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Summer Flyin’

Flying during the summer months is a great way to travel to vacation spots, enjoy the warm weather, and spend time with your flying club.  There are some hazards associated with summer flying, but with the right mix of education and decision making skills, summer flying can be done safely.  And the Air Safety Institute (ASI) can help with the education aspect.

For example, if you’re rusty on the topic of density altitude, refresh your knowledge by taking a brief 10-question quiz and encourage your fellow club members to do the same before taking flight this summer.  After answering each question, the quiz provides a detailed explanation about why your choice was right or wrong.  After completing the quiz with a score of 80 percent or better, you’ll receive a certificate of completion, and the quiz will be listed in your transcript.

Another summertime hazard – thunderstorms – resulted in six accidents in 2012, five of which were fatal.  In other words, thunderstorm accidents were fatal 83 percent of the time.  To learn more about avoiding the danger, the Air Safety Institute has an entire Safety Spotlight about it. 

The Safety Spotlight is a convenient way to find several resources about that one specific topic.  The Thunderstorm Avoidance spotlight includes links to ASI online courses, videos, webinars, quizzes, and a downloadable publication.  No matter what your flying experience is, or how much (or little) time you have available to spend on reviewing a program, there are plenty of options for you.

Lastly, in addition to weather hazards there are other factors to consider, especially when flying on a vacation flight.  Weight and balance, fuel management, and get-there-itis are just a few examples.  The ASI pilot safety announcement video, V.A.C.A.T.I.O.N., takes a darkly humorous approach to warning pilots about mistakes that are sometimes made when pushing the limits in order to get to a vacation destination.  Share the link with your entire flying club so all members can view the brief video as part of their flight preparations.

So as summer kicks off, please fly safely, view and share safety programs, and enjoy your journey as much as your destination – wherever your flights may take you.

Safe pilots are always learning, and the Air Safety Institute’s goal is to ensure pilots have a wealth of information to keep flying safely. Our educational programs are funded through donations from pilots dedicated to forwarding that mission. Show your support by donating to the AOPA Foundation today.

AOPA Air Safety Institute staff

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