Aeronautical Decision Making
• Decision process required to make aeronautical decision.
• While concepts can be taught, common sense and experience must be
• 80% of all aviation accidents are related to human factors!
• Majority of accidents occur during landing (24%) and takeoff (23%).
• Introduced by the airline industry over 25 years ago to help decrease
accidents caused by human factors.
• Designed to improve the decision-making of pilots.
• Pilots who receive ADM training made 10-50% fewer judgment errors.
Decision Making Steps
1. Identify personal attitudes,
2. Learn behavior modification techniques,
3. Learn how to recognize and cope with stress,
4. Develop risk assessment skills,
5. Use all available resources,
6. Evaluate the effectiveness of your ADM skills.
The goal is to identify hazards and mitigate the associated risk.
Four fundamental principles to risk management:
• Accept no unnecessary risk,
• Make risk decisions at the appropriate level,
• Weigh risk/danger (cost) with benefits,
• Integrate risk management into planning at all levels.
Crew Resource Management
Defined as the effective use of all available resources
– human, hardware, and information –
prior to and during flight to ensure
the successful outcome of the operation.
Single-Pilot Resource Management
SRM is the art of managing all available resource.
Includes several concepts
✓ Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM)
✓ Risk Management (RM)
✓ Task Management (TM)
✓ Automation Management (AM)
✓ Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) Awareness
✓ Situational Awareness (SA)
Hazard & Risk
• Hazard: real or perceived condition, event, or circumstance that a pilot
• Risk: the assigned value to the potential impact of a hazard.
Hazardous Attitudes and Antidotes
• Attitudes that negatively affect the quality of your decisions.
• Recognition of hazardous thoughts is the first step in neutralizing them.
• Five main attitudes
Example Definition Antidote
Anti-authority “Don’t tell me.”
Those who do not like anyone telling them
what to do.
Follow the rules.They are
Impulsivity “Do it quickly.”
Those who feel the need to do something,
Not so fast.Think first.
Invulnerability “It won’t happen to me.”
Those who believe that accidents happen
It could happen to me.
Macho “I can do it.”
Those who are trying to prove that they
are better than anyone else.“Watch this!”
Taking chances is foolish.
Resignation “What’s the use?”
Those who do not see themselves making
I’m not hopeless. I can make a
In a first step, you should assess risk
Trying to maintain visual contact with the terrain in low visibility by flying at very
low altitude is called scud running.This is a high risk activity.
Continuing to fly the aircraft into instrument conditions if you are flying under
Visual Flight Rules (VFR) is a high risk activity.
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Figure 2-5. This risk matrix can be used for almost any operation
by assigning likelihood and consequence. In the case presented,
the pilot assigned a likelihood of occasional and the severity as
catastrophic. As one can see, this falls in the high risk area.
Catastrophic Critical Marginal Negligible
Risk Assessment Matrix
cause the pilot to assign “occasional” to determine the
probability of encountering IMC.
The following are guidelines for making assignments.
• Probable—an event will occur several times
• Occasional—an event will probably occur sometime
• Remote—an event is unlikely to occur, but is possible
• Improbable—an event is highly unlikely to occur
Severity of an Event
The next element is the severity or consequence of a pilot’s
action(s). It can relate to injury and/or damage. If the
individual in the example above is not an instrument rated
pilot, what are the consequences of him or her encountering
inadvertent IMC conditions? In this case, because the pilot
is not IFR rated, the consequences are catastrophic. The
following are guidelines for this assignment.
• Catastrophic—results in fatalities, total loss
• Critical—severe injury, major damage
• Marginal—minor injury, minor damage
• Negligible—less than minor injury, less than minor
Simply connecting the two factors as shown in Figure 25
indicates the risk is high and the pilot must either not fly or
fly only after finding ways to mitigate, eliminate, or control
of a generic situation, a more comprehensive program can be
made that is tailored to a pilot’s flying. [Figure 26] This
program includes a wide array of aviationrelated activities
specific to the pilot and assesses health, fatigue, weather,
In a second step, you should mitigate risk.To do so, use the IMSAFE
• Illness: am I sick?
