Cockpit Leadership

Ready Room:

Asking, "What's Next?"

Self-questioning can be useful in improving and maintaining knowledge of the flight’s circumstances. For example, asking “What If?” helps prepare pilots for the choices they may face. In a similar manner, asking “What’s Next?” helps pilots prepare for the next upcoming task and the critical first step in setting that course of action.

“What’s Next?” Pop-Up
This topic is also discussed in the pop-up that appears in Vision and other posts.

In-Flight Task Management
Just as “What If?” scenarios improve the pilot’s quality of judgment, asking “What’s Next?” helps the pilot maintain control of in-flight decision processes, doing the tasks required to achieve results. By asking “What’s Next?” a pilot keeps defining and redefining the tasks ahead in very specific terms.

Soon after starting a procedural step the pilot asks “what’s next?” to prepare for the actions that will be immediately required by the next step in the procedural sequence.

For some, asking “what’s next?” is a new concept. Others may use a different method for in-flight task planning. Please Leave a Comment below regarding this or other task=related methods that you employ. As always, actual stories that illuminate this subject are welcomed.

Expanding the Concept
One subscriber thinks about each segment of the approach using three questions: (i) “how low?”; (ii) “how far?”; (iii) “what’s next?”. Please consider this expanded view in your comments.

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