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Preparing for the Unpredictable – FAA Safety Briefing, July/August

This month’s FAA Safety Briefing (July/August 2013) covers a variety of important topics related to ‘Preparing for the Unpredictable’.

[this issue] focuses on airman preparedness. Articles explore procedures, techniques, and equipment that can help you stay ahead of the aviation safety curve and prepare for the unexpected.

There’s a great article on Aviation Survival Equipment which is well worth reading. If you are like many pilots who may just bring along their headset and few other bits and pieces (including your license, medical certificate and photo ID…) when they go flying then this will give you some ideas for what else to bring along. Clearly a training flight to the local practice area is a little different to a cross country flight over the mountains, however, have a read and compare their suggestions to what you normally bring along. Look at your stuff and think about how you would fare if you had to put the aircraft down somewhere other than where you had intended…

Another concept worth reviewing is that of ‘Defensive Flying’. My kids aren’t old enough to drive yet but even when they ask if they can go somewhere on their bike they get the lecture ‘Its not necessarily you Im worried about – its the other people on the road…’ Defensive flying is the same concept:

The principle behind defensive flying is to never assume other pilots, air traffic controllers, ground personnel, or even Mother Nature is looking out for your safety.

Our flights are remarkably uneventful the vast majority of the time so complacency sets in and then when something doesn’t go according to plan we can waste precious time adjusting to this unexpected new reality. Defensive flying reminds you to prepare for these events and to have some contingency plans in hand should the unexpected happen.

It’s much easier to execute a wellthought-out contingency plan than it is to make radical decisions during flight. Prior planning eliminates a lot of pressure from pilots and can increase safety exponentially.

There are other articles that remind us of how to prepare our passengers for the unexpected plus information on digital and analog ELTs and options for commercial tracking of our flight should you have an accident and need to be found. Please take a few moments to read though these articles and the others in this edition. The briefing is available as a PDF and also in formats for your favorite eBook reader. The FAA Safety Briefing site also has links to past editions, all of which are well worth reading.

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