Safety and Training
We all learn to do weight and balance calculations when learning to fly, but most of the aircraft that we learned in are practically impossible to get out of balance by accident. (You can overload a Cessna 172, but it's pretty hard to get to ahead or behind the max CG position limits.) That's not true when you step up to high performance aircraft. Don't repeat the lessons learned by the pilots in this article. If you're flying a high-performance aircraft, take the balance calculation seriously.
On The Finer Points Mountain Flying Trip this weekend, a group of instructors got to talking about the difference between flight training for professionals and general aviation flight training. The professionals are generally assumed to train to a higher standard in higher performance aircraft in fewer flight hours. Why? Here's a day in the life of an Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training student. If I could reduce the difference to two factors it would be (1) the ratio of hours of studying/briefing/debriefing to hours flown and (2) number of flights per week. If you want your training to be better and cheaper, do it like the pros.
Anyone who has been flying for more than a few decades will tell you that the weather briefing you get from FSS isn't what it used to be, but also that the self-briefing products are wildly better than what was available back then. So what you get is more power and more responsibility. Without a bona fide meteorologist to brief us, how are we to make an informed no/no-go decision in the face of imperfect weather?