from PocketLearning, September 2002 CFIDarren
Newsletter, November 30, 2010
We used to
that good judgment was obtained only as a natural by-product of
But we know good judgment can be taught. Mistakes in judgment can
be fatal. Effective risk assessment requires a good Aeronautical
Decision Making model (ADM). The fundamentals of ADM include:
attitudes hazardous to safe flight;
and cope with stress;
upon the pilot's ability to maintain situational awareness of all
of the flight. We are all required to manage risks in
The FAA espouses the DECIDE model to assist us in our choices:
– the fact that a change has occurred Estimate
– the need to react to or counter the change Choose
a desirable outcome for the flight or situation Identify
– actions to control the change successfully Do –
the necessary actions Evaluate
– the effects of the action to react to or counter the initial
should become the automatic response when something doesn't seem
Applying the DECIDE model before an accident can be useful in
it! However, most pilots normally do not want to acknowledge that
something might be amiss. Your choice is to apply it before the
happens or the rest of us will apply it as a case study of your
Most preventable accidents have one common factor: human error, rather
than a mechanical malfunction.
have fallen prey to, or have been tempted by, one or more of these
tendencies or behavior patterns in their flying careers:
based upon emotional response to peers rather than evaluating a
inability to recognize
and cope with changes in the situation different from those anticipated
the vision and
impairs judgment by causing a fixation on the original goal or
combined with a total disregard for any alternative course of
to sneak a
peek by descending below minimums during an approach. Based on a belief
that there is a built in “fudge” factor or an unwillingness to admit
and shoot a missed approach.
the pilot and
aircraft capabilities to the limit by trying to maintain visual contact
with the terrain while trying to avoid contact with it. (scud running)
IFR conditions often leads to spatial disorientation or collision with
ground/obstacles. It is even more dangerous when not instrument rated
events or the
situation to control your actions rather than the other way around.
awareness which results in not knowing where you are, an inability to
deteriorating circumstances, and the misjudgment of the rate of
reserve requirements, either VFR or IFR, is generally the result of
lack of flight planning, or ignoring the regulations.
on the (usually mistaken) belief that the airplanes high performance
meets the demands imposed by the pilot's (usually overestimated) flying
on the pilot's short and long term memory, regular flying skills,
and familiar routes, etc.
minimums checklist" is an appropriate activity to build good
decision making skills. For example:
while under the
influence of alcohol or drugs is a never.
with a known
medical deficiency is never expedient or legal (FAR 61.53).
outside the certified
envelope is never safe.
with less than
the required minimum fuel is never reasonable.
flight into instrument
meteorological conditions is never justified.
below the applicable
minimum enroute altitude is never justified.
neglect of any
applicable checklist is never justified.
show that pilots should be conducting preflight checklists on
as well as on their aircraft.
check is the "IM SAFE" checklist:
Any Symptoms? Medication.
Prescription or OTC drugs? Stress.
Psychological, money, health, family? Alcohol.
Within 8 hours? Within 24 hours? Fatigue.
Adequately rested? Eating.
Enough proper foods for nourishment?
How to be a
Existing procedures, practices and regulations go a long way to
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