• Medication: avoid medicine that affect judgment or make you dizzy.
• Stress: Psychological pressure? Money, health, family problems?
• Alcohol:Am I under the influence?
• Fatigue:Tired or not well rested?
• Emotion: emotionally upset?
The PAVE Checklist
Another way to mitigate risk is to perceive hazards. Use the PAVE checklist
during preflight planning.
• Pilot-in-Command: use the IMSAFE checklist to determine that you are fit
• Aircraft: ensure you are familiar with the aircraft and its limitations.
• enVironment: weather, terrain, and airspace.
• External Pressures: hazardous attitudes and operational pitfalls.
• Defined as the steps leading to making control decisions.
• Three models exist to help with problem-solving and decision-making:
✓ 5P: Plan, Plane, Pilot, Passenger, Programming
✓ 3P + PAVE: Perceive, Process, Perform
world” is more difficult.
There is no one right answer in ADM, rather each pilot is
expected to analyze each situation in light of experience
level, personal minimums, and current physical and mental
readiness level, and make his or her own decision.
The 5 Ps Check
SRM sounds good on paper, but it requires a way for pilots
to understand and use it in their daily flights. One practical
application is called the “Five Ps (5 Ps).” [Figure 29] The
5 Ps consist of “the Plan, the Plane, the Pilot, the Passengers,
and the Programming.” Each of these areas consists of a set
of challenges and opportunities that every pilot encounters.
Each challenge and opportunity can substantially increase or
decrease the risk of successfully completing the flight based
on the pilot’s ability to make informed and timely decisions.
The 5 Ps are used to evaluate the pilot’s current situation at
key decision points during the flight or when an emergency
Figure 2-9. The Five Ps checklist.
THE PLAN THE PLANE THE PILOT
The SRM Five “Ps” Check
used outside of formal training programs. The 5P concept is
an attempt to take the information contained in those sheets
and in the other available models and use it.
The 5P concept relies on the pilot to adopt a “scheduled”
review of the critical variables at points in the flight where
decisions are most likely to be effective. For instance, the
easiest point to cancel a flight due to bad weather is before the
pilot and passengers walk out the door and load the aircraft.
So the first decision point is preflight in the flight planning
room, where all the information is readily available to make
a sound decision, and where communication and Fixed
Base Operator (FBO) services are readily available to make
alternate travel plans.
The second easiest point in the flight to make a critical safety
decision is just prior to takeoff. Few pilots have ever had
to make an “emergency takeoff.” While the point of the 5P
check is to help the pilot fly, the correct application of the 5
P before takeoff is to assist in making a reasoned go/nogo
decision based on all the information available. That decision
will usually be to “go,” with certain restrictions and changes,
but may also be a “nogo.” The key idea is that these two
points in the process of flying are critical go/nogo points on
each and every flight.
The third place to review the 5 Ps is at the midpoint of the
flight. Often, pilots may wait until the Automated Terminal
information Service (ATIS) is in range to check weather, yet,
at this point in the flight, many good options have already
passed behind the aircraft and pilot. Additionally, fatigue
Detect the fact that a change has occurred.
Estimate the need to counter or react.
Choose a desirable outcome for the flight.
Identify actions that can control the change.
Do take the necessary action.
Evaluate the effect of your action.
• Think about making decisions based on good habits.
• Studies showed that experts quickly imagine a course of action rather
than compare pros/cons for several scenarios.
• This is referred to as “naturalistic” and “automatic decision-making”.
• Peer Pressure
• Scud running
• Continuing visual flight rules
(VFR) into instrument conditions
• Getting behind the aircraft
• Loss of situational awareness
• Operations without adequate
• Flying outside the envelope
• Neglect flight planning, preflight,
• Effects of stress are cumulative and can lead to intolerable burden.
• Two types of stress: acute and chronic.
• Relaxation, physical fitness and time-management help manage the
accumulation of stress.
• Pilot must understand what is going on and have an overview of the entire
• Fatigue, stress, and work overload reduce overall situational awareness.
• Distraction is a contributing factor to accidents.