Friday, December 22, 2006

Everything slow

I just got home after having spent one week at hospital to operate an injury at my hip joint. Everything is okay so far, only I am limited a bit in terms of flexibility. I am not alllowed to do any rotating or abduction movements with my left leg and the angle between upper body and leg cannot be less than 110°. Which gives a whole new perspective to life, believe me. It means I cannot sit down on a normal chair, because that would be an angle of 90°. Same applies for certain bathroom activities...
I cannot tie any shoes, I cannot put on socks without a special tool. If I drop something on the floor I need another special tool to pick it up. Going to bed is an athletic adventure and so is coming out of the bed.
In other words, my life goes by in slow motion and right now in that hectic time before christmas it shows me how crazy people are. When I go out for a (slow) walk I see the people stressed, running around etc. And somehow it feels like the total opposite of the feeling that the pre-christmas time radiates with all those nice decorations and lights.
My advice to all: slow down and relax a bit. Even if if you can go to and out of bed normally.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Mission completed again

Hi All,
I sit here in Fukuoka in my hotel room, after having finished a long course, a PANS-OPS basic. You know, they are 2 times 3 weeks with a break in between. This time the break was planned around an OCP meeting in Singapore, so all in all I have been on the road in Asia for two months now. It is always the same after a long course/trip like that: a weird mix of feelings. On one side I am happy the course is done and I could help a big class to achieve their training objectives. I am also glad to see my people at home again after a while, I look forward to sleeping in my own bed and I look very much forward to the Christmas holiday, as it has been a very good, but very busy year and I need a break.
On the other hand I also feel sad to leave what has become a part of my life during the last two months: my hottel room, the students, the supermaket next door, the old train that takes us into Fukuoka City, the female voice that announces the stations (about 20 seconds in Japanese, 3 seconds in English... anybody seen "Lost in translation?").
So it's always a farewell to something that became part of the life for a while. Ok, you could say I am used to it, as I constantly do this. I am used to it and I know what's gonna happen at the end of such a course. Nevertheless, the feeling comes and is quite strange. I think it makes me realize everytime that life means motion, moving on, and that we cannot hold on to the past.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

ARINC 424 - shift of dates

Sorry pals,

Due to an OCP commitment we have to shift the ARINC 424 date (Gunten/Switzerland with Jim Terpstra) back one week.
The new dates are now June 25 - 29, 2007.
Jim and me are sorry if that creates any inconvenience.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Get ready for the new PANS-OPS

This is to remind you that in a week from now - on November 23 to be exact - the new PANS-OPS, the fifth edition will become effective. It will not be available in print, as there is already an amendment in the pipeline from OCP/14, which will be effective in March 2007.
However, the so called "advanced copy" that was circulated a year ago carries some editorial errors. Not all of them were corrected yet, they will be in the Spring release.
If you have problems with the new structure, maybe it would be time for a recurrent/refresher course ;-)

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Top Cities

As somebody travelling a lot I always get asked about favourite places, favourite cities. So here is my top ten lists of cities all over the world.

1. Singapore
2. London
3. Seattle
4. Fort Lauderdale
5. Hong Kong
6. Tokyo
7. Denver
8. Palma
9. Kopenhagen
10. Bangkok

There are various reasons why the list is as it is, but I won't give them here. I might also publish my list of disliked places (Paris watch it!) relatively soon. :-)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Various news

While we are in the last stage of part 1 of a basic PANS-OPS course here at the ANI/ATMC facility in Fukuoka/Japan, we are working hard on the academic year 2007. The new concept for the initial training is starting to look good. As mentioned earlier, more e-learning will be required, also prior to part 1. That will free some time we will use for practical exercises with a ficticious simplified airport (just a couple of obstacles and a hill. These exercises will be used to put the theory into a practical context without any real world complexity. Then the practical phase will be as always, a real world environment, working with real maps.
Apart from the new Geodesy courses with Dr. Maurizio Scaramuzza and Dr. Alain Geiger. There are a few other new courses in the Pipeline for the second half of the year. One will be the "Procedure Design Level 3" which consists of Performance Based Navigation and APV (Baro-VNAV and SBAS VNAV). I will have to set the length, I am currently considering 2 weeks but it might as well be 3. Another course will be the Holding and Reversals Master Class. We are discussing whether we want to do this as a classroom course or online only. More on 2007 courses very soon. So long!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New Geo Lecturers appointed!

