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. Part II of IV.

Now, Let's Discuss "Execution". Execution should be the quickest and simplest job of all, especially if you've done the other four properly. If execution doesn't seem like the simplest part of flying to you, then you're doing something wrong. Flying is 95 percent "head" and only about 5 percent "hands". To a very great extent, if you can think it, you can do it.

Execution is what you do on-the-spot when the time comes to perform. It is simple reflection of preparation in the other four areas.

Using the example of the "OFF"" flags on the ILS approach, decide what to do on a rainy, bumpy ILS at night in actual IMC, 1,000 feet agl, when al of the sudden the "OFF" flags both appear and you no longer have either course or glide guidance. This actually happened to me one night, while flying with my instructor, when an airfield manager changed runways, and turned the ILS off on my runway. What would you have done?
You do "First Things First," then sort out the details later. Long before this scenario ever happens, develop your simple plan:
1. Max Power.
2. Flaps to approach (or go around) setting.
3. Establish a positive rate of climb.
4. Retract gear.
5. Keep the wings level and continue to climb straight ahead.

With a sure-fire plan that is in your bag of tricks, everything will work out. Forethought makes it happen on command. It is a simple principle essential to flying. Another equally simple principle, particularly in situations when you might feel motivated to do something quickly, even if it's wrong, is this: "Never execute at a rate faster than you can safely control." Application of power during a missed approach or go around is a good case
in point. If you can't effectively handle a sudden burst of maximum power on the instruments at night, then don't jam the throttles through the firewall. Easy does it. The idea of applying maximum power is to do it steadily and uniformly. No need for a big burst here. Apply power only as quickly as you can safely handle it, just make sure to get the airplane climbing.

When your maneuver is completed, you will have done the two things that are critically important in this situation. You have steered clear of hitting the ground, and you have avoided hitting anything else.
Only after you've reached a stable, in-control climb should you begin to think about establishing precise course guidance for the missed approach, letting someone know what's going on, getting a radar vector if one's available and doing whatever else might be required so you can either try it again or set course for your alternate airfield.

Make sense? Of course it does. That's because execution is the easy part. Just be crystal clear on exactly what's involved for everything you intend to do-or could be called on to do-for the particular flight you intend to fly. Think through the flight ahead of time.

If you've got any questions on what you're supposed to be doing or how to do it, answer them before you even go out to the airfield.

Don't miss next month's issue, when we'll Discuss, "Concepts vs. Procedures." "Separating Concept from Procedure" means to understand not just how to perform certain maneuvers, but why each step needs to be taken.

Now, in Conclusion, a little thing, 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.

Larry G. Harmon

FAA AVIATION SAFETY COUNSELOR

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