By Rich Pickett, AFW Safety Officer
As always, thanks for spending your time and resources flying AFW missions.
One of the ways that AFW matches pilots with missions is by using your pilot credential information in your profile. In looking at our data, I’ve noticed that in a number of cases we may not have current pilot credential information, in particular instrument flight capabilities. In some situations, we have pilots who have progressed to an instrument rating commercial pilot certificate and/or an airline transport pilot certificate (ATP), but we don’t have that updated information in our database.
It would also be helpful if you take a minute and update data on any aircraft you utilize for AFW missions. When our team works to match missions, not only is the pilot information useful, but also the aircraft.
You can easily update your information on the Angel Flight West website at https://https://angelflightwest.org/ If you need any assistance, please let us know.
I want to let our volunteers know again, that the Mission Feedback is extremely useful for all of us, and that every single one is read by the staff. The comments by passengers, Command Pilots, and Earth Angels are not only encouraging, but help us improve the mission experience for everyone. I review all of them, and also pay particular attention to any flight comments including safety-related that are included.
In many cases, I’ll call the pilot who wrote the comments and talk with them about their flight. In a recent case, a pilot took off in the clear, and the weather en route looked appropriate for the mission. After departure, the pilot encountered some icing at the trailing edge of a front, and wisely turned back since his plane wasn’t equipped with FIKI (Flight Into Known Icing) equipment. We talked about the flight planning and his appropriate decision to return to his departure point. In other cases, pilots will provide information regarding passengers and their comfort during a flight, or when they show up with too much luggage! In these different situations, we all learn from the experience.
In a future newsletter, I’ll include some of these situations so we can all learn and enjoy what makes our AFW missions so successful and helpful to everyone.