“Pilots in Command: Your Best Trip, Every Trip” – by Kristofer Pierson


In 2006, the FAA issued the final advisory circular (AC 120-90) on LOSA and TEM

TEM model developers at University of Texas’s Human Research Project introduce the following definitions:

Threats – events or errors that:

  • occur outside the influence of the flight crew (i.e., not caused by the crew);
  • increase the operational complexity of a flight; and
  • require crew attention and management if safety margins are to be maintained.

Errors -flight crew actions or inactions that:

  • lead to a deviation from crew or organizational intentions or expectations;
  • reduce safety margins; and
  • increase the probability of adverse operational events on the ground or during flight.

If errors are not managed, the result could be an undesired aircraft state

Undesired aircraft state – a position, speed, attitude, or configuration of an aircraft that:

  • results from flight crew error, actions, or inaction; and
  • clearly reduces safety margins

CRM/TEM training models therefore emphasize the mantra, “Managing THREATS is managing the future, managing ERRORS is managing the past.”

If a threat to safety is not detected and trapped, it can turn into an error.

THREAT can be events or error and crew need to pay attention on it. If crew take incorrect action, it may be an error. However, if crew ignore threat, it also can turn into an error.

Error(s) eventually can lead the aircraft into undesired condition.

Workload Management
An emergency will be enough of a surprise, and having disagreements over who should handle what is an added surprise that should be avoided

coordinating this in the preflight briefing, the PIC has to ensure that the SIC understands exactly what the roles being assigned entail.

Managing the situation involves being able to take focus off of flight controls and instruments in an effort to gain perspective.

…the PIC needs backup. The SIC is going to focus on the basics of aviate/navigate/communicate, but also needs to keep an ear open to what the PIC is saying to dispatch. The PIC needs to aid this by keeping the SIC in the loop on all plans and decisions being contemplated. They must work together as a crew in concert, not as a crew completely compartmentalized.

Pre-flight briefing is important moment to let PIC assign the role to SIC, who should always knows how to coordinate with PIC. They need to work together perfectly, particular under emergence situation – clear role assignment and teamwork sprit can make a  worst case be a good case for learning!


The Standard Preflight Briefing
…the concept is the same and it focuses on one unilateral truth about every flight: nothing is standard. Every time you do a preflight briefing, you have to focus on this;

…just eliminate the word “standard” from your briefings and focus on what might be different about the particular flight, at that particular moment.

…need to focus on what isn’t routine, or what just happens to be plain different.

…a sage pilot a safe pilot is whether or not they are verbalized in the flight deck.

Every day is a new day, isn’t it?


…Why don’t we see post-flight briefings used in the real-world, live action, operational environment?

…Captain (CA): “Well, I think we handled that misunderstanding with ATC well…

…CA: “Now that we saw the slat fault posting again in EICAS, I will check if it has been reset before, and if not we can do the reset procedure. If we can’t reset it, we will just have maintenance handle it.”…

If no critique is requested but you think one is due, again use some discernment. Do not offer critique unless you are fully prepared to also provide advice.

People love praise only! Also, commercial airlines focus on teamwork spirit. So…just say more “we”…we are going to be captain!



Tag: #books #notes #PIC #TEM #threat #error

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