Pilot's tip of the week

Maintenance and Alcohol


Subscriber question:

"I was changing a tire on my Aeronca when my hangar neighbor walked by. I swear he gave my half-finished beer a dirty look as he passed. Is there a rule I don’t know about or is he just uptight?" — Daryl D.


“It’s interesting how pilots almost to a person mind the prohibition on alcohol before flight. Yet there’s no uniform pilot culture or formal guidance on alcohol use and aircraft maintenance.

Working on airplanes can involve critical skills and judgment. Both of which are impaired by alcohol.

I’m with your neighbor on this one: Treat maintenance actions like flying. Even if you’ve done a particular task a hundred times and it’s unlikely to cause a huge problem if it’s not perfect, keep the beer fridge closed until work is done and tools are inventoried.”

Do you do maintenance on your own airplane?

(NEW) VFR Mastery scenario #67 “A Swift Decision” is now available. A pre-takeoff briefing exists to remove hesitation and doubt from split-second emergency decisions after takeoff. The problem is that most real-world departures present several opportunities to go off script. Some of those improvisations could turn an off-field crash into an uneventful runway landing—or a disaster. Watch the Intro video.

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