Pilot's tip of the week

Fit To Fly?


Subscriber question:

"How do you know if you are fit for flight? Quite often, you may have a cold or just don't feel 100%. It can be a difficult call to make." - Peter V.


“Why would we intentionally want to be making critical decisions that occur on every flight in a diminished state? Even a cold or flu can seriously impact our ability to fly. It’s a double-edged sword. Our motor skills will be reduced and our judgment and decision-making ability impaired. That’s a bad combination.

Health issues have no place in the cockpit. You need to be honest in assessing your ability to fly on a given day. Most days we are compelled to press on with life even if not feeling right. This attitude should not make its way into your cockpit.

Also, think about why you are flying. In general aviation, most of our flights are for pleasure and do not have to be flown. Don’t set yourself up for failure by placing yourself into an aircraft if you’re not fit to fly.

Just a word or two about stress. Every pilot experiences it. It is a product of flying just as it is in any demanding endeavor. Remember, a little stress can improve our skills by keeping us alert and prepared. But too much stress can quickly bring us to our knees! Be alert to the pressures in your life and don’t fly if you can’t give it your full attention. Don’t go out flying to get away from it all. If we are distracted by problems at work or home, financial worries, family problems, recent life changes, etc.—do a self-assessment before flying.”

How do YOU make these judgment calls? Tell us in the comments below.

Which item from the I'M SAFE Checklist has caused you to delay or cancel the most flights?

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