Fall is an incredible time to fly. The blazing heat of summer is behind you and the air is as crisp as the colors. While there’s a lot to enjoy during the season, it’s also important to remember the work that goes into flying safely. Here are four quick tips that you can use anytime to make sure you’re not just prepared but are ready to fly safely:
- Always Follow a Pre-Flight Checklist. Mistakes happen but mindless errors can be avoided if the proper safeguards are in place. You have gone through that check list many times and I am sure you have it memorized. It looks cool to hop in and run through it fast looking like a pro to your passengers. Fact 80% of accidents happen within the first 3 minutes of flight and the last 8 minutes. Why is that? Well, the majority are because of a missed step in your takeoff or landing check list. Slow down…flying safe is professional and just as cool!
- Follow Your Gut – Don’t Fly if You’re Uneasy. If your intuition is telling you something is wrong or the weather is too rough, trust yourself. Ask yourself why you’re feeling a little uneasy and you’ll know the answer.. weather..traffic…regardless go with your gut. Don’t let yourself be pressured into flying. This could put you into a dangerous situation that would have otherwise been avoided. Many fatal accidents like Kennedy, Kobe and to many others ended badly because the pilot pushed on when they had a way out earlier.
- Avoid Flying When You’re feeling “Off”. If you have cold or flu symptoms, it’s best to avoid flying. Piloting an aircraft requires managing multiple tasks with complete focus and if you have an emergency your actions will determine the safety of you and your passengers. The focus necessary to fly is hard to muster when you are battling flu-like symptoms. It isn’t safe for you or your passengers to take the risks associated with flying while sick. Try the IMSAFE checklist which stands for: • Illness • Medication • Stress • Alcohol • Fatigue • Eating
- Use the Three Strikes Rule. As you are preparing for flight, pay attention to any minor mistakes you make. Nearly forgetting to buckle your seatbelt on its own might not seem like a big deal, but when you couple that mistake with two others, it could be a sign that you aren’t mentally focused enough to safely pilot an aircraft.