Tools of the Trade
- Chris Tranbarger
Regardless of your vocation, it’s highly likely you must rely on certain tools to accomplish your objectives and get the job done. In a literal sense, a carpenter uses numerous different tools to build and construct a project such as a hammer, saw, drill, etc. In a broader sense, a doctor may use a stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, or syringe. As technology changes and advances, the tools available change and advance as well, becoming more complex and capable. For instance, during a recent doctor visit, I took notice that all the staff carried laptops to capture and record information about my visit.
As aviators, we too use numerous tools to accomplish our tasks and execute a successful flight. Over the past several years, the most notable of these tools to me is the Electronic Flight Bag, or EFB. With the EFB, a pilot can accomplish an extraordinary amount of work through the abundance of information and applications one can access and utilize to safely complete a flight.
But what I’ve realized, hopefully always known really, is that the usefulness of these tools of ours can only be fully realized with proper education and training which allows us to acquire the knowledge and understanding necessary to properly use the tools and gain the desired result.
While a carpenter can probably figure out how to use a hammer or saw without instruction, what about more complex tools such as a pneumatic nail gun or compound miter saw? Better at least read the instructions! And I sure trust that doctor more knowing there’s education behind the use of that scalpel or needle.
So back to the EFB…we’ve all used an iPad (haven’t we??) at some point so we know how to use one. We’ve downloaded apps, sent messages, browsed the web…all with no training. But does that familiarity meet the true need for using the iPad or another tablet device as an EFB? I’m going to say no, it doesn’t.
While the basics of a chart application or performance application can be fairly intuitive, to truly utilize the EFB as a tool, we need the training. Not only will this increase the accuracy of our use of the tool, it will also increase our efficiency and ensure our regulatory compliance. I find these to be good reasons to complete that training.
So grab your EFB device, find a quiet place where you can focus, and complete your operator’s required training program. Then dig a little deeper and browse the developer’s website for additional information on the numerous features and capabilities of the application. You might be a little surprised what you don’t know that will prove to be useful information and knowledge.
Advanced Aircrew Academy offers an Electronic Flight Bag eLearning module that can be customized to operator specific procedures at no additional charge.