Very thoroughly. I have not come across any professions that are being subjected to such stringent tests once in every 6 months. The duration of the checks is about two days.
Personally, I think this is a necessary routine to keep pilots hone on their flying skills as hundred of lives are in their hands should they make a mistake. In the simulator, one learn from one mistakes but no lives are being lost.
Every Airline has a different check profile but they would all include some of the mandatory exercises stipulated by their country's Civil Aviation Department.
A sample of a Pilot's Check Flight would include the following:-
Technical Knowledge (Oral)
- Aircraft Systems
- Memory items on all Emergency procedures
- Aircraft Limitations
- Any latest amendments or procedures in flying
- Any aviation matters
Line Orientation Flight Training
A simulated flight profile over a specific route with many emergencies thrown in to see how the pilot handle the situation.
Some of the mandatory exercises given include the following:-
- Systems failures, example, hydraulics, electrical, navigation equipment, etc
- Loss of pressurization caused by an explosion
- Loss of an engine followed by a diversion
- Landing Gears collapsed followed by a passenger evacuation drill
- Landings in severe wind shear or strong cross winds
- Any other emergencies as and when the examiner feels that certain training are necessary
Certificate of Test
The mandatory checks would include:-
- Aborted take off
- Engine failure after take off
- Single engine go around
- Single engine landing
All Weather Operations (Automatic Landing
Procedures in bad weather)
Mandatory exercises would include the following:-
- Aborted take off
- Engine Failure after take off
- Going around on single engine
- Automatic landing in poor visibility with one engine
- Co-pilot taking over controls when the Captain is incapacitated (example heart attack)
Instrument Rating Test
- Test proficiency on the manual handling of the aircraft without the aid of the Auto pilot with an engine failure and going around in bad weather.
- Carry out an Instrument Approach using an Instrument Landing System in bad weather.