May 1999 Issue

Commanding the Commander

Narrow band of clouds proves impenetrable barrier to new pilot, new plane

There comes a time in every pilotís career when they get ready to launch on a flight they really shouldnít make.

The warning signs are there. Maybe the pilot isnít feeling up to snuff. Maybe the mechanical health of the airplane is suspect. Maybe the weather is either threatening to go bad or already is below the pilotís or legal minimums.

This is the stuff of flying. Forget about stick and rudder. Forget about IFR radio technique. Forget about navigation. Think instead about the C that comes with being PIC. Command. It implies the skill to measure the likelihood of a favorable outcome and the wisdom to know if the risk is worth the outcome. In short, itís the competition between judgm...

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