CHAPTER 1. Introduction To Weight-Shift Control

Avoiding Pilot Errors

Overall, WSC aircraft are flown for fun and not for transportation. Generally, it is determined that the pilot will not fl y in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) without the assistance and training of the attitude indicator. Pilots must make the decision to stay out of IMC conditions and turn back immediately if the situation occurs. This is what most pilots should do, but the information provided by the attitude indicator allows pilots to start the “error chain” that can lead to catastrophic consequences. The best immediate decision is always to turn back and not go into IMC conditions in a WSC aircraft.

With an open fl ight deck, the problem of items getting loose and hitting the propeller requires extra caution. Being in a hurry, not making sure everything is secured, and forgetting to brief the passenger can trigger one event that leads to another. Exercising caution in the open fl ight deck is an important step for WSC pilots.

If fl ying a WSC aircraft in turbulence, the pilot must have both hands on the bar to maintain control of the aircraft. Therefore, changing radio frequencies, measuring courses on the map, or operating any of the fl ight deck controls becomes diffi cult and secondary to maintaining control of the aircraft. This is different from fl ying an airplane or a powered parachute, which requires less physical effort to maintain control of the aircraft and at least one hand is available to tend to fl ight deck duties. It must be noted that the fi rst priority always is maintaining control of the aircraft, and all other duties are secondary. Generally, prefl ight planning and good pilot judgment would prevent a situation of fl ying in moderate to extreme turbulence. However, when you do fi nd yourself fl ying in this situation, fl y the aircraft fi rst, and attend to fl ight deck duties second.

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