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Instrument Flying Handbook
Human factors
Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM)

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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

Information Workload
Information workloads and automated systems, such as
autopilots, need to he properly managed to ensure a safe
flight. The pilot flying in TMC is faced with many tasks, each
with a different level of importance to the outcome of the
flight. For example, a pilot preparing to execute an instrument
approach to an airport needs to review the approach chart,
prepare the aircraft for the approach and landing, complete
checklists, obtain information from Automatic Terminal
Information Service (ATIS) or air traffic control (ATC), and
set the navigation radios and equipment.

The pilot who effectively manages his or her workload
will complete as many of these tasks as early as possible
to preclude the possibility of becoming overloaded by last
minute changes and communication priorities in the later,
more critical stages of the approach. Figure 141 shows the
margin of safety is at the minimum level during this stage
of the approach. Routine tasks delayed until the last minute
can contribute to the pilot becoming overloaded and stressed,
resulting in erosion of performance.

By planning ahead, a plot can effectively reduce workload
during critical phases of flight. If a pilot enters the final
phases of the instrument approach unprepared, the pilot
should recognize the situation, abandon the approach, and
try it again after becoming better prepared. Effective resource
management t includes recognizing hazardous situations and
attitudes, decision making to promote good judgment and
headwork, and managing the situation to ensure the safe
outcome of the IFR flight.

Task Management
Pilots have a limited capacity for information. Once
information flow exceeds the pilot's ability to mentally

process the information any additional information will
become unattended or displace other tasks and information
already being processed. This is termed channel capacity and
once reached only two alternatives exist: shed the unimportant
tasks or perform all tasks at a less than optimal level. Like an
electrical circuit being overloaded, either the consumption
must he reduced or a circuit failure is experienced.

The pilot who effectively manages the tasks and properly
prioritizes them will have a successful flight. For example,
do not become distracted and fixate on an instrument light
failure, This unnecessary focus displaces capability and
prevents the pilot's ability to appreciate tasks of greater
importance. By planning ahead, a pilot can effectively reduce
workload during critical phases of a flight.

Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM)
Flying safely requires the effective integration of three
separate sets of skills. Most obvious are the basic stick-and-
rudder skills needed to control the airplane. Next, are skills
related to proficient operation of aircraft systems, and last,
hut not least, are ADM skills.

ADM is a systematic approach to the mental process used
by pilots to consistently determine the best course of action
in response to a given set of circumstances. The importance
of learning effective ADM skills cannot be overemphasized.
While progress is continually being made in the advancement
of pilot training methods, airplane equipment and systems, and
services for pilots, accidents still occur. Despite all the changes
in technology to improve flight safety, one factor remains the
sameā€”the human factor. While the FAA strives to eliminate
errors through training and safety programs, one fact remains:
humans make errors. It is estimated that approximately SO
percent of all aviation accidents are human factors related.

The Margin of Safety.
Figure 1-11. The Margin of Safety.