Aeronautical Decision Making (ADM)


Define ADM

  • Aeronautical Decision Making: 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.

Hazard and Risk

  • Hazardous Attitudes and antidotes
  1. Anti-Authority: “Don’t tell me.”
  • Follow the rules.  They are usually right.
  1. Impulsivity: “Do it quickly.”
  • Not so fast, think first.
  1. Invulnerability: “It won’t happen to me.”
  • It could happen to me.
  1. Macho: “I can do it.”
  • Taking chances is foolish.
  1. Resignation: “What’s the use?”
  • I’m not helpless.  I can make a difference.
  • Risk
  1. Identify Risk—what risks am I taking?
  2. Assessing Risk—What is the likelihood or severity of this risk?
  3. Mitigating Risk—What could I do instead of accepting this risk?
  • Wait for weather to improve
  • Postpone
  • Cancel
  • PAVE checklist categorizes possible hazards and risks to allow assessment and mitigation.  Way to remember: PAVE the runway to avoid/prevent the bumpiness of the flight—better than a rocky dirt strip.  (Have the student write these down and list some things in each category)
  1. PIC (How am I?)
  • I’M SAFE checklist (Illness, Medication, Stress, Alcohol/Attitude, Fatigue, Emotional/Eating)
  • Experience
  • Recency
  • Personal minimums
  1. Aircraft
  • Equipment
  • Range
  • Mechanical condition
  • Inoperative equipment
  1. enVironment (runway lengths, temperature, visibility, AIRMETS)
  • Day
  • Night
  • Airport
  • Terrain
  • Airspace
  1. External Pressures (Managing External Pressures)
  • Peer pressure
  • Get-there-it is
  • “Have to get this training done”
  • Other Operational Pitfalls
  1. Scud running—dodging clouds
  2. Getting behind the aircraft
  3. Loss of positional or situational awareness
  4. Operating without adequate fuel reserves
  5. Flying outside the envelope
  6. Neglecting:
  • Flight planning
  • Preflight inspection
  • Checklists

Decision Making Process—“what would you do if…”

  • DECIDE Model—this is to help you break down if you need to react and thinking through all the possible outcomes in order to select the best one.  Keep in mind, this is just a model mostly to make educated decisions before the emergency.
  1. Detect (the problem)
  2. Estimate (the need to react)
  3. Choose (a course of action)
  4. Identify (solutions)
  5. Do (the necessary actions)
  6. Evaluate (the effect of the action)
  • Go through possible things that the captain of the crew of the Hudson River crash may have thought about throughout the scenario, using the decide model.
  • What would you do if…(choose one situation and go through the process)
  1. You are approaching clouds in your flight path
  2. The engine fails in cruise
  3. Your avionics failed on a cross-country
  4. Your flaps don’t work in the pattern
  5. Your engine starts puttering after take-off

Automatic Decision Making

  • Time-critical emergency decisions are often based on preparation, situational awareness, and experience.
  • Decide what you would do before the problem actually happens.
  • Remember your solution; factor in other current variables

Conclusion and Evaluation:

Aeronautical Decision Making is probably THE most important part of being a pilot.  This ability is what keeps pilots in the cockpit instead of just a computer.  Being aware of your situation, variables, and all possible outcomes will allow you to select the choice for the best possible outcome.