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A Self Assessment is an Important Pre-Flight Checklist Item

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When it comes to getting an aircraft off of the ground, there is a lot that goes into it. Not only must the airway be clean, organized and free of obstacles, but certain steps have to be followed to avoid disaster. When you're in charge of piloting an airplane there are a number of things that need to be assessed before allowing a flight to go through. One of the most important pre-flight checklist items though, is taking care of yourself.

Pre-Flight Checklist Items
Before going into self-assessment as a pilot and some of the ways you can keep yourself mentally prepared through reading and education and physically prepared through Tony Horton workouts, it can be helpful to go over other checklist items to see how self-assessment relates. Here are some of the most common pre-flight checklist items to cover before having a plane takeoff.

Signal Inspections
Signaling is extremely important when operating an airway. If signals are hidden or not working correctly, a pilot may be unable to land a plane or takeoff. You'll need to make sure these devices are checked regularly and that lights are bright and clear in the towers.

Regulations
The Federal Aviation Administration and Air Traffic Organization has specific rules set up to keep everyone in the air and on the ground safe at all times. If you aren't following regulations as a pilot you can get your license revoked or put those you are flying with in danger. Not only that, you could be subject to legal troubles as well. Stay current with practices and regulations to avoid this.

Assess the Current State
How is the airway looking? What's the weather like? Is everything on the plane in order? Is your staff ready, on time and well-trained? Are there any areas of the airport or flight plan that seem problematic? You'll want to be aware of any high-risk issues and take them into consideration before starting on your flight.

Assess Yourself
Last but not least, a self-assessment is crucial to the safety of you and those that are flying on your airstrip. As a pilot, you owe it to yourself and those that you are taking into the air to be on top of your game. When you feel your best, you fly your best. Here are some ways you can perform a self-assessment and keep yourself in ship shape for many flights into the future.

1. How are you doing physically?
Flying airplanes is a demanding task, both mentally as well as physically. If you aren't in great physical condition, you can expect some negative side effects from long flights. When not in the air, it's important to stay active and keep your body healthy. While life as a pilot may demand a lot of travel, there are still lots of workouts that can be done at home or in a hotel room that will keep you feeling your best. Combinations of sit ups, pushups, squats, burpees, and calisthenic workouts are things you can do quickly and just about anywhere.

2. How are you doing mentally?
If you're having a hard time getting through the long grind of a multi-hour flight without being able to stay focused, there are some things you can do to build up your mental strength. Reading, meditating, journaling, social interaction and sometimes medication can be helpful if you're having some mental difficulties.

3. How are you doing emotionally?
Before you fly, it's always good to do a self-assessment on your current emotional state. Are you in distress because of any recent events that may compromise your ability to make split-second decisions that could be the difference between landing the plane safely or crashing? Do you have good relationships with the other people you work with so as to not cloud your judgment while in the air? Make sure you are able to reset any negative emotions you have before stepping into the cockpit.

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