Know Your Limits

We all have limits. But do we know where the line is before we cross it, or do we only have some vague recollection later of where the line probably should have been?

The first question is probably the most obvious: Is it legal for me to do it? The second is, “Is it within my personal and/or professional capabilities?” If the answer to either question is no, then the decision should be easy, even though the application of said decision may not be.

The third question is a matter of perception and is usually the one that gets us into trouble. “Is it something I have to do?” The answer to this one is almost always no, but we often think it is yes. All this and we still haven’t even gotten to the most important question yet — “Should I do it?”

Personal minimums involve setting the parameters for what we will accept as safe — before we go flying. Personal minimums, like personal values, must be internalized to be effective. That means they must be created without the pressure of the Aviation Moment — that time when all we want to do is aviate.

They must be thought about and refined before emotions and egos get involved.

I recommend we all have personal minimums as aviators and as we gain more experience we can lower these minimums, below are some of my personal minimums;

  • Cloud Ceiling- 300 ft
  • RVR/Visibility- 850 m
  • Personal crosswind limits- 20Kts

On no occasion will I commence a flight as PIC with weather conditions below the above minimums. Although as aviators we are wild and free at heart, I urge you that while on the ground and in the sky you keep your spirits tamed!

Happy safe landings.