Flight Hazards & Safety


  • Flying is inherently dangerous which is why a good pilot is always challenging themselves to learn new skills and perfect old ones
  • Pilots must have an solid understanding of these hazards to flight in order to safely mitigate them
  • Flight hazards can manifest themselves in many different forms including environmental, man-made, and mechanical

Hazards to Flight:


  • Training for emergency situations is a large part of flight training because its a matter of what and when, not if, you'll experience some sort of procedure requiring emergency action
  • Declaring an emergency:
    • Pilots always have a tool in their back pocket, the declaration of an emergency
    • Declaring an emergency will generate priority handling until the situation is resolved
    • When you declare an emergency you may inconvienence other pilots but if the pilot believes the situation calls for it, don't hold back
    • ATC will ask you for some information to include nature of the emergency, souls and fuel on board, as well as your intentions
    • Lastly, remember that you tell ATC/other pilots if you are an emergency aircraft... it is not a request!

Hazards to Personnel and/or Property:

  • Pilots must never forget that aircraft can cause a threat to personnel and/or property on the ground
  • The FAA in conjunction of the DoD and DHS has the responsibility to protect people and locations of national interest
  • Pilots, for one reason or another, who find themselves in violation of secured airspace are at risk for government intervention:

Handling Emergencies:

  • While every emergency is unique and requires individual attention pilots must maintain control of the aircraft, determine the precise nature of the problem and then execute the appropriate procedure
    • Said another way: Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate
  • Not all emergencies are avoidable which means pilots may find themselves faced with tough, time critical situations
  • Flight training, practice, and maintaining a safety mind set allow for pilots to apply Aeronautical Decision Making
  • Pilots who deviate from the provisions of an ATC clearance must notify ATC as soon as possible and obtain an amended clearance

MIG-29 Emergency

Safety Resources:

Forms & Reports:


  • Safety is paramount no matter how many times the eyes may roll when you hear that word "safety"
    • Think of it this way: you were probably afraid, or at least had a high level of stress, when you were getting ready to take-off on your first solo, so why would you take risks in situations you know are unsafe?
  • Challenging yourself in training and planning for the worst allow for you to best prepare for whatever situation that may arise
  • Many resources exist throughout the web such as the AOPA Air Safety Institute and Aviation Accident Database & Synopses which help you learn from the comfort of your own home