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7 Elements Of A Good Preflight Briefing

This story was made in partnership with AOPA. Ready to join the largest aviation community in the world? Sign up and become an AOPA Member today.

Here are some of the most important things you should cover before you set foot in your plane...

1) Crew Task Management

If you're flying with another pilot, be very clear about how you'll split tasks in the cockpit.


2) Your Route

Review your planned route and see if any unique navigation equipment requirements apply. Make sure to double check TFRs and special use airspace along your route.


3) Alternate Plans

If there's low weather, brief your plan for alternates, as well as which direction off-route has the best conditions.


4) Aircraft Performance + Weight And Balance

Once you know your aircraft loading, review the performance for the day. Will you be able to meet climb gradient and terrain restrictions? Does the weight and balance fall within limits?


5) Adverse Weather

If there's adverse weather along your route, brief how you'll adjust your route. Before you take off, check the weather again to make sure there haven't been any significant changes.


6) Personal Minimums

Beyond legal limits, always have a conversation about personal minimums. How high do the clouds need to be for you to feel comfortable flying? If you encounter poor weather conditions, how do you want to proceed?


7) Are There Any Unique Risks?

Are you flying over water? Do you have a passenger with a cold? Is your fuel load only enough to meet legal reserve requirements? No flight is the same, so it's important to brief what makes your flight unique, and how you want to mitigate any risks.


What else do you brief? Tell us in the comments below.

Ready to join the largest aviation community in the world? Sign up and become an AOPA Member today.

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