Intermittent squawks in the cockpit happen … well, intermittently. They appear and then oftentimes disappear suddenly and with no explanation. This can make it difficult for the crew to effectively explain what just happened.
While verbalizing the squawk to the DOM, the crew may inadvertently leave out valuable clues that will help pinpoint the cause of the event. They may also be unaware of additional checks or other observations that can aid in troubleshooting.
Use That Smartphone
The fastest way to capture exactly what is happening in the cockpit during an intermittent squawk is to take a video. Most crew members fly with a smartphone or tablet. Get it out and use it. This is particularly helpful for events that are difficult to describe accurately.
This is a video a chief pilot captured recently during a flight. A warning light flashes too quickly for the crew to read the panel. Yet, this video helped to identify a faulty windshield heat temperature switch.