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Aging Gracefully

We can deal with aging and flying by being an active participant in the process. Explore the effects of aging on pilot performance and how to keep flying safely as we grow older.

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Rules to Live ByRules to Live By

Safety Spotlight: Aging Gracefully

None of us has a choice about getting older, but we can choose how we deal with it—in how we care for ourselves, in how we fly, and in the decisions we make.

Keep These Points in Mind:

  • How do you feel? Take note of any changes and discuss them with your physician.
  • Flight planning. Spend more time doing preflight and contingency planning and use a personal minimums contract.
  • Re-evaluate your skills. Make sure to periodically take stock of your proficiency and skill levels and adjust your personal minimums as needed.
  • Copilot. Take along a flying companion or copilot to back you up during IFR flights and in general to back you up.
  • Self-Assess. Use self-assessment checklist to help make good go/no-go decisions
  • Stay fit. Exercise is the key to a longer, healthier life. It also supports the physical side of flying.
  • Proficiency plan. Stay proficient—recency of experience keeps you sharp.
  • Take it easy. Plan shorter flight, steer clear of busy airspace, and fly when the air is smooth.

The Wisdom of Experience

Pilots explore how experience has improved their decision-making skills. Watch the video for their insights.