I’m writing this column after a particularly tragic weekend of Arizona flying. Two separate fatal accidents and several incidents across the state bring attention to the risks associated with flying. While the causes of these accidents are still under investigation, now is a good time to reflect on your options to reduce your risk. Fuel starvation, inadvertent flight into IMC, and weight & balance issues still seem to top the lists each year for accident causes. Each of these risks can be eliminated before even starting the engine on your plane. Proper pre-flight planning must be performed on each flight, no matter the familiarity with your plane. There will always be risks in flying, and we’re trained to recognize, avoid, and manage them appropriately. The ground is always the safest place to do so.