are then invited back to attend STANDZ. Some students are not invited back for various reasons, poor performance throughout the program, background checks, bad attitudes, interview screw ups etc... Each student who completes CFII IS invited to interview with DCA which includes a general aptitude test, Aviation Knowlege test, and then about 30 minutes in front of the interview board which usually consists 3 interviewers, HR, Standardization department, and one other. It takes about 1/2 a day to complete the interview phase and they send you a letter in the mail within a few days to let you know if you are invited back to STANDZ.

STANDZ or Standardization, is a 1.5 week long course that includes 5 written tests and 2 flight tests. The first Flight test I did this weekend included VOR Partial Panel at ORL Exec, Intersection Hold (MAMBO), Steep turns, slow flight, stalls, BAI, Unusual Attitudes, Full NDB Leesburg, ILS back into Sanford. 2.7 on the Hobbs and DCA pays :).. The course requires that you pass each written test with an 80% or greater (90% or greater on the two performance/limitations tests 172, 152), .. failure of one of these tests is grounds for immideate dismissal from the course. The two flight tests, first IFR, second VFR, are a bit more relaxed as there is now what they call the 3 strike rule or, the examining pilot can give you 3 mess ups followed by termination of the flight. It is said that if a flight is terminated for too many strikes the candadate is required to take a review flight, then the STANDZ flight again. However, there are no "strikes" on the written tests and failure of one of these tests below 80% (or 90 on the 2) will result in immideate termination from the program, that's right, that would mean time to go to Avion and start repaying that Key Loan. The homework required for STANDZ is basically to read the Entire AIM the entire Blue OPS manual, a few chapters in the Aviation Instructors Handbook, FOI, FIA, and of course knowing the performance/limitations/emergency checklist verbatum/systems etc.. for the 72 and 52. Once this is all over and God willing I get that white shirt.. haha.. I will post what it cost me to go through DCA. I am pleased with the program thus far. I am achieving my goals and that is what I came here to do. I will keep "yall" posted on how STANDZ is going, the tests, and graduation.
 

Wannabe2

New Member
Good luck with it. I see you guys over there sweating it out every day. It is challenging, but definitely doable with reasonable effort. Drop by the multi office and introduce yourself so I can put a face with the screen name.
 

heading180

New Member
Update

So far so good. I guess. We, so far, have taken 4 written tests and one flight test. The final flight tests are being conducted this weekend. The tests are: FOI; Regs; Runway Incursions; 172 Performance & Limitations; 152 Performance & Limitations; Final. It is challenging to say the least. One of the most difficult things about this course is the fact that once you have taken a test, in which you must score an 80% on each with the exception of the two P&L, which must be to a 90%; we are not given much feedback. We are not told what the scores were, and it has been said that if we do not pass one of the tests we will know at lunch, as that is when the "undertaker" comes to get us. So when we finish the test at 0830 it is a bit agonizing for the next 4 hours of sitting there not knowing if I am about to be "plucked" from the program. The only test I really worried about it on so far was regs. I don't know about the rest of you guys but I don't think I want to go to lunch today..haha..

The regs test is 61,91, and 141. It seemd to be an easy test for the first 3/4, and then the last 10-15 questions are a bit more difficult. I remember thinking, yeah.. this is easy.. I then came the last 2 pages.. OUCH.. I decided from here on out I would start the tests at the back and work my way to the front. This way I would not be quite as brain dead by the time I get to the hard questions. The Runway Incursions test is very easy as long as you read the material given to you in class (only about 4 pages of reading). The 72 P&L was yesterday and was pretty simple as long as you studied the right material. Study the General and Limitations sections of the STANDZ manual (ie.. DCA POH), know each memory item on the emergency checklist and be able to write it out verbatim, IE.. Ignition switch BOTH .. NOT Ignition BOTH; and callouts for an ILS and Non-precision approach. "Course alive" 1000 above MDA" 500 above MDA.. etc.. I assume the 52 test, which is Monday will be similar, only it will cover 52 stuff instead of 72. Example, Max/Min oil Pressure, V Speeds, Max oil temp, Weights.. max t/o and landing etc..

