Thursday, 29 March 2012

There are only three definite things in life for a pilot... ...

There are only three definite things in life for a pilot, death, taxes and check rides. I usually get three of the latter every year and at least three medicals to confirm I am not suffering a case of the foremost!  However I get a bonus every other year when I have to renew my FAA (American) Instructors certificate, yes I know I am a Brit but it is an International world out there folks. I have to sit through 16 presentations on the Internet and pass a short exam at the end of each. To be fair it is a very good way to learn and revise and quite enjoyable, one of todays units was on single pilot resource management - SRM for short!
Actually with a couple of exceptions all of our operations in MAF are carried out, when away from the main base by a team of one - I carry the pilots bags, unload and load 'his' aircraft, refuel it, serve 'him' hot tea,, give out the post and freight, round up the passengers as well as issue the tickets; yup team of one; so single crew resource management is vital! On the ground though there are usually plenty of onlookers and sometimes they can be a great help or an interesting hindrance. On one occasion when landing literally in front of a huge storm, the dark black clouds tumbling over each other as they raced  towards me, I had to beach and anchor my aircraft (it was amphibious) in double quick time. I  waved 7 or 8 Bangladeshi farmers to come and join me, they were only to happy to be given a chance to hide in such an unusual shelter and I was more than happy to have them welcomed on board, a stack of potential very helpful resources, should the aircraft break free from my anchor points.

Crew of one
We need to carry out the SRM skills on all our flights there are 5 of them, they work together, not only at 10,000ft but also in day to day life and I often run through the SRM areas as I get ready for the day whether I am at home or away. Thought you might find them interesting, perhaps even helpful.
Communication - may I hear what people say to me today and if I am not sure what is being said may I clarify it.
Decision Making - as a Christian I have been given brains and common sense, just pray for wisdom to use them!
Situational Awareness - No matter where I am today may I be aware of where I am and with whom.
Resource Mangement - May I use all the amazing things you have given me for your glory.

Working with the resources around can be fun
Workload management - May I learn to keep a balance in my life between work, family, keeping fit, sleeping and being a disciple of Jesus. Yet the latter pervades all the SRM areas.

The definition of SRM is the art and science of a pilot managing all available resources to ensure the successful outcome of the flight is never in doubt. 

... may that be a prayer for me and hopefully for you today, as you use all the available resources to get you through the events of the day.

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  1. Yet another good blog, and a great way to start the day. Your memory of the incident in Bangladesh reminded me of an incident when I had to drop the flat racks off my trucks in Croatia to secure several Helicopters to the deck during a storm which took place during the Bosnian conflict in the early 90's. Even with that, one was tipped upside down. I won't mention what happened to our tents!

  2. I really enjoyed your blog, Bryan, and your deft blending of the aviator's and the christian's actions/attitudes. You might be interested in Dr. Tony Kern's excellent work 'Redefining Airmanship'. It has been billed as 'the first book to define modern airmanship in terms of all the required elements for successful flight operations. It merges the skills, knowledge, and human factors systematically, so that you, the aviator, have a concrete way to measure and polish your performance'. Superb work, in my opinion, and recommended to me a few years ago by Guy Brooking.

  3. Enjoyed the Blogg

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    Human Resource Management