The Decision Making Process
As your experience grows, you will be more adept to making effective choices and reducing the risk associated with each flight. Each step in the decision making process is critical to making sound in-flight judgments.
- Recognize a change.
- Define the problem.
- Choose a course of action.
- Implement your decision.
- Ensure that your decision is producing the desired result.
Airspeed, Airspeed, Airspeed!!!!!!
No matter the emergency, airspeed is everything. Any deviation from the best glide speed will reduce the distance you can glide and may cause you to land short of a safe touchdown point.
The NTSB has identified several factors that diminish a pilot’s ability to deal with emergency landings, so being aware of them will make us less likely to succumb to them.
- Pilots may be reluctant to accept the emergency situation, paralyzed with the thought that the aircraft will be on the ground in a short time regardless of what they do. As a result, they delay action, fail to maintain flying speed, or attempt desperate measures at the expense of aircraft control.
- There may be a desire on the part of the pilot to save the aircraft rather than sacrificing it to save the occupants. Such a desire may cause pilots to stretch a glide or make abrupt maneuvers at low altitude resulting in accidents.
- The fear of injury may cause pilots to panic, inhibiting their ability to properly carry out emergency procedures resulting in the situation they wanted to avoid most.
The key to dealing with these fears is to fly the airplane. Concentrate on maintaining your glide speed, adhering to the checklists, and managing resources, and this will help you keep your mind off what might happen and allow you to continue flying the airplane. If you practice simulated emergency procedures enough, you will be more confident in your ability to deal with an emergency approach and landing.