10 Commandments for Safe Flying

The opening address to the Flying New Zealand (RNZAC) annual conference in Christchurch last weekend was Mr. Jim Boult.  Until very recently Jim was the CEO of Christchurch International Airport, he is also a current member of the CAA Board and I’m sure has a number of other high level roles.

Jim’s address was powerful.  He spoke of his experiences following the tragic death of a customer on the Shotover Jet a few years ago.  As the owner of Shotover Jet he was integrally involved and felt it strongly.  He implored all of us involved in adventure tourism to do all we reasonably can to reduce risk.

Jim also referred to the teaching of one of New Zealand’s original “senior” instructors, Ken Fenwick’s 10 Commandments (Courtesy of Piper Aircraft Corporation):

  1. Thou shalt not become airborne without checking thou fuel supply.
  2. Thou shalt not taxi with carelessness.
  3. Thou shalt ever take head unto air traffic rules.
  4. Thou shalt not make flat turns.
  5. Thou shalt maintain thy airspeed lest the earth arise and smite thee.
  6. Thou shalt not let thy confidence exceed thy ability.
  7. Thou shalt make use of thy carburetor heater.
  8. Thou shalt not perform aerobatics at low altitudes.
  9. Thou shalt not allow indecision in thy judgement.
  10. Thou shalt know always - the good pilot is the safe pilot.

Jim added his 11th commandment -

11.Thou shalt never allow complacency to become thy companion.

Which reminded me of something I was taught, that complacency, lack of currency and fatigue are the three big threats to us as pilots.

I’m inclined to think there is a bit of wisdom in that.