Staying Flexible


Anytime we use a personal airplane as regular transportation, we risk running afoul of the weather, mechanical failures and other schedules. It can be done, and done safely, but doing so requires flexibility. In the end, youll likely be as punctual on the airlines or by driving, but it wont be as much fun unless you fly yourself.

Some keys to remaining flexible while meeting your schedule include:

Dont have a Schedule
Its easier on everyone if your appointment is Thursday instead of 1130. Allow plenty of leeway, so you wont feel pressured.

Arrive Early
Schedule your flight(s) to your next appointment to arrive the day before. Youd probably do the same if going commercial, anyway.

Leave Late
Theres nothing worse than spending a 10-hour day in meetings or at the office, then flying four more hours to get home. Have a relaxing dinner, verify the weather and spend one more night.

Carry Plenty Of Fuel
Having more fuel than you need is another way to stay flexible. If you can hold or divert without drawing down your fuel supply appreciably, do it. Then you can take advantage of clearing weather, or reduced traffic. At the same time, dont stretch fuel to try making a long flight in one hop.

Have A Backup Plan
It can be as simple as landing at en route airport and waiting out storms, or it can mean a sleeping bag and an MRE in an FBOs pilot lounge. Carry what devices you need to maintain your work schedule for a few days. Some basic tools and airplane supplies, cash and/or a live credit card never hurt anything, either.


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