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8 Times You Need To Be Prepared For High Workload When You're Flying

When things get busy, remember to "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate", in that order.

1) Takeoff

During takeoff, you're faced with a lot of tasks. Radio calls, changing frequencies, adjusting aircraft configuration, looking for other traffic, and flying the plane can all pile up. Staying on top of the most important tasks is the key to a safe takeoff and climb out.

Aleksander Markin

2) Flying an instrument approach

Flying an instrument approach in IMC is one of the highest workload situations a GA pilot can experience. Making sure you've briefed and fully prepared for the approach, as well as a possible missed approach, is essential to flying it safely.


3) Emergencies

Whether it's an engine failure or a loss of communications, emergencies create high workload and stressful situations.


4) Busy airspace

If most of your flying is done at non-towered airports, the transition into tower-controlled airspace can be intimidating. As a VFR pilot, you still have "see and avoid" responsibilities, in addition to responding to radio calls and flying the aircraft in accordance with ATC instructions.


5) Landing

There's a reason the majority of GA accidents are during landing. Making sure you're on glide path, on speed, adjusting for wind, and configuring the aircraft all contribute to the workload you need to manage.

Bernal Saborio

6) Diversions

Not every cross country goes as planned, no matter how much planning you do. When the unexpected happens, a diversion might be necessary. And when that happens, your workload obviously goes up.

Josh Beasley

7) Checkrides

We've all been there. On top of the fear having an examiner watch your every move, you're still required to fly the plane within PTS/ACS standards.

Glenn Beltz

8) Lost procedures

If you're lost, or not exactly sure when you are, you need to fly the aircraft, conserve your fuel, and locate your position while looking for traffic and flying the airplane.

Alan Wilson

Corey Komarec

Corey is an Embraer 175 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota, and he's been flying since he was 16. You can reach him at

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