You normally fly a single model of airplane during your initial flight training, or perhaps you transition once along the way. Still, it’s easy to get complacent regarding your understanding of how the airplane will perform when it feels like you know it so well. What happens when you get a heavier passenger, for instance, or you have a different fuel load than you’re used to? Problems determining the proper weight and balance calculations crop up during check rides, according to the instructors we polled. What about flying from a different airport, or from a wet or slick runway? Failing to consider changes in a standard profile can lead pilots astray on
takeoff — and compounds the problem if an emergency occurs.