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Instrument Flying Handbook
Human factors
Hazard Identification

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Instrument Flying


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Human Factors
Chapter 2. Aerodynamic Factors
Chapter 3. Flight Instruments
Chapter 4. Section I
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 4. Section II
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 5. Section I
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 5. Section II
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 6. Helicopter
Attitude Instrument Flying

Chapter 7. Navigation Systems
Chapter 8. The National
Airspace System

Chapter 9. The Air Traffic
Control System

Chapter 10. IFR Flight
Chapter 11. Emergency

Indications of fatigue are generally subtle and hard to
recognize because the individual being assessed is generally
the person making the assessment, as in single pilot
operations. Therefore the pilot must look at small errors
that occur to provide an indication of becoming fatigued.
These include:

  • Misplacing items during the preflight;
  • Leaving material (pencils, charts) in the planning
  • Missing radio calls;
  • Answering calls improperly (read-backs); and
  • Improper tuning of frequencies.

Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue occurs when there is not enough time for a
full recovery from repeated episodes of acute fatigue. Chronic
fatigue's underlying cause is generally not "rest-related" and
may have deeper points of origin. Therefore, rest alone may
not resolve chronic fatigue.

Chronic fatigue is a combination of both physiological
problems and psychological issues. Psychological problems
such as financial, home life, or job related stresses cause a
lack of qualified rest that is only resolved by mitigating the
underpinning problems. Without resolution, performance
continues to fall off, judgment becomes impaired, and
unwarranted risks are taken. Recovery from chronic fatigue
requires a prolonged and deliberate solution. in either case,
unless adequate precautions are taken, personal performance
could he impaired and adversely affect pilot judgment and

IMSAFE Checklist
The following checklist, IMSAFF, is intended for a pilot's
personal preflight use. A quick check of the items on this
list will help a pilot make a good self-evaluation prior to any
flight, if the answer to any of the checklist questions is yes,
then the pilot should consider not flying.

Do I have any symptoms?

Have I been taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs?

AmI1 under psychological pressure from the job? Do I have
money, health, or family problems?

Have I been drinking within 8 hours? Within 24 hours?

Am I tired and not adequately rested?

Have I eaten enough of the proper foods to keep adequately
nourished during the entire flight?

Hazard Identification

In order to identify a hazard, it would be useful to define what
a hazard is. The FAA System Safety course defines a hazard
as: a present condition, event, object, or circumstance that
could lead or contribute to an unplanned or undesired event."
Put simply, a hazard is a source of danger. Potential hazards
may he identified from a number of internal and external
sources. These may he based upon several concurrent factors
that provide an indication and ultimate identification of a
hazard. Consider the following situations:

Situation 1
The pilot has just taken off and is entering the clouds. Suddenly,
there is an explosive sound. The sudden noise is disturbing and
occurs as the pilot is given a new heading, a climb restriction,
and the frequency for the departure control.

Situation 2
The pilot took off late in a rented aircraft (first time flying
this model), and is now in night conditions due to the delay,
and flying on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan in
1MC conditions. The radios do not seem to work well and
develop static. They seem to be getting weaker. As the pilot
proceeds, the rotating beacon stops flashing/rotating, and the
lights become dimmer. As the situation progresses, the pilot
is unaware of the problem because the generator warning
light, (on the lower left of the panel) is obscured by the chart
on the pilot's lap.

Both situations above represent hazards that must be dealt
with differently and a level of risk must he associated with
each depending on various factors affecting the flight.

Risk Analysis
Risk is defined as the future impact of a hazard that is not
eliminated or controlled. It is the possibility of loss or injury.
Risk analysis is the process whereby hazards are characterized
by their likelihood and severity. Risk analysis evaluates
the hazards to determine the outcomes and how abrupt that
outcome will occur. The analysis applied will be qualitative
to the degree that time allows resulting in either an analytical
or automatic approach in the decision-making process.