While no two aviation related accidents are exactly the same, there are often common threads in aviation mishaps that happen again and again. Hence, a recent post by Meg Godlewski on General Aviation News is well worth reading and repeating as she lists the top 10 tips for pilots to avoid accidents (she also goes into more detail about each of them in her post). Here are the 10 tips:
- Use your checklist
- Never trust your fuel gauges
- In a retractable gear airplane, make at least three checks to determine the position of the gear before landing
- Don’t fly by committee
- Know the high traffic areas in your community
- Don’t fall victim to “get home-itis”
- Do not rely on the autopilot or gee-whiz avionics to get you out of a bad situation
- Stay proficient
- Practice emergency procedures
- Don’t be afraid not to fly
Keeping the above tips in mind will go a long way towards keeping you safe when flying.
Matthew Stibbe says
Richard, that's a very good point. A similar thing happens when pilots fly with instructors for currency or continuing training. The tendency is to revert to a student mindset – 'my instructor will keep an eye out for me and he'll step in and save me if things go tits-up.' At the exact same moment many instructors are thinking 'this is great – he knows what he's doing and I can relax a bit and let him fly the plane.' Even with 650+ hours under my belt, I still find myself becoming a bit of a lame-brain student whenever I get in a plane with an instructor.
I think it's been sufficiently shown that the ability to *question* the pilot in command adds to safety. But that's not the same as discussing until everyone is happy.
Cliff and I had to learn that. The person in the left-seat is in command and has final call. I can question / query his decisions (and I do!) but if he justifies it, I shut up until we are on the ground. Outside of the plane, a committee approach is useful and we have had some great discussions. But in the cockpit, unless I honestly think we are in danger as a result of a bad call, I will drop the subject.
(Note: I should admit that I almost joined a circuit the wrong way round once, completely lost spatial awareness somehow, and Cliff stuck to our bargain of shutting up and letting me sort it out after one quiet comment. It was enough to make me look at everything again and see that things didn't make sense. I'm sure if I'd carried on and joined the circuit, he'd have commented again though!)