Safety Corner Tid-Bits .. Relief Efforts

It’s been so awesome to see our club members take part in the flood relief efforts this past week. I think everyone who took part had a very satisfying experience helping the residents of Fremont through this very tough time.

While observing the whole process, a few safety concerns came up that many of our pilots thought should be addressed due to the congestion in the air and on the ground in Fremont and Millard. The relief efforts may continue throughout the week, but I’m sure there will be other situations that may arise in the future so here’s some safety tips that they all agreed that might help.

  1. Before accepting relief flights, do spend time studying the departure airport, the destination airport, weather, and any NOTAMS.
  2. Thoroughly pre-flight the airplane and do careful weight and balance
    calculations. You may be taking passengers and they are depending upon you to ensure their safety.
  3. Communicate with ATC before taking off. These types of relief efforts also cause congestion in the air and frequency. If you add in “sight-seeing aviators”, the airspace can be downright chaos and dangerous. It would be preferable to have a second pilot to help with traffic advisories and avoidance.
  4. Communicate when entering an airport traffic area! Be very specific on your location and altitude and listen intently for others in or near the area to avoid any conflicts. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE CORRECT PATTERN ENTRIES USED AT THE DESTINATION AIRPORT.
  5. After landing, exit the runway quickly and carefully taxi to the ramp. Have your passengers use their eyes help you navigate among other planes on the ramp. SHUT DOWN THE ENGINE. There’s nothing more dangerous than a prop turning for your passengers. Please don’t let them go anywhere until YOU walk them off the ramp and into the FBO.

Kevin Broderick, ATP, CFII, Skyhawk Flying Club Safety Officer