MCC/JOC at CRM Aviation Europe

So for the last two weeks, I have been on my MCC/JOC at CRM Aviation Europe down at White Waltham airfield.
I must admit I have very much enjoyed the course, even more so as I have been waiting so long for it.
CRM Aviation Simulator
The instructors are a mixture of British Midland, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic guys and all are very experienced. The simulator is a generic sim that is loosely based on a Citation Jet with some Airbus systems. With all the talk on what sim you need, I found this sim perfect for the MCC element.

JOC

The JOC is designed to bridge the gap between flying the multi-engine pistons we are used to and the jets that we will be flying.
The course started with a half a day in the classroom with our instructor (a former 757 / 767 captain) going through the differences between the two types of aircraft (MEP and Jet).
We then we in the sim and it was mainly to get a hold of the handling and performance differences between the two. So we did things like climbing and descending, turns, steep turns, high-speed descents etc.
I must say I am a bit disappointed with this element of the course. Speaking to other people who did the course elsewhere, they covered airline profiles which really assisted them when they finally got an interview. I feel covering the profiles in more depth would have been a huge advantage to me going forward.

MCC Theory

So the MCC theory was led by a former British Midland / British Airways captain, type rating instructor, line training captain. Firstly, the level of experience of our instructor really helped to bring the first week to life.
The first week was all about the human factor side of things and we spent a lot of time looking at accidents and then discussing what had happened.
There was a lot of looking at videos and sitting around the table and discussing what we think happened and working out the issues that lead to accidents. There is rarely one single course of an accident (Swiss cheese model).

Sim Sessions

I was going to list full detail of every sim through the week but then I thought that I would actually be taking something from anyone who then wanted to enroll on the course. For this reason, I will just give an overview.
What I will say is that each day is scenario based and that you will be pushed and challenged more and more as the week goes on. You will face things such as emergencies, weather issues, company requests etc.
They are designed to get you thinking and to challenge you. The goal is to keep making smart decisions in the face of increasing challenges and pressure. On top of this, it is to get you thinking ahead. Staying in front of the aircraft is essential.
Dodar and Nits are two terms you will become very familiar with during this week.
It is actually quite impressive how much you learn in a week and the learning curve is steep. The MCC is a serious course and you need to be prepared to work hard.

Conclusion

I did not know what exactly to expect coming on to this course. There were the options of fancy courses on everything from a B737 to even a B747!
The level of experience at CRM Aviation Europe which on the whole is made up of ex British Midland guys is through the roof. Everyone is a captain and many have held various training positions.
For the simulator week, I had a current Virgin 787 Dreamliner Captain. You honestly cannot put the price on having someone with this level of experience training you.
I honestly don’t see what these more expensive courses could have provided me. I am more than satisfied with the course at CRM. If I had one thing that I think could be improved, it would be the JOC. I feel this could cover an airline profile in more detail with an emphasis on what will be asked of you.
The simulator is the perfect platform and while maybe not as fancy or “pretty” as some of the others, the course is about the CRM skills you gain. Also, you can use the money saved to go in a type-specific sim before any assessment and still have a lot of change.

 

Where to do my MCC / JOC?

So the next big question is where to do my MCC / JOC?
Brighton en route to Lydd
The first big choice I had to make was, should I do an MCC (Multi Crew Co-Operation)  / JOC (Jet Orientation Course) or should I do an APS (Airline Pilot Standard) course?
The main difference between these courses was
1. The price.
2. The hours in the sim
The APS is a new standard that gives you more time in the sim and more airline focused training.
With more sim time comes additional cost, with APS course costing anywhere from £5500 to £9000.
Standard MCC courses seem to start from as little as £2000.
I had to think to myself, what is an MCC course? An MCC course is defined as by EASA as a non-technical course. So as this is a non-technical course do I need to do it on the latest and greatest simulator available? It would be nice of course, but is it essential? I think the answer has to be no.
So then I asked myself, do I need to pay half of what I paid for the entire CPL ME IR for a non-technical course? Once again, it was hard to justify doing so.
From what I could see from looking at the time, there is just one airline stating a preference for APS courses. In fact, quite a few airlines will put you through their own MCC should you gain employment with them. This is the case if you do a standard MCC or an APS course.
I then asked my friends who are airline pilots what do they think I should do, they all told me that I should do a standard MCC course.
So for these reasons I then decided I will go with the standard MCC courses. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure the APS MCC courses are great and more training can only be a good thing. However, for now, the airlines are not really demanding you complete one.
While I was prepared to go abroad if needed, my preference was to stay in the UK.
So I started looking to see what courses are available. I have two friends who not too long ago went through a course and rated it very highly, so I decided to start my search there. This company was called CRM Aviation Europe.

So why CRM Aviation Europe?
1. The course was very well priced, at just £2695.
2. While the sim is a “generic sim” it actually looks pretty good.
3. It is not too far from where I live, which makes commuting an option, at least for the simulator details anyways.
4. Great reviews, the people I know who have gone have all had good things to say.
5. Helpful staff. I have been messaging them since before I started my CPL ME IR and they were always helpful and prompt in their responses.
6. A good record of student getting jobs.
7. Very experienced instructors, which is essential at this stage.

I cannot actually do my MCC before February so I have booked the course for then.