It’s been a while since I last flew since I’ve been on leave. I’ve had a great time being at home and on holiday, but I think I’m ready to go back.. I do miss it! I miss the strategy game of getting an efficient turnaround and the satisfaction of winning. (Sarcasm)
In reality, what I do miss are my colleagues, the children that draw me pretty pictures of aeroplanes, and of course the gorgeous views. The photo you see is over the alps, with the sun setting on the other side, and the moon rising on the side photographed. The view was interesting, especially because the moonlit alps were partly shrouded in a blanked of cloud, with the tops curiously peaking out.
The month ahead isn’t as busy as it has been so far, and it’s welcome by me, since I want an easy roster to start with! I’ve decided to pack as light as possible for my trips down to the base. I used to carry 3 bags with me, one for my luggage, one for my food, and one was my flight bag. I cut it down to just my flight bag and my backpack – I managed to pack efficiently. It’ll give me less stress, and ensure less energy is required without dragging all that around with me! Other things I’ve done to prepare are to import my roster and positioning flights into my calender, which is much more handy than carrying a paper around, and to charge my work iPad up and update it! I’ve not used the iPad we use as an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB), so it had numerous updates available which I had to install. I wanted to get it done now, so that I don’t waste time when I arrive on my first day back.
The iPad is a fantastic tool. It makes it much easier to search through manuals quickly, and have them, conveniently, with you at all times. We also do our performance calculations on the iPad, which calculates the thrust settings and speeds to set according to the conditions, for take off, and runway distance, etc for landing. This is an accurate and time-saving tool which makes the operation more efficient, and also saves money on things on engine maintenance by reducing wear and tear with more accurate calculations to ensure so. We will also be eventually be using these iPads for our charts and it will certainly make it easier to ensure they’re all up-to-date and much more convenient to use than paper plates. This is really true for airfields like Madrid or Barcelona where they have a huge number of pages available! The iPad will make it easy by allowing you to bookmark the relevant pages to be used for the day and then you are able to go directly to those without a bother! I can imagine an older generation of pilots finding it a bit more work to adapt to the EFB, but it’s where we are headed and many airlines are using tablets – both for safety and commercial benefit.