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Airmanship and safety tour

Rev. 8 — page content was last changed 20 March 2013
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Good airmanship is that indefinable something that separates the superior airman/airwoman from the average: it is not a measure of skill or technique, rather it is a measure of a person's awareness of the aircraft and its environment and of her/his own capabilities and behavioural characteristics, combined with wise decision making and a high sense of self-discipline.

Airmanship is the cornerstone of pilot competency. Competency has been defined as the combination of knowledge, skills and attitude required to perform a task well – or to operate an aircraft safely and in all foreseeable situations. A flight operation, even in the most basic low-momentum ultralight, is a complex interaction of pilot, machine, practical physics, airspace structures, traffic, weather, planning and risk; and when each and every flight is undertaken it is not only the aircraft which should be airworthy, the total environment — airframe, engine, pilot, atmospheric conditions and flight planning — should allow for the safe, successful conclusion of each flight. It is the perception – founded on the acquired underpinning knowledge – of the state of that total environment and its potential risks that provides the basis for good airmanship and safe, efficient flight. Poor perception and poor discipline create an incident-prone pilot.

The prime purpose of these tutorials is to provide knowledge to those who are willing to absorb it. The more you know about the physics of flight, the flight environment, your aircraft structure and its systems, flight planning and flight operations etc the more aware you will be of your own limitations — and the safer you and your passengers will be.

We strongly recommend that recreational flyers familiarise themselves with the sections within the Flight Theory, Meteorology, Communications, Flight Planning and Navigation tutorials contained in this web service that are particularly pertinent to airmanship and safety matters. The sections are generally highlighted with the same background tone used in the following index. An in-text link at the end of each section will take you to the next section within a — hopefully — logical sequence.

Wing loading, stall speeds and the stall/spin phenomenon
Safety in take-off
Safety in the circuit, approach and landing
Safety hazards: loss of control in low level turns
Safety hazards: flight at excessive speed
Risk management and flight discipline
Atmospheric hazards

In addition to the above it is recommended that you review the complete
Decreasing your exposure to aerodynamic risk guide
and check the
Coping with emergencies guide

Copyright © 2000–2013 John Brandon     (contact information)