Safety and Training
Backcountry Pilot contributor Greg Hren goes deep on his choice of aviation survival gear--there's a shortish article/checklist and a longer video with more of the thought process and philosophy that went into his gear choices. Even if you don't fly into the deep backcountry, you should consider what survival gear is appropriate for your style of flying. Once you're even a little bit outside an urban environment, times from forced landing to rescue are long--a few days wouldn't be unusual. If you have to make a forced landing 25 miles outside of your home airport, are you going to be able to avoid freezing to death for 48 hours before help arrives? What if you have to ditch in the water and all you have with you is what you're wearing?
A new IFR pilot flying practice approaches in IMC starts picking up ice. To his credit, he promptly confesses his situation and level of experience and heads straight for the nearest VMC. Recording has silences edited out so it's not real time. Free login required.
Commercial air crashes often don't have great applicability to GA flying, but Air Asia 8501 will become a classic teaching tool from solo students all the way through ATP. As an instructor, it's hard to pick my favorite lesson from this accident, but I'm going to start with this quote: "The [Airbus Flight Crew Training Manual] stated that the effectiveness of fly-by-wire architecture and the existence of control laws eliminate the need for upset recovery maneuvers to be trained on [envelope-protected Airbus aircraft]." Was the Airbus FCTM wrong? No, but relied on use of bad assumptions. It assumed all maintenance issues were promptly resolved, the pilots understood what would happen by pulling the circuit breaker, and the pilots wouldn't do anything that wasn't on an approved checklist. These are not good assumptions. Do you ever fly aircraft with unresolved maintenance issues? (If you rent, probably.) Do you ever do something in airplane that isn't part of an approved checklist? (Most certainly.) What does this accident mean for your flying?