What is one thing not commonly taught to primary students that can help them manage the risks associated with flying?
John King, along with his wife and business partner, Martha, owns King Schools. John and Martha have been learning about and teaching flying full time since 1975. They both have every FAA category and class of rating available for pilots and flight instructors. John and Martha have received numerous awards and were inducted as a couple into the International Aerospace Hall of Fame. He says:
We have all been taught to take great care in our preflight inspection of airplanes, but very few of us have been taught to systematically think in advance about the risks we will encounter during the flight. Yet the vast majority of accidents (85 percent) are caused by a risk management failure — and most of these could have been prevented with some thoughtful consideration before the flight.
I recommend using the PAVE checklist as a tool to think about the risks. It is a way of organizing your thinking by putting the risks into categories.
The letters of PAVE stand for the risks associated with the:
For the Pilot category, you want to think about your readiness for the flight. Are you current in this aircraft and the skills the flight will require — nighttime, instruments? Are you rested and in good physical and mental condition?
For the Aircraft, you will want to think about whether this is the right aircraft for this trip. Does it have sufficient range, load-carrying and altitude capability? Is it properly equipped for, say, nighttime or instruments?
For the enVironment, you will want to think about weather, terrain, airspace and darkness.
And for the External pressures, you will want to consider how to give yourself an “out” from the pressures of meeting someone, attending an event or hard-wiring your own desire to complete what you set out to do. This risk category is the one that makes you tend to ignore all the other risk categories and press on when you shouldn’t. The best way to manage the external pressures is to do so before you take off. Take these pressures off yourself in advance and your trip will be a lot safer and more fun.