Safety Publications/Articles

Thanks for the memories

Most people have reasonable memories. We remember what we need to buy at the store, and we seldom forget whom we've invited to a dinner party. Why? Because we often rely on written lists as a memory cue. While our natural memory works well in most instances, there are times when it's simply more efficient to list the things we need to remember. This is especially important during student training.

Carrying a 5- by 7-inch notebook and a ballpoint pen is often the best method to enhance your memory. During flight training, if there's something you want to discuss at a later time, make a note of it. Don't rely on your short- and long-term memory in these instances.

Why? Flight training is an active environment. There's enormous interference with the normal memory channels. The likelihood of remembering a critical idea at a later time is not good unless it's committed to paper.

Think how impressed your students will be when you pull out your notebook and review the critical elements of a flight, guided by your notes. Make sure, of course, that your student knows you're taking notes to assist in the postflight briefing. The last thing you want him to do is look over and say, "You might want to write down ribeye, because I'm planning on dropping by next week."

By Rod Machado

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