John Deakin tears apart his own impressive flying bio (32,000 hours, 747 captain, designated pilot examiner, yadda yadda yadda) to make the point that tens of thousands of hours, gray hair, advanced ratings and the rest don't necessarily mean a pilot is worth listening to. He encourages pilots to think about the advice they are given - is it sage advice that could save you from a lot of trouble some day, or just a bunch of nonsense from the local ABM (airport big mouth)? Along the way, Deakin skewers a few OWTs (old wives' tales) - flying myths that just never seem to die.
John Deakin's first "Pelican's Perch" column, "Throw Away That Stupid Checklist," generated considerable controversy. (There's nothing wrong with that, it's why we asked John to write: to make us all think about what we are doing.) Unfortunately, a good deal of that controversy appears to stem from misunderstandings about what he wrote, generating more heat than light on the subject. Others apparently agree with John's points, but for some reason think he shouldn't say what he said. In this column, John clarifies some of the points that appear to have been misunderstood by some readers and he then goes on to expand upon the subject of checklist use.
Say again? You heard correct, just toss it. "Heresy!" some will cry, but AVweb columnist John Deakin - who's not only a 32,000-hour 747 captain, but also a Bonanza owner and FAA-designated pilot examiner - explains why written checklists are neither necessary or appropriate to single-pilot operations. Deakin offers a viable alternative that could save your life.
A 20,000-hour Boeing 747 captain nearly prangs his Bonanza on takeoff due to a tiny bit of wing ice that he couldn't even see. If it can happen to him, there's a lesson here for all of us.
The circumstances of Tom Dafoe's death warrant a good look by the FAA.

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