Five Mile Final | A Flight Instructor's Sandbox

Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

It is estimated that approximately 80 percent of all aviation accidents are related to human factors. The vast majority of these accidents occur during landing and takeoff. Aeronautical Decision-Making (ADM) is a systematic approach to risk assessment and stress management

Crew Resource Management (CRM) training for flight crews is focused on the effective use of all available resources: human resources, hardware, and information supporting ADM to facilitate crew cooperation and improve decision-making. Since 1987, ADM training has reduced accidents within General Aviation and airline operations. ADM decreases the probability of human error and increases the probability of a safe flight.

The goal of risk management is to proactively identify safety-related hazards and mitigate the associated risks. The fundamental principles of risk management are:

Many CRM concepts apply to single-pilot operations. Single-Pilot Resource Management (SRM) is defined as managing all the resources available to a single pilot to ensure the successful outcome of the flight.

Risk is an assessment of the single or cumulative hazard facing a pilot. Pilots with different levels of experience will evaluate hazards differently, and thus arrive at different risk-assessments. Differences in decision-making are referred to as human factors. This can lead to pilots being overly cautious or overly hazardous.

Studies have identified five hazardous attitudes that can interfere with the ability to make sound decisions. Recognition of hazardous thoughts is the first step toward neutralizing them.

The risk matrix assesses two items: the likelihood of an event occurring and the consequence of that event. Connecting the two factors may require the pilot to find a way to mitigate the risk, or simply to not fly.

One of the best ways single pilots can mitigate risk is to use the IMSAFE checklist.

By incorporating the PAVE checklist into preflight planning, the pilot divides the risks of flight into four categories.

Human factors directly cause or contribute to many aviation accidents and have been documented as a primary contributor to more than 70 percent of aircraft accidents The successful pilot possesses the ability to concentrate, manage workloads, and monitor and perform several simultaneous tasks.

Steps leading to a decision constitute a decision-making process.. The ”Five Ps” asks the pilot to evaluate the plan, plane, pilot, passengers, and programming. The ”Three Ps” asks the pilot to perceive, process, and perform during all phases of flight. The ”CARE” checklist calls out consequences, alternatives, reality, and external pressures. The ”TEAM” checklist emphasizes risk management via transfer, eliminate, accept, or mitigate.

The ”DECIDE” model promotes Detection of an event, Estimation of the event, Choosing a course of action, Identifying solutions, Doing an action, and Evaluating the result.

Operational pitfalls are classic behavioral traps that come with the development of pilot experience:

Learning to recognize resources found inside and outside the flight deck is an essential part of ADM training. Internal resources may include the person in the right seat. Solo pilots may also read checklists aloud. ATC and flight service specialists are the best external resources during flight.

Situational awareness is the accurate perception and understanding of all the factors and conditions within the five fundamental risk elements (flight, pilot, aircraft, environment, and type of operation that comprise any given aviation situation) that affect safety before, during, and after the flight. Fatigue, stress, and work overload can cause a pilot to fixate on a single perceived important item and reduce an overall situational awareness of the flight. Effective workload management ensures essential operations are accomplished by planning, prioritizing, and sequencing tasks to avoid work overload. The task load may increase during the final phase of a flight, while the pilot’s capabilities may decrease. When a pilot understands what is going on and has an overview of the total operation, he or she is not fixated on one perceived significant factor.

Pilots should look upon unfamiliarity with the aircraft and its systems as a hazard with high risk potential.

Commercial Pilot & Flight Instructor Test Questions

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Robert Wederquist   CP-ASEL - AGI - IGI
Commercial Pilot • Instrument Pilot
Advanced Ground Instructor • Instrument Ground Instructor