Thursday, December 20, 2007

End of course, end of academical year

Today, we have the last day of the last 2007 PANS-OPS course. Once more, 10 new procedure designers will leave the ANI facility in Fukuoka/Japan (picture). For me, that will also be the beginning of a holiday :-) So I actually look forward but I am also a little sad to say goodbye to another good group of students. However, that's it for the year 2007, quite a year I have to say. It was the year when we finalized 5 new manuals in the ICAO IFPP: The PBN manual, the RNP AR manual and the Quality Assurance Manual for procedure design vol. I, II and III. Volume 2 is the Training Manual, which I believe is a nice piece of work. The last Fukuoka course was adopted to fully comply with this new manual and I must say, I am very happy with the results.
Furthermore, 2007 was the year of the first ever certified online trained procedure designer, Evan Colpitts. So, when I look back, the year brought a lot of upsides. The downside was obvioulsy my constant struggle for health, which some of you guys out there are aware of or witnessed. However, I look forward to some quiet days in the snow and an I will be pumped up to face new challeges in 2008. In the mean time, I wish all readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May the time not be too hectic for you :-)


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Some happy faces

The ARINC 424 course in Langen/Germany given by our database coding guru Christian Freiesleben created some happy faces. Or are you saying they do not look happy? ;-)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

"e" in e-mail means: electronic

This week I followed the elections of the Swiss Federal Council with interest. The fact I could do that is already quite an amazing fact, as I am working in Japan as always at that time of the year. Electronic media make it possible to even watch some TV coverage live. But that's not my point. Neither is the political aspect of the elections. But I saw a documentary about the newly elected woman (all six other members were confirmed for another 4 years) and they were filming at her former workplace, the financial department in Chur. "How were the last 24 hours for you" they asked a secretary. She said " oh, quite busy, a lot of phonecalls etc. congratulations from a lot of people". Then she points to a pile of A4 paper: "Over a thousand e-mails, but that's not all yet here." Excuse me??? You PRINT over a thousand emails with congratulation messages?? Actually, you PRINT emails at all?? Why on earth would somebody ever do that? Human beings seem to resist eveolution wherever possible. It's a little bit like some years ago, when I started travelling with electronic tickets. At some airport I was asked for the ticket to enter the check-in zone. I said "I have no ticket, it's electronic". The lady: "Don't you have a printout of it?" No, I bloody don't, because the purpose of electronic documents is that they are what the name implies: E-LEC-TRO-NIC. And the reason you would have such a ticket is because you don't want to travel with all this paperwork...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Life is....

Life is a gift to enjoy and not a problem to solve. This is a line I saw today on a long walk through a city in the far east. Quite nice, not so? Think about it for a minute...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Are humans really ready for progress?

Sometimes I really wonder how humans resist progress. Although some species have high speed internet, the latest flat screen TV, a car with GPS navigation system, hard disk recorders for TV programs, the latest top-notch kitchen equipment, BUT they have their emails printed by their secretaries, they ask me to issue hard copy invoices sent by snail mail and stuff like that? On the other hand they complain about pollution and the CO2 issue. Well, ... wouldn't paperless business actually help? Just a little bit, but everything counts! I am quite glad for example that in the ICAO Instrument Flight Procedures Panel we are quite advanced and hold paperless meetings. All working papers are published on the panel website, which we can acess during the meeting. No hardcopies issued, no nonsense. Now THIS is what I call progress.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Short notice: Another ARINC 424 course this year

Due to popular demand, we scheduled another ARINC 424 database coding course this year. The dates are: December 10-14, the location is the DFS campus in Langen/Frankfurt Germany. Accomodation can be booked at the Steigenberger Hotel (walking distance from DFS) for around 90€-100€.
This course will be taught by Christian Freiesleben. Tuition fee is 1100€. Let me know soon if you wish to join, the course is almost full.

Last PANS-OPS course of the year about to start

There we go: On Monday, October 29, the last PANS-OPS course of the year will start at the ANI location in Fukuoka/Japan, where a full class i waiting to get trained in Flight Procedure Design. As always, I look forward to this and I am sure we will have a good time again.
For those looking for a PANS-OPS course in 2008, you'd better think about booking now, we seem to be looking at full classes again and I cannot accomodate another course.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Obstacle restriction and removal

See in the attached picture how we progress with the latest obstacle restriction and removal operation :-) Thanks to Jan Varga from ASAP s.r.o. for the picture. Another reason to add some margin for vegetation and unlisted obstacles. However, male giraffes grow to about 5.5m, so the chances that your tree allowance will cover it are relatively high...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Procedure Designer Vacancy in Brisbane

Hi All,

There seems to be an intersting job vacancy down in Brisbane for a private consultancy company. They are looking for a procedure designer to head up their procedure design team. As far as I understood, a candidate would have the possibility to establish structures and work processes, as the company only starts to be active in the procedure design field. Now, before everybody jumps, here are the catches:
An order from the Australian regulator CASA requires that a chief designer has the following pre-requisites:
1. A basic PANS-OPS training course with a CASA approved training provider (which I am not by the way. They ask for too much money to get the courses assessed). Currently, I know that Singapore Aviation Academy is on the list of approved institutions.