Well, im almost through it. Monday is the 52 test and Tuesday is the Final. Graduation is Thursday. It’s the final that everyone is a bit worried about. We were told it covers a lot of information. I hope we are given a pretty good review before the test so we can kind of know what to put emphasis on, as it can cover anything from REGS/ FOI/ Company policy and procedures/ TCO (syllabus) hourly requirements; etc.. we could even be asked "chief flight instructor and check pilot limitations/responsibilities".. Vague aey.. yeah.. a bit.. But Im sure I will do just fine..

We were also told that there maybe one other person from our class going to Houston. Of course, like everything else, we don't know even if or if there is an "if" then who. I am really nervous about this one as I know I am pretty low on seniority [which is based, we were told, on interview date]. I personally chose to bring my entire family here to FL. wife (recently separated) two kids, two dogs, and a 27 foot U-Haul, one car in tow, full of our belongings. A move to HOU would definitely be very difficult for me as I would then have to leave my 2 kids here under the sole care of my ex-wife and her new heavy-metal hard core both ears pierced several times new boyfriend. Yeah, exactly who I want influencing my children.. NOT. I think I would just rather be kicked in the nuts over and over and over again than to have to leave my kids here. My babies are my whole life. It is especially frustrating knowing that there are other candidates in the class who are significantly younger than I, a few of whom are living with friends here in town, who don't even own a couch; one for sure I know doesn't even own a bed. Hopefully HR will take these kinds of things into consideration before asking someone to uproot their life and move. I realize, with an airline job, I may be required to re-locate, in that position I would commute, get some kind of crash pad somewhere else and still be able to be home with my kids a couple days a week.

So, to say the least, yes, it has been a very stressful week. I would have to say that, even having a 4-year degree, this STANDZ course is one of the most challenging things I have ever done academically. I know for a fact, however, that once I am finished, I will have a great feeling of accomplishment. That feeling, along with knowing that my goals and dreams are being made real is the reason I came to this academy.

I would like to ask each one of you here to pray for my family and me. This is a very challenging time for us and I can assure you that without faith in God and lots of patience I would not be here.
 

FatBastard

New Member
That Bites!

180, I hope everything works out for you. Remember,brother, family, in this case your kids- should always come first, you can always complete your training and start your career elsewhere if it comes to that. But your kids will always remember you for what you did when they were younger.

Whatever you decide, your babies will always remember thier father, who loved them.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
"know each memory item on the emergency checklist and be able to write it out verbatim, IE.. Ignition switch BOTH .. NOT Ignition BOTH"

Heading 180, good luck. You have your CFI, right? You could always just walk away from the insanity and get a job. I can tell you from recent experience that the 757 program at my company has got away from this sort of attitude on memory items. They won't bust you for leaving a word out. It's the intent that's important. It sounds like this Standz thing is a way to weed people out.

Fat Bastard. I edited your post in case you're wondering what happened. Keep your baby jokes in the Lav.
 

heading180

New Member
Yes, CFII. The way STANDZ was explained to us, and the reasoning behind the guidelines are:

1) Although STANDZ is only 2 weeks, the material covered/tested is similar to the regional airlines 6 week training course. It is to prepare us for what is expected at the airline.

2) It is to make sure the instructors at the Academy are of the highest quality. A certain member of Admin explained it like .. would you rather know you or your kids (talking about the parents of prospective students) are being trained by instructors who have been tested to ensure quality and safety, or by a CFI at say another academy who was "guaranteed a job" upon completion of CFI training?

I do understand both points being made. I also agree with these points, especially the second one relating to safety/quality. ESPECIALLY with the high cost of DCA; if it were my name on the loan for my child, or money aside.. my child's safety, I would want to ensure that the, well lets just say, "thousands" of dollars it cost to attend could be somewhat justified in the quality of training my child receives.

Yes, it also does weed people out. Last STANDZ class saw two who were released from the program for receiving a score of less than 90% on the 72 limitations test. WHEW>> i am at least past that one.. hahaha..
 

chrisdahut1

Well-Known Member
Good luck 180! Reading your write up on standz has bought back some erm, well, painful memories! But good ones too. I got hired as a CFI there in the booming month of August 2001. While they preached a hard line philosophy during standz (No retakes! etc..), in reality they needed each of us badly and couldn't afford to wash any of us out. We all had a full schedule of students before even graduating. I couldn't wait to get started and passing standz was a relief! I hit the ground running my first day and it all kinda screeched to a halt a few weeks later after 9/11. Anyways, enough reminiscing.

