Facebook Icon Instagram Logo

Team RAF

It's why you learned to fly.

Click to support our work with your tax-deductible donation.

Otherwise, click here to sign up for our free email newsletter.

What would make YOU safer?

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

We all know that flying close to the ground, approaching and setting it down on short, narrow runways adds risk to our flying.  In the interest of furthering safety in these situations, the RAF is partnering with the Air Safety Institute. We are inviting YOU to partner with the RAF as well.  With help from ASI, the RAF Safety & Education Committee has developed a unique survey that’s focused on the safety challenges our kind of flying faces.  The survey is short, easy to complete and probably unlike any survey you’ve ever taken. Your input will help form the basis for safety content we hope to develop fitting the kind of flying we all enjoy. 

We invite you to take it right now…and you’ll find it right here:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/rafflyingsurvey


Please keep in mind that the more you get the govt involved the less back country it will be. It will lose the back country appeal if it is made 'too safe' and will become just another runway. The most important thing to me is smoothness then let each pilot decide as their skills improve.

I just attended the 4th annual STOL Roundup in Hondo Tx as a RAF rep. There was a tremendous interest from the spectators wanting to know where they can learn more about how to use their airplane to access "Recreational airstrips". Not necessarily how to take off or land in 200 feet but what skills do they to land at Ryan Field, or Trigger Gap or their friends ranch strip. These pilots know they need different flying skills and judgment skills to evaluate the landing zone but don't know where to go for the training. This effort seems like a good start.

Pilots can start with a complete review of everything they learned and were tested on for their Private Pilot Certificate, with particular emphasis on High Density Altitude, rough and short surface performance for their particular aircraft. Additional strong consideration should be given to the dangerous and sneaky effects of Hypoxichyperendorphism on each pilot and all passengers. Practicing in similar or worse DA and gross weight conditions at a much longer airstrip with similar surface conditions and noting exact length used and climb rates applied to required climb gradients is extremely valuable.

Choose the right aircraft, maintain and configure it for the challenge. Plan not to be the pilot digging grass and mud out of your wheelpants.
Training provides the knowledge of how to behave in particular circumstances. Proficiency is the active personal state of mind where that knowledge is applied without requiring a 'thought process' during an evolving and dynamic situation. After training, practice to become proficient.

There is a lot of interest in STOL competitions and extreme bush flying. You don't have to fly your airplane on the ragged edge of the performance envelope to enjoy recreational flying and backcountry airstrips. Know your aircraft's performance and fly within the aircraft, and your personal, limits.