2. An advanced training course, as far as I know CASA, also at an approved institution.

3. A minimum of 2 years current procedure design experience.

However, if you cope with these requirements, or know somebody who does, please contact Tim Goodwin at Rehbein AOS:

Tim Goodwin
Aviation Consultant
Level 3, CBD House, 120 Wickham Street
Fortitude Valley (PO Box 112) QLD 4006
P (07) 3250 9000 F (07) 3250 9001

Friday, September 28, 2007

First ever "online" Procedure Designer certified

Quite a historical moment that is! Today, Evan Colpitts from Hart Aviation in Vancouver received his certificate of completion for the basic PANS-OPS procedure design training. Evan is the first procedure designer in the world, who has done his training via an online course. Currently, the ANI online course consists of seven students, actually now six, as Evan has completed his training. I am really pleased to see that the online concept works and that this learning method provides an alternative to the classroom courses.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

ARINC 424 - course dinner

We had our dinner at the restaurant benacus in Interlaken, where chef René Schudel surprises his guests with his creativity every night with a different menu. It was a great evening with a great group.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Flagship location closes for renovation

One of our locations for short courses, the Hirschen in Gunten/Switzerland, will close for renovation in October this year. That is, the ARINC 424 course starting Monday September 24 will be the last course in the old Hirschen. The Hotel will reopen in Spring 2009. In the meantime I will have to look for a different location for the short courses, I keep you posted on the outcome but it will be a place that matches the Gunten location as far as that's possible.

Friday, September 21, 2007

PANS-OPS in Pezinok 2008

After the successful PANS-OPS course in Pezinok/Slovakia this year, we decided to repeat the operation in 2008. Here are the dates: Part 1 May 5-23, 2008. Part 2 July 14-August 1, 2008. Make sure bookings are made early, the 2007 course sold out in 2 weeks. We already have 2 reservations and we can take a maximum of 15. The course can also be attended as a modular refresher course. For example:
Conventional Navigation (whole part1)
Conventional Navigation Theory only (first two weeks of part 1)
Conventional Navigation Practical only (third week of part 1)
ILS (first week of part 2)
RNAV (last two weeks of part 2)
RNAV Theory only (second week of part 2)
RNAV Practical only (last week of part 2)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

First ever "online" Procedure Designer doing practical

The first Procedure Designer who has done the ANI online course is currently doing his 2 week practical phase under my supervision here in Switzerland. I have to say: I like what I see. That can mean two things, 1. Evan Colpitts, the Canadian Student is a natural talent and/or 2. the online course is good stuff. Fact is: I don't see any difference in the way Evan attacks the procedure design problems I give him from the way the classroom students would. So, by Friday September 28 I am sure we see the first Procedure Designer in the world who will get a course certificate based on a distance learning program. I like that thought.

Report from the Oslo Course

We also completed a basic PANS-OPS course in Oslo with participants from Avinor and the Irish Aviation Authority. Here I was confirmed in my view that the break between part 1 and 2 should be somewhere between 4 to 8 weeks. The break for the Pezinok course was 7 weeks and the performance of the students in part 2 was great. In Oslo the break was 15 weeks which resulted in a less efficient part 2, because some of the fundamentals from part 1 were not remembered. Should we have to have breaks of such length in the future I will make sure there is a mitigation, such as a madatory revision with a test at the end or something.

Report on the Pezinok course

Hi All,

Sorry, I was very quiet for a while. That was due to two reasons: 1. I was busy lecturing 2. I had to focus on my health. So here are some news. I have completed two basic PANS-OPS courses this spring/summer. One of the courses was held in Pezinok/Slovak Republic on the premises of the procedure design company ASAP s.r.o We had 14 people there and we inaugurated the newly built training premises. Students came from the UK CAA, PANSA Poland, LPS Slovakia, CAA Bosnia-Herzegowina, Air Slovakia, CAA Taiwan, CAA Czech Republic, Romanian Air Force and ASAP themselves. The level the students reached at the end of the course was amazing, also we were quite happy with the environment. Pezinok is a small town close to Bratislava (and Vienna for that matter) and just big enough to have all necessary facilities but not so large that the students disappear in all directions after class. The chemistry in the course was quite good as the students did stuff together in their free time. And the Barbecues at Ian's house will be long remembered of course ;-) See above Ian Whitworth preparing his garden for the barbecue :-D

Thursday, August 02, 2007

New APV/GBAS course

Hi All,

I am sorry I was quit for so long but I was teching a PANS-OPS course and also creating lectures for the online course.
This is to announce that we have now established the training program for what we call "Procedure Design Level 3" (Level 1 is conventional procedures, Level 2 is ILS and RNAV basic procedures) is now finished.
What falls under Level 3 are the courses "APV/GBAS" (1 week), PBN (Performance Based Navigation) including RNP AR (2 weeks).

