MCC Courses

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MCC Courses

MCC stands for Multi Crew Cooperation – the concept of working in a multi-crew environment. When learning to fly initially, students are taught to operate as single crew i.e. to do everything themselves such as flying the aircraft, operating the radio, reading checklists, navigating etc. This can be busy but with a little experience it is relatively straightforward when flying a small light aircraft.


As aircraft get bigger, faster and more complex, the workload increases such that a second and sometimes even a third pilot is necessary in the flight deck. The MCC Course transitions a pilot from operating on their own, to operating as part of a team with clearly defined responsibilities. Any pilot wishing to fly a multi-pilot aircraft must complete this course before starting a type rating. So let’s take a look at it in a little more detail.


When you Google MCC, you’ll usually find two courses; an MCC and an APS MCC with a marked price difference between the two. Briefly, an MCC is a basic course that introduces you to the concept of multi-pilot flying whereas the APS MCC is an Airline Pilot Standard MCC which specifically prepares you for working in an airline. Both fulfil the regulatory requirement to start a type rating but like everything in flying, there are pros and cons to each. Let’s start with the basic MCC.


Interestingly, this will be the first course you will complete as a trainee pilot that takes place exclusively in a simulator – there is no ‘real’ flying element to it. The MCC requires 25 hours of theoretical knowledge training which usually takes the form of 4 days of ground school. This will cover competencies such as Communication, Leadership, Teamwork, Situation Awareness, Workload Management, Problem Solving and Decision Making, Use of Checklists and lots more. This will all be in the context of a two person flight deck.

The simulator element of the course involves 20 hours, usually split into 5 x 4-hour sessions. They will usually be subdivided into 2 hours of Pilot Flying (PF) and 2 hours of Pilot Monitoring (PM). Exercises in the simulator include setting up the aircraft for flight including the FMS and performance calculations, takeoff, climb, cruise, descent and landing both in normal and non-normal configurations. A range of manoeuvres are also flown including 2D and 3D approaches, single-engine flying, windshears, go-around and rejected takeoffs. It’s a lot to squeeze into 20 hours.

Can be completed quicklyCan be completed in a very basic simulator
Cheaper than an APS MCCDifficult to expose students to an airline environment on such a short course
Widely available around EuropeMay not adequately prepare you for a simulator assessment


The APS MCC was developed in response to industry demand for a pilot that was more suited and prepared for an airline assessment. While the MCC was useful at preparing a pilot to work in a multi-crew environment, it did not necessarily prepare them to operate a large multi-engine passenger jet aircraft. The Airline Pilot Standard MCC was developed to address these shortcomings. The APS doubles the minimum simulator hours from 20 to 40 and specifies a minimum standard of the simulator that can be used. This should represent at least a 50-seater aircraft and include a visual system of at least 180° x 40°.

The theoretical knowledge part of the course is also enhanced and covers additional areas such as Airline Orientated Training. The APS must also use specific airline SOPs and manuals from OEMs. It also introduces the concept of performance indicators and observable behaviours. These are graded and a student is required to demonstrate 75% or greater in the final assessment to be awarded an APS MCC certificate.

Of the 40 hours of simulator flying, 20 will cover the basic MCC, 12 hours will cover Advanced Swept-Wing Jet Aeroplane Handling, 6 hours of Advanced Airline Operations Scenario Training and 2 hours for a Final Assessment.

Much better preparation for an airline simulator assessmentMore expensive
A higher quality simulator must be usedTakes longer to complete
The course is longer with much more exposure to airline style operationsStudents must meet a minimum standard to be awarded the APS MCC Certificate
The instructors need specific training to conduct an APS MCC
Airline Specific SOPs are used

What’s an MCC JOC?

You will on occasion see a reference to a JOC – Jet Orientation Course. The JOC has no regulatory basis but was often offered by flying schools as a bonus to their MCC course to better prepare students for an assessment. You could almost look at it as a link between the basic MCC and the APS MCC developed individually by flying schools about 20 years ago. The benefits have been eclipsed by the APS MCC so you won’t see it too much anymore. While it’s useful, remember it has no regulatory basis and in theory can be taught by somebody with no formal flying qualifications.

Which should I pick?

That’s one of those questions that will come down to you own personal circumstances. The APS MCC is a higher quality course and is looked upon more favourably by the airlines during simulator assessments. It will also prepare you better for an assessment. It is more expensive so that’s another factor to consider. Regardless of the route you take, make sure you get some simulator assessment practice in the aircraft type you will be assessed on.

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