by John Rafferty
You're now certified for commercial flying, so from now on, you'll be pretty much on your own. Therefore, on each of the remaining flights you'll start out with conventional preflight data and then proceed to each step of the flight with the same types of information a pilot would have in those actual circumstances.
Before each departure, you'll receive a weather briefing in the form of pilot's notes on a standard weather-briefing form. You'll then be assisted in the review and analysis of that weather information. On some flights, the weather will have a significant bearing on how the flight is conducted, and developments in the weather at later points in the flight will reflect the preflight forecasts—with about the same degree of reliability that occurs in the real world.
You'll also start out with the outline of a flight log for the expected flight, which will serve as a basis for the flight plan you file with ATC. Use this flight log outline to help prepare your own log for use during the flight. To do this, you can make photocopies of the blank flight log form provided at the back of this book, or you can do what many pilots do—use a plain paper pad.
When you're ready for departure you'll receive ATC clearance, which may or may not conform to the routing and altitudes you expect, as is the case in actual practice. From this point on, you'll conduct the flight by adhering to your clearance and responding to conventional instructions from ATC controllers en route.