Ready To Go – Or Not To Go!

In the flying game, it is said that a flight is typically 90 per cent pre-flight planning and preparation and then 10 per cent actual flying. Do the 90 per cent and the flight is usually a breeze.

OK, so you have loaded up the pax and are about to step into the aircraft. But wait; are you really ready to fly? Over the years the ATSB and also flying schools have seen many a flight where something has been forgotten. What could that be you ask? For a flight to commence there needs to be a certain amount of pre-flight planning and preparation. An aeroplane is not a motor vehicle. 

But have a think about the flight before the engine is started. Do you have adequate fuel for the flight? Plus a reserve and possibly diversion fuel? And why do you need diversion fuel for a Cavok flight? Consider that the destination has a notam not noticed by the pilot. Works in progress (WIP). A car drag race meeting using the country destination runway (they do happen). A gear up landing with the problem machine sitting on its belly right at the midpoint of the runway. Maybe the fuel bowser is not working so no uplift of fuel. Was the forecast correct or has weather happened that was not forecast. Could it have been a change in the winds beyond the crosswind limit of your aircraft or your skills at handling a crosswind? If a VFR flight, has the weather really been checked to see if the flight is possible in marginal weather? 

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