When you’re learning to fly, you’ll find there a checklist for nearly everything! These checklists include a preflight checklist, a startup checklist, a climb checklist, emergency checklists, and dozens more. There’s also a checklist for pilots to assess their health and fitness before they’re ever allowed to fly a plane.
The FAA has put together a fairly generic checklist known as the I’M SAFE checklist, and it’s a simple and easy way to make sure you’re in shape to fly. Before each flight, make sure you go over the I’M SAFE checklist. It is as follows:
I – Illness – Before you fly, you need to ask yourself how you feel. Have you been sick recently? Will the change in air pressure be problematic for a cold or flu?
M – Medication – Pilots are not allowed to take certain medications. Others are ok to take, but only after enough time has passed since the last dose. Make sure any medications you take are not on the list of prohibited medication.
S – Stress – Stress can cause a lot of problems, both physically and emotionally. If you’re undergoing an extremely stressful situation (such as a death in the family, or divorce), you may want to reconsider your choice to fly.
A – Alcohol – According to FAA rules, a pilot cannot fly while under the influence of alcohol or even within eight hours of consuming alcohol. It’s obvious as to why flying under the influence is a bad idea.
F – Fatigue – Fatigue can be a difficult thing for us to evaluate in ourselves. But a truly fatigued pilot will make mistakes, so it’s important that you evaluate the quality and amount of sleep and rest you’ve received. When in doubt, avoid piloting an aircraft.
E – Emotions – Lastly, it’s important to be emotionally stable before flying. If you’re undergoing anxiety or depression, we suggest taking some time off to recover or to seek help from a mental health professional.
For the safety of yourself as well as any passengers you may have, it’s best not to fly if you have an issue with any of the above. For more information about health requirements and assessments for pilots, please call Elevate Aviation here in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah.