APS MCC VS MCC - What is the difference?

Tim Wetterdahl

Imagine that you have just achieved a lifelong dream; you are holding your pilot license in your hand and can officially call yourself a pilot! There's just one more thing you need to do. In order to qualify for airline employment, you will need to complete a Multi Crew Cooperation (MCC) course. Incidentally, an MCC course is also a fantastic way to prepare for upcoming airline interviews, since you will develop your skills and understanding of how to operate in a multi crew environment. 

So what are the differences between the "traditional MCC" and the new Airline Pilot Standard (APS) MCC? Keep reading to find out! 

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Breaking it down

A good place to start is to sort out the meanings of the abbreviations. APS MCC is an abbreviation for "Airline Pilot Standard Multi Crew Cooperation". In plain language, this means that you will learn how to work as a crew in an airline environment.

APS MCC has evolved from the MCC (Multi Crew Cooperation) course after requests from the airline industry to better prepare newly graduated pilots for operations with multi-crew aircraft. To ensure that students develop their skills within Crew Resource Management (CRM) and jet aircraft operations, the new APS MCC course has twice as many hours of tutoring in the simulator compared to a traditional MCC course. The regular MCC-course typically contains 20 hours of flight instruction in an approved simulator, while the new APS MCC contains 40 hours. 

Final assessment

A new addition in the APS MCC course is that a graded final assessment will take place at the end of the course, which is not required in traditional MCC or MCC/JOC programs. The grading system consist of 5 grades, from unsatisfactory to exemplary, and to successfully graduate from the APS MCC course, you will need to fulfill the grade “satisfactory” of higher. Upon successful graduation you will be given an APS MCC certificate.

If you for some reason are unable to complete the course with the grade “satisfactory” or higher, you will still be granted an MCC certificate. However, you must successfully pass the final assessment to earn the full APS MCC certificate. The final assessment will take place during the last 2 hours of the course.

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Transitioning to airline operations

Some of you may think “How hard can it be to fly an aircraft together with another pilot? Shouldn't half the workload make it half as difficult?”, and I understand why you would think along those lines. However, I can guarantee that if you are used to operating as a single pilot in a propeller plane, the transition to a jet powered aircraft flying at 900 kph can be confusing, especially since you need to collaborate with another pilot! 

Shouldn't half the workload make it half as difficult?

The first issue to tackle is "Which pilot does what?". During the APS MCC you will learn the basics of Crew Resource Management (CRM), jet aircraft handling and energy management. For any phase of flight, it needs to be clear who will be the Pilot Flying (PF) and who will be the Pilot Monitoring (PM). The PF will primarily be focused on flying the aircraft, while the PM will handle radio communication and assist the PF when needed. It is important to know how the work will be divided, so you don’t intervene with each others tasks.

For example, let's say that the autopilot is engaged and the PM responds to a new Flight Level (FL) clearance given by Air Traffic Control (ATC). If the PM immediately sets the new altitude in the Mode Control Panel (MCP) without confirming the change with the PF first, this will likely lead to confusion when the PF notices that the aircraft is chancing altitude without his/her input!

What you want to achieve in the cockpit is “Shared Situational Awareness”. You will achieve this by effectively communicating so both pilots see the whole picture. This will enable the crew to assess risks and understand new information as a team. During the APS MCC course, you will work with closed loop communications to avoid confusion and make sure both pilots understand what is happening and what the other one is doing. This isn´t as easy as it sounds, but it is great fun as you develop your skills and improve your knowledge throughout the course!

APS MCC at OSM Aviation Academy

At OSM Aviation Academy we conduct our APS MCC courses in state-of-the-art Boeing 737NG simulators, using airline pilots with relevant experience as your teachers and instructors. We want to make sure that your training is as realistic and challenging as possible, to ensure that you reach your fullest potential during the course.

Before you jump into the simulator, you will be given theoretical instruction in Crew Resource Management (CRM), Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), and the systems of the Boeing 737. The CRM training will enable you to become a more effective communicator so you can contribute to a smoothly operating crew on the flight deck.

Airline Pilot Standards (APS) MCC at OSM Aviation Academy

Once the classroom instruction has been completed, the next step is to start flying the mighty B737NG simulator. The B737NG is a complex aircraft, and there will be a lot to take in. To ease the transition OSM Aviation Academy has a "paper tiger", which is a mock-up of the cockpit layout. The "paper tiger" is a great tool which will help you to learn the cockpit layout quicker, practice your scan flows better and overall preparing you and your sim-partner in an optimal way your next lesson. You can expect around 140 hours of self-studies and 25 hours of classroom lead instruction prior to starting the simulator sessions.

Click here to see upcoming course dates and to apply for the Airline Pilot Standard MCC Course at OSM Aviation Academy. 

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