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Christmas Giveaway 2023: Question 9 - I'm Safe Check


The 'I'M SAFE' checklist is used by many pilots as part of their threat and error management to assess their own fitness, ensuring they are safe to fly and have the best chance of making good, safe decisions. What does the 'E' stand for in 'I'M SAFE'?

  1. Eating
  2. Exercise
  3. Excitement
  4. Energy


I'M SAFE is a self-assessment checklist used by private and commercial pilots to check their own physical and mental fitness before flying.

Pilot health, fitness and general well-being are crucial in maintaining flight safety and ensuring we can make good decisions. Illness, stress and other physical and emotional issues can have a significant impact on our ability to perform, and often result in important details being overlooked, distraction and a decreased ability to deal with situations and complex tasks. Being fit and healthy before flight will give you the best chance of making good decisions, avoiding accidents and applying your pilot skills successfully!

The I'M SAFE checklist provides an easy way to remember the key topics that might affect your ability to fly and stands for illness, medication, stress, alcohol, fatigue and eating. Let's break each of these down in a bit more detail.


Are you well enough to fly? Do you have any current or recent illnesses or symptoms that could affect your flight?

Even a common cold, which many of us will usually brush off, can cause problems in the air. Blocked sinuses can lead to significant pain and poor concentration. A sneezing fit could impair your ability to control the aircraft and cause you to lose situational awareness. A cough or sore throat could affect your radio communication ability. A headache can result in poor decision-making.

Many illnesses will impair your ability to fly, so if you're not feeling 100%, the safest decision is always to delay your flight!


Have you taken any prescription or over-the-counter medicines that could impair your ability to fly or affect your performance? Are you sure there are no side effects?


Are you calm, rational, in a clear state of mind and not under any pressure to fly? Are you stressed or anxious due to work, family, health or financial issues? Are you emotionally ready and entirely focused on the flight?

If not, then the safest option is always to delay your flight. Emotions and stress can significantly affect our ability to make good decisions and react to unexpected situations as we become more quickly overwhelmed and overloaded.


How much alcohol have you consumed in the past 8 and 24 hours? The permitted alcohol limit for aviation is less than 25% of the UK drink-drive limit.


Have you slept well, and are you adequately rested? Are you alert enough to conduct the flight safely?


Are you adequately nourished? Have you had enough to eat and drink? Are your blood sugars correct? If you are undertaking a long flight, have you packed enough food and water to get you through?

Check out our handy postcard to help you remember the I'M SAFE Checklist, which can also be downloaded as a PDF!

Flynqy Pilot Training I'M SAFE Vital Checks Postcard Flynqy Pilot Training I'M SAFE Vital Checks Postcard Explanation

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