Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sharpening Your Skills

Pilots rarely hope for an emergency during a flight. But when one happens it is usually a good idea to have an action plan in mind... one that you can implement in a timely fashion (not the time to get the book out and read up on engine failures as you're plummeting to the Earth).

This is precisely why training and simulators are a great idea.

I was lucky enough to be included in a week's worth of Twin Otter simulator time at the Flight Safety International training center in Toronto, Canada this month.

Although not all emergencies can be trained for specifically (like landing in the Hudson River), most emergencies can be duplicated in the environment of the simulator. Yes, the inside of the trainer is identical to the cockpit of the airplane and we can see "outside" as well, depending on what the computer programmer wants us to see.

It's one of the only times when you can screw up and crash in an airplane and live to tell about it. Yes, I crashed at least once during my time in the "hot seat", but I learned from the experience and can handle the emergency for the future.

Sometimes I would love to have a simulator for my real life... just think of being able to test out an idea or action in your life and then see what the results would be BEFORE you actually went ahead and did it! Wow, that would clear up a lot of angst in the future.

Mrs. Alaska goes International!

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