Work as part of a flight team with other crew members, especially during takeoffs and landings. Use instrumentation to guide flights when visibility is poor. Start engines, operate controls, and pilot airplanes to transport passengers, mail, or freight, adhering to flight plans, regulations, and procedures. Contact control towers for takeoff clearances, arrival instructions, and other information, using radio equipment. Monitor gauges, warning devices, and control panels to verify aircraft performance and to regulate engine speed. Respond to and report in-flight emergencies and malfunctions. Steer aircraft along planned routes, using autopilot and flight management computers. Check passenger and cargo distributions and fuel amounts to ensure that weight and balance specifications are met. Monitor engine operation, fuel consumption, and functioning of aircraft systems during flights. Inspect aircraft for defects and malfunctions, according to pre-flight checklists. Choose routes, altitudes, and speeds that will provide the fastest, safest, and smoothest flights. Confer with flight dispatchers and weather forecasters to keep abreast of flight conditions. Direct activities of aircraft crews during flights. Brief crews about flight details, such as destinations, duties, and responsibilities. Order changes in fuel supplies, loads, routes, or schedules to ensure safety of flights. Record in log books information such as flight times, distances flown, and fuel consumption. Make announcements regarding flights, using public address systems.