FAA’s advice to pilots: Don’t get too comfortable

General Aviation news has a lengthy article about FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt in the USA and some of the advice he gave to pilots at the recent Meet the FAA forum at the Sun ’n Fun air show in Florida. At the forum, Babbitt advised:

When someone sees a new pilot, it sometimes makes you smile because they are so cautious. But I don’t want you get too comfortable — stay cautious.

He then added that pilots need to go back to basics by saying that:

I don’t care how many times you’ve done that checklist — do it again. How often do you test yourself? How often do you ask yourself, ‘what would I do right now if the engine quit? Where would I land?’ Just because your first scan of the cockpit is OK, that doesn’t mean you stop scanning. It’s all about situational awareness. It’s a process that never stops.

Babbit also noted that when the aviation community talks about professionalism, most people think only about commercial airlines and commercial airline pilots. However, he added that there should also be the same level of professionalism in all cockpits – especially if you are taking passengers on your flights.

In addition, Babbit talked about issues that would be of concern to the general aviation community in the USA. He pointed out that certification is on his radar screen as there are now around 2,200 items ranging from electronics to winglets that are awaiting FAA certification plus three factories (one each for HondaJet, Embraer and Boeing).

Moreover, Babbit noted that of the nation’s 275,000 aircraft, roughly 110,000 to 120,000 of them don’t have current registrations. In other words, the FAA currently has no idea whether or not these aircraft have been sold, scrapped or exported. Hence and over the next three years, all aircraft in the USA will undergo re-registration.

The entire General Aviation News article is well worth reading by USA based pilots while Babbit’s remarks about not getting too comfortable in the cockpit should be considered universal advice for pilots everywhere.

One Response to FAA’s advice to pilots: Don’t get too comfortable

  1. Andrew Smolenski April 9, 2011 at 04:07 #

    My mantra, that I picked up as a student pilot and now carry into the fire service, is that the day you think you know everything, is the day you step away or you will kill yourself and maybe take others with you. Both in the aviation industry and the fire service, you should never stop learning. No two incidents (flights) are ever the same. It's a belief I stick to, and plan on doing so throughout my life.

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