January 2012 Issue


A ferry pilot launches an overweight Skyhawk into icing and severe turbulence.

We’ve all been there: A personal or professional commitment encourages us to cut a corner or launch when otherwise we might not. The corner could be a mechanical deficiency with the aircraft, failing to obtain a weather briefing or taking off with minimal fuel. The pressure of schedules and commitments tempts us to do things like make a zero-zero instrument takeoff, shoot an approach in conditions below published minimums or stretch our fuel to the breaking point in the face of headwinds and the time it will take to make an en route fuel stop.

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