The 19 don’ts of aviation

There are some truths that remain timeless no matter what happens, even with technological advances. This includes the basic principles of aviation safety as Paul, the blogger behind AskaCFI.com, recently noted after he purchased a 1941 printed copy of “Modern Flight” by Cloyd P. Clevenger (which he believes to have been first published in 1927, making it one of the first aviation manuals to be published).

Near the end of the book, Paul spotted Clevenger’s list of the following 19 “Don’ts” of aviation that is worth repeating again:

    1. Don’t fail to inspect the ship for flaws, lack of cotter pins, etc. before taking off for a flight
    2. Don’t take off until you have personally checked to see if you have sufficient gas and oil.
    3. Don’t take off with a cold motor.
    4. Don’t taxi fast.
    5. Don’t try to turn back into the airport in the event of motor failure on the take-off.
    6. Don’t make a gliding spiral at too low an altitude
    7. Don’t bank steeply or climb steeply near the ground.
    8. Don’t stall a ship and “hang” it by the propeller close to the ground.
    9. Don’t pull the stick back if the ship settles in bad air on the take-off.
    10. Don’t fly roughly or handle the motor roughly.
    11. Don’t try to stretch out a glide.
    12. Don’t skid or slip on your turns.
    13. Don’t fail to keep your eyes on the lookout for other ships all around you whether in the air or on the ground.
    14. Don’t confuse air speed with motor speed.
    15. Don’t stunt unless you are flying an airplane built for acrobatics.
    16. Don’t stunt near the ground.
    17. Don’t pull a ship out of its dive too sharply in recovering from acrobatics.
    18. Don’t fly if you are sick or feel loggy.
    19. Don’t forget your responsibility and get reckless.

What is remarkable about this simple list that was spotted by Paul is that after you take into account all of the latest and fancy gadgets that we now have (glass cockpits, GPS devices etc.) as opposed to 80 years ago, the list is still relevant today. After all, can you think of any additional don’ts to add to this list?

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