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Archive for the ‘Flying Safety for Dummies’ Category

Runway Safety Handbook for Pilots and Controllers

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From the FAA:

Here is a Runway Safety Human Factors Handbook for Pilots and Controllers. It has some excellent examples and tips to operate safely on and around the protected area.

Fly Smart


Written by Clark

February 6, 2008 at 2:32 pm

Runway Safety Recurrent Training

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From the FSDO Safety Program Manager and myself; Our goal is to increase awareness and education about Runway Safety. Take 20 minutes and look it over.

“Hello everyone,

There has been an significant increase of runway incursions lately. In fact
it is so serious that Jim Ballough (AFS-1) and John Allen (AFS-2) traveled
to the Eastern Region and Southern Region to meet with key management
officials from Part 121 carriers to focus on reducing pilot deviations.
This week, Ballough has been holding similar meetings in the Central, Great
Lakes, and Southwestern Regions, while Allen has West Coast duty in the
Alaska, Northwest Mountain, and Western Pacific Regions. You can view the
presentation on

Within it is a reference to the ALPA/AOPA/FAA Runway Safety Program, an on-line, interactive course. You can complete it in 30-45 minutes and get a completion certificate. Armed with this certificate, you can request credit for a portion of the new Wings pilot proficiency program, which may help lower your insurance rate if you fly GA on the side. To check out the course, go to 

Don’t be fool that the above message addresses the 121 arena only . We are
experiencing the same problem in the GA world as well!”

Things you can do:

1. Identify airport surface operational hazards to NASA ASRS, the FAA Safety Hotline and airport management.

2. Review cockpit procedures to identify elements that may contribute to pilot distraction during taxi and develop a TEAM approach to Transfer, Eliminate, Accept or Mitigate those hazards.

3. Use an airport diagram, free from airnav.

If you have questions about the new Wings program, give me a holler, I am a Lead Rep for the FAASTeam at the Ft Worth FSDO.

Fly (and Taxi) Smart


AOPA ASF Seminar Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make

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I went to the AOPA Air Safety seminar “Top Five Mistakes” in Ft Worth last night, hosted by Tarrant County College. It was a great turnout, almost 400 attendees. Pat Shaub of Eagle Training Solutions gave a great brief.

From the AOPA Air Safety Website

“Top 5 Mistakes Pilots Make

It’s sad but true: In an average year, three quarters of all accidents are caused by pilot error. And the mistakes that lead to those accidents? For the most part, they’re the same ones pilots have been making for decades.

ASF’s latest seminar takes new aim at those old mistakes. We’ve identified the most common fatal errors pilots make and put together a show that’s full of practical tips for avoiding them. From steering clear of weather to maneuvering safely and much more, if you’re looking to minimize your chances of being involved in a fatal accident, you’ll definitely want to attend this seminar!”

The Top Five Mistakes occurred while managing the following:

5. Fuel (8%)

4. Descent and Approach (10%)

3. Takeoff and Climb (13%)

2. Weather (14%)

1. Maneuvering Flight (33%)

What we can do now is couple this seminar information with focused pilot proficiency training. The new Wings program applies special emphasis to incident and accident causal factor areas of operation. These areas should be addressed when flying with a flight instructor.

The AOPA Air Safety Foundation’s safety seminars qualify for the safety seminar portion of the FAA WINGS program. Did we mention in addition to becoming a better pilot we can save money too? Learn more about the AOPA Accident Forgiveness and Deductible Enhancement for AIG Aircraft Insurance policyholders.

Fly Smart


Written by Clark

January 15, 2008 at 9:39 pm

Flying Safety for Dummies

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Don’t fly when the birds are walking…

Don’t be the topic of the next safety seminar…

Use superior judgment to avoid the use of superior skill…

You can only tie the low altitude record…

Stay in the middle of the air, avoid the edges and associated sharp drop off…

Always leave an hour of fuel in your tank, as well as the airplane’s tank…

“A man’s gotta know his limitations.” Dirty Harry

“Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.” Captain A.G. Lamplugh, 1930

Fuel is cheaper than funerals.

Planning and worrying is best done on the ground. Once you’re in the air it’s too late.

“It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill.” Wilbur Wright

Fly Smart


Written by Clark

December 20, 2007 at 1:44 am

Dr Funk’s Words of Wisdom

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I had a chance to talk to Dr Wally Funk on Wednesday and she took me through a crash investigation slide presentation that she delivers at safety seminars. I am working on a preservation project to digitize her slides. What struck me was the similarity of her comments to those of Herb Webber, another local safety rep who I talked to last year. (Herb’s wisdom is posted below).
It is amazing the number of crashes that could be prevented if people would use a checklist properly. Check for fuel. Check for contaminated fuel. Check your prop. Check your electrical system. Check that the CONTROL LOCK is REMOVED before attempting any junior birdman/birdwoman activities! Stay out of box canyons. You get the idea. The system tries to trip you up enough without helping it out.
Be professional, be smart. And as Wally says, “don’t wreck your airplane and yourself.”

