Flight hours are going up. Summer is approaching. Is there a potential incident or accident lurking in your background this year?
Are there any tell tale signs that you are missing? As a pilot, a CFII and an Aviation Insurance Broker for 35 years, I am seeing the frequency
of claims increasing. In the past two months I have seen 4 claims involving Cessna 180/185 aircraft. All were pilot error preventable losses.
Two of them are possibly totals due to simple little assumptions, and 3 of the four pilots never had a prior claim.
What does a claim do? 1) Gives your plane a loss history that lowers its value. 2) Increases your renewal insurance rate.
3) Takes your plane out of flight status for weeks to months. 4) Puts a question mark on your flying ability. All this from a preventible
stupid pilot error from an ASSUMPTION. We all make assumptions,but assumptions related to flying can be costly.
ASSUMPTION is the mother of all incidents and accidents. Assumption leads to complacency in your flying. Almost every
incident accident can be traced back to a series of assumptions, A chain of events that became too much to overcome.
If you could have just recognized one, you cant break that chain, just one link might have changed the outcome.
Assumptions like, I’ve landed in conditions like these hundreds of times so it will be ok, or I’m not feeling real sharp today
but its a simple flight someday. How about, I just flew the plane last week so I know its ok, may haunt you. And one of the worst
is the pressure from…I have to get there, or I have to be back at work tomorrow, instead of waiting for better weather.
If you’re high fast and long, on final you have a problem. Eliminate one of those 3 and it becomes manageable.
We have all made marginal landings where afterwards we though ” that was close’ but our experience, managed to made it work,
especially with crosswind landings.
Many years ago I flew from Corona CA to Long Beach CA to see a client. Long Beach was using runway 25R with a variable 5k – 10k right
quartering TAIL wind. I thought “don’t worry” this is a 7,000’ runway and I’ve landed with tail winds before, it shouldn’t be a problem (assumption). The landing ended up being one of the closest calls I have ever had to ground looping. I was all over the runway keeping it
straight. I was so on the edge of losing it, that on my taxi back to see my client, my heart rate was still up and I thought ‘how did it
not ground loop’? What the hell was that all about. I’ve done this before. Must be my lucky day I thought. …Bill, wake up and stay 100%
focused on flying the plane and not where I was going to park, or what my business trip was about.
My point is, anytime you start that engine on your plane, be sure you are 100% mentally into the flight. Don’t assume it, know it. Know the
planes condition, your condition, your destinations conditions. Take yourself out of ‘an accident waiting to happen category’;’ Lets all have
a safe flying year. Keep your feet loose, stay focused, take your time, fly the plane from chock to chock.
Bill White Insurance
The National Cessna 180/185 Insurance Program
DISCLAIMER: These Blog’s, (articles) are provided only as a reference, and to promote Aviation safety. It is up to the users/pilots discretion to try or use any flying techniques described in any article.