SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years

— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.

— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

Operations - Expect the Unexpected

Issue: 04-2009By LeRoy Cook, Missouri, USA

Flight crews responsible for the safe operation of corporate aircraft shoulder heavy responsibility. Very often, the company airplane or helicopter will be used to transport chief corporate officers, without whom the organisation would be severely crippled or even collapse. Concern for life and limb aside, there is the overriding need to avoid risk to the corporate structure. Those pilots charged with the safe carriage of the company’s key figures must be well supported.

Corporate flying is quite different from scheduled airline operations, in that business airplanes are not restricted to routes and airports that are used every day. The very utility of company aircraft requires that they be available to operate wherever the business of the corporation requires them to go, often with a frequently-revised schedule to meet sudden demands. This means that the flight crew may have to forego input from a dispatch office, plan its own itinerary, including handling and catering, and seek clearances and fuel sources all by itself.

To be a successful corporate pilot, an individual must enjoy the adventure of beginning a day without knowing exactly where it will end. At the same time, safety dictates that the organisation’s flight department management and corporate board lend support to the go/no-go decisions made in the cockpit. Considering there is no ground assistance in place at some of the airports used and no dispatch author ity oversight, determining the viability of a flight request is often left to the discretion of the pilot. If a trip is declined, the pilot’s decision should not be second-guessed. Turning down too many flights jeopardises the worth of the company plane; yet, pressing on regardless of the hazards is foolish.