Planning (not “Plans”) – Essential to Safety!

Recent headlines addressed the General Aviation accident rate and compared them to other types of aviation. Relative to the airlines and the military, why is GA so much more prone to accidents? Having been lucky enough to have flown a fairly broad mix of military and part 121 operations I will try to answer that … Continue reading “Planning (not “Plans”) – Essential to Safety!”

Fixing “Slow Motion” Accidents!

We have amazing technology in most of our airplanes these days. We navigate with satellites and have omniscient weather mapping on board. But despite all these tools, pilots continue to fly into terrible weather and kill themselves. These “slow-motion” accidents involve a series of bad decisions over time – starting with the launch – that … Continue reading “Fixing “Slow Motion” Accidents!”

Airlines -vs- GA: Safety Solutions!

Comparing the safety record of “big iron operations” with general aviation is a very common but also inherently unfair contest. The airline “safety sales pitch” goes something like: “airlines have a near-zero accident rate due to some superior skill, secret sauce or magic techniques (buy it here…)” But in fact, the General Aviation piloting job, … Continue reading “Airlines -vs- GA: Safety Solutions!”

Fly Adaptively – TLAR Defeats Perfectionism!

Pursuing excellence and striving to be better is a positive piloting trait and the heart of professionalism. It is unfortunately often confused with “perfectionism” which is a neurotic need to avoid any perceived errors – rooted in fear and insecurity. Perfectionists seek external validation and are often driven by shame. Being perfect “every day in … Continue reading “Fly Adaptively – TLAR Defeats Perfectionism!”

Essential Subjects: Weather Salad!

The Aviation Weather Center breaks down the weather product into three categories: observations, forecasts, and advisories, or, as I like to say, look, look out, and watch out!  We must always keep in mind that these products are either history or a good guess-and realize the limitations. Current observations are old by the time they … Continue reading “Essential Subjects: Weather Salad!”

Managing Student Fear For Effective Learning

As pilots, we all will eventually have to face the incapacitating effects of fear. This will either come during new flight experiences while training or when facing a shocking and unexpected emergency (e.g.  US Airways Flight 1549 or Neil Williams’ amazing inflight recovery). The startle response has received lots of recent notoriety, (and several previous blogs) … Continue reading “Managing Student Fear For Effective Learning”

Ace Your Oral (for Student and CFI)

The easiest pathway to success on the oral portion of any check ride is to first thoroughly read and understand the FAA standard for certification. These are FREE online and fairly succinct. These standards represent the FAA required “rules of engagement” that your DPE must follow by regulation (check out this FAA guidance intended for … Continue reading “Ace Your Oral (for Student and CFI)”