Currently I have now scheduled the APV course: It will take place June 30 till July 4 2008 in Switzerland. The location will be the University of Bern or alternatively a hotel in the vicinity of my home. It will be decided a bit later. I already have registrations for the course, so be aware that it might sell out relatively quickly.

Tuition fee for the course is 1100€.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mobile phone mania

What's the deal with thise mobile phones? Don't get me wrong, I think mobile phones are a good invention and I had one already in times when people were giving me puzzled looks when using it and would make stupid remarks about me and how important I must feel with it. Strangely enough the same people now make last second phonecalls even after boarding an aircraft ("yeah, I am now in the airplane, aahm, can you tell Mark that I shall call him as soon as I arrive?"). After landing the same people can't wait to switch their mobiles on again and get on the phone ("yeah, hi, I just landed. Did you tell Mark, I'd call as soon as I land?").
I look at young people in the cafes, they sit together and don't talk, but look at their phones every minute to see if they received a message....
I see a guy sitting with an incredibly looking woman having a drink and this idiot knows nothing better than speaking 15 minutes on the phone with somebody and let her sit there and feel stupid.
People sit down for breakfast in a hotel and then bring the phone out and make a call. Funny, I was brought up telling people I (or my dad) would call back, as we are in the middle of Lunch or dinner. Let alone even think about MAKING a call myself...
Does the mobile phone make people forget their education, their sense for politeness vs. rudeness? In many cases, it certainly seems so...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The natural flow

I believe in certain "laws of the universe". They are mainly based on Physics or Quantum Physics. A simple example: Action = Reaction. If we look at the nature, we find answers to all the questions we might have. Nature is full of metaphors we can use in our own life. One point, where the human being tries to cheat the physical laws all the time is growth. People start their own companies, haven't got the first deal done yet, don't know if they EVER get a deal, but already think about employing people.
Another perfect example for this is Musicstar or Amercan Idol or whatever it might be called. Young, more or less talented people are taken through a casting process and finally the winner gets a record deal, live gigs in large halls in front of large audiences etc. In other words, on their way to climb a ladder they leave about 20 steps out. The problem is: when they need to step back, the 20 steps won't be there either, therefore they fall.
I observe such behaviour almost on a daily basis. Young people do not go the normal way when buying their first car. They don't go for some old and cheap car they can pay cash, no, they go for the BMW M3 convertable with leather seats straight away. Of course they cannot afford it, they will find out the hard way after a while.
Or people who haven't quite secured and consolidated their own knowledge yet believe, it's their destiny to stand in front of an audience and teach or give speeches. It's like swimming with sharks: if you know what you are doing, you won't be hurt. If you are not quite sure, it's dangerous.
A baby grows at a natural pace. It is never stressed about the time it takes. The baby will simply take in all the impressions it can and will process them. A baby NEVER thinks it needs to be able to walk after three months. It will start walking when it feels that the time is right for it.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Everybody speaks of "Harmony": A harmonic marriage, harmonic furniture, harmony in the team (e.g. football) is great, the movement of your hands were not quite harmonic, the courses in that menu were un-harmonic (that's the worst one!) etc.
Once more people speak about something the haven't got a clue. The definition of harmony: a simultaneous sound of two or more notes. That's it. That sound can be consonant or dissonant. Consonance and dissonance are primarily a matter of listening habits and therefore a matter of taste. As you might know, I have a degree in music and for me too much consonance is simply boring. But music generally cannot be without dissonance, it's IMPOSSIBLE. Some styles have more some less. But what makes the music interesting is the change between tension (dissonance) and release (consonance). But that's all HARMONIC. Okay? Generally the difference between a consonant sound and a dissonant sound can be explained by physics (acousics). It has to do with the wavelength ratio.
So back to this "harmonic marriage" crap: A marriage is always (always!) harmonic! As a harmony is the simultaneous sound of two or more notes. A marriage can be dissonant (the couple argueing) or consonant (the couple... well... you imagine). Could it be that the key to a good marriage is to accept that the interaction of tension and release eventually makes it interesting?