It's a shame that ever since 9/11 standz has morphed into an "instant death" weed out event. Sad, and I feel unnecessary (especially the overly anal verbatim checklist response....I can tell you that’s NOT how it's done at the airlines). You worked hard as hell to get to where you are, and they should know...they trained and observed you for at least a year! But hey, the sense of accomplishment is awesome and it'll make you one sharp cookie when you start instructing!

Good luck and have a blast instructing. The next 1000 hours you’re going to learn more then you think possible!
 

heading180

New Member
"instant death"

I like that one.. Yeah.. as it standz now..haha.. there is a pretty slow enrollment for Janurary. I think we will get maybe one student in a couple of weeks. A new stz class starts on Friday of this week.. I put in a request to teach ground school (private) as I have about 500 hours of flight time and thought I would learn a lot from teaching ground.. and get the 200 hour credit toward the 800 hour contract as I don't necessarally need 800 more hours of single-engine time. For those who are unfamiliar, as a CFI at DCA you are required to give the Academy 800 hours of Dual Given to move on to the next phase.. ie..Jet Bridge. By teaching ground school, the Academy gives you a 200 hour credit toward that total required contract time. Most new CFI's at DCA have around 250 - 300 hours total time, so 800hours would be about right for their logbooks. It is also 2 mos of somewhat decent pay or.. decent hours at least. I need the money pretty bad..(don't we all in this profession)..it also keeps me here in SFB instead of being shipped off to HOU.
 

FatBastard

New Member
Okie Dokie!

DE727UPS said:
"know each memory item on the emergency checklist and be able to write it out verbatim, IE.. Ignition switch BOTH .. NOT Ignition BOTH"

Heading 180, good luck. You have your CFI, right? You could always just walk away from the insanity and get a job. I can tell you from recent experience that the 757 program at my company has got away from this sort of attitude on memory items. They won't bust you for leaving a word out. It's the intent that's important. It sounds like this Standz thing is a way to weed people out.

Fat Bastard. I edited your post in case you're wondering what happened. Keep your baby jokes in the Lav.
okay, UPS, my attempts at comedy, obviously, has once again bombed.

Anyway, 180, stay strong bro, and in this career, keep the family first!

Blue skies and a kickin tailwind to you!
 

heading180

New Member
First of all I want to say thank you to all who have offered their support. The "good lucks" are duely noted...

Well I did the final flight (VFR) today and .. well.. took full advantage of the "three strike rule".. here's how it went..

Soft field take off, good, got a 4; which in DCA tems is the best you can get

Slow flight, all went well, what was commented on was I needed to be a bit slower as.. the stall horn was going off.. but I could have been slower

Power on/off stalls were fine, no probs there

Cross Controlled Stall (strike one), there is no procedure in the standz manual for this one in the 72.. so I gave it a shot.. trying to recall what I was taught in CFI; kicked in some rudder, turned and cross controled the ailerons. What struck me out was I did not put in 30 degrees of bank which is the procedure for that maneuver which, well, I know now.. so I re-did after it was demonstrated to me and that went fine

Secondary/elevator trim stalls were fine

Accelerated Stall.. I did it exactly as the standz manual stated to do, was within PTS, passed it, then he demo'd it for me to show me how it "should be done".. ??

Steep Turns (strike two). I briefed 95 knots, but somewhere in the midst of setting the airplane up I started the maneuver at 90 kts. It was fine, but the strike was a result of "if I had briefed 90, okay.. but I briefed 95" so I had to redo them, starting the maneuver at 95 instead of 90.

Emergency approach to landing, big mis-communication here.. almost busted me.. here is how it went: pulled my engine.. found an airport I could make it to out near Lake Apopka..Bob White i think was the one, E/W paved runway.. on final I asked "do you want me to continue on down," We were about 800 Indicated (I have been told that some examiners will have you land at an airport out of an emergency descent to see if you could actually make it). His response was.. "continue, to see if you make it, go around if you need to." I took that as.. keep going down.. if it looks like you won't make it go around. Procedurally, we are required to go around at 500 AGL but I passed it and continued on. He abruptly said "my flight controls" and "what altitude do we go around at?" I said 500 AGL, he said why didn't you go around? I repeated what was said above and the mis-communication that had occured and that I was under the impression that I was to continue and go around if I don't make it. SO I had to do it again, and of course, I went around this time no question. He gave that one to me due to the lack of communication, which I thought was fair.

