You know the old saying, "There are old pilots and bold pilots, but..." Pilots wanting to improve their odds of becoming old pilots had plenty of opportunities at AOPA Expo 2005, where 11 hours of safety seminars are being offered over the course of three days.
One of the highlights of this year's safety track was the debut of a new AOPA Air Safety Foundation seminar: " Do the Right Thing: Decision Making for Pilots."
An audience of several hundred took an active part in the course debut on Friday, using their own decision-making skills and an interactive DVD to vote on whether a fictional pilot should continue to his destination despite worsening weather conditions.
"I hear a blacksmith forging a long chain with words etched on each link," seminar instructor Pat Shaub told the crowd as they unwittingly helped their fictional hero to build the accident chain.
When the audience voted to take off for a planned flight to "take a look" despite warnings about the weather, that chain grew even stronger.
"I'll go up and take a look? That's sort of like saying, 'Watch this!'" Shaub, a flight instructor and former military pilot, told the audience. The crowd laughed as they recognized their own foibles.
Other seminars in the safety track focus on key accident causes and expert advice on how to avoid becoming a victim. Seminar titles include: "The Last Five Miles: Are You Ready?"; "Weather Wise: Practical Tips and Tactical Tricks"; "Single Pilot IFR"; and "There I Was, Inverted at 50 Feet...An Airshow Pilot Pushes the Envelope."
November 4, 2005