My friend in V Australia recently referred to the plane i fly as a "box-kite." I thought that was pretty funny, so i will probably start saying box-kite more regularly. I guess to his 300T takeoff weight, a 19T box-kite must appear tiny, especially on the ground!
Anyway, on to the training side of things, i can't really argue at all. I have had 2 weeks off basically to study for my sims, and 'try' be as prepared as i can for them. The hardest part is learning recalls, and how to action them. Recalls are essentially the phase 1's of a failure, or fault with the plane, which are commited to memory for immediate actioning, before the checklist is pulled out and used. An example is the depressurisation. The recall is, Oxygen - on, mic switch - mask, passenger signs - on, power levers - flight idle, condition levers - max, and airspeed - Vmo. Now its good and ready to have that memorised, but actually doing it in a 2 crew situation and the exact ways to action it, makes it slightly more involved.
For example, in a depressurisation, and the plane is in Autoflight, then both pilots would don the oxygen at the same time and set up the mic switches. The Pilot flying would then disengage the autopilot and bank the plane 30 degrees left or right and pitch down to 20 degrees until Vmo is established, and maintain that speed till at least 14000ft. He would also say during this time have said "emergency descent recalls." The pilot monitoring would then have actioned the recall, confirming each one. The oxygen and mic switches are obvious checks as well as the passenger signs, and naturally the pilot flying would have already retarded the power levers as the emergency descent would be commenced. After saying and confirming those, he would get to the condition levers and say "condition levers max." The pilot flying would confirm this, and the pilot monitoring moves the condition levers to max. The airspeed should be at Vmo, and the pilot monitoring would say "recalls complete, reference next."
At this point he would also be saying to ATC that they are conducting an emergency descent and declare a pan pan or mayday. Set the transponder to 7700 for emergency and if time permitted advice the passengers and cabin crew what was happening. I believe cabin crew are trained to recognise a depressurisation and what their actions should be.
There are a lot of these recalls, and i guess the secret is going through them precisely and accurately in a timely manner, without rushing anything or missing anything. Although, they represent emergency situations and not normal flight conditions, they should be completed calmly and in the proper two crew coordination.
Im looking foward to the sims! I should be Box-Kite endorsed by the end of the month!