A time management technique

A time management technique

During the course of a flight, we come across variable task time distribution. It can vary from a laboriously long one, to catch up if you can. Every now and then, we have so little to do and so many hours available that we even forget some tasks... How many times I have I said on a 5 hours flight... “Oh ! The log book, I forgot I have to fill it out...” That is the fun part, but the time compress one is a little less amusing.

Quick info access is the key to greater situation awareness

One of the most time compress moment I see during the course of our duty, is when performing the RNAV approach. Within the last 12 miles of the runway, due to a high task over time ratio, there are moments where situational awareness is greatly reduce. Fortunately, the witty pilots get by easily but it is not the majority of us. Of course, following the SOP in regards to aircraft configuration helps a great deal, airmanship of those savvy experienced pilots too. In my case one thing as improve my ability to keep a good situational awareness, at that moment it is simply getting instant access to desired data.

Quick info access is the key to greater situation awareness. Not being the quickest performer out there, I have to find ways to keep up and stay ahead of the ball game. The following method is making a whole world of a difference on this time compress RNAV approach.

Here it is, when performing an approach briefing, always compare the waypoints, altitudes and speeds appearing in the FMC and the approach plate. Make sure the initial approach, final approach and go around are matching. Also, ensure the minimum altitude set on the PFD is the same as the published one.

Once the briefing is complete, the information is perfectly laid out on the FMC. At that moment, time has come to refer to the FMC as opposed to referring back to the plate when seeking information. Since the FMC will display the active waypoint in pink, the next altitude is right there before your eyes. Also, the past waypoints and constraints are history... In that case, when seeking quick info, why bother turning the map light on, find the appropriate position of the aircraft on the plate and read the safe altitude next to it? It is available to us in a glance!

I understand we have been referring to our paper plate for most of our career but the IT age as arrived now! I find this quick method of accessing the next altitude (Go around included) is making a world of a difference in regards to time management, during this peak RNAV period. I am inviting you to try it, see if you like it !

Fly safe,

Nicolas Charette

Fond of business quality management, the author of “attitude 80, the book”, makes use of observations and skills developed in his past career has a corporate chief pilot, Boeing 767-300 airline captain and Boeing 737-800 ACP A (approved check pilot) to promote savvy leadership and efficient team work practices. www.attitude80.com