Script for Life
Flying|August 2020
How scripts guide collaboration in aviation too

PM: “Making power, power is even.”

PM: “Airspeed alive.”

PM: “80 knots.”

PF: “My yoke.”

PM: “Your yoke.”

PM: “V1.”

PM: “VR.”

PM: “Positive rate on two.”

PF: “Gear up.”

PM: “Selecting gear up.”

PM: “Gear is up.”

PM: “Clean wing speed.”

PF: “Clean the wing.”

PM: “Cleaning the wing.”

PM: “Wing is clean.”

PM: “Speed limit is 250 knots.”

PM: “Out of 10,000 feet, no speed limit.”

I was serving as the required copilot and pilot monitoring (PM) for Martha, who was captain and pilot flying (PF) on this trip in our old Falcon 10. These were my callouts and my responses to the pilot flying on our takeoff.

Pilots in training to be a copilot, or pilot monitoring, in the airlines refer to this as “the script.” Before a new hire shows up for training, they are given what is known as the Flight Crew Operations Manual, which includes the script. It provides the callouts expected from the pilot monitoring at various times in the flight profile. The flight profile consists of the configurations required at various stages in the flight, and the allowable speed ranges associated with those configurations.

Joe Muñoz, an active airline pilot and simulator instructor, tells us that failure to remember and perform the script is the main reason why new hires have difficulty moving to active duty.

Getting the script down is a big deal. The script sets the pace of the crew’s response to the rapid development of events in a jet. If the copilot stumbles in performing the script, events can quickly get ahead of both the pilot monitoring and pilot flying.

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