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Left Coast Pilot – Every Flight Needs a Plan!

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June 2012


Some years back, I was with a group of other pilots on a houseboat trip. After a few days on (and sometimes in) the water, I called flight service for a weather briefing before flying home, and discovered a line of thunderstorms was moving in. So I started diversion planning, and got out my sectional charts (still paper in those days).

One of the other pilots laughed and called to his wife, “Come here and look at this!” It was the first time he’d seen someone doing serious flight planning in quite some time. That is a problem, because, as this table shows, poor planning can kill you.


Weather                      62%

Maneuvering               58%

Approach / Descent    39%

Takeoff / Climb          16%

Fuel Management       11%

Source: 2010 Nall Report

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