IMSAFE is a mnemonic device for pilots to check in with their own well being before they fly.  It stands for Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol, Fatigue, and Emotion.  As passengers when we fly, most of us are aware there is a flight check to determine whether the plane is safe.  I’d never realized there is a protocol (at least for private pilots) to check in with themselves.

IMSAFE Meaning

The breakdown might seem obvious, but illness looks to see if you feel sick, medication ensures you have taken any prescription meds you need and that you haven’t taken any pills you shouldn’t before flying, stress asks pilots to assess whether they are overwhelmed by life let alone flying, alcohol is a reminder to make sure you’ve had none in at least 8 hours, fatigue makes you review your sleep, and emotion requires the pilot to once again (like stress) check in with her mental state.  (In the navy E stands for Eat—whether or not you’ve eaten recently).

Food matters.  Amelia Earhart mentioned a pilot needed to be fed enough to “prevent fatigue but not enough to induce drowsiness”—a difficult balance to achieve because you […]