Last summer I took a motorcycle safety course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. (

 Motorcycle Safety Foundation

I was deciding weather I wanted to take the course or not.  I actually felt I did not need the course, but I wanted my son to get some training.  While looking into the course two things became very apparent.  First, if I took the course, and passed, then I would not have to take the riding part of the test to get my motorcycle license. And 97% of all those riders having accidents have not had formal training.  Most people get training from their friends or relatives.  Taken another way - that means that if I got formal training, I would be out of the 97% pool of riders that have accidents and be in the 3% pool.  This made it a no-brainer.  You also get additional discounts on insurance. ( I got airplane insurance discounts because I had a biennial flight review every year.) I would not even consider flying a plane without proper training, but we all think a motorcycle is just a car on two wheels.

Statistically Speaking: This course has removed me from 97% of all motorcycle accidents.

I'm not going to recap the entire course here, but I really liked one process in the course - SIPDE.  I felt this applies to every aspect of flying. 

It stands for:






Scan - you should scan about 12 seconds ahead of the motorcycle.  How often have you heard keep ahead of the airplane.  You should scan or think about what is going to happen to you in the near future.  12 second may be a little too immediate for most flying, but not all.  And we all need to be thinking ahead of the plane.

Identify - you should identify those items, issues, weather, or targets, that could cause you a concern or problem in course of your flight.


Predict- now that you have identified those concerns or problems, it is time to predict how they could impact you.  Hopefully they won't impact you, but how they could impact your flight.  Is this issue immediate - change course so you don't hit an oncoming target, or longer range - you are not happy with what is happening with the weather here or at your destination.


Decide- You have Scanned, Identified a concern or problem now it is time to Decide what to do.  Immediate impact may have you changing course NOW. Weather may have you changing your destination a little slower.  However, they both need a decision from you!


Execute - So Do It.  You have Scanned for a concern, Identified the concern or problem, Predicted how it will impact your flight, Decided what to do - It is time now to Execute that decision and do it.  Weather is not good at your destination, change to your alternate.  That speck on the horizon has not changed position, change course until you know what it is.


Flying Single Pilot IFR is planning, staying ahead of the plane and executing your decisions soon enough to make a difference.  SIPDE might be a good tool for you to practice as you fly.