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Balancing Your Annual Training Program

SRM, CRM | December 10, 2014

Author: Robert A. Wright

If you operate a light business aircraft (LBA), you’re probably attending recurrent training courses at a training centre that uses full motion flight simulators and other simulation technologies. This is particularly true if you’re flying any kind of turbine-powered aircraft. These technologies offer an excellent means of maintaining “stick and rudder” and automation proficiency, as well as proficiency in little-used emergency procedures.

However, this once- or twice-a-year event shouldn’t be the only means of maintaining proficiency. It might be a better idea to spread some training activities throughout the year, and avail yourself of online technology to complete training at your operations base or home.

The Advantages of Online Training

While simulators are excellent training vehicles for some pilot skills, they cannot address all training requirements.

For example, you should always be deepening your knowledge base on subjects that impact your flight operations, such as the latest regulatory developments and avionics technologies. You can also benefit from reviewing accident reports that illuminate mistakes made by other pilots.

You should also be increasing your knowledge of and proficiency with higher order skills such as Single Pilot Resource Management (SRM) or, if you operate as part of a crew, Crew Resource Management (CRM). Topics such as risk management, task and workload management, and threat and error management are ideal subjects to be covered by online training courses.

Improving Your Training Experience

The holidays are a good time to reflect on changes you might want to make in your training regimen for the coming year. Take the time to lay out the subjects that you need to address and the best means to address them. Create a schedule of training events that will meet these needs. Chances are that many of them can be met with convenient online training courses that you can take incrementally throughout the year.

When you complete online courses, don’t forget to ask your training centre to adapt simulator sessions to incorporate exercises that enhance your new skills. Scenario-based training sessions are a good way to do this. offers many comprehensive courses tailored to single-pilot operations, including Single Pilot Resource Management. Numerous other courses on specialized subjects are also available. All of these courses are designed to be completed in short segments that can be accessed whenever the pilot has a few free minutes.

Take the opportunity during this holiday season to reflect on your flight operations, and on how online training can increase both safety and efficiency for you and your passengers. Don’t forget to enjoy the holidays too!, in cooperation with Crew Resource Management LLC, offers complete online SRM and CRM courses for business aviation (available for purchase through our storefront).

Robert A. Wright is the president of Wright Aviation Solutions, LLC. He is a member of the leadership team of Crew Resource Management, LLC, which has been providing comprehensive CRM training to corporate flight departments for over four years.

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