The various flying activities and their purposes are different and hence the priorities are different. For instance, civil public transport of persons, versus a military mission in a war. In civil public transport safety is the first priority, thereafter other priorities like being on time and customers comfort. This priority ranking is written in most airline manuals. In a war the mission objective might be more important than the pilot´s safety. The Japanese Kamikaze missions during World War 2 is a grotesque sample of that. But it is fair to say that many military deployments are base on the “Mission first” priority. This is as it is, and hence acceptable.
But is this acceptable and necessary in sport or leisure aviation? I have seen deliberate risk taking of Kamikaze proportions. People have died before they were properly airborne or they have fallen from the sky separated from the aircraft or still in it when it was no longer airworthy. This has of course not been deliberate but rather a consequence of ignorance, mostly due too lack of understanding the risk involved or simply a mistake is done. This also happens due to deliberately ignoring the operational limitations, flying an un-airworthy aircraft, lack of emergency equipment or lack of skill and/or will. I have discussed this in 2 previous blogs:
The Safety Goals: “Zero” or “As Low as Reasonable Practicable”?
Taking a Risk, is that a human right?
Airmanship in the above context could be defined as follows: Airmanship is the ability to fulfill the objectives of the flight. If these objectives are clear, in prioritized order and promulgated we have a good foundation on how Good Airmanship is to be advocated and performed in the various Aviation segments.
As mentioned in Civil Commercial Aviation it would be:
1. Safety, 2. On Time, 3. Other customer services (comfort, food, drinks, etc.).
Note in a private or executive flight comfort could be number 2 and On Time number 3. In sport aviation there are risk takers who justify their dangerous behavior by claiming they are focusing on the experience and not so much on the risk. They would advocate that it is their life at stage and hence nobody´s business but their own. Is it so? I don´t think so as discussed in the previous blog article “Taking a Risk, is that a human right?”