Friday, April 30, 2010

you CAN be too careful

There's a saying that goes, you can never be too careful. And clearly they are talking about safety and being on the cautious side of things. I think that's wrong or partially incorrect. It is possible to be too careful and it can be costly at times.

Aviation whether it's a flight training, air taxi, airline or any other company in between has always revolved around the topic of safety. It is the core, the foundation, the epicenter of the whole infrastructure of what we call Aviation. Anything that has to do with flying, has to do with safety. If it wasn't the case, the whole flying industry would literally and figuratively plummet from the sky. But what if these companies decide to all of the sudden think you can never be too careful?

Well if by being too careful means taking no risk, well then unpack your bags cause your airline may not be flying anymore. In flying there are all sorts of hazards that are at risk, to name a few there's wind, weather, system failures and so on. But that doesn't mean you wouldn't take an airplane through weather with some wind and well the systems are kind of important to keep the airplane flying. And risk, well everyone has their own perception of risk which depends on many factors like past experience and so on (that's a whole can of worms.)

That's the reason why safety isn't defined as the absence of risk...instead it's a condition that exists when hazards are managed to an acceptable risk. (straight from my safety management systems course).

So if by being too careful means you aren't taking risk then the quote you can never be too careful is simply wrong. Take your risks and manage them according to your own perception and level of acceptance. You may not be running a multi-million dollar company but you will definitely be rewarded in some way, shape or form. High risk means high reward (usually)

"Being scared means you're onto something important. If you're not scared then you're not taking chances, if you're not taking chances then what the hell are you doing?" 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Quick Reference Handbooks

Most aircraft/companies have quick reference handbooks, QRH for short. They are pretty much some form of checklist or troubleshooting manual in times of abnormalities. Pilots still need to memorize drill items that require immediate and reactive action but minor irregularities in any portion of flight can require a pilot to call out the QRH.

The QRH has index or table of contents on where to find different abnormalities. They are usually divided into seriousness of of the situation either emergencies, abnormalities, advisories or status messages on the EICAS (engine indicating and crew alerting system) which would have different colour codings as well. Then they are indexed depending on the system that is in question for example power plant for engine problems, electrical, fire protection and so on. Sometimes different scenarios require the flight crew to refer to other pages in the QRH and all this while trying to fly the airplane and maintain situational awareness. This is primarily the one important reason why pilots can never be replaced by computer alone and why we still need at least two pilots for (most) commercial operations. QRHs can range from a few pages to a few hundred pages depending on the simplicity or complexity of an aircraft.

It makes the pilots life and workload that much easier because there is simply no way any pilot can memorize every possible scenario that can arise from a flight. The QRH tries to put all that into one little package...even then the randomness of situations still occur and pilots eventually will have to use their judgment if the QRH doesn't outline the problem.

Life's QRH

When in sorrow - John 14
When others fail you - Psalm 27
When you have sinned - Psalm 51
When you worry - Matthew 6: 19-34
When you are in danger - Psalm 91
When God seems far away - Psalm 139
When your faith needs stirring - Hebrews 11
When you are lonely and fearful - Psalm 23
When you grow bitter and critical - 1 Corinthians 13
When you feel down and out - Romans 8:31
When you want peace and rest  - Matthew 11: 25-30
When the world seems bigger than God - Psalm 90
When you want Christian assurance - Romans 8: 1-30
When you leave home - Psalm 121
When your prayers grow narrow or selfish - Psalm 67
When you want courage for a task - Joshua 1
When you think of investments and returns - Mark 10

If you are depressed - Psalm 27
If you are losing confidence in people - 1 Corinthian 13
If people seem unkind - John 15
If you are discouraged about your work - Psalm 126
If self-pride takes hold - Psalm 19
If you want to be fruitful - John 15

For how to get along with others - Romans 12
For understanding of Christianity - II Corinthians 5: 15-19
For a great invention/opportunity - Isaiah 55
Paul's secret to happiness - Colossians 3:12-17
For dealing with fear - Psalm 347
For security - Psalm 121:3
For assurance - Mark 8:35
For reassurance - Psalm 145:18

Friday, April 16, 2010


Mistakes aren't made at a moments notice. They are brewed over a period of time in which of it has been hidden from the obvious and the visible. Sometimes common sense may not make sense because there has been a lack of understanding of the general view or perspective of the idea or thought. The reality of the relativity of situations and scenarios are always going to have biased judgment of what has been or what seems to be happening or what we predict the outcome to be.

