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2 More Lessons General Aviation Can Learn From The Airlines

by John M. White |

Vincent Lambercy from the Plastic Pilot blog wrote an interesting post called "3 lessons general aviation can learn from the airlines." The 3 items he discussed were SOP (standard operating procedures), flow patterns and checklists; briefings; and the sterile cockpit. Aircraft Checklists For general aviation pilots I would add 2 more things that the airline pilots I have worked with do as well:

Pre-flight Planning

In the airline businesses flight plans and weather are prepared by the carrier for the crew, and the charts, weight & balance and other details are taken care of as well. However, general aviation pilots do their own pre-planning for themselves. One of the things most good pilots carry with them is a kit with some extra items like a flashlight with extra batteries, an extra pair of good aviator sunglasses, some nutrition bars and a number of other items that experience has shown they may need as their flight progresses. Before each flight I go through my own kit to make sure that I have everything I will need for the upcoming flight, usually the night before so I don't forget anything.

Post flight debrief

Once I arrive at my destination I take a few minutes to review the flight just completed, taking notes of what went as planned and what didn't. If anything unusual happened, or some problem arose, I review it to make sure I understand exactly what occurred and can know what to do the next time it happens. Every flight is unique, and by reviewing the flight immediately after completion allows me to improve my next flight by being better prepared and knowledgeable.

Accidents Usually Start Before Getting In The Aircraft

For over 30 years I owned and operated my own aviation insurance agency, and during that time I was involved in helping clients with claims and the insurance company. My experience showed that most accidents started before the pilot got into the airplane. Whether it was lack of proper planning, inadequate attention to the weather briefing, forgetting something on the preflight (or not even doing one!) or simply having the wrong attitude about the upcoming flight, the seed that set the accident in motion usually could be found in inadequate preparation for the flight. Gravity and energy are very unforgiving when an aircraft collides with terra firma! Thanks for a great post Vincent! Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7 Sometimes things are bigger than you, and the best you can hope for is to keep your wings level and have patience and a little luck. — Warren L "Wally" Simpson, a pilot with more than 75 round-trips 'over the hump' in WWII ps: Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter "All Things Aviation" here!

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