Welcome to eClass 34:

How to Solve One Problem at a Time – more than once!…



Here we go…


PART 1: How to solve one problem at a time – more than once!

What I actually doing when I successfully fly an aircraft from A to B?

Am I just following checklist or applying the rules or is it something bigger?

It could be argued that any Jo Blogs could follow the checklist and apply the rules and do what we do.  However they are not. 

This is an industry that not everyone gets into.

So there must be something bigger that pilots develop or should develop. 

From my own observations, the thing that every pilot needs to develop is the ability to problem solve. 

You see, the checklist and the rules on their own are like a ship without a rudder. 

The ship would be all over the place and something MAY get achieved however without direction. 

The rudder allows the checklist and the rules to be applied with direction and purpose.  Get this right and you are more experienced than you realize.

If you wanted to put it into numbers, I have referred to the 80/20 rule previous eClasses. 

Without a rudder, 20% of the time you might just get an excellent outcome but that means that 80% it could be average or unsuccessful. 

For me, I needed better numbers!  I decided to look at what we have learnt from experience to achieve the best outcome on the day.

K.I.S.S…(Keep it Simple Silly)


Of course I will apply the K.I.S.S principle.  So to keep it simple, problem solving is like the rudder of your ship. 

Each situation that occurs in the environment of an aircraft at some point needs to have a rudder. 

Your ability to problem solve is your rudder.  You own it.  You have to create it.

I have looked at decision making, being methodical and thinking clearly in your education already. 

Streamlining your problem solving ability is the combination and development of all 3. 

The ‘insider secret’ to success if you like.  It’s giving me goose bumps to be part of each of you getting to this level of understanding. 

It is well known that when you truly understand a concept it’s easier to reproduce when you need it.


Remember that I openly admit that I am not perfect – experience has showed me that too! 

However if you guys are happy to listen to our own revelations then I am happy to pass this on.

Problem solving is the key to applying the checklist and the rules.  Simple but clear.


I am going to zoom in on problem solving and look some clues to help..

 magnifying glass

Think about a time when you had lots of things going on at once – the time where you just didn’t think that there was enough time in the day to get through it all… 


There would have been a feeling attached to this of ‘Phew!’ or something similar.  I have these times also and when I had that same feeling of ‘Phew’. 

 I know that ‘Phew’ means that I will never get everything done IF I DON’T CHANGE MY MINDSET.

Now think about a time where you surprised yourself with how much you achieved that day…


Sometimes it’s like time has stopped and everything seems to just happen.  The feeling attached to this is more of satisfaction. 

(Well hopefully you’ve had this experience and if not fake it ‘til you make it!)

‘Phew’ or ‘Satisfaction’?

This poses the question – how do I encourage a satisfied feeling where time seems to stop?

I obviously can’t physically control time but I sure can decide on allocation and use of time. 

You could be called ‘Time Captains!’

There are 2 key elements to becoming a ‘Time Captain’…

1. Consciously deciding that will take as much time AS YOU NEED

2. Solve one problem at a time

Jet Example:

Departure procedures (including briefing the safety brief) take us minimum of 10-12 minutes if nothing out of the ordinary. 

I check the clock in the flight deck and if there is less than this amount of time left prior to departure then I accept that I will complete the tasks but just not prior to departure time. 

More often than not, programming this mindset of ‘let it go’ actually achieves an on time departure.  Time just seems to stop.   Part 2 to this is solving one problem at a time. 

The problem to solve is actually getting going. 

I then apply the checklists and rules to achieve this ONE STEP AT A TIME. 

As I am not a university graduate in psychology all I can base this on is experience and finding time occurs regularly.

Hopefully it’s clear now that having enough time is a matter of mindset.  Just decide.  The next part is the solving one problem at a time. 

You will probably have many different problems occurring but there will be one main one which the others are a consequence of. 

To find it can be practised even when you’re not in the aircraft.  It comes back to the big picture which might take a few moments to see. 

Sometimes you won’t see the big picture until you decide to look through the ‘RIGHT’ eyes. 

Again, this is a mindset that you control.

Some tips to help find the one main solution is to ask yourself a basic question.

“What am I trying to achieve here?”

Your example:

You are on final approach and you experience windshear which makes the aircraft handle differently to what you are used to. 

Find the main problem to solve here.

“What am I trying to achieve here?”

Answer. Land Safely.

The main problem as I see it is to continue to land or go around.


My thought with this is if the aircraft is handling differently to the point that it is out of your comfort zone then simple.  Go around.

Now that this is clear then you can initiate the go around and apply the checklists and rules.

The go around problem is finished, then you can move on to the next main problem.  Can you see it?

“What am I trying to achieve here?”

Answer. Land Safely.

The next main problem is should I continue attempting at this airport or divert.  One problem to solve and whatever you decide after considering your options you can then apply the checklist and rules to achieve.

You should be seeing a pattern that can be repeated.

Solving one problem at a time – more than once. 

There will be flights that there are a lot of ‘one problems’ but having understanding shows that it can be repeated without making you get overload.

Break it down to be manageable and repeatable solutions.

In Summary…

You can’t control everything that will happen to you in your flying career however you can control how you solve them. 

Create your system, be a time captain and search for the main big picture problem. 

As you develop you system, remember that you are only competing against yourself. 

Relax and allow your experience to grow.

Manage and repeat.

Good Luck!


PART 2: Questions for You.

        1. Think of a situation you have had in your flying up to now and see if you were a good time captain
        2. Was the main problem clear or did it become clearer later? (If it was later then this proves that more work required on deciding that there will be enough time)
        3. Where do you see you areas for improvement?
        4. Write down all the things that concern you about starting and please raise them at the Webinar.


Next week’s preview…’Things that annoy experienced pilots and why…’

Find out how doing anything that you can even before you start will be of immense value to your career.


Check out below the Eclass calender to see what’s in store!

If you need to use our Pilot Advice Service or have any questions or comments please send them to info@ouraviationsecrets.com

You will also notice below, we have expanded the eclass calander to encompass the entire 52 weeks of the program.

Don’t miss out on a opportunity by procrastinating.

Look forward to speaking with you at the Webinar.

Don’t Worry!

You will be sent the Webinar Invitation Link and Instructions closer to the time.

To Your Flying Success!



Captain Craig Baker

Airline Pilot and Professional Pilot Mentor