But when it's all said and done, when bad things seem to lead to worse things and further to things that are unknown, the human capacity is truly the last line of defense and tries to adapt to these unfamiliar ground in which lives and property may become endangered.

For the sake of our own learning and the learning of others, mistakes have to be made. No they are not wanted or greeted with a big welcome, but with the outcome resulting from these mistakes, nor they are frowned upon when they do occur.

"Learn from the mistakes of others,
         you'll not live long enough to make them all yourself."

Monday, April 5, 2010

Flight Computers


So I've recently made the switch/conversion from the E6B to the CR flight computer. More specifically I have chosen the smaller CR-2 version of the device. Now the E6B was great for all the functions that I had to use it for. There was nothing wrong with it that made me get the CR flight computer. It was actually in one of my courses (Air Carrier Procedures) that required us to purchase the CR flight computer.
This is for the assignments and the future applications that the CR flight computer has capabilities of.

  • It does every single function that the E6B did plus a few extra more.
  • It's one piece and the one I got is much smaller so it's easier for storage or when I have to use it in flight.
  • It's much easier to do flight planning calculations in terms of track, wind, and heading and all the jazz since you don't have to keep turning the discs so many times which can produce errors along the way.
  • It has greater range for speeds in terms of groundspeed since the E6B can only go up to 260kts.
  • The downside is that since it is a smaller device, the markings are much smaller and tighter therefore there are more estimating involved and can therefore produce minor errors.
  • Also the E6B slide rule is great for drawing track lines on the map which is better than a flimsy plastic ruler, not to mention it has written valuable information that can help a pilot in training (or any pilot for that matter) for quick reference.
  • The E6B also has space to put instructions on how to use it and the CR flight computer does not, but those instructions are just wasteful space once you got used to using the computer.
All in all, the E6B is great for initial training and flight planning but as a pilot moves to a bigger and faster airplane, more functions are required to do calculations and the E6B simply cannot perform some of those tasks, like calculating Mach Number according to altitude and temperature, and so on. The E6B is just limited plus its bigger and cannot fit into my pocket like the CR-2 can.

The CR flight computer is definitely an improvement over the E6B...but as technology is ever so vast and fast moving, the requirement to use a CR flight computer is all the more unlikely with the FMS/FMC's on board new generation aircraft. But if there's ever that event of an electrical failure or you just simply operate at a small charter company with FMS unequipped aircraft, the CR flight computer is the way to go.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Summer 2010

So it's been too long since I've posted on this. Mainly because there I had really no ideas on what is actually appropriate to post on this particular blog.
I have plenty of other social networking sites that I use like:
Twitter - which is connected to my facebook for some reason and will be mostly updated because it's so easy
Dailybooth - a daily photo blog of my life and trying to interact with others through pictures
Youtube - ideas and projects into motion picture. HOwever I need more ideas for this.
Tumblr - some of my creative or random thoughts come here...
Flickr - some pictures that may be creative may be posted on this

and so on but I was still not quite sure what to put on pilotsdiscretion.

However things are about to change! wooo!
Summer 2010 is going to be filled with exciting stuff as I will be working for Cameron Air for a coop work term the whole summer. They operate C206s and Caravans and on floats so that should be fun.

I have been making a lot of videos for youtube lately because it's so much fun and I like to share my days, thoughts, and so on with the rest of the world.r