The IMSAFE chart is a mnemonic device that helps pilots and co-pilots evaluate if they are fit for flying. This checklist usually checks on many factors that may influence or impair a pilot’s ability to fly safely. The elements can either be physiological and psychological, including physical illness, stress, alcohol, and emotional issues. Ultimately, that is what the IMSAFE chart solves while ensuring the pilots meet their operations’ standards.
Generally, professional pilots get this training early at the onset of their education. And responsible pilots are very much aware and familiar with the pre-flight checklists to ensure the safety and readiness to fly. The IMSAFE charts respond to various issues that could otherwise interfere with both the pilot and co-pilot’s ability to perform as required. It is also crucial to note that a pilot can violate this checklist’s standard requirements on the least of occasions.
While it is also true that a pilot is the ultimate answer to the safety of the passengers, other factors that have to do with the plane are plainly to blame. So it is never all about the pilot because the professionals know what to do to ensure this. Otherwise, for learning, below are the broader details concerning the IMSAFE chart and how they may influence the whole process of flying a plane.
When it comes to illness, everything narrows down to the onset times when a pilot joins an aviation training. The requirement is that all pilots should have a valid medical certificate for flight. However, the certification never covers some illnesses, such as cases of flu and colds. Generally, though, the rule states that if a pilot develops or has a known condition that could impair him from having a medical certificate, he will not in any way fly a plane. In the past, some have ignored the minor illness only to have unpleasant experiences along the way. It is also essential to note that a pilot is not only responsible for the well-being of the passengers but is also answerable to his or her health.
Some medications are dangerous for the pilot. Over-the-counter drugs and other prescriptions like diphenhydramine may inhibit a pilot’s ability to fly or, worse, cause an accident. For this reason, if a pilot has a condition where medication is vital, it makes perfect sense to discuss this with the responsible examiners. Moreover, if one is on medication, it is critical to note the amount of time to wait before flying, depending on the specific medication. Some drugs may also have long-term effects on the body and could impair the pilot’s performance.
Stress is part of life to just anyone else outside there. Pilots cannot be any different, and more often than not, they experience this. While it is worth appreciating the importance of stress in keeping some people on toes, some cases can be above average and have negative effects. Stress can categorize as either physiological and environmental, all of which may come from various reasons here and there. Of course, stress can make someone make bad decisions, and the least of people expected in that state is a pilot. The pilot’s underlying requirement is to analyze the stress level before flying while developing positive coping methods.
Much like drinking and driving, flying and alcohol are two worlds apart. Studies and out of experience confirm overwhelmingly how alcohol influences performance. And for a pilot, alcohol shows an increased number and cases of procedural errors. The law prohibits pilots from flying if they have consumed alcohol within 8 hours of flying. It is highly recommended that the pilot waits for at least 24 hours after drinking before going to the controls. A thump of advice also touches on the case of hangovers from alcohol that could also influence optimal operations.
It is also common to feel tired in one way or the other. Although some rules and policies may be available to manage a pilot’s fatigue, it is excellent to note that various people have varied means of handling this. Regardless of how a pilot chooses to handle it, getting enough sleep, eating well, and preparing mentally are undisputed solutions to manage fatigue. Otherwise, when a pilot fails to do so, the chances of falling asleep or getting dizzy in the cockpit are high.
While most pilots are known to be calm and reasonable people, it is common for emotions to get anyone’s best. That is why regardless of how strong and steady a pilot may be, assessing feelings and emotions before flying an aircraft will come a long way to make a significant difference.