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Learn to Fly
7 day IFR Rating
For cross country flying, we can divide the trip into distinct phases of the flight. Every phase of flight has common elements regardless of the particular flight we're making. A particular phase uses the same portion of the checklist, has different things that can be tested/learned, and even categorizes the accident stats for better analysis.
We'll talk more about this in the 2nd article, "Flight Profiles Improve Safety." Flight profiles are used to give us information on accident risks, including risk factors in our flying. Each phase of flight provides its own unique challenges so knowing the risk factors improves our situational awareness.
We're really missing the boat in general aviation because we don't train/check/test by phase of flight. The airlines do it this way and they've been doing it for years. We'll talk more about that in the 3rd part of our series.
A little vocabulary review is appropriate as we begin this task.
Let's spend a little time talking about what's happening in each phase of the flight. Below, I provide an example how each phase of flight has checklist items related to it.
Phase 1: Preflight Planning
Tasks to be completed in the preflight phase:
Phase 2 ends with the liftoff as described in the following graphic. Phase 3 ends with the top of climb.
Phase 4: Enroute cruise -AND- Phase 5: Descent
Phase 6: Approach -AND- Phase 7: Landing
Phase 8: Taxi & Secure Aircraft
After Flight Review
"We call it theory when we know much about something but nothing works,
and practice when everything works but nobody knows why."
-- Albert Einstein