Learning From the Decisions of Others

By Scott Spangler on April 17th, 2023

Aviation safety, when you get right down to it, is an endless round of risk assessment what ifs. There is much to learn when what ifs become real life right now. If you survive, that is. Another way to learn is from the decisions made by others. Call it aviation erudition, extensive knowledge acquired from books or other written materials, such as Callback, the monthly publication from NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System.

This fine and free publication is must reading for any safety conscious pilot, and the issues I most look forward to, because they keep my head in the risk assessment arena, are those like April 2023, whose headline poses this question: What Would You Have Done? Because no pilot can make (let alone survive) every manner of aeronautical mistake in every category and class of flying machine, Page 1 of this issue presents the essential facts from the spectrum of ASRS Safety reports, and then poses the headline question. Page 2 presents The Rest of the Story.

This issue presented three situations.

Dominoes in The Pattern set up a potential midair between a CFI doing pattern work with a student with an inbound flight aiming for the same runway and another plane departing on a crossing runway at a nontowered airfield.

Unmarked in Plain Sight recounts the situation where a UAS operator and commercial pilot who was training a new pilot for infrastructure inspections realized, after switching drones and taking off, that he’d forgotten to affix the FAA registration sticker to the airframe. The scenarios that introduce unfamiliar situations are risk assessment gold because they challenge you to logically distill the fundamental wort of your aviation knowledge.

The final scenario, The Wind in the Windows, presents a situation many general aviation pilots have faced, but when was the last time you heard a Boeing 767 captain writing about a cockpit window popping open at 110 knots on the takeoff roll. Not having a clue, I immediately scrolled the page for the rest of the story. Not wanting to spoil the lesson, you can read them all at the link above. Enjoy, and happy flying safely. –Scott Spangler, Editor


Related Posts:

Comments are closed.

Subscribe without commenting