Preflight checklist for pilots


If you have started your flying training, you might have already heard this acronym. But for those of you who are about to start or planning to start, this acronym is something that you should religiously follow before any flight. The acronym is none other than IMSAFE. As clear as it sounds, it basically means if you are safe to fly for that day or even that flight. Let’s now understand this acronym.


Are you fit to fly?. Do you have any illness or condition that prevents you from safely operating the flight?. It can be anything from a cold with ear block to a bad fever or even a surgery. If you have any such illness, it’s better to take the day off and your company should be able to tell you if your illness needs the intervention of DGCA. For the list of illnesses that needs to be reported you can visit


Are you taking any medication that is not approved by your DGCA medical examiner?? Is the medication making you feel drowsy or impairing your ability to safely operate the flight??. In a way, medication in this particular case is linked to illness as well because you will only need such medication if your unwell. In such cases, take the day off instead of risking yourself and the passengers.


Now when it comes to stress, it’s a debatable topic. Who doesn’t have stress??. We are humans, we will always have something to worry about. Financial troubles, unstable family life, pressure at work etc, any issue that comes in the way of you from being a safe pilot. If you think you can’t handle the stress, just call it a day.


When it comes to aviation and alcohol there are really strict rules all around the world. In case of FAA they suggest, you shouldn’t consume alcohol within 8 hours of flying. As per DGCA you shouldn’t consume alcohol within 12 hours before flight. In India before every flight a mandatory preflight alcohol check is carried out and if found positive your license will be suspended for 3 months, if caught for the second time 3 yrs and if caught for the 3rd time your license gets suspended for lifetime. So say no to alcohol when it comes to flying.


Did you get enough sleep??. Are you too tired to fly?? Be considerate about what your body is trying to tell you, and if your too tired to fly, avoid it. There have been many accidents recorded because of fatigue. Though there are strict flight duty and flight time limit rules in action, but still if you feel too tired to fly, avoid it.


Have you eaten well??. Are you on a diet that is making you extremely tired?. If you you are getting enough time to eat in between flights??. Are you well hydrated??. Dietary requirements are important for the safe operation of flight too.

When it comes to E, it can mean emotions as well. But i think, it can be put as a sub category of stress. But if your feeling emotionally unstable, please avoid flying.


The above checklist, is something that you should follow before every flight, throughout your flying career. Flying is a profession which needs utmost discipline. As much as flying rewards you, it can punish you as well. But when it punishes you, the price you might have to pay would be your life. But i know, you guys are going to be amazing at your job and will do well. Happy landings, cheers.

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