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Military Mindset

Source:, Featuring Bob Martens

Subscriber question:

"This is a comment more than a question. In my opinion, general aviation pilots do not practice nearly enough to stay proficient on things like emergency procedures. I try to incorporate some practice into every one of my flights and I encourage my students to do the same." - Shawn D.


"There's certainly an obvious conflict that exists here. Most of the people that fly in general aviation do it, why? Because it's fun.

Stress is not something that we go out and endeavor to seek. But in the military, seldom if ever did we complete a training mission that wasn't full of emergency training. And it creates a mindset that you're just as comfortable acting in an emergency as you are in normal flight. There's only one way that that occurs, and it's through training.

And how many of us go out and ask our instructors to challenge us? When was the last time you practiced? With whom?

But let's remember what happens in an aircraft emergency, specifically an engine failure. We get one shot at it. It must be done right the first time. The good news is that we can easily integrate this training into our flying with just a little planning.

First and foremost, if we remember that every landing is a practice landing, we will focus on the precision we need on an emergency landing. On speed, on spot should be our mantra for every landing. We need to get in the habit of managing the energy we have in flight to a successful landing. Glider pilots do it on every landing. So it's just a matter of practice."

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