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Why should man want to fly at all?... What justifies the risk of life? I believe the risks i take are justified by the sheer love of the life I lead." The Last hero: Charles A. Lindbergh by Walter S. Ross (Harper & Row).
Concluding with this quote, this unique book by pilots Richard Collins and Patrick Bradley explores common misconceptions regarding risks and show what the actual risks are and why. It is impossible to eliminate all risks from any activity — especially one as dynamic as flying — but it can be minimized significantly.
The authors share both good and bad decisions they've made throughout their flying careers, which pay big dividends in the risk management business and minimize the potential for mishaps. "I remember once musing through my logbook and coming to the realization that every trip I canceled, and every diversion I made, was on an outbound trip. Sliding for home plate, I made it every time. Certainly I had to ask myself if that was an indication of a double standard."
This kind of reflective insight is the basis for a program for risk management, sound decision making, and judgment. A pilot may take a known risk in exchange for greater utility. But first, it is essential to understand what the true risks are in each situation; they are not always apparent. Coauthors Collins and Bradley bring together varied experiences and different perspectives in their consideration of the risks in each phase of flight, including preflight, takeoff, en route portions of both VFR and IFR flight, approach and arrival, landings, and more. Particular high-risk areas are evaluated as well, including night flight, aerobatics, mid-air collision possibilities, special weather considerations, and human factors.
By sharing personal experiences, reviewing statistics and accident reports, and playing "what if?" — this book shows you how to achieve increased utility and a higher level of safety in your flight. Originally written in 1989 (first edition title, Pilot Upgrade), this book has been updated in 2001.
"There is no doubt that the demands on controlling an airplane can be great, but they pale in comparison to the rewards. Consider risk management just one part of the most enjoyable and rewarding challenges left around today."