Pilot's tip of the week

External Pressure


Subscriber question:

"Not a question but a comment... I made a flight recently I probably shouldn't have. The weather was well below my personal comfort level, but I had to be at a business meeting. I flew to the meeting, but scared myself in the process and put myself at risk. Looking back it was a bad decision on my part. I allowed external pressures to influence my decision. I won't put myself in that situation again." - Brian L.


“So often it’s the external pressures that really start to forge the first link of every accident chain. External pressures sometimes will push us to do a flight and have that go mentality, when it really should be no go – the get-home-itis, the get-there-itis.

It’s always something pushing us, and it could be internal pressures as well as external pressures.

If it’s external, it certainly could be you have to make a flight to make a business meeting.

What we have to do in creating our personal minimums is be sure that as we plan our flights, we allow for delays. We allow for the potential that the flight might not be able to be made.

If you don’t allow that buffer within your planning, it could push you into making the flight when you really shouldn’t. So you really need to be sure to include an allowance for delays.

This also means that we let the people that we’re going to meet, or perhaps the people that are coming with us on the flight – they need to know that there is the possibility that the flight might not be completed. The flight might not end up where you were originally planned. Because if you don’t, then there’s that pressure. It’s like that professional pilot. We’ve got to complete the mission. We’ve got to get there.”

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