Being distracted during a flight can cause a myriad of problems if they aren’t caught. These problems can range from small, simple inconveniences all the way to more serious emergencies. There’s a simple trick to help pilots manage distractions by remembering ANC; Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. This is a list of priorities (occurring in that order) to help pilots avoid distractions.
ANC – The Pilot’s Priority Checklist
Below are the ways to help pilots from becoming distracted and dangerous:
Aviate – There’s quite a bit that goes into flying your airplane. Preflight, navigation, airport information, weather, flight controls, last minute decisions, the list goes on and on! The point of aviating is simply to keep the airplane in the air and under control. This may seem basic, but aviating can be abandoned during an emergency or a distraction. Entering a stall or a spin or descending into terrain can occur if you forget the first priority, which is making sure you’re flying your plane!
Navigate – Once you’re sure you have control of your plane, it’s now time to make sure you know where you’re at and where you’re going. Getting lost can get you into trouble. For example, you may violate airspace or come into contact with power lines if you’re low. Make sure you know where you’re going and that you’re on track.
Communicate – Talking on the radio can be time consuming and, when you already have quite a bit going on, the radio may be neglected. While you don’t want to sacrifice valuable attention and time, keep in mind that you may need to radio if you get lost or if an airport has impaired visibility. Communication is last on the list, but it is still on the list. Don’t communicate at the expense of aviating and navigating, but don’t forget to communicate either.
Avoiding distractions as a pilot may actually save lives. It’s important to make sure you’re focused and aware at all times. For more tips on flight training, please contact Elevate Aviation here in Salt Lake City, Utah, the official Cirrus flight training center in Salt Lake).