The Tu-154 has a crew of between 8-12 of which 4 are working in the cockpit:
- First Officer
- Flight Engineer
Flying this machine is a handful for each of them, and in the flight simulator, you’re on your own! Well, almost. When you fly the aircraft correctly, Your crew members will make certain call outs to inform you of speeds, height and configuration of the aircraft.
As long as we talk about normal procedures, it is actually quite manageable and when you need to do a few things at the same time, well, just do them one at a time. It takes a bit longer but fuel doesn’t cost anything and your passengers are made of binary code, so who cares.
Initial power up
After a quick scan to see if all the switches are in the correct position, the Flight Engineer will connect the battery’s and check if all the warning lights are working.
If there is ground power available, you can select the ground power switch down.
If there is no ground power available, you can start the ВСУ (Auxiliary Power Unit). This ‘little’ turbine engine can provide electrical power to the aircraft when the engines are off at the cost of some fuel and a deafening noise.
The inverters will convert AC power from the APU Generator or the external power unit, into DC power to charge the batteries. Check that the Discharge light is out. With the power established, we can start aligning our electrical equipment.
The aft overhead panel contains most of the control and power switches for the electrical equipment.
We start with the AFCS (Automatic flight control system).