Read Dr Funk’s Bio. Hold on to your jaw, because it will drop as you read it!

Fly Smart


Written by Clark

May 9, 2007 at 9:56 pm

Top Ten CFI-I Tricks of the Trade

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I pulled this list from the May issue of IFR magazine. The article discusses esssential tips and tricks for IFR flying. Good advice for everyone, I think.

1. Know how to operate within the IFR system, what/who/when to ask questions and gather information.

2. Know your equipment.

3. Seek understanding, knowledge and avoid “crutches”.

4. Watch you track.

5. Don’t believe one needle (aka trust but verify).

6. Utilize CRM to build SA.

7. Fly in actual IMC. Use building block approach, conservative go/no-go criteria and/or CFI-I.

8. Practice IMC to VMC transitions to land.

9. Learn Control and Performance method of flying. Power, Attitude, Trim.

10. Keep a positive mental attitude of continuous learning and applied wisdom.

Check out IFR

Fly Smart


Written by Clark

May 9, 2007 at 9:32 pm

New “WINGS” Pilot Proficiency Program

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FAASTeam   FAASTeam News Release
Contact: James E. Pyles, National FAASTeam Outreach Program Manager
Posted On: April 11, 2007 The All New WINGS – Pilot Proficiency Program . . . it’s no longer an “Award” program but a true proficiency program designed to help improve our skills and knowledge as pilots.

The All New “WINGS – Pilot Proficiency Program”
by: James E. Pyles, National FAASTeam Outreach Manager

Regular proficiency training is essential to the safety of all pilots and their passengers. Each pilot must take a personal interest in their safety and that of their passengers. The WINGS – Pilot Proficiency Program is designed to help each pilot construct an educational curriculum suitable for their unique flight requirements. It encourages pilots to continue their aviation educational pursuits and requires education, review, and flight proficiency in the Areas of Operation found in current Practical Test Standards (PTS) that correspond with the leading accident causal factors in the United States. Further, the program encourages participation of FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Industry Members to establish regular recurrent training programs within their organizations and areas of influence to help all pilots reach their highest potential and maintain a high level of safety and proficiency.

While the program is still in its final stages of development and final details are not yet releasable here are a few informational items about the new WINGS – Pilot Proficiency Program:

  •  Three Phases; Basic, Advanced, Master
  •  Those maintaining the proficiency requirements for the Basic phase need not accomplish the flight review requirements of 14 CFR part 61
  •  Flight Review date “moves” with you as long as you continue to maintain at least a Basic phase / level
  •  Progress tracked on
  •  Curriculum and Syllabi are designed from Practical Test Standards
  •  Credits not based on time but on showing proficiency to applicable practical test standards
  •  Designed to promote development of year-round training and contact with authorized instructors
  •  Curriculum and syllabi for all pilots holding a U.S. pilot certificate
  •  Industry encouraged to provide incentives awarding pilots for their participation in the program
  •  Special emphasis on incident and accident causal factor areas of operation
  •  Flexibility in requirements and subject areas allow for maximum effectiveness of program for each pilot no matter what kind of flight activities they conduct
  •  Requirements include both knowledge and flight
  •  Certificate, wallet card, and transcripts are downloadable and printable right from
  •  For a very limited time pilots may earn credit for both the new program and sun-setting award program
  •  Target nationwide launch date is June

As you can see it’s no longer an “Award” program but a true proficiency program designed to help improve our skills and knowledge as pilots. Watch for more information to be released about the WINGS – Pilot Proficiency Program on the FAASTeam’s internet site.

James E. Pyles
National FAASTeam Outreach Manager (NFOM)


Fly Smart


Written by Clark

April 17, 2007 at 5:32 pm

Herb’s Wisdom

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I interviewed Herb Webber for an Aviation Safety Seminar series, and asked if he had any pearls of wisdom from 65 years plus of aviation experience. Here’s what he said.
1. Use a checklist.
2. Look outside.
3. Never fly hard IFR in a single engine airplane.

Herb flew B-17s for the Army (including Memphis Belle)and big jets for American Airlines, and is still active delivering airplanes for Van Bortel . He states thet he “flunked retirement”. I am amazed by his flexibility and resilience, and grateful for his dedication to volunteer aviation safety work. He is impressed with the new glass cockpits in GA airplanes, but refers youngsters like me back to Pearl #2, that is to use the most important piece of glass in the aircraft, the windscreen, to your see and avoid advantage.

FLy Smart

Written by Clark

March 12, 2007 at 1:55 pm