With the New Year upon us, everyone seems to have some sort of resolution. Lose weight? Nope. Sleep more? Not likely. For generations, these resolutions seem to die out after the first couple of weeks. How about, “I will aviate more safely?” I’m not talking about just the portion between takeoff and landing, but everything about the flight. How thorough was the weather briefing? Was “all available” information considered? How much sleep was obtained last night? Go over the taxi route in your head on the way to the airport. Preflight like your life depends on it… because it does. During preflight, look at discrepancies like your passenger would. Would they be willing to fly with the discrepancy if you told them about it? Is the iPad fully charged? How about the backup telephone? Have you told a friend or family member the planned flight route and time of return? On taxi, is the plane really on the centerline? Do you have room to turn around without crossing over an active runway if something isn’t right? Are the radio skills up to snuff? These can be an early indicator of a brain that just doesn’t want to process correctly for the day. Everything good so far? Of course, the flight will be non-eventful, and a great time will be had by all because it was planned well and executed perfectly. Upon that greaser of a landing, be sure to take the time and write down lessons learned. Don’t just think about the lessons – write them down in a journal. Review them prior to your next flight so they truly become lessons. While 2017 was a modestly safe year, several aviators are no longer with us and many losses were entirely preventable. Take this opportunity to make a resolution worth keeping.

Blue Skies,

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