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Before The Preflight

Source: www.pilotworkshop.com/tips/pilot_planning_preflight.htm, Featuring Wally Moran

Bob:

"Let's look at the weather. It's so easy to look out the window and say - Looks good; I'm going. Let's talk about how and why and where we can get the weather resources we need to start our trip in an appropriate manner."

Wally:

"Well, there's a multitude of resources out there now. We all know that. But a good airman usually starts with the big picture and that can be The Weather Channel. That can be several online sources. This gives you a chance to begin to think about what challenges you're going to have on this particular mission, whether it's going to be crosswinds, whether it's going to be low weather, whether it's going to be instrument proficiency, night proficiency, whatever the issues you may have. When you finally do call the Flight Service Station for the briefing, if you've looked at the big picture you already know what kind of detail information you want to get from that dialogue with the briefer, and that's going to help you make better decisions and a better plan for your journey."

Bob:

"How about the mental preparation? How do we make that transition from whatever we were doing prior to flying, so that we now focus our full attention on the flight ahead?"

Wally:

"You have to turn the switch off, Bob. You cannot continue to do business as you're rushing out to the airplane. I like to start with the drive to the airport. That's a good time to turn off the cell phone, turn off the radio and just think a little bit about the challenges that are coming along on your flight. Get your brain working for the flight before you get to the airport. Chances are you won't be distracted and you won't miss important things during your pre-flight preparation."