If simply dumping more information on pilots doesn’t necessarily create safer flights, what will? Perhaps making better use of the information already presented to us—assuming we understand it, that is. Because every flight is different, preflight demands risk management so that pilots understand not simply what they’re doing, but why. In the Airman Certification Standards, the phrase “demonstrates an understanding of…” appears often. Without understanding that “why” behind our decisions, pilots remain mere pawns in the IFR system with the airplane and events outside leading them, hardly a rousing endorsement for logging time as pilot in command. IFR quizzes are helpful, but they don’t dig nearly deeply enough into the human-factors aspects of flying to explain how a pilot will actually perform in the heat of the moment. Realize too that you can earn an instrument rating having never spent one minute inside an actual cloud.