Left Coast Pilot – Every Flight Needs a Plan!

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June 2012

 Some years back, I was with a group of other pilots on a houseboat trip. After a few days on (and sometimes in) the water, I called flight service for a weather briefing before flying home, and discovered a line of thunderstorms was moving in. So I started diversion planning, and got out my sectional charts (still paper in those days).

One of the other pilots laughed and called to his wife, “Come here and look at this!” It was the first time he’d seen someone doing serious flight planning in quite some time. That is a problem, because, as this table shows, poor planning can kill you.
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PHASE OF FLIGHT LETHALITY

Weather                    62%

Maneuvering             58%

Approach / Descent  39%

Takeoff / Climb        16%

Fuel Management     11%


Source: 2010 Nall Report
(aopa.org/asf/publications/10nall.pdf)
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