Features

February 1999 Issue

Wicked Assumptions

Think before you saddle up for what you expect to be a routine flight

Roy Rogers had Trigger; the Lone Ranger had Silver. And each of them knew they could count on their horse to help them out of a jam. They knew the horse would always be up to snuff. They knew if the horse could jump that ravine or catch that steaming locomotive. Of course, it always would.

Similarly, pilots put a lot of faith into their trusted steeds. After a while flying the same airplane, rotation comes by feel and sound, with sometimes only a cursory glance at the airspeed indicator. Landings at familiar fields are made without second thought.

While that may not be unsafe, sometimes the shortcuts can be more onerous. Some pilots have virtually abandoned weight and balance calcula...

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