This is to inform you guys that I have made some change regarding the courses in Geodesy offered at ANI. I have appointed the two heavyweights Dr. Maurizio Scaramuzza and Prof. Dr. Alain Geiger as lecturers for the Geodesy course for procedure designers. The first course run by those two will take place February 14-16, 2007 at the ETH Zürich. We decided to bring the course length down to 3 days.
The Geodesy Skills and Knowledge are considered "ab initio level" and can therefore easily be attended by students who attend a PANS-OPS basic afterwards. I love the way things are evolving right now, this is certainly a new adventure which we will all appreciate.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mission completed

Sorry, I have been quiet for a while. This was due to the fact that I was busy teaching part 2 of a basic PANS-OPS course, OCP meetings and the evaluation of the student performance in said course. Those students were the first ones to receive a full day of database coding with Christian during the RNAV phase. I am sure this is the way to go, although it does not replace the 5 day coding course that we provide (of course it doesn't...).
However, there will be another basic PANS-OPS course at the ANI facilities in Japan starting on October 16. This will be the last course following the 2006 training concept. The first basic PANS-OPS starting in February will kick off with the new training concept: A series of e-learning lessons prior to part 1 of the course including evaluation therof (mastery test). Some of those lessons will be ab-inition stuff, some will be PANS-OPS related. The e-learning pahase between part 1 and 2 will be extended and finally some of the material that was in part 2 will now be removed and packed in an other course that can be booked seperately as an add on. Whoever is writing to me to get info about that concept will receive detailed info.
In the mean time, have a good time!

Friday, September 22, 2006

New ILS/Basic course concept road tested

We just terminated the ILS part of a basic PANS-OPS class at the University of Bern. As you might know, the ANI basic PANS-OPS courses are split in part 1 and part 2, part 1 covers all basics, conventional NPA, holding and enroute. Part 2 covers ILS and RNAV/APV.
Together with Professor Dr. Todd Hubbard (see staff on the ANI website) I have implemented a new concept, that involves a series of e-learning lessons between part 1 and part 2 of the course, involving some in depth coverage about specific key topics for ILS and for RNAV.
The results from the ILS class is extremely promising. I plan to extend this concept even more and apply it to part 1 as well.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Gourmets flying high

It's bizarre: I know a few people who really appreciate good food in a nice environment, they are relatively good cooks themselves, would normally say that life is too short to eat crappy food and what have you. I have to admit, so far I totally agree. I am ready to pay a bit more to get a great experience. BUT I also admit that once in a while I like having a Whopper at Burger King or a Big Mac at McDonalds. I don't see anything wrong in that. I find it funny that said gourmets always make fun of me like "whoaa, I never thought you'd go to a Mac, you normally prefere to eat at nice places and you're also a good cook. I would NEVER even touch any of those Burgers! It's so crappy stuff!!" That's the kind of stuff I get to hear. Funny enough, those guys - once they sit in an airplane - eat every crap at every inappropriate time! I don't know what that is, it must be genetic. What's the deal with eating in an airplane anyway??! When I take my car from A to B I don't take in a hot meal on my hip after 10 minutes of drive either.
What kind of experience should it be to sit in an economy class seat much to close to my much too big neighbor and eat some crappy food?? I would never sit so close to even my girlfriend when eating! Okay in Business Class the quality is slightly better and at least there is enough distance to my neighbor. But: Who told the airlines it's a good idea to serve a hot meal at 1.00 am when leaving Bangkok for example? When I fly from Bangkok at this time at night I will a) have had dinner at one of the great restaurants in town and couldn't care less about airline food and b) I want to sleep and I don't appreciate the noise and the terrible smell of the food served (would you like beef, chicken or pasta?). Or flying from North America to Europe: Most flights leave in the evening, serving a dinner right after departure. Before arrival, they serve a breakfast. Great, let's do the math: The flight left Miami at 9.00 pm. at 10 pm. they serve dinner. let's say at midnight the service is more or less done when flying business class. That's after 3 hours of flight. about 90 minutes before arrival they serve breakfast. That's about 3 and a half hours later. Who on earth is EVER going to have breakfast at 3.30 am, when he finished dinner at midnight??

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

ARINC 424 in Gunten will be repeated in 2007

I have spoken to Jim Terpstra and we agreed to repeat the successful ARINC 424 Database coding and Charting course we provided this year in June in Gunten/Switzerland. We will set the exact dates in early November, but it will definitely be in late June 2007, it looks like June 18 - 22 right now. I am happy that we can repeat this, we had a great time. The weather was nice, we took the opportunity to watch some world cup matches and we ate ourselves through Freddy's menu at the beach bar next door at lunch time :-) So if you would like to participate, you can tell me already now, I'll reserve a place for you.
There are some entries in this Blog that I made during the course and I think there are also some comments from participants.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Procedure Designer at heart :-)

This week, one of my students of an advanced PANS-OPS class in Japan was woken up by his 6 month old baby daughter who was crying in the middle of the night at 3 o'clock. The student's wife also woke up and asked what time it was. He grabed his watch to check the time (3 o'clock), still half asleep and said to his wife: "3 Nautical Miles!"

