FAQ: How can a Pilot Assess Crew Readiness?
March 28, 2024

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FAQ: How can a Pilot Assess Crew Readiness?

Prior to every flight, each pilot must assess whether or not they are fit to fly. In the regulations, this is called ‘Crew Readiness’. The Pilot in Command and all crew members, need to be ready for the flight, which begs the question;


How can a Pilot assess crew readiness? 



The Aviation Standard for assessing crew readiness is the IMSAFE Checklist. IMSAFE is an acronym. By going through the checklist a pilot can quickly determine if they are fit to fly. 

I - Illness

You don’t want to fly if you’re feeling sick. Fatigue, dizziness, and headaches can make it difficult to operate safely. If you have a long-term, or chronic illness and are worried about flying, please consult an Aviation Physician.

M - Medication

So you’ve got a cold, why not just get ripped to the gills on some over-the-counter medication? Also a bad idea. Many over-the-counter meds cause drowsiness. If the bottle says “do not operate heavy machinery” consider that to include aircraft. Similar to the illness section; If you’re taking a medication and are worried about it negatively affecting your flying ability, please consult an Aviation Physician. 

S - Stress

If there’s something or someone on your mind, it can potentially take you away from flying. A pilot needs to be able to focus on the mission at hand, and financial stress, family emergencies, or personal conflicts can allow the mind to wander away from the aircraft. 

A - Alcohol

12 hours bottle to throttle. You also need to be free from the effects of alcohol, so if you’ve gone on a binge and are hungover, that won’t cut it. In Canada, cannabis products are now legal. However, per Transport Canada Rules, all aircrew (including drone pilots and visual observers) must not consume cannabis for 28 days before conducting a flight. 

F- Fatigue

You need to be well-rested to complete a flight. This includes having had sufficient rest in the preceding 24 hours, and feeling alert. 

E - Eating and drinking

You should have had sufficient food and sufficient water before flying. In the summer especially, insufficient nourishment and liquid could lead to dehydration, and dizziness and can lead eventually to pilot incapacitation. This is not a good situation, so it’s always important to eat prior and have a water bottle on hand for those hot days. 

For more information on the IMSAFE Checklist, and other notes on crew readiness, please refer to the Aeronautical Information Manual. (AIM – RPA – 3.2.7)

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