Aviation Safety Corner

GREETINGS! For this month's topic, I would like to discuss, "FIRST THINGS FIRST." How To Make Your Flying Safer by Applying A Few Simple Rules. If execution doesn't seem like the simplest part of flying to you, then you're doing something wrong. This is Part III of IV.

Now, let's discuss "Concepts Vs. Procedures." During a missed approach or go-around, it's impossible to refer to a written checklist for a "get outta Dodge" procedure. So that your actions are almost instinctive when faced with the unexpected, it is necessary to have sufficiently consideration both concept and specific procedures. And while procedures are important, and sometimes critical, the concept involved clarifies where procedure is needed and how it should be applied.

That underlying concept, whether you are IFR or VFR, is simple in the case of a missed approach or go-around: Safely get the airplane's descent stopped, start it in a stable climb and ensure that you don't crash into the ground or anything else. The concept is as simple as it is SAFE. Virtually anything you do with that concept in mind will get the job done.

Keep in mind that you should never start to do something unless you've properly set up to do it successfully. Psychologically, you should always be as prepared to execute a missed approach or go-around as you are to land the airplane.

Indecision, uncertainty or fuzzy concepts about an operation or maneuver won't do. Only after you know exactly what you are supposed to do and set up both yourself and the airplane to do it properly, should you even begin. This is a basic concept that should underlie everything you do.

This maxim applies whether you are entering the landing pattern, begin an instrument approach, start a visual maneuver, or anything else. First, take time to get properly set up. Only then, do your thing. You're much more likely to appreciate the result.

When you think about your next flight, run through some possible scenarios and figure out what you'll do. Generate concepts that will lead to the proper procedures should the unexpected arise. If you find yourself stumped, maybe you need a bit more thought and preparation for what you're contemplating doing. The key in this kind of exercise is not answering someone else's questions. It's asking yourself the right questions-ahead of time.

"Separating Concept from Procedure" means to understand not just how to perform certain maneuvers, but why each step needs to be taken. If you're going up for a practice or training flight, decide what you'll practice, where you'll go and to what standards you'll hold yourself. Write a personal lesson plan, or at least think about one. Decide what you want to accomplish and what/where the potential hazards are. You know the drill. Sort it out, or don't go. It's easier to do all this on the ground than in the air.

Don't miss next month's issue, when we'll finish our discussion on, "Building an Organized Cockpit" and "Preplanning." Part IV of IV.

In conclusion, A little thinking, planning, concepts and procedures work, and organizing for simplicity can go a long way toward making YOUR FLIGHT SAFER, MORE EFFICIENT, CHEAPER, AND MORE ENJOYABLE. Remember, make it all as simple as you can. Keep only the important things. First Things First. See you at this month's chapter meeting! Bring a friend along! SAFE FLYING!

Larry G. Harmon
FAA AVIATION SAFETY COUNSELOR

for Ann's July Message
for our July Flying Journal
to return to our Main Page
to return to the MPA Home Page
to visit EAA Chapter 821's Web Site