CAA: Don’t be distracted while flying

Safety Sense leaflet

Of all the things that could spoil your day when flying, a distraction or interruption might appear to be low down on the list of things to worry about. Not so, according to the latest Safety Sense leaflet to be published by the CAA.

This example from the leaflet is particularly alarming for just how easy it could happen: “During the preparation for a cargo flight, the pilot of a BN-2 Islander was engaged in a discussion regarding a company employee and whether they could be accommodated on the flight. The aircraft crashed shortly after take-off.

The AAIB noted: “The aileron gust lock was not removed prior to flight, resulting in loss of control after take-off. Distracted by efforts to accommodate a non-revenue passenger on this cargo flight, the pilot did not complete a pre-flight check or check the full and free motion of the flight controls before take-off.”

The CAA has been busy working through its long-established set of Safety Sense leaflets, rewriting and redesigning them with a modern, approachable format. ‘Distraction and Interruption in General Aviation Operations’ is the latest, released earlier this month.

“We’ve published an updated Safety Sense leaflet providing pilots with the right strategies to help avoid distraction and interruption, be more aware of the dangers and reduce the risk to your flying,” said the CAA.

It’s not just the possibility of an accident that distractions or interruptions can create. Airspace infringements are also linked to the pilot switching attention away from the flying for a few moments.

As well as highlighting how distractions and interruptions (there is a difference) can affect the pilot, the leaflet also discusses strategies for avoiding them, such as managing multi-tasking – or even just asking your passengers for quiet during take-off and landing.

The CAA Safety Sense leaflets can be downloaded as a pdf here.

CAA safety sense


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