Now another one is: "the harmony in the team is great". A harmony cannot be great. A harmony is. It's the simultaneous sound of two or more notes. Therefore the harmony in a team can simply be consonant or dissonant. Even worse ist this "harmonic movement"-crap. A movement can never (NEVER!) be harmonic. As it has nothing to do with the simultaneous sound of two or more notes. And the worst one: A menu cannot be un-harmonic. Unless you just serve one item wihout anything, not even herbs or salt. "Un-harmony" or "Disharmony" do not exist. As soon as we are talking about two menu items, they will always be harmonic. They can be heavily dissonant such as a hamburger with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and roasted garlic.

Got it?

Friday, May 11, 2007

New PANS-OPS structure -first feedback

After having taught the PANS-OPS course with the new fifth edition three times now, I have to say I am not 100% happy with the rewrite. Apart from the fact that some information got corrupted and is still not corrected, the fact that drawings and tables are at the end of each chapter makes the teaching job extremely difficult. It is annoying to flip the pages all the time, to show the diagram that matches the text (and for most non-english speakers makes it understandable).
I will try and do something about this in the IFPP. Please issue complaints as well (e.g as a comment in this blog). Then I have a strong case and will write a working paper for the next meeting of the IFPP.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

OCP changes name to IFPP

The ICAO Obstacle Clearance Panel (OCP) has now changed its name to the ICAO "Instrument Flight Procedures Panel" IFPP. This name chane was approved by the Air Navigation Commission at ICAO, since the OCP was of the view that the old name no longer reflects the work the panel is doing accurately. This approval of the name change also indicates that the IFPP is heading in the right direction and the work done by the panel is appreciated by the ANC.
Okay, it will take me a while not say "I have an OCP meeting", but I am sure I'll get there :-)

Monday, March 26, 2007

The Panda bear

A Panda bear enters a restaurant and sits down on the table. After having a meal, he pulls a gun shoots around a couple of times then leaves the restaurant. Two guys sitting in the restaurant look at each other in astonishment. One guy says: "Did you see this?? What the hack was that??" The other guy says: "Well, actually that was nothing abnormal to be honest". "What??!!", shouts the first guy. The second guy replies: "Well, yes if you look in the encyclopedia and look under "Panda Bear" ist actually says *The Panda Bear eats shoots and leaves*..."

Monday, February 26, 2007

A historical day for IFP design training

Today the first ever online PANS-OPS course worldwide started. We have a nice class of 5 people that will be joined by a sixth person after part 1. I am very exited about this, because it allows me to pack much more information into the course than in the classroom one. It will be very interesting to see how the students perform in the practical phases. I am sure, they will do fine.
I'll keep you posted!
For those who are interested, you can still enter this class for some weeks from now. I also plan to run another online class in the second half of the year, as the classroom courses at ANI are fully booked for the whole year.

Friday, February 23, 2007

2 more places available

Dear All,

We have two more places for the PANS-OPS basic course in Oslo/Norway this year. The dates are: part 1 April 16 - May 4, part 2 August 20-September 7. THAT'S IT FOR 2007! All other basic courses in 2007 are full. If anybody wants to do a basic course, that would either be an online course or it's in 2008. Or at a different institute, but you wouldn' SERIOUSLY consider that, would you? ;-)

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Software freaks, eat this:

There are 10 ways to understand binary: Either you do, or you don't.

Geodesy Course a success

We have finished the Geodesy Course for Flight Procedure Experts and thanks to the instructors Prof. Dr. alain Geiger and Dr. Maurizio Scaramuzza it was a great success. The picture shows Alain and some of the class on the roof of ETH Zürich performing some practical exercises with theodolites and other equipment. This 3-day course in Geodesy and survey is tailored to the needs of aviation specialists and is a great help for people who have to handle data, maps, obstacles, navaids, digital terrain models all referenced to different coordinate systems. They will learn how to transform cordinates from local systems to WGS84 and so on. Together with the training program offered by WX GeoSystems, this is the only one of its kind as far as I know.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Bratislava Course is full

Hi All,
The PANS-OPS course in Bratislava/Slovakia is full now. For basic courses in the whole 2007 I can only offer 2 places in Oslo (April and August), probably 2 places in Fukuoka (November and December), or of course the online course. This should tell you that if you see that basic PANS-OPS training is needed in your organisation and you want to do it with ANI, approach me now for 2008. I will start scheduling for 2008 in April.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

A pioneering term begins

Hi All,
I am still handicapped and recovering from surgery. But nevertheless I have some great things to reveal for the new semester. As the first training provider ever worldwide, the ANI will run a PANS-OPS basic course online. Starting date is February 26. The whole theory will be delivered through my online learning platform (amazed? should've bought a Mac!) and it will be followed by the known practical projects, similar to the ones at the end of the two parts of the classroom PANS-OPS courses. I believe it is a great alternative for those who can not bare so much time away from their work. Furthermore the students can learn at their own pace and therefore the ICAO concept of competency based training can be applied in its pure form.
Okay folks, can't sit on that chair for too long. More to come soon!