Soft-field landing.. a bit firm, I did keep the nose wheel off the ground, got carb heat off, he said that he would accept that.

Short-Field landing.. (strike three) "since your last landing was a bit firm and you have two strikes, this next landing has to be right on the money." So I came around, got my aiming point, kept my speed up a bit, (insted of 61 I used 65 due to the strong wind and small gusts).. FLOAT.. touch down. I asked "how long was I?" He said it was right on the edge and that he was going to recommend another flight which would consist of a short-field landing. He said although it was within the 100 feet, due to the cumulative items, I suppose the firm soft field didn't help, that I would need to do a remedial flight consisting of short field landings with a stage instructor and go back up for one more landing with a standz instructor. Something about that word "remedial" makes ones stomach sink, ya know, you kindof feel like you should be a window licker on the short school bus.

My opinion, I feel like it was fair. The only complaint I have is the lack of procedures in the Standz manual for a cross controlled stall. That may have saved me a strike. Yes, I should have looked in the 52 or Arrow standz manual but I wasn't sure if the procedure was the same.. in "airline terms".. the procedure for a 727 is probably not the same as that of an MD-80. I did ask before the flight and he stated "I will demonstrate them for you." I took that as because we have not published a procedure for you, I will show you the procedure. When when we got out to the practice area he stated I, the candadate, would demonstrate one first, then he would demo one. So I winged it and got a strike. I made the airplne stall, but I did not get the full 30 degrees bank that is required for the maneuver. If that would have been the striking point that broke me I would probably have a lot more to say about it, but it was not, the examiner was fair as I did boch up my landings and the soft field was not very soft.. so.. I will try again.

This flight re-enforced:

1. The degree of difficulty in this course. From the test material to who is going to Houston. I mean, yes, I know the final test could cover anything from the entire aim, ops manual, verbatum checklists, to the handouts/lectures we were given in class, but a tad more communication and feedback between the Admin and the candadates would be helpful.

2. Communication in the cockpit is key.

3. Communication on the ground (pre-flight) is key.

4. It re-enforces my short field landings and I certainly don't see any problem with that.
 

heading180

New Member
oh my.. i must have been frustrated earlier.. i just re-read my post and my spelling is horrible.. :( .. "strike four".. can I edit this?
 

heading180

New Member
Got word today. Group 1 here in SFB.. NO HOUSTON :) X 1,000,000. The final went well, scored a 96 or 94, I can't remember.. but it was one of the two. I do the flight tomorrow.. I'm sure it will go fine.
 

DCApilot2006

New Member
SFB, that's too bad. The guys at Houston are VERY busy. I have kids in school here, so it worked out better staying here. It just takes a little longer to get hours.
 

heading180

New Member
No, its not too bad.. I have kids here too.. thats the reason I didn't want to go to HOU.. otherwise I would go. Did my VFR flight today.. all went well and I go to graduation tomorrow. So, its official.. :)
 

FatBastard

New Member
Cool Man!

heading180 said:
No, its not too bad.. I have kids here too.. thats the reason I didn't want to go to HOU.. otherwise I would go. Did my VFR flight today.. all went well and I go to graduation tomorrow. So, its official.. :)
Allright Man- don't each too much cake and ice cream- awww helll, pig out on the stuff!!

Pretty soon your gonna look up and see your ready for the regional interview- time will fly for you so get ready, its' gonna be a hell of a ride, don't know whether that's good, or bad, hopefully good.
 

DCApilot2006

New Member
FatBastard said:
Pretty soon your gonna look up and see your ready for the regional interview- time will fly for you...
Uh, If you consider the average time to collect enough hours is running about 2 years flying by then I guess so.:sarcasm:
 

FatBastard

New Member
Its' That Long?!

DCApilot2006 said:
Uh, If you consider the average time to collect enough hours is running about 2 years flying by then I guess so.:sarcasm:
GOOD GRIEF!! I HAD NO IDEA!! Well, about that "look up" stuff.........
 

chrisdahut1

Well-Known Member
FatBastard said:
GOOD GRIEF!! I HAD NO IDEA!! Well, about that "look up" stuff.........
2 years? Thats nothing I did nearly 3 years!

I didn't think I'd see the day where Broward guys were getting done quicker then Sanford, but it's happened. Not that it matters anymore now that Mesa seems to be the only airline to look forward to at the end of it.
 
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