Saturday, August 26, 2006

ARINC 424 in Wellington completed!

We had a successful operation down in Wellington New Zealand with a class of 15 people from the South Pacific area. Christian should be home by now, flying from Wellington via Auckland and Los Angeles to Zürich, to arrive just in time for his best friend's wedding :-) Enjoy the party man, you deserved it!

Friday, August 18, 2006

for you, for you, for you...

When driving around in the city I often pass construction sites with big signs saying "we are building for you" or "we are renovating for you". "That's nice of them!" I always think. Yesterday I had the fantasy of stopping at a place where it says that "they are constructing for me", walk in and say: "mmm, let's see.... so that's the bathroom, right? No, I don't want the bathroom here, it's gotta be over there. And this room here, didn't I tell you I wanted it bigger?? If you are building for me, you better listen to what I want!" The problem is, that you might bump into another guy who was inspired to stop when reding the big sign. Unfortunately they are also building for him: "What do you think you're doing? Why the... are you moving the bathroom?? Which guy said so? This guy? Who is he??".
So, in my fantasy I decided to leave as I don't want to share "my"building with somebody else. So I sit in my car and drive, then get overtaken by a van saying: "The Tubic Co. Ltd. YOUR Partner for tube constructions".
Oh pleeeease! Let's not even get there! I already have a partner and I don't need another one. And certainly not for tube constructions.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Update from the frontline

A regular blog reader kicked me verbally this morning and said it was about time to make a new entry. Fine... okay, let's see...
The general situation is: The British seemed to have destroyed a major plot for some fanatics, which I appreciate. The Israelis have stopped bombarding their neighbors, which I appreciate. The weather has become warmer, which I appreciate. Otherwise we are working with all engines running on different levels. The basic PANS-OPS class is now in the practical phase of part 1 (which means I can write this blog entry while they are working..., which I highly appreciate by the way). At the same time we are in the process of preparing 2 courses, both starting next Monday. One is a PANS-OPS recurrency for a class of 16 people and the ARINC 424 in Wellington/New Zealand with 15 people. So here is also the reason why the blog entries didn't happen on a more regular basis. Otherwise it will be interesting to see how fit the class from the basic course is when they return to the more complex part 2 in a month.
So long, keep the mood up folks.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Floyd Landis, you are pathetic!

Not that I ever cared about cycling. I can't appreciate a sport where they burn about 11'000 kcal per day and the body can only absorb about 6000 kcal with food, therefore the compensation is done with a glucose-infusion. How stupid can one be?
However Floyd, I followed it when you were buried alive trying to pedal up that hill. You were literally dead. You were not moving and everybody said that was it. Landis has just bargained his chance to win the tour. The next day: whoooaa, what a wonder!! He rushes, he flies, he massacres the rest of the tour. Funny enough it was that day you were tested positive for Testosterone. You said it was natural stuff, produced by your body. But it was proven that it was synthetic. Fact is, you took drugs, man! The officials know it, YOU know it, THE WHOLE WORLD knows it honey! Everybody witnessed it live on TV. Don't you get it? What are you trying to prove now? Do you really believe anybody is ever going to believe you?
I have to repeat one of my statements, that he who still fancies watching the cycling sport must be even more stupid than the cyclist pros themselves. And being as stupid as you are Floyd, I am sure that hurts.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Copenhagen Dates for INM Course published

As announced earlier, there will be a course for the Integrated Noise Modelling tool in Copenhagen. It will take place 17./18./19. October. Let me know if you are interested. The INM is a Noise Modelling Software distributed by the FAA and it's quite powerful and not expensive. The user licence is 300$ USD.
Other course options are September 13-15 in Taipeh or October 4-6 in Burlington/Maine.
Again, if you are interested in getting the INM or going to a course, I'll be happy to help.

Monday, July 24, 2006

What a place

Here is a short update about my trip in the USA. In Oklahoma City (man was that hot!) I spoke at the International Aviation Training Symposium. Unlike other years, this was a sting operation, meaning in the day before the speech, out the morning after. Apart from IATS I met with Todd Hubbard who you might know from the Staff page of ANI. Todd and me spoke in the same session of the symposium, which was a nice coincident :-)
Todd is very experienced in the field of distance learning and we finally have the concept together for the e-learning courses we want to offer through ANI. I am positive that at some stage in 2007 we will start a pilot project, possibly using the ILS Master Class as our tryout course.

