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Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge
Aeronautical Decision-Making
Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Single-Pilot Resource Management
Hazard and Risk

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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




Crew Resource Management (CRM) and
Single-Pilot Resource Management

While CRM focuses on pilots operating in crew environments,
many of the concepts apply to single-pilot operations. Many
CRM principles have been successfully applied to single-pilot
aircraft, and led to the development of Single-Pilot Resource
Management (SRM). SRM is defined as the art and science
of managing all the resources (both on-board the aircraft
and from outside sources) available to a single pilot (prior
and during flight) to ensure that the successful outcome
of the flight SRM includes the concepts of ADM, Risk
Management (RM), Task Management (TM), Automation
Management (AM), Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT)
Awareness, and Situational Awareness (SA). SRM training
helps the pilot maintain situational awareness by managing
the automation and associated aircraft control and navigation
tasks. This enables the pilot to accurately assess and manage
risk and make accurate and timely decisions.

SRM is all about helping pilots learn how to gather
information, analyze it, and make decisions. Although the
flight is coordinated by a single person and not an onboard
flight crew, the use of available resources such as air traffic
control (ATC) and flight service station (FSS) replicates the
principles of CRM.

Hazard and Risk

Two defining elements of ADM are hazard and risk. Hazard
is a real or perceived condition, event, or circumstance that a
pilot encounters. When faced with a hazard, the pilot makes
an assessment of that hazard based upon various factors. The
pilot assigns a value to the potential impact of the hazard,
which qualifies the pilot's assessment of the hazard—risk.
Therefore, risk is an assessment of the single or cumulative
hazard facing a pilot; however, different pilots see hazards
differently. For example, the pilot arrives to preflight and
discovers a small, blunt type nick in the leading edge at the
middle of the aircraft's prop. Since the aircraft is parked
on the tarmac, the nick was probably caused by another
aircraft's prop wash blowing some type of debris into the
propeller. The nick is the hazard (a present condition). The
risk is prop fracture if the engine is operated with damage
to a prop blade.

The seasoned pilot may see the nick as a low risk. He
realizes this type of nick diffuses stress over a large area, is
located in the strongest portion of the propeller, and based on
experience, he doesn't expect it to propagate a crack which
can lead to high risk problems. He does not cancel his flight
The inexperienced pilot may see the nick as a high risk factor
because he is unsure of the affect the nick will have on the

prop's operation and he has been told that damage to a prop
could cause a catastrophic failure. This assessment leads him
to cancel his flight

Therefore, elements or factors affecting individuals are
different and profoundly impact decision-making. These
are called human factors and can transcend education,
experience, health, physiological aspects, etc.

Another example of risk assessment was the flight of a
Beechcraft King Air equipped with deicing and anti-icing.
The pilot deliberately flew into moderate to severe icing
conditions while ducking under cloud cover. A prudent pilot
would assess the risk as high and beyond the capabilities of
the aircraft, yet this pilot did the opposite. Why did the pilot
take this action?

Past experience prompted the action. The pilot had
successfully flown into these conditions repeatedly although
the icing conditions were previously forecast 2,000 feet
above the surface. This time, the conditions were forecast
from the surface. Since the pilot was in a hurry and failed
to factor in the difference between the forecast altitudes,
he assigned a low risk to the hazard and took a chance. He
and the passengers died from a poor risk assessment of the

Hazardous Attitudes and Antidotes
Being fit to fly depends on more than just a pilot's physical
condition and recent experience. For example, attitude will
affect the quality of decisions. Attitude is a motivational
predisposition to respond to people, situations, or events in a
given manner. Studies have identified five hazardous attitudes
that can interfere with the ability to make sound decisions
and exercise authority properly: anti-authority, impulsivity,
invulnerability, macho, and resignation. [Figure 17-3]

Hazardous attitudes contribute to poor pilot judgment but
can be effectively counteracted by redirecting the hazardous
attitude so that correct action can be taken. Recognition of
hazardous thoughts is the first step toward neutralizing them.
After recognizing a thought as hazardous, the pilot should
label it as hazardous, then state the corresponding antidote.
Antidotes should be memorized for each of the hazardous
attitudes so they automatically come to mind when needed.

During each flight, the single pilot makes many decisions
under hazardous conditions. To fly safely, the pilot needs to
assess the degree of risk and determine the best course of
action to mitigate risk.