Jake and I have gone on a few flights together since I got my PPL. He always pushes me to become a better pilot during those flights, even if I’d just prefer to enjoy the flight.
Something that has stuck with me that he’s always telling me when we fly, if you find yourself not doing anything keep asking yourself “what else could I be doing?” In flying, it’s holding altitude, making a radio call, checking your position against a sectional, checking your position against a VOR, checking your instruments, lots to be done all the time!
I’ve started applying this method in my work too since it’s such solid advice. When I’m sitting at my desk doing nothing, I check maintenance times on the fleet, follow up on customs paperwork, check NOTAMs and weather, and may other tasks. It’s also task management, which we learned about in dispatch school. There are a lot of little things that need to get done during the course of the day and phone calls and IROPs (irregular operations) can pop up at any time! It’s important to get these things done when things are slow. It’s the same with flying. Whether you’re siting in a cockpit or at the Operations Control Center, aviation is very similar in all aspects.
This method really helped me out the past Tuesday, which is my Friday at work, and always the busiest day of the week. I started work at 4am and by 6am things were already busy. For the next 10 hours I worked constantly. I didn’t get a chance to take my lunch because if I did I’d fall behind. There were 6 flights on Thursday going internationally that didn’t have paperwork filed yet, lots of flights for the next day, and a lot of flying happening that day. We ended up having a delayed flight that made the pilots unable to fly the next day, reposition legs were moving around, booking cars and hotels for the crews was a lot of work due to the moving around. It was rewarding though to finish the day and have all the customs that I could filed, every notice of arrival taken care of, all hotels and cars booked, authorized all the flights that day, and taken care of everything else that popped up. I know if I had gone the Part 121 route I wouldn’t have to deal with some of those things, but I’ve really been enjoying the 135 world even if I have the extra duties. Following this method though makes my life easier!
Jake wants me now to apply it to my free time and cleaning the apartment….that’s not going to happen.