Use Your Flying Time Wisely

Review emergency procedures in flight. Flying

While we all love flying, there are times when there is not a whole lot to do in the cockpit. Once you have climbed to your cruise altitude and configured the airplane for cruise you may ask yourself "what's next?" After you've enjoyed the view for a while, the idle time in cruise is a perfect opportunity to review emergency procedures.

Imagine as you are flying along that your engine quits. Go through the procedures step by step in your head. Pitch for best glide, look out the window and see if you can find a suitable landing site within gliding distance and start investigating the problem. Mentally attempt a restart. Review the emergency checklist thoroughly since you have time. And verbalize the emergency squawk code and what you would say to ATC.

An in-flight fire is another time critical emergency that can only end well with quick, accurate action. Review what you would do in this highly stressful scenario.

While not as life threatening, you should also take the time to go over the emergency landing gear extension procedures if you are flying an airplane with retractable gear.

The number of possible emergencies increases with the complexity of the airplane. There is no better place to review the procedures than when you are strapped into the cockpit where you can touch and feel the items you would be faced with. Regularly reviewing these procedures will make you much more relaxed in the event of an actual emergency.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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