View Full Version : Oskosh safe flight

Bill Greenwood
06-25-2012, 01:18 PM
Let's see if this year we can make EAA Airventure accident free, both the convention itself and the trip to and from.
Here are a few suggestions:
1 Be conservative and realistic in your flight planning for the enroute trip. Take the safest way, not the risky one where everything has to work out perfect to make it.
For instance, does it make sense to leave with minimum fuel with the hope of stopping to fill up with cheaper fuel enroute? To save perhaps $20 , but make the flight less safe.
Or to leave at 6 pm at night after a long week of work?
2. Keep and eye on the weather for a few days before you plan leave, get the overall picture, of course, it is a lot different if you are coming from L A or Houston , than just hopping up from Chicago.
Get a real weather briefing, not just some spot quicky in a cell phone. One service that I really like and some better FBO s have it the WSI weather computer; very easy to operate , free, and let's you see the weather not just read texts about it.
If you need to , alter your departure by a day or two, to get better weather.
Generally, not always, in the summer months flying the trip first thing in the morning will have better weather, with most of the thunderstorms coming in the afternoon. Morning can have low ceilings or visiblity or fog in some places like around river basins or especially the Mississippi.
3. Leave time to detour or stop enroute as needed for weather or fatigue. There are a hundred small towns with airports and motels for less than the price of filling up most cars these days, all along the route.
Years ago a man I know left OK in his new and hot fighter in pretty good weather but on an IFR fight plan.. He was up at 16,000 or so and really making time, over 250 mph. He was making such time that he could get to FLD non stop, rather than taking an hour or so to descend and refuel. He got to FLD ok, but low on fuel when he was on final. There was a business jet in front of him using a long final and so he had to go around. His engine quit on short final the 2nd approach, and he belled in just off the runway. He was not injured,but the plane was severely damaged. This man in civilian life is smart and highly educated, many of you would know his name if I gave it. But his mistake was in cutting it too close, FOR NO GOOD REASON, and not leaving an out, and overflying dozens of refueling stops he could have made.
4. Obtain, read and preplan the Fisk or whatever arrival you are using. You can phone EAA for a copy or get it on line, I think.Don't count on it being at most FBOs enroute like in the good old days.
5. Leave plenty of fuel for the arrival in case you have to hold or detour. Try not to arrive at the busiest times. Know where your alternate is. And if things get tight, remember safe flight has nothing to do with if you paid a deposit at some motel or are hoping to make happy hour at Hooters. They will all be there tomorrow, if you will.

6. The essence of the Fisk or any arrival is to set up a certain speed, a certain altitude, perhaps 1000 agl and 100 mph over the landmark, and just follow the plane in front of you . Fly your plane, don't worry if the guy in front does it perfectly, just keep them in sight and don't hit anyone.
And eyes looking out the window, not in the cockpit at some techno gadget.

7. One more big vital part: The landing. As you join on downwind or base , as for as possible, MAKE A NORMAL LANDING. GEAR DOWN, normal flaps, prop and mixure set, AND IF YOU HAVE MADE EVERY OTHER LANDING ALL YEAR WITH 80 ON BASE, AND 70 ON FINAL, DO IT THAT WAY ONE MORE TIME.
If your cool homebuilt or warbird or Mooney stalls (VSO) at 60 mph in Miami or Dallas or Seattle or Boston; now is not the time to try to revise all the laws of gravity and aerodynamics and try to fly it a 55, just cause the guy in front of you might be slower. If there something big in front of you, watch the wake turbulence, though it is not normally a problem.
8. After you land and are slow, taxi off and follow the flagmen. When stopped, close your flight plan, or did you fly all the way cross the U S without one.
9.Then get fuel , so you don't have to rush it when you get ready to leave. And don't buy so much junk that you are overgross on the return. Good luck

Kyle Boatright
06-25-2012, 04:25 PM
Bill made a point I'd like to embellish:

"If it is not right, go around."

That applies everywhere in the arrival process. If you're in a Comanche (for instance) and get stuck behind a Cub, that's a recipe for failure. Change the situation - return to the start of the arrival, do whatever, just don't put yourself in the dangerous situation where if the Cub slows by another MPH, you're gonna chew his tail off or stall/spin. It isn't worth it.

Check 6
06-25-2012, 06:35 PM
Great checklist. If I may add: Don't forget to check for TFRs. :)