Posts Tagged ‘Pre-flight Preparation’

Are you Current?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

In this series of articles I’ll try to address how to go about answering this important question. In this first piece we’ll look at you, the pilot.  The question goes to more than meeting the minimum standards spelled out in the FARs. You should ask if you are ready to pass a checkride for the certificate you now hold.  The preliminaries start with a review of your total and recent experience. What sort of flying do you do? How much instruction do you get and how do you challenge yourself? For example, if you are instrument rated how long has it been since you’ve flown to MDA or DA in actual conditions? Do you do always pick a day to fly that’s got winds of 5 kts or less in order to get your day currency 3 takeoffs and landings? Why not try it when the wind is 70 to 80 degrees off the nose and gusting to 15? (By the way I’ve come to think that’s the only kind of wind that exists at Simsbury at least when I’m flying!). What about your physical and mental assessment? We all have a requirement to “self certify”. That is, to ground ourselves in the event that we are suffering from a medical condition that would preclude safe operation of the aircraft. Medications not approved by your AME are an obvious cause but what about the less obvious things like stress due to work or home situations? How do you tell if you are stressed to the point that it might interfere with your piloting ability?  Essentially addressing the Preliminaries starts with a look in the mirror.  Have a safe Flight!  (Next Issue: FAR Review).