In our world PC doesn't mean 'politically correct'...it means proficiency check.
Steve has a PC once a year. As a matter of fact, I even blogged about his last one. CAs have them once every six months.
What does it mean for Steve? Hours and hours, over 2 days, in a sim. Steve is joined with a CA, as well as a trainer. I think this is what they are called...for now, I will use the word trainer. We all know what a CA is. The trainer is a pilot who flies maybe twice a month, to keep current, and spends the rest of the month in the training center. In the sim, the trainer is the one who operates the back stuff, to which the flying pilot react.
Apparently, there are some trainers that even get into character a bit. One of Steve's leg took him into MEX, and I asked if ATC had an accent....not this time, but Steve gave some examples of what trainers have done in the past. The trainer can speak in a woman's voice as the FA, or the tug operator may be a little rough around the edges. If I were a trainer, I would totally have fun with this!
What does the dreaded PC mean for me? Hours and hours of a husband being preoccupied with studying. Steve does most of his studying at work. But, the couple days before he leaves for his PC, he always has something in front of him to study.
Steve is an overachiever and a perfectionist. I don't know if it is because or this, or if this happens with all pilots, but Steve really is on a one track mind leading up to the PC. I know what to expect by now, so I just deal. I support Steve and his job, so I have to be supportive.
This year's PC is now over. Steve did fine. He actually talked to me about the PC one evening, and even gave me some pretty specific details. There was a whole lot of words that totally flew over my head like 'MEL' and 'rotation' or is it roll? and 'APU' and blah blah blah. I get what he is talking about, but since I don't really understand things I don't really absorb all the details.
Kind of random, but totally related: let me bullet point all this, because it may just be easier to read it this way
* Steve is training for a marathon. He had a 19 mile run on Friday morning.
* We took my cousins, that are visiting from Poland, to an amusement park on Friday after Steve's run
* The drive took about 1 1/2 hours
* Steve's car is a 5-speed
* As we were in the toll plaza for the highway, about 1 hour into the drive, and Steve was using his clutch a lot since it was stop and go. His leg started to either twitch or cramp or shake...or something like this. Of course this was happening because his legs were quite tired.
His leg acting up reminded him to tell us that when he was doing all the one-engine stuff in the sim, it takes a lot of leg work. Um...because your rudder pedals are down there, and you need to use your rudder to compensate for the failed engine...that is what I heard, and I am stickin' to it. See how I can hear what he tells me, but I just don't absorb it because I don't totally understand it?! He said that his legs were getting really tired and starting to shake in the sim from being used so much. Good thing he has strong legs and can handle that! So, all you pilots out there I expect you to do lots of squats to prepare for this!
11 more months to the next PC. Let the countdown begin...