Today was our first day of ground school! We received new manuals, Jeppesen charts and IDs (we had to turn these in when we were furloughed).
The purpose of ground school is to bring us back up to speed on aircraft systems and company procedures. Today we spent about 9 hours on systems, and still didn't finish the whole review! It's assumed that, since this is recurrent, that you have a basic grasp on the A320 systems so most of the information involved non-obvious facts.
The first thing pilots perform when entering the cockpit for the day is to perform a cockpit preparation and preflight. We used this as the backbone for our systems study. The pilots check the various systems to make sure nothing is broken. The logbook gets reviewed for any inoperative items, and we look up any procedures that we need to perform as a result.
Flows are an important part of airline training. A flow is basically a checklist that you perform from memory - it tends to move in an easy-to-remember pattern that "flows" around the cockpit. The cockpit preparation flow moves up and down the overhead panel, across the instrument panel, and down the center pedestal. We check to make sure all the systems that should be on are active, make sure our emergency oxygen system is functioning correctly and ensure that required items (such as landing gear pins and windshield rain repellent) are in the airplane and filled.
While discussing the flows in class today we stopped and discussed the corresponding systems. It's a nice way to review aircraft systems while covering a little bit of procedures training.
In other news, it's so nice to be back. I feel like I can finally believe that I've been recalled and am going back to work! I'm waiting for my boyfriend to get done flying for the day so I can tell him all about it. :) Until then, perhaps some dinner and studying with my classmates!