Aviate. Navigate. Communicate. By Owen Zupp.

Aviate. Navigate. Communicate.

These well-worn words are carved into the brain and skill-set of every aviator from their earliest flights. Broken down into even simpler language it means that the pilot should always FLY THE AEROPLANE FIRST AND FOREMOST. All other aspects of flight management are of little or no value if the pilot ignores the fundamentals and keeps the aeroplane safely flying and clear of terrain.

This would be seemingly obvious, but airliners have met with untimely ends because the crew were sweating the small stuff and no-one was monitoring the flight path. Rather than being critical of the crew, such events serve to highlight the danger presented to all pilots in the form of distractions. And these distractions can become even more lethal in an emergency situation when the workload is high and our human failings are leading us down a path of tunnel vision.

With every ounce of increasing workload, the temptation to attend to secondary tasks grows greater. It stems partly from an attention to detail that most pilots possess, however, the real issue is one of priorities. In the vast majority of cases, there will be ample opportunity for attending to all of the pressing issues in time. And remember, unless you’re on fire or the fuel tanks are dangerously empty, time is within your control and potentially one of your greatest assets.

In the upcoming posts in The Practical Pilot we will break down AVIATE-COMMUNICATE-NAVIGATE into more detail, consider ways in which to manage our priorities and strategies to be better prepared every time that we take to the skies.

Safe Flying!

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15-Nov-2014 09:37 PM Rod Lovell

I agree with the "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate" philosophy. However an equally, if not more important, phrase is the equation "Power + Attitude = Performance". If pilots remember this it would get them out of a LOT of strife.

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