Lesson Two - Look, Think, Choose and Apply
Flashback to South Africa about a year ago. I’m sitting in recurrent 4x4 training in South Africa for my Land Rover Defender 110 Tdi, and a “light bulb” turns on. The instructor is teaching how to approach and handle driving over an obstacle, i.e. a steep rocky hill. "Look.... Think.... Choose.... and Apply,” he says.
Bingo! That’s exactly what a pilot needs to do when he or she is looking for a place to beach the float plane, not to mention flying in general.
Look - at the situation and all the alternatives.
Think - of all the choices, be it land, beach, go around, or go away.
Choose - your course of action. This is the decision-making process at work.
Apply - the techniques you’ve learned to handle the given situation.
Learning is repetition and sometimes singing a jingle aids in remembering the memory items under a stressful scenario. One such example is my ditty: “Gas, mixture, mags, and switches makes the airplane fly.” This is usually applied when you’re in the air and the engine is no longer running smoothly or is quiet.
So next time you’re trying to decide to land on a particular lake, sand bar, or a very short field:
Look, Think, Choose, and Apply.
Safe Flying — Keep the Dirty Side Down — Be Procedure Oriented
See you on the water,
CFII, ATP, DPE