The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” holds true in life as well as in private air travel. A good pilot will prepare for unexpected events by planning alternate options prior to every flight. They will take into account many factors including weather, fuel, airport runway lengths and the weight and balance of the aircraft. The pilot will call a certified weather briefer, estimate the weight of the passengers, fuel and baggage and research appropriate flight charts to collect this information.
Once the route is planned, the pilot will research alternate airports and routes. For example, if the headwinds are stronger than predicted and an alternate destination airport is required, the pilot will be prepared with the necessary charts, radio frequencies and airport information on hand.
What does this mean for you, the private air travel customer? Unfortunately, route changes often come at the expense of your time. For instance, when a pilot is not comfortable with the weather prediction at your desired airport, or recommends a fuel stop to ensure enough range in your flight route, this can certainly cause an inconvenience. However, when it comes to air travel, one should always put safety before convenience.
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