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Playing 'Get Ahead'

Source: www.pilotworkshop.com/tips/cruise_flight_safety.htm, Featuring Wally Moran

Bob:

"Wally, in the final stages of cruise there’s probably some things we can do to help ourselves out on the arrival descent phase."

Wally:

"This is a great time to start playing Get Ahead, Bob. It’s going to get very busy once we start into that descent and get into the terminal area.

So this is the time to get the coffee cups and the charts and the candy bar wrappers and all the things out of our way in the cockpit, and get our cockpit organized. Get our charts organized as we’re going to use them. Pull out the taxi diagram; have that available.

Since we know what the wind is as we’ve been traveling along, we can pretty well guess what runway we’re going to land on. So this would be a good time to review your taxi plans. They might get changed after you arrive, but at least you’ve got a good start on it.

Set up your standby frequencies and your radios. Prepare for tower, ground control - think about getting your radios set up for the ATIS, the tower, all of those issues. You know there’s nothing worse than landing, turning off the runway and when the fellow says change to ground, you suddenly realize you’ve forgotten the frequency. And that’s about the time your chart slides right under your seat. So get that ready early. Put that frequency in your standby radio and you won’t have that incident."

Bob:

"I’ve often used the analogy, Wally, that flying is like a chess game. It’s meant to be played five or six moves ahead."

Wally:

"You bet. If we can just get two moves ahead, we’ll be good. Won’t we?"

Bob:

"Absolutely."

Wally:

"It’s a good idea to keep those NAV radios set simply because you’re close to the airport and your GPS says it’s five miles ahead.

The airlines require their pilots to set up all the NAV radios that they can, and utilize all the approach aids that are available at an airport. If it’s a good practice for them, it’s a good practice for us. There’re many stories of pilots landing at the wrong airport because they thought they had the right airport in sight."