Friday, February 19, 2016

Zero out

I have been flying for a month now, and I have already learned so much. And I know there are still infinity to go, and I am no longer intimidated by that. I am excited. I am here to learn.

One of the things I have noticed that is almost pretty common to all the crew I have flown with so far, and it is not written in any manual that we use. Clear out the clutter. Each flight a lot of information passes through us, and it can pile up in many flights a day. It is up to us to figure out whether that piece of information is still useful or just taking up space...clutter.
In Cranbrook, BC

So when that time comes, we set it aside, either to a garbage bag that fills up pretty quickly, or I try to put it in the side pocket for recycling later on. Clearing out the clutter helps keep distractions to a minimum and eventually allows us to find and reference required information more quickly.

At the end of each flight when we are changing aircraft or are done for the day, we do our best to leave the cockpit the way we found it. Lights all dimmed, altitude select to zero, screens off, and FMS cleared out of the information we used. Some even cross the belts and leave the clipboard where we found it, usually in the copilots side pocket. Some people even go the extra step of helping set up frequencies for the next crew. All of this allows for efficient preflight preparation when it is our turn to pick up an aircraft from another crew. 

Not to mention the safety factor of someone else assuming that their partner have already set up something and both crew missing a critical item. Altitude select zeroed for example. All of these are not written any where. It is courtesy to others, so much so that it has become common cockpit etiquette. 

So why am I talking about this? For one, I find it completely amusing, and if anyone is remotely like me especially not exposed to this practice, may find it amusing also. But more so because this can also be applied to life.

When there are things or (unfortunately) people in our lives we absolutely have no use for anymore, it is time to clear out the clutter, zero out the meter. As I'm writing this, my google chrome browser is doing funky things and so I went to "reset all settings". Cleared it right up.

Walked right to the water in Kelowna, BC
When we are done with things we have to let them go

Life will then become much clearer, and finding things, your passion, your purpose, yourself...will be that much easier.

Clear your head and reset all settings every now and then. Spend some time to quiet your mind and just listen deep within. Calm the seas and focus on being in that particular moment. Pay it forward. Leave a space the way you found it or the way you want it to be found. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Decrease Speed

ATC: Jazz 122 say speed

With all my might I resisted the urge to say "speed"
instead of what I actually said, "190kts, we're operationally limited to that today"

Day 8 of line indoc complete and I am starting to understand the airplane more and more. It's a Dash 8 so it's not overly fast, but it can be quite a challenge slowing it down when you need to slow down. I am learning that, for myself the greatest challenge I still face is knowing when to slow down, getting to know the rhythm of the airplane when it's time for approach and landing. When and by how much to slow down.

Today made me even more aware of that as we had an operational limitation on our airplane due to an item on the airplane that wasn't available (it was perfectly capable of flying without it) and therefore we had to operate under very specific limitation. Max 190kts.

Now sitting on the bedroom floor I am reminiscing about simpler days, which was actually not that long ago. In almost an instant everything seemed to come rushing down and before I could figure out what was happening, I was busier than a bee.

Work is keeping me on my toes, moving to a new city to be based out of, and traveling back on my days off to see the people I love. Not just me, everyone else seems to be moving quite quickly with life. Getting engaged or married or pregnant, I am seeing it in every corner of my friendships.

When did everything become so fast? Faster than 190kts. Faster than what I could fathom at this time. We can't just turn around in life and reverse or even stop dead in our tracks.

But we can mindfully slow things down. We can be here now.
We're not meant to go fast, we were built with legs, not wheels or wings. We have to be able to enjoy ourselves, the people around us, and the universe.

Take the time to do absolutely nothing. Dolce far niente
Slow down your breathing, your walking, your eating. Let a slow and steady pace be the norm.
Put a limit to yourself every now and then: 190kts.