The latest edition of the Aviation Safety Letter published by Transport Canada has an interesting article about something called Personal Operating Procedures.
Standard Operating Procedures (or SOPs) are used extensively in the commercial aviation world. In a nutshell, these are the “rules” that are put in place by the airline or company you’re working for. These rules outline procedures to follow that go above and beyond manufacturer checklists and the CARs.
The article goes on to say how we can take the same principals for SOPs and apply them to general aviation. These Personal Operating Procedures (POPs) can be used to enhance the safety of your flight.
I think this is a great idea, and I’m going to come up with my own, which I will share with you in the upcoming weeks. Some of of the items in my POP will include:
- Sterile Cockpit procedures. When and where will I request that all passengers keep the conversations to a minimum.
- Weather Minima. When will I scrub a flight due to personal weather minima.
- Weight and Balance. How will I calculate weight and balance and what margin of safety will I use in addition to the manufacturers.
- Stable Approach criteria. When will I give up on an approach/landing and overshoot to try again.
- Passenger Limitations. Who will I allow on my airplane. Age, weight restrictions, personal equipment brought on board.
- Flight Maneuvers. What type of flight maneuvers will I perform with and without passengers.
- Night Ops. Criteria around when I will consider my self night current. I feel that what the CARs cover is insufficient.
- Multi-Engine Ops. My multi-engine rating is valid for life. Does that mean I can hop in a Seminole without flying a multi engined airplane in over 2 years?.
- Lost Procedures. When do I bust out the GPS? When do I ask ATC for help? What do I do if I get lost?
Should be a fun document to put together. Please let me know if you guys have any other suggestions!