November 2015 Issue

Managing Aviation Load

What you’re carrying and how it’s loaded are as important as where you’re going and what the weather will be when you get there. And don’t forget emergency and survival gear.

I often verbalize the last item on my preflight checklist just before taxiing onto an active runway and ask, aloud, “How could this flight kill me?” I run through all the Big Stuff in my mind, mentally ticking off each item that meets the criterion from an imaginary checklist. It’s similar to the FAA’s PAVE model— Pilot, Aircraft, environment and External pressures—but there’s also a factor that doesn’t quite fit the acronym: the payload. Call it PAVE-Load, or L’PAVE.

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