Regardless of what you fly, how its equipped, and how old or new it is, you eventually will encounter inoperative instruments and/or equipment during a preflight inspection. Once the inoperative component is discovered, you have to make a determination whether its legal to fly the airplane without repairs, and then decide if its safe to fly. The two are not the same.
Distracted flying has been cited in the dynamic rollover of a light helicopter in Ireland in July. The countrys Air Accidents Investigations Unit said the pilot of an Enstrom 280FX helicopter was landing on a beach near Ardfert when his cellphone, which was mounted on the control panel, rang.
This week's letters brought comments from readers about a runway overrun, sumping fuel tanks during preflight inspections, self-driving cars competing with air travel, a hang gliding instructor who forgot to attach his passenger, and a county vote that suggests a future airport closure.
Advancing age has its benefits when it comes to flying-wisdom and experience are two, and perhaps greater financial security to allow us to indulge our aviation passion. But despite increasing longevity, much as we fancy achieving the ripe age of 969 years as Methuselah, were a long way from that (50 is the new 70).