Then I spent 3 great days in Denver and the nearby Rocky Mountains. What a great place that is. Last saturday I spent 7 hours driving through mountains and over passes, the highest one being more than 3700m high.

Finally I arrived in Seattle, where I teach a class of RNAV/RNP experts. Seattle is one of the nicest city in the USA I have seen so far. The weather is also unusually hot, so I am really having a great summer so far.
After this trip we are looking forward to the next basic PANS-OPS course starting on July 31 with a very international class once again.
So long, stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Aircondition appreciated

After a long but uneventful trip I arrived in Oklahoma City and immediately praised airconditioning. Okay, it was hot when I left home, it was 30-33° C every day. This is hot but standable. Here it's 41° C, this is just hot. It's not extremely humid, but still hot. I will probably stay inside the conditioned building all day :-)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Back on the road

After 10 days off (hot weather in Switzerland!!) I am back on the road. I am on my way to presenting the work of the ICAO OCP Training Sub-workin g group at the International Aviation Training Symposium (IATS) in Oklahoma City. Then I will continue my trip to teach some classes in the USA. It's gonna be a busy second half of the year, but I am happy when it's that way. Looking forward to seeing some of you guys in class.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Noise Modellers, attention!

For those who are using the FAA's Integrated Noise Modelling Software, or those who consider buying it (it's not a very expensive tool, but quite powerful, it costs 300$ USD per license), here are some announced training courses for it:
September (dates not set yet) in Copenhagen/Denmark
September 13-15 in Taipei/Taiwan
October 4-6 in Burlington/Maine
I have done the course myself and it is very good. I don't think, it is possible to use the INM to its full power without the course, although the manual that comes with it is quite good.
If you want more info anout INM or the training course for it you can go to the FAA INM site or send me an email.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The hard life of a guy flying a lot

I am on the road quite often. I normally spend about 6 months in total away from home. In 2004 I calculated how much time I spent on board of airplanes. It was 2 full weeks. 2 more weeks I spent hanging around airports, lounges etc. and probably another week driving to and from airports. So, I tend to notice things. Things that make me laugh, swear, shake my head, depending on the mood I am currently in. Like the pre-departure show that stewardesses - sorry - flight attendants put on: "First we show you how to operate your seatbelt". Yeah great! Just in case you haven't been riding a car since 1969...
Or the "ping" at some stage in initial climb: "We would like to remind you that this is a non-smoking flight". You don't say!!?? When did they come up with that non-smoking policy again? 20 years ago? And then finally: "Welcome to London". Baby, you cannot welcome me in London! You flew with me! In order to welcome me you need to be standing at the airport when I arrive. But don't worry, I prefer if you don't...
Now that I got started I could write more on those like-to-be-important business flyers and even more on the concept of eating on board an airplane. But I think that will have to wait till another day.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Website issue sorted

Those who know me well will also know: I am a typical libra. If there is an aesthetical issue, I need to sort it. The thought that people out there might call the ANI site on their PCs (did I already ask you how you can work with this crap?) and think the graphical look of the page is bad drove me crazy. So I sacrificed my Saturday morning and sorted the problem. Now it looks as it should - even on Microsoft gear.

Friday, June 30, 2006

ANI Website Font issue

I just recognised that there is a glitch in the way the ANI site is displayed on most *shiver* Windows-PCs. The Corporate Identity of ANI uses a Font that is not installed on most Computers. However, a stylesheet is included in the site to replace that font with Arial or Helvetica. Now on most Microsoft-driven PCs (how can you guys work with this crap?), the Titles are indicated in a Times font which looks TERRIBLE! We are working on that issue, so if you ever asked yourself why we are using such a strange font for logo and titles, here is the answer. On a Macintosh, the site looks as it should, on a PC it doesn't. Intent was to have all titles in Coop (or Arial, Helvetica, Geneva or similar as replacement if Coop is not installed) and the main body text in Courier.

Un-Beat-able Prophet

My prediction at the beginning of the Football World Cup was: Germany makes the final. The team who wants to prove me wrong is invited to do so. Seen the ARgentina-Germany game? That's what I meant. Who is going to stop them if not Argentina? Italy? I don't think so. They will pay the toll for beating Germany 4-1 in a friendly game recently. Ukraine? I don't think so. They even needed a Penalty Shootout against Switzerland. Not that I necessarily think that the Swiss are worse than Germany (in terms of football...), but that evening the Swiss were harmless.
So I say, Germany wins the title. Any bets?

Database coding in Gunten concluded!

Man, this was great! A very good group, very interactive, great weather, a marvellous location. I am really happy about this event and so is Jim. Yesterday we had to visit the Caves of Saint Beatus (see picture), the guy who I am named after. It was a matter of honour that we almost all had the St Beatus Rösti for lunch :-)
Jim and me were absolutely clear that we have to repeat that course. It is very valuable to us all.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Working hard in the course

We are having a great time in the Database coding class here in Gunten/Switzerland. Jim Terpstra is in great shape and he even got pushed into football by some of the class (see picture). We are getting along well, today is the big session on path terminators. Okay, back to class, see you later!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The heat goes up!

Today, the students for the ARINC 424 Database Coding Course will arrive. The weather is great, it's hot and sunny, everything is set for a great week! I look forward to spending the week with collegues from the procedure design community from all over the world. Hope the weather stays.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Why is it impossible to buy a jersey from team Japan?

Okay, those who know me well also know: I like Japan. I like the Japanese People, I love Japanese Food. I have good friends in Japan. I love the Japanese Onsen, the Ryokan, the Shinkansen, I even like the fact that it is unbelievably hot and humid in summer. For this football world cup I wanted to buy a jersey of the Japanese Football team. Because everybody else here is walking around in jerseys from Italy, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, England and of course Switzerland. Very many also wear a yellow, blue and green jersey...
I checked all shops. They had everything. Everything - except the Japanese Jersey. Okay I didn't actually look for Trinidad, so I am not sure they had one. But I wanted a Japan jersey. Well, no luck. This is globalisation at its best. You can have everything everywhere anytime. Except a Japanese Jersey in Switzerland during the Football World Cup in Germany.
However, tonight my heart is with team Japan. I hope they crush Brasil. Also without me wearing the jersey.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

England or Sweden? Or SBAS APV?

Today's principal question is: Is it more difficult for Germany to play Sweden or would it have been easier to meet Beckham an co. in the eighth-finals. Lots of discussions, lots of opinions...
My view is clear: It doesn't matter. Either of them will be waltzed over by the Germans. They are carried by the enthusiasm in their country, by the atmosphere. I know, nobody likes it, but they need to be beaten first. Can Sweden do it? I don't think so, but they are invited to prove me wrong.
SBAS APV? Interesting topic - after July 9th!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I'm going to the IATS again!

This becomes a habit! I will be presenting a paper highlighting the work of the ICAO Obstacle Clearance Panel Training Workgroup at the International Aviation Training Symposium in Oklahoma City. It seems to become a habit, since I spoke at every IATS so far. I look forward to catching up with Professor Dr. Todd Hubbard, my friend and advisor, education teacher etc. We will be both speaking in the same workshop. If you are interested in the Symposium, visit the IATS website of ATCA.
It takes place next month (hot in OKC!!), July 17-20.

Last minute for the ARINC 424 course!

If you don't know what to do next week, why not join me and Jim Terpstra along with a class of students at the Lake of Thun/Switzerland for the ARINC 424 database coding for procedure designers course? Weather is fine, the lake is warm (okay, it's not THAT warm...) and you can even watch football ;-)
Go to and contact me if you feel like joining last minute.

What's more important, Football or Procedure Design?

Well, it depends... Right now, it's procedure design. Yesterday between 3pm and 5pm it was Football. We beat (beat!) Togo! Yessss! Now let's crush South Korea and we shall advance to the next stage. Cool, I just hope, we don't get the Spanish again (like in 1994)... :-(
They are strong, they could be a candidate for the title. My favourites? Right now after two games each in the following order:

Argentina (because they played great)
Germany (because they're Germany. Remember: Football is a game with 2 teams of 11 players and in the end Germany wins)
Spain (because they played patiently against Tunisia)
Italy (because they are clever)
Switzerland (because in Football even the impossible is possible)
Netherlands (because they finally deserve it)

That's it. Brasil? I didn't know they participated. Ok, but now back to procedure design. No, not me - you!

Introducing the Primary Area

For the Students at the Air Navigation Institute, there is now a protected area with a lot of downloadable information. Course scripts, spreadsheets, working papers and procedure design criteria documents can be found there. Visit the ANI website and send an email to receive access to the Primary Area.

Database coding down under!

This is exciting! ANI's database coder Christian Freiesleben (see his profile on the ANI website) will travel to Wellington to provide the database coding course for procedure designers in the Australia/New Zealand/South Pacific Area.
This will happen August 21 - 25, 2006. If anybody is interested in participating, visit the ANI website