Prepare for every in-flight emergency

In-flight emergencies can be anything from a sick passenger in need of medical attention to more severe scenarios such as a fire or electrical failure.

Being prepared for any emergency requires planning, thought and making sure your aircraft is equipped with key safety equipment. Pilots create and follow safety checklists on a regular basis. What should be on your emergency checklist?

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  • Continue flying
    • Go through the emergency maneuvers for your aircraft for your specific situation
  • Communicate your problem to Air Traffic Control
    • Plan for backup communication devices to reach Air Traffic Control
  • Plan your landing
    • Is there an airport within gliding distance? Large field or water landing?
  • Locate your safety equipment
    • Do you and your passengers have life vests on?
    • Is your life raft in an accessible location?
    • Grab your survival kit and rations for the terrain, season, and climate

When experiencing a non-normal situation, take a moment to pause and slow your breathing. Then, assess the problem and follow your emergency checklist. The AOPA recommends reviewing your emergency checklist and updating safety equipment so that in a true emergency, reacting properly is second nature.

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