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Procedures and Techniques
2010-03-18

Procedures and Techniques Every phase of flying requires a series of procedures from pre-flight to shut down. With every procedure for what needs to be done, there is a technique for how it is done. The procedures of starting, radio, taxiing, runup, takeoff, climb, turning, leveling, speed changes, flaps, descents, arrivals and landings are different only in the application of techniques.

I teach techniques that maximize safety, economy of time and movement both for the pilot and the aircraft. Many aspects of pre-flight technique are not mentioned in the POH (Pilots Operating Handbook). Numerous techniques such as unchaining the left wing, opening the passenger door, having a paper towel, make it possible to minimize the number of steps really required for a preflight. Technique is using your own checklist to do the procedure better, faster, and safer. Technique is the selection of how to perform a given procedure.

There are as many techniques to the performance of a given operation as there are pilots. The essential of good instruction is that the highest level of technique be selected and taught. There is no one way to perform most aviation maneuvers. Some ways are more efficient and safer than others. This does not make the other ways wrong, just less cost effective. The Aeronautical Information Manual gives 'recommended' procedures for flying. Not using a 'recommended' procedure becomes a problem only when something happens and you get caught in the FAA net. A scenario happened to me when a student came to me after having four lessons elsewhere. In four flights he had never been shown to clear before making a turn. At uncontrolled airports there are as many opinions of pattern-entry procedures as there are pilots. The uncertainty exists because of the conflict between the FAA desire to control all flying and their inability to do so. Technique is essential. There is more to making a turn than just turning. There is more to safety than just rules. Enough, said.

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