Real Scenario Training 1…

“Charter Flight”




Here we go…



My ground rules…

  1. Understand that each situation is different
  2. This is to be used as guidance only to look at the process of coming to a conclusion
  3. Gather the facts for each situation
  4. This is what we would consider – always remember and trust yourself that on the day you are the best judge
  5. The figures are for demonstration only – always consult the flight manual
  6. The text in <brackets> is what is happening at the time

All this OK with you?


Acknowledge to yourself that a solution is required then put your thoughts on standby.

Lock in that something needs to be done to give your thoughts a chance to develop.  However your priority is not to solve yet as you have a plane load of paying passengers that won’t benefit from knowing that you have a problem as it doesn’t affect them yet.  Of course at some point if you cannot solve it they would need to know.  They only care if it affects them and that everything is ok.  At this moment for them everything is ok.

Attend to passengers and send on their way.

Ensure they are taken to their transport and they have your contact details for if they are going to run late.  Also make sure you have a point of contact.  Always let them know if they have a deadline to be back if your hours are tight.  They don’t need to know the ins and outs of flight and duty limits and always allow yourself some buffer.  If there is hours problem then they don’t need to know.

Secure the aircraft.

Make sure you don’t park in someone else’s spot.  Aircraft owners can get very sensitive about this.  If you accidentally do always apologise.


Determine how much fuel remaining via more than one means




Total less Fuel Burn (Wagga-Moree)

Fuel gauge indication





Find out when the fuel will be available or if long term unavailable.




So we are clear at this stage:

  1.  No fuel available
  2.  Not enough to return to Wagga without refuelling
  3.  2 Hours before pax back at the airport


Think of all the ideal possibilities.

  1. Find a local operator with fuel drums <NOT AVAILABLE>
  2. Search for nearby airports and determine if they have fuel <NARRABRI APPROX 60NM = 24 minutes AND HAS FUEL AVAILABLE>
  3. Would you fly to Narrabri refuel and get back to Moree or wait for the passengers then fly via Narrabri refuel and keep going from there back to Wagga?<YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO GET TO MOREE AND BACK BUT NEED TO DECIDE NOW OR YOU WILL BE LATE>


At this point you have determined 2 options but you can still narrow it down to the best option for all concerned.

On one hand by waiting for the pax and flying to Narrabri then onto Wagga, the aircraft is doing one less sector and therefore less cost to your company.  Remember the charter quote for your passengers doesn’t adjust because of this development so your company has to wear it.

On the other hand the passengers will be slightly inconvenienced and may feel some anxiety at something being out of the ordinary even though you know that it is safe.

So we have a conundrum!

Passenger convenience versus Company commercial viability.


More than one right answer – we love that because it makes you think.

BEFORE YOU READ ON, REALLY PONDER WHAT YOU WOULD DO NEXT. (Obviously this is an honesty system but you won’t do yourself any favours by cheating – you would just be cheating yourself)


  1. Use ALL of your resources especially when you are new.  Call your chief pilot but I suggest that you be able to clearly state the options and the pro’s and con’s for them.  This way you are showing your initiative but allowing them to give you the bigger picture.
  2. Although I said that “you need to decide now” I only did that to add perceived pressure to the equation.  You need to keep perspective and understand that while the schedule is important, your clarity of thought to work the problem to a safe conclusion is more important.  Remember you took the point of contact from the pax and most people are ok with changes as long as they are kept informed.  So this allows you more time if you want to call the chief pilot.
  3. If the chief pilot’s phone was off and you couldn’t raise anyone else then it comes down to common sense and priorities.  Most airlines use 4 guidelines as their motto and you can too.


In general aviation as margins are less it could be argued that economy may alternate with schedule.

Both the options are correct and valid and I would be ok with either.  On the day it would become more clear depending upon the view of the chief pilot and your gut feeling of the company and the conditions etc.

I want you to take away from this that most often there are 2 right options and 2 different pilots could come up with different decisions.

Always listen to others stories about situations but keep in mind that on the day the more right decision is the one that you conclude after working through the options.

If in hindsight the other way might have been better but the one you chose was still safe – then so be it.

Remember that what’s important is getting the aircraft, yourself and your passengers on the ground safely.

PART 2: Questions for You.

  1. Was there anything in this scenario that felt new to you?.
  2. What thought process would you use?
  3. Do you think that there is always one right answer?
  4. Think about the process above and lock it in for yourself or tailor it for yourself.
  5. What is the most important aim of the day?


Next week’s preview…’Video Interview Series – Part 8 “Pilot success Mindset Toolbox” with mindset expert Julie Spain…

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

Congratulations on completing this Eclass.  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


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.


http---signatures.mylivesignature.com-54492-156-8639FF5164CAE1AC8E9290F679F028DBCaptain Craig Baker

Airline Pilot and Professional Pilot Mentor