9 Simple Ways to Keep From Killing Yourself in an Airplane
We are going to explore a few commonsense ways to stay out of trouble out there. The headline is a bit of a “grabber”, the point remains that flying is unforgiving. It can be extremely safe, but we can’t take that for granted.
Keep flying the airplane. This is a huge issue. Flying in this era of onboard gadgets, it’s super-easy to forget to fly the airplane. This implications of this are potentially disastrous. This afflicts light airplanes and airliners alike. The outcomes are the same.
Don’t hit anything, especially the ground. CFIT (or scud running) and hot-dogging have claimed a lot of lives. As an RV-driver the sporty handing of the lineage seems to promote this kind of flying, but no one is immune. Make sure you have situational awareness (CFIT). Don’t be a stunt pilot (hot-dogging).
Keep fuel in the tanks. Pouring over accident reports you would be amazed at how many of them involve not having fuel in the airplane. No one wakes up in the morning and plans to run their tanks dry, but it happens with all too much regularity.
Don’t fly VFR into IMC. Seems simple but in spite of all this high-tech stuff on our airplanes , pilots still violate this tenant that was written in blood.
Don’t panic. If something abnormal occurs the ability to keep your head is very important. Some one that freezes up or reacts irrationally with inevitably make a bad matter worse.
Stay proficient. The best safety device is a proficient pilot (not the parachute). Pilots lacking in this area are not only ill-equipped to handle an emergency, they are likely to produce one.
Maintain your airspeed. You may have heard that airspeed is life and that’s true, except the AOA evangelist are screaming at their monitors right now. Too often airspeed, or more accurately AOA, is allowed to degrade in a position that doesn’t allow for an adequate recovery.
Keep your eyes outside. Mid-air collisions are right up there with in-flight fires as being the scariest thing that can happen in an airplane. Just this week another mid-air claimed four lives in Phoenix. Tragic, and maybe unavoidable, but it might have been prevented with eyes outside of the cockpit.
Keep flying the airplane. We ended where we started, flying the airplane is the most important thing you can do. If you have an engine failure, for example, and you try to stretch the glide and stall/spin into the ground versus a controlled landing in the trees, you will get two completely different outcomes. Flying the airplane doesn’t just mean not being distracted, it also means making it stay in your control. Landing upright with a relatively low sink rate is what you are after – no matter the terrain.
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