I get a fair amount of e-mail and every now and then someone asks for permission to print parts of the website — no problem — and sometimes they want to know if they can find some of this stuff in printed form. I am trying to get all the good stuff into print, my grand plan here: Book Notes.
Getting international operations material into print is something many companies do, but none of them do it well. There are five basic problems with most of the manuals and schools that teach this stuff:
- Sourcing. Most of it is buried in some obscure ICAO, EASA, MNPS, or even in some FAA manual that you really have to hunt through to find. The process is tedious and few venders take the time to properly research. You are often presented with procedures that may or may not be true. You don't know because no references are cited.
- Completeness. Many of the procedures are considered too basic to teach because "everyone knows that" or "you will pick it up along the way." Having been in the business of instructing international flight operations for decades, I can tell you a majority of airline and corporate aviation pilots don't know much of what they should. How many HF radios are required for oceanic operations? Is plotting required on the Romeo routes between California and Hawaii? Can you takeoff if your destination's weather is below minimums under ICAO rules? The list goes on.
- Advanced Topics. Many current requirements are considered outdated and unnecessary in the days of GPS and that just isn't true. If you don't understand why some aircraft are allowed half-degree spacing over the North Atlantic and some aren't, for just one example, then perhaps you shouldn't be sharing that airspace with pilots who do.
- Updates. One school of thought is that everything is changing so rapidly you might as well step back and wait for things to settle down. Things aren't going to settle down and if you've never heard of RNP, RCP, and RSP you are falling behind. Most courses do a very poor job of staying current. (I recently started a name-brand vendor's course that hadn't been updated in five years — a lot has happened in that time! — I cancelled the course and tried three others. None of them were up to date.)
- Basic Instruction. You will not get everything you need to know at any of international flight operations courses taught around the world. None of the initial courses really teach you what you need to know because they are trying to trim the time to a minimum or they just don't know how.
So this manual, all 606 pages of it, is my attempt to correct all of these problems. My first attempt was in 2003 when I wrote the "International Operations Procedures Manual" for TAG Aviation USA. It was much better than what they had and that manual has since been adopted by countless other aviation management companies and a few airlines. But it didn't go far enough. This new manual goes the rest of the distance:
- Sourcing. Just like most of Code7700.com, everything that has a source will have that source named, chapter and verse. What document says you have to do a post position plot? This manual tells you. If there isn't a source and only techniques, the manual gives you the best techniques (and some others as well) and lets you know it is just that, a technique. There are at least five ways to do a post position plot, the one to choose depends on your avionics.
- Completeness. This manual includes everything from the most basic procedures (what is a "heading" or a "course" and how do you measure them?) to the most advanced (how does GPS really work and how much accuracy do you need from it?). It is organized to help you find what you need quickly.
- Advanced Topics. What is the difference between RNP and RNAV? When is an RNP not an RNP at all? Which of the following factors determine your RNP: navigation, communications, or surveillance? (Answer: all three.)
- Updates. International flight operations are changing so fast, that as soon as any manual is written, it is out of date. I will post a quarterly manual update on Code7700.com, including postings from my more detail oriented readers. (It is true that I am due to retire in a few years, but I think I've found someone qualified to take over when that happens.)
- Basic Instruction. The manual includes an extensive tutorial that takes you from the trip set up decision-making process, aircraft operations specifications and other required authorizations, aircraft set up, departure / en route / arrival procedures, record keeping, and even covers the dreaded SAFA inspection.
I think this is the best manual of this type; I've not seen anything on the market that even comes close. Over the years my flight departments have spent thousands of dollars on this type of material only to be disappointed. When I was at Compaq Computer, for example, we ran through several thousands of dollars on basic source material because the commercial products were so poor. At my current flight department we just spent $2,000 on a manual that is better than most, but still not a fraction of what it could be. So now, I hope, I have fixed all that.
The book is on sale right now at Amazon.com for $75.00 in hardcover only. Publishing an e-Book was out of the question due to the sheer mass of the thing. (606 pages in total with 250 illustrations.) I tried to keep the margins very thin on this so as to get it out to as many pilots as possible. If the demand is high enough, I'll look for another publisher to trim the price even more.
So far the response has been very positive. As always, please let me know. (Click "Contact Eddie" below.)
Finally a note to schools, flight departments, and other vendors. I am often asked if this manual can be made available for publication by others. I am certainly open to the idea, please "Contact Eddie" below and let me know what you have in mind.