Monday, November 27, 2006

Why pilots have checklists... what's that alarm sound?

Pilots are a skillful bunch. The skills they require would boggle the mind of the ordinary civilian. I'm beginning to understand some of what a pilot goes through while flying. Today I was coming in for a landing at the Vancouver International Airport and things were looking good. I had my flaps fully extended, my air speed was right where I wanted it, I was lined up nicely and my glide path was almost right down the middle. I had no co-pilot - I was going this one alone. My master alarm was clanging away and I had no idea why, so I chose to ignore it. The Airbus A320's voice was squawking some crap at me, but I was too focused on keeping the plane lined up. It didn't hit me until I touched down. That's when the plane broke up. Because even when you're only doing 120 knots, if your landing gear isn't down and locked, you're going to have some big problems.

Now I understand the importance of check lists. Oh yeah - and paying attention to your alarms. Luckily this only happened in my flight simulator.

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