Top Of Climb Checks


The pilots of many airlines have a procedural flow or checklist of items they review after the aircraft reaches cruising altitude. These are rarely documented in Airlines SOPs and even more rarely are they based on anything from the manufacturer. This is because fundamentally, today’s airliners pretty much tell you what (it believes) you need […]

Interview for Airline Management


We’re now seeing several articles on Flight on preparing for your interview when going for that airline job – whether at the bottom or top end of the aviation market. Successfully navigating your way through a chat with the Chief Pilot of a general aviation company can be just as tricky as presenting yourself well […]



A not-so recent amendment to the B777 FCTM (followed by a more recent update to the FCOM and QRH) instigated a procedure where ENG OUT mode of the FMC page is selected (confirmed) and exuted once tinuous thrust has been set after takeoff. While this sounds logical and orderly – as usual, the devil is […]

Boeing 777 Thrust Reference Setting Anomally


There is (what can only be described as) a software bug in the Thrust Reference setting software in the 777. While this bug manifests itself in several situation on normal and non-normal operations, it manifests significantly with flight safety implications during VNAV engine-out approaches. I discovered this issue back in the late 90′s when I […]

Are You Ready to Close Doors, Captain?


Many moons ago I was a Second Officer on Boeing 747-400′s for a large Hong Kong based international airline – which I remember fondly. This story revolves around a flight from Hong Kong to Melbourne about a year after I had checked out, late 1993. This was a three crew operation: Captain, First Officer and […]

GPS Failure and Subsequent Navigation


One of the limitations I’ve encountered with today’s all singing all dancing aircraft simulators is the total inability to simulate casual mapshift. As you know, the position of the aircraft (for display on the Map and as used by a number of systems) – is determined by the FMC (Flight Management Computer). Of course the […]

FMC Scratchpad Messages


There has been some discussion recently around FMC scratchpad messages, their role in flight deck alerting, and an appropriate crew response. Most particularly around the habit that some crew develop – usually during transition simulator training when many spurious messages are generated and often cleared without real understanding of their meaning). We areseeing this in […]

Assessing System Status/Performance


Sometimes something as simple in the aircraft as looking and assessing the indications in front of you can be far more complex that it first seems. I was reminded of this in the simulator recently as several crews were required to assess aircraft pressurisation performance during a door unlocked indication failure in flight. First, some […]

The Boeing 787 – Evolutionary and Revolutionary


The Boeing 787 is certainly a revolutionary step from anything Boeing has done recently – and from anything else Boeing seems to have planned in the future it would seem, judging by the 737-Max. From what I can glean on the web, the 737 Max while incorporating some revolutionary technologies in the engines and airframe […]

Decision Making Models in Aviation


We are reviewing Decision Making Models at the moment. On the 777, we’ve used FORDEC, which is very close to the European model, except we’ve replaced “Check” with “Communicate”, which may or may not have been a good thing. Other fleets in our airline are using GRADE or NMATE. There are several reasons why Decision […]

Missed Approach Acceleration


I’ve recently been contacted by a friend from a previous airline who now works for another Middle Eastern carrier, flying 777′s. Interestingly enough – he’s chasing down information on Missed Approach Acceleration – an issue I also encountered when I arrived at my current airline in 2008. Image Credit: At that time, the initial training […]

ENG OIL PRESS – A Simulator Scenario


This failure seems simple enough – one of the engines is low on oil pressure; the checklist reduces thrust and shuts down the affected engine. Then there’s the reality of dealing with an engine NNM (Non-Normal) under various conditions of high altitude and high thrust settings. This failure has something of a history in 777 […]

So, Who should Fly?


Currently I’m evaluating research on the roles of the Captain vs the First Officer in the detection and correction of procedural errors on the flight deck. Fortunately I’m not looking at our entire operation, just one small corner of it. First, some background. Delaying Final FMC Performance Data Entry Our SOP’s are pretty much based on Boeing’s […]

Relief Crew on the Flight Deck


Ok, so this one may be a little controversial. As you read it remember that unlike many of my professional brethren, in my dim dark past I actually have been a Cruise Relief First Officer (actually a Second Officer, or more accurately at times, the Captain’s sexual advisor) on a ULH operation for almost 3 […]