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Preflight the Pilot

Featuring Wally Moran

Following is an interview of Wally Moran regarding preflight.

Bob Martens:

"Wally, why don't we get started at the beginning: preflight and preparation. It's an area where, you know: Looks like a good day to fly; let's go get 'em. Why doesn't that work? What are some of the items where we can elevate our airmanship in the preflight preparation stage?"

Wally Moran:

"Well the first item for any good airman is good preparation and planning. And that starts with a preflight of the pilot before we even think about the plane. If the pilot's not airworthy, there's little point to worry about all the other factors.

Did you know that according to the AIM, pilot impairment contributes to many more accidents than failure of aircraft systems? We all worry about system problems, but do we pay enough attention to the pilot problems?

Pilots need to complete the "I'm Safe" checklist before each flight. It's: Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue and Emotion.

Any one of these items we know can affect pilot performance. Often we have a small dose of a few of them - perhaps a little fatigue from a hard day's work, maybe getting a little cough, under a little stress to get back for an appointment. When we think of each of these items individually, we think, Well that's not a big deal. But when we look at the checklist, we can see that they can all be cumulative. We spend a lot of time preflighting our airplane. We need to spend at least a little time preflighting ourselves before we start the airplane."

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