by Cassandra Isackson
Director, Minnesota DOT Office of Aeronautics
As the holiday season arrives, many people will take vacation to spend time with family and friends. It is our hope that you will have a wonderful and safe time, and will take advantage of the opportunity to share your passion for aviation with those around you.
In our technical bulletin, you will find several very important articles that I hope you will spend time reading and absorbing. Safety is our number one concern for everyone, here at MnDOT, so we ask you to take time and consider your safe driving and safe flying practices.
Read the article by Rachel Obermoller, AvRep for the Office of Aeronautics, and think about your crew resource management (CRM) efforts and practices when you fly. Ask yourself what you could or should be doing better, or differently, to improve your flying safety.
In keeping with the safety theme, I next direct you to the article by Rick Braunig, AvRep for the Office of Aeronautics, on the subject of Unmanned Aerial Systems, commonly called UAS’s or Drones. Individuals and companies are already attempting to use these unique aircraft in the airspace that piloted aircraft use. Thus safety is even more important, as the practice of “see-and-avoid” takes on an expanded meaning. Until the FAA provides the rules and practices for UAS use in U.S. airspace, we must rely on heightened situational awareness and enhanced safe practices when we fly.
So take advantage of your time with friends and family, and let them know about aviation and how it benefits them. Remember to practice good CRM when you fly, and keep your eyes and head on a swivel when flying, so you can spot potential traffic, including perhaps, a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), and other unmanned or manned aircraft. As pilot-in-command, you are responsible for your safety and that of your passengers. Make sure you are always alert and practicing the best safety and awareness procedures, anytime, but especially as the holidays arrive.