Pilots are of course as human as anyone else and can become ill or suffer other effects that may impact their ability to fly safely. Regardless of the type of medical standard being utilised, eg, self-declaration through to Class 1 medical certificate, it is important that all pilots carefully consider the ‘I’M SAFE’ guidance before flying. It’s possible that a pilot may not recognise a potential issue from the ‘I’m safe’ list that is obvious to others at the gliding club. As ever in the spirit of watching out for each other, a friendly word can be helpful.
Illness – Is the pilot suffering from any illness or symptom of an illness which might affect them in flight?
Medication – Is the pilot currently taking any medication (prescription or over-the-counter)?
Stress – Is the pilot overly worried about other factors in their life? The psychological pressures of everyday living can be a powerful distraction and consequently affect a pilot’s performance.
Alcohol – Although legal limits vary by jurisdiction, the pilot should consider their alcohol consumption within the last 8 to 24 hours.
Fatigue – Has the pilot had sufficient sleep and adequate nutrition?
Emotion – Has the pilot fully recovered from any extremely upsetting events?