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Moose Sheet!

June 25th, 2005 · No Comments

Most new first officers are all in the same boat the second they set foot on the aircraft they’ll be flying for the first time. We’re all a bit apprehensive. We’re all a bit excited. And of course we’re all after every little tip and trick in the book to make our transition from the training environment to the line-flying environment as easy as possible. Those who have gone before us all have great advice on what to do and what not to do. But the BEST tip I’ve had so far is to go check out a computer program called Moostro for Maestro. Maestro is the company’s crew scheduling software, in case you were wondering.

Moostro was written by an enterprising pilot at Southwest Airlines who wanted a way to have as much information at his fingertips as possible as easily as possible. Maestro is a bit cumbersome and hard to deal with sometimes, and Moostro can do things that Maestro can’t, like interfacing with MS Outlook. This is GREAT, since that will seemlessly integrate your work calendar with your personal calendar.

But one of the BEST things that Moostro has to offer over Maestro is something called a Trip Sheet. A little bit of explanation is required here, I think. A TRIP (in Southwest Airlines terms) is one leg of flying (Burbank to San Jose, for instance). A PAIRING is a series of trips spanning a day (or two or three or four). A LINE is essentially a calendar month’s schedule, which is a mixture of pairings and days off.

Moostro provides each pilot with the ability to print a trip sheet (called a Moose Sheet…feel free to giggle all you want about that) that covers each trip in a pairing. Why is this important? Simply because each trip has a TON of data associated with it. Things like company routes, navigational aids, communications frequencies, scheduled departure and arrival times, and airport data. Normally, a pilot would have to use a combination of Jeppesen charts, company manuals, and flight releases to obtain all that information. Moostro puts all of this information for each flying leg of your pairing on 1/4 sheet of an 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper!

Check it OUT!

Admit it! All you guys at “other” airlines are jealous, aren’t you!?!

In case you were wondering, the Moostro database is continually updated through a company download to keep the navigational information as current as possible. Nevertheless, we ALWAYS check the Moose Sheet information with the information supplied on the official dispatch release, just to make sure.

So as a new First Officer, I’ll be using these to help me maintain a halfway decent level of situational awareness. I think they’re going to give me just enough advanced knowledge of what’s going on to make me dangerous!

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