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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Staying Proficient!

Thinking Outside the Box


Pilots Staying Proficient
outside the simulator, 
effectively termed "the box"

The grounding of planes has caused a trickle down effect to our flight crews in multiple ways: 1) Pilot proficiency lapse, and 2) Regulatory requirements mandating 3 takeoffs and 3 landings in the previous 90 days are required. How to solve these two problems is relatively easy if we think outside the box.


I did not fly for two years, yet stepped into a B777 and had no issues with training. I had the same results when I went from Boeing to Airbus after being out with a hip replacement for 18 months. Why the success? Because, I know what I need to know. But I also how to study outside the box. The truth is, most pilots who have been in the flying game for awhile, know what they need to know.

The problem is, not everyone knows how to study. I was reminded of a chapter I had placed in my novel, Flight For Safety, during my A330 days, where Darby's simulator partner, a new hire, was having problems. She told him how to study. These tips within this novel  are things you can do while you're grounded waiting to fly again.


The FAA has provided forgiveness on medicals. They've provided forgiveness on the use of oxygen masks. Perhaps they should provide forgiveness on recency's. Airlines worldwide could adapt their initial online training programs to develop a recency program. They could create an in-depth systems and limitations review, and an interactive procedures module for all phases of flight and multiple approaches.

Each pilot facing a recency issue, could keep their brain alive with operational performance while at home. I've been using these technique for years, and I can assure you as a doctor of aviation that I actually get more from my home preparation than I do from doing three simulator landings, one of which is an autoland.

FAA, Help the Airlines in Need, and
Improve Pilot Proficiency 
in the Process

Whether the FAA helps or not... Pilot's you can do this on their own to assist with your return to the flight deck. Airlines, could avoid training costs and time, by providing the tools to assist pilots with at home training, and created a record for the FAA to provide credit to the pilot at home training in lieu of the recency for one cycle. 

Training doesn't have to be expensive 
to be effective. 

Think outside the box 
during challenging times!

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy. Read a Book!
XO Karlene Ph.D. 


  1. Spirit of BrazilApril 6, 2020 at 7:23 AM

    How about sitting with a developer, get some patrons and elaborate your own digital flight school? Like a big collab with ERAU or something. That's like... THE business.

    1. That's a great idea!! We have the technology, we just need to use it.

  2. Hi, Karlene! It's been awhile. Last time I wrote, Corona was still an unknown.

    So, the usual license renewals, via SIM Testing, is on hold for now?

    1. Dan, Training centers are closing down temporarily when they have been contaminated. And some airlines are naturally reducing because of furloughs. But when there are thousands of pilots grounded, and they don't get their takeoffs and landings, they have to keep the machine going....and get those landings in some manner. But proficiency, beyond regulation can be maintained by the pilot with the headwork.
      Thanks for your comment!


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