Go or no-go revisited

Thomas P. Turner is a flight instructor and businessman who publishes an exceptionally useful weekly aviation newsletter called Flying Lessons. Recently he’s been focusing on trying to help pilots understand what’s truly risky about flying, and to provide some standards to help improve proficiency in those situations. As part of that process, in this week’s newsletter he linked to a matrix of go/no-go rules that I really like: the Categorical Outlook Flying™ matrix. The basic point of this matrix is to provide a simple, clear set of guidelines to help pilots of all experience and skill levels make good decisions.I don’t want to reproduce the entire matrix, but here’s a snippet:

If the outloook is… …and you’re flying… over   during… then suggest:
  VFR VFR   flat land   day GO  
        flat land   night GO  
        unfamiliar area day GO  
        unfamiliar area night GO  
        mountains or water day GO  
        mountains or water night NO-GO  
    IFR   flat land   day GO  
        flat land   night GO  
        unfamiliar area day GO  
        unfamiliar area night GO  
        mountains or water day GO  
        mountains or water night GO  

This doesn’t seem that instructive– after all, all but one of the suggestions are “go”. However, the real beauty of this approach is that it breaks down the go/no-go decision into multiple factors, including weather, time of day, terrain, and flight rules. These factors correspond pretty well with some of the major risk factors associated with flight. Night VFR over mountains is more risky than day VFR over mountains– not because of the airplane, which doesn’t know it’s dark, but because of the difficulty of finding a safe place to land if there’s a problem.

The full set of matrices is well worth looking at. I like this approach and plan to incorporate it into my own personal minimums; the matrix above is already pretty much how I plan, but the “marginal VFR” matrix, which I haven’t shown here, is where things start to get a bit more interesting…

About these ads

2 Comments

Filed under Aviation

2 responses to “Go or no-go revisited

  1. Hmm. I may have to make some of these for Exchange architecture…

  2. I love that idea. Every little bit of guidance helps.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s