What’s the best way to avoid accident and prevent error?

[Ref ISBN 978-1-61854-262-5 Chapter 18, FAA-H-8083-25B]

Q:  What’s the best way to avoid accident and prevent error?

A:  To avoid accident and prevent error, pilots should learn and apply ADM, CRM and Threat and Error management skills in their daily operations.

Actually, the goal of all flight crews is good ADM and the use of CRM is one way to make good decisions – to avoid accident and prevent error – safe and efficient operation!

What’s ADM?

Aeronautical decision making (ADM) is a systematic approach (risk assessment and stress management) to good judgement (mental process used by pilots) to consistently determine the best course of action in response to a given set of circumstances.

How to make a good decision?

6 Steps: Ident hazardous attitude → change to a better learning behavior → deal with stress (stress management) → deal with risk (risk management) → CRM (use all available resources) → Review the outcome

Like doing other things in our daily life – Attitude comes first! Our attitude determines our Altitude! ADM process identifies several steps involved in good decision making. One of these steps is identifying personal attitudes hazardous to safe flight.

The five hazardous attitudes addressed in the ADM process are :

  1. antiauthority
  2. impulsivity
  3. invulnerability
  4. macho
  5. resignation

Hazardous attitudes, which contribute to poor pilot judgment. Once hazardous thoughts is identified, they can be effectively counteracted by stating the corresponding antidote.

Indeed, attitude will affect the quality of decisions. Attitude is a motivational predisposition to respond to people, situations, or events in a given manner.


Risk management is that part of the ADM process which relies on situational awareness, problem recognition, and good judgment to reduce risks associated with each flight.

Management of external pressures is the single most important key to risk management. It is because it is the one risk factor category that can cause a pilot to ignore all the other risk factors. External pressures put time-related pressure on the pilot and figure into a majority of accidents.

Situational awareness is the accurate perception and understanding of all the factors and conditions within the five fundamental risk elements that affect safