FROM THE FLIGHT DECK

PRE-FLIGHT PLANNING

To paraphrase Kari Johnson, Jet Linx Director of Safety, “Safety is not a given – we make safety happen.” Making safety happen in conjunction with flawless customer service requires careful planning and preparation. Federal Aviation Regulation 91.103 requires a Pilot in Command (PIC) to become familiar with all available information concerning each flight – specifically weather reports and forecasts, alternatives available if the flight cannot be completed as planned and awareness of any known air traffic delays. Runway lengths at airports of intended use and the takeoff and landing distance information must also be known in advance. Thorough pre-flight planning contributes to the successful outcome of the flight and the critical go/no-go decision the PIC must make at the beginning of every flight.

Weather reports and forecasts must indicate that the weather will be above landing minimums at the estimated time of arrival for all flights operated by an air carrier. Additionally, aircraft performance data must be calculated to ensure the aircraft can take off and land within the required safety margins required by regulations. The weather reports and forecasts used must come from U.S. National Weather facilities or facilities approved by the National Weather Service. International facilities must be operated by a foreign state that subscribes to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) conventions.

Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) provide critical updates to published airport information, and can indicate a wide variety of hazards and conditions present at a particular airport like taxiway or runway closures and other construction and facility outages. NOTAMS are also issued for temporary procedural changes or Temporary Flight Restrictions. They can even include Special Traffic Management Programs (STMP) that are common with widespread thunderstorms in the eastern U.S. and arrival reservation requirements in the Rocky Mountains at popular destinations on peak travel days. The information contained in NOTAMS ensures pilots operate with the most current information available.

Flight Crews and Flight Coordinators use a variety of tools and a tremendous amount of teamwork to ensure that pre-flight planning begins long before a trip is initiated. Together, our team makes safety happen.

Share This