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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Aeronautical Decision-Making
History of ADM

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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge



Table of Contents

Chapter 1, Introduction To Flying
Chapter 2, Aircraft Structure
Chapter 3, Principles of Flight
Chapter 4, Aerodynamics of Flight
Chapter 5, Flight Controls
Chapter 6, Aircraft Systems
Chapter 7, Flight Instruments
Chapter 8, Flight Manuals and Other Documents
Chapter 9, Weight and Balance
Chapter 10, Aircraft Performance
Chapter 11, Weather Theory
Chapter 12, Aviation Weather Services
Chapter 13, Airport Operation
Chapter 14, Airspace
Chapter 15, Navigation
Chapter 16, Aeromedical Factors
Chapter 17, Aeronautical Decision Making




percentage of aviation accidents
Figure 17-1. The percentage of aviation accidents as they relate to the different phases of flight. Note that the greatest percentage of accidents take place during a minor percentage of the total flight.

The importance of learning and understanding effective
ADM skills cannot be overemphasized. While progress is
continually being made in the advancement of pilot training
methods, aircraft equipment and systems, and services
for pilots, accidents still occur. Despite all the changes in
technology to improve flight safety, one factor remains the
same: the human factor which leads to errors. It is estimated
that approximately 80 percent of all aviation accidents are
related to human factors and the vast majority of these
accidents occur during landing (24.1 percent) and takeoff
(23.4 percent). [Figure 17-1]

ADM is a systematic approach to risk assessment and stress
management. To understand ADM is to also understand how
personal attitudes can influence decision-making and how
those attitudes can be modified to enhance safety in the flight
deck. It is important to understand the factors that cause
humans to make decisions and how the decision-making
process not only works, but can be improved.
This chapter focuses on helping the pilot improve his or
her ADM skills with the goal of mitigating the risk factors
associated with flight. Advisory Circular (AC) 60-22,
Aeronautical Decision-Making, provides background
references, definitions, and other pertinent information about
ADM training in the general aviation (GA) environment.
[Figure 17-2]

History of ADM

For over 25 years, the importance of good pilot judgment, or
aeronautical decision making (ADM), has been recognized

as critical to the safe operation of aircraft, as well as accident
avoidance. The airline industry, motivated by the need to
reduce accidents caused by human factors, developed the first
training programs based on improving ADM. 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. The goal of all
flight crews is good ADM and the use of CRM is one way
to make good decisions.

Research in this area prompted the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) to produce training directed at
improving the decision-making of pilots and led to current
FAA regulations that require that decision-making be taught
as part of the pilot training curriculum. ADM research,
development, and testing culminated in 1987 with the
publication of six manuals oriented to the decision-making
needs of variously rated pilots. These manuals provided
multifaceted materials designed to reduce the number
of decision related accidents. The effectiveness of these
materials was validated in independent studies where student
pilots received such training in conjunction with the standard
flying curriculum. When tested, the pilots who had received
ADM training made fewer inflight errors than those who had
not received ADM training. The differences were statistically
significant and ranged from about 10 to 50 percent fewer
judgment errors. In the operational environment, an operator
flying about 400,000 hours annually demonstrated a 54
percent reduction in accident rate after using these materials
for recurrency training.