CAA Sky­way Code en­dorsed — and ex­co­ri­ated

Pilot - - FLIGHT TEST -

I was re­ally pleased to dis­cover the CAA’S re­cently re­leased ‘Sky­way Code’. Ini­tially a lit­tle du­bi­ous and think­ing that it was go­ing to be a re­vamped ver­sion of the CAA’S Guide to Vis­ual Flight Rules in the UK, it soon be­came ob­vi­ous that it was a com­pletely new doc­u­ment with a lot of fresh con­tent pro­vid­ing quick ac­cess to all the vi­tal in­for­ma­tion. What im­presses me most is the doc­u­ment’s strong em­pha­sis on the hu­man fac­tors con­sid­er­a­tions that drive ef­fec­tive (and poor) air­man­ship. The ‘GA risks’ sec­tion ac­tively ques­tions pi­lots’ ap­proach to risk and some home truths are laid bare, with the guide point­ing out that ‘pi­lots who are ‘usu­ally so care­ful’ oc­ca­sion­ally seem to do things that ap­pear to be quite reck­less’; ‘It can be tempt­ing to abridge the pre-flight check or not bother to check NOTAMS’; and ‘it is some­times tempt­ing to be­lieve that you have no in­flu­ence on out­comes and that fate will run its course re­gard­less of how you act’. These state­ments are bang on and they cer­tainly struck a chord with me.

For those of us out there who have our li­cences and ac­cess to an air­craft (maybe through own­er­ship or a syn­di­cate), there’s no op­por­tu­nity for a quick word from the CFI as we pass through the fly­ing school’s doors and out onto the apron (or field!), or the out­brief per­formed by my friends and col­leagues in the mil­i­tary (which al­ways in­cludes con­sid­er­a­tion of a pi­lot’s men­tal state) be­fore climb­ing into the cock­pit. This new Sky­way Code — com­plete with an out­brief style check­list — should hope­fully in­stil a deeper sense of self­aware­ness within the GA com­mu­nity. Fair play to the CAA who de­serve due credit on this one. Scott Pendry, Air League Coun­cil Mem­ber and G-SARM fly­ing group I du­ti­fully read through the CAA’S re­cently re­leased ‘Sky­way Code’ — I won­der how many pi­lots have both­ered to do so or even know of it? — and was sig­nally unim­pressed! Its con­tent is pri­mar­ily what we all learned when train­ing but all bun­dled to­gether into over 160 pages, so hardly a quick read. I’m not be­ing ‘su­pe­rior’ (I’m an old-but-not­bold pi­lot) when I say I didn’t learn any­thing new nor find any­thing I hadn’t been taught when learn­ing to fly. What I did find were lots of ty­pos and some laugh­able ex­am­ples of stat­ing the b***g ob­vi­ous, such as: ‘You must en­sure at all times while in flight, at least one pi­lot is at the con­trols of the air­craft with their seat­belt fas­tened.’ Gosh, I won­der which wise CAA em­ployee thought it was nec­es­sary to say that! Name and ad­dress sup­plied

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