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Single-Pilot Safety Standdown focuses on critical skillsSingle-Pilot Safety Standdown focuses on critical skills

Understanding the limits of your airplane in all flight regimes and your proficiency in getting the most out of your airplane were among the themes proffered by two experienced and well-known pilots who for decades have flown high-performance aircraft for personal and business missions.

AOPA President Mark Baker has flown many single-pilot operations in turboprop and jet aircraft. Photo by Chris Rose.

AOPA President Mark Baker and Experimental Aircraft Association Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton shared the stage at the tenth annual Single-Pilot Safety Standdown hosted by the National Business Aviation Association in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 15. The event was held just ahead of NBAA’s annual Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition.

The panel was moderated by NBAA Chief Operating Officer Steve Brown. In sharing his many years of flying all types of aircraft on all types of missions in all types of weather, Baker said, “You can always learn. I’ve been flying for 40 years and most of the time single pilot.”

Baker recommended aerobatic lessons to increase stick-and-rudder proficiency and encouraged pilots to “be sincere about the things you haven’t done” when planning flight reviews to work on underdeveloped skills.

Baker encouraged pilots to “focus on the stuff we don’t know.”

He pointed to the many free resources available to pilots, including the industry-leading safety resources made available through the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

Pelton said pilots should never get complacent, and discussed closing the proficiency and personal minimum gap between professional and recreational pilots. “A lot of it gets down to personal decision making,” said Pelton.

Joe Kildea

Joe Kildea

AOPA Senior Director of Communications
Joe is a student pilot and his first solo flight was at AOPA’s home airport in Frederick, Maryland. Before joining AOPA in 2015, he worked for numerous political campaigns, news organizations, and the White House Press Office.
Topics: National Business Aviation Association, Safety and Education

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