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Aviation Learning Center Document Risk Management Teaching Tips
Author: Susan Parson Date: April 2005
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Practical Risk Management Tools
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So how can you incorporate the 3P risk management model into your training practices, and how can you help your clients develop the habit of a continuous risk management "scan?" There are many ways to approach this question, but here are two methods you might try out in both your flight training work and your own personal flying.

Ask Questions.

At the quickest and most fundamental level, using the 3P method of practical risk management can be as simple as requiring your students to ask and answer a few basic questions before every flight. For example:

  • To perceive, ask "what can hurt me, my passengers, or my aircraft?"

  • To process, ask "how can this hazard hurt me, and how badly?"

  • To perform, ask "what can I do to make sure this hazard does not hurt me or anyone else?"

Use Checklists.

For those (like me) who need or want a more structured approach to using the 3P model, here are three simple checklists that can be associated with each of the three components:

To help students perceive (cross-check) the hazards in all critical areas associated with a flight, encourage use of the PAVE checklist to identify hazards. Specifically:

  • PILOT: What hazards are associated with the pilot (e.g., training, total experience, recent experience, physical and emotional health).

  • AIRCRAFT: What hazards are associated with the aircraft? Does it have the right equipment? Is it in good mechanical condition?

  • ENVIRONTMENT: What hazards are associated with the airport to be used? Are the runways long enough? What kind of terrain will the flight encounter? What are the weather conditions? Will the route cover controlled or restricted airspace?

  • EXTERNAL PRESSURES: What are the external pressures likely to affect the pilot's decision-making? Are there urgent reasons to proceed? Will passenger pressure be an issue? What alternatives are available?

To help pilots process (interpret) the possible impact and likelihood of each hazard identified through the PAVE checklist and begin to think about risk controls, use the CARE checklist:

  • CONSEQUENCES: What are the possible outcomes (consequences) posed by each of the hazards identified with the PAVE checklist? Hint: Think about likelihood and severity for each one.

  • ALTERNATIVES: What are the alternative courses of action available to you?

  • REALITY: What is the reality of the situation? Wishful thinking that it will "probably" be okay can lead to very poor decisions.

  • EXTERNAL PRESSURES: Ask yourself again what external pressures will affect not only the initial go/no-go decision, but also the continue/divert decision once you are airborne.

To help pilots perform risk management, use the ME checklist:

  • MITIGATE: What can I do to mitigate (reduce) the risk posed by each hazard I have identified?

  • ELIMINATE: Can I completely eliminate any of the hazards and their associated risk?

Putting it all together creates a continuous process much like the cross-check, interpretation, and control steps of the familiar instrument scan.

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