Every flight you take should help to build and develop good judgment. Flights should be analyzed for things that could have been done a little better, a little more efficiently, or for a change in the process that makes you feel more comfortable with the flying experience as a whole. In other words, get what you pay for by thinking about the entire flight in a step by step process.
Some things to take into consideration (for example): did the weather unfold as I thought from flight planning? If not find out the variable that you may have overlooked. Did I deal with that cross wind takeoff or landing in the correct manner? or did I touch down too far down the runway just after that rain and invite possible hydroplaning on a non-grooved runway? There are so many variables in aviation it’s nearly impossible to remember all marginal decisions.
One way to improve your judgment is to start a list of “Rules to Fly By.” Make notes on situations that could have gone better or, had they gone a little more awry, could have resulted in tragic outcomes. Review this list whenever necessary or at least once a month to guard against making the same mistake twice.
No matter the flight time of any pilot, as any situation unfolds good or bad judgment affects its course. Assess each situation individually, recognize your own limitations, know alternatives and learn to say no when necessary. Everyone has committed blunders, all to often the result of complacency in not reviewing past mistakes.
Reference: AOPA Pilot June 2002 Flight Training April 2003
These safety tips are provided by the WCFC Safety Committee. They are intended to stimulate thought and discussion about flight safety and do not necessarily represent club policy nor are they intended to replace instruction from a qualified instructor.