SIC Responsibilities, Article 2 in a series – The flight plan

“You are cleared to taxi to runway 27L with clearance to cross the 32 approach zone.  Clear on Left and Right, Turn right sir…” This article is # 2 in a series to help you understand what makes a good Second in Command so that working with the captain you can ultimately be a number one crew.  A SIC officer is very busy from the beginning to the end.  As a SIC, I try to do as much of the preparation for the flight as possible.  Last week a client called and stated he had a business trip to Chicago and requested a quote.  When customers are looking to pay good money for first class travel, it’s important to get them the information they need and quickly.  So the first thing I did was put a quick flight plan in to get the fuel burn and flight times that allowed me to figure a trip quote which I sent directly to the client.  In the meantime, I didn’t just sit on my laurels and wait for a go-ahead from the client; I went to work getting the complete flight plan ready. IMG_0374 One of the first thing I did was walk over to the shelf where we have the “Trip Envelopes” and brought one back to my desk and filled out what information I knew, then placed a copy of the trip quote in the envelope.  We have found that with every flight there is so much to keep track of from flight plans, plates, receipts, invoices, etc. that these envelopes help us keep track of all this paperwork.

I then set to work perfecting the flight plan.  Today with internet connected PCs and iPads there are many ways to create a flight plan that are light years beyond the student pilot, hand written NavLogs!    Every organization has their own way of planning flights yet 60% of all IFR flight plans were filed through and that is what we use.  If needed, I use my iPad to visually plan the IFR route; I then plug my route into and print out the one page plan with so much information on it its boggling.  One of the things we are very aware of and is good for is determining the best efficiency of the flight plan. - ExtraIt shows clearly how direct the flight will be allowing us to know its efficiency.
The priorities for the operation are 1)Safety 2)Finish the mission and 3)Efficiency and this is one way to keep the flight efficient.  A pilot is paid to safely finish the mission and deal with any issues along the way.  He must be an out of the box thinker and be willing to look at many options.  One situation maybe the closest airport is not the best option, due to the lack of good approaches or services.

Well, with out boring you too much the trip did go, which is not always the case, and the client had a succesful meeting and is still a happy customer.  Next we will discuss organizing the flight plan, charts, plates and other IFR required documents.

Talk to ya next time

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>