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Avoid mishaps with a more thorough preflight

In an effort to continue improving general aviation safety, the FAA stresses the importance of thorough flight planning, which should include having a current airport diagram and using it.

Preflight planning is a crucial part of the flight process, and accident analysis has revealed that it is often inadequate or entirely ignored. Obtaining critical information for your departure, arrival, and alternate airports is easy with AOPA's Airport Directory Online, which provides instant access to kneeboard-formatted airport and FBO information, taxiway diagrams, and real-time METAR and TAF information, all of which can be printed out to take along on your flight. The listings also incorporate a sectional chart view, great for situational awareness of an airport location.

By using the directory, you can even research accident information near your airport. After you find your airport by typing in the identifier or airport name, click on the "ASF Accident Reports" link to see the kinds of mishaps that have taken place there and get a better idea what to watch out for.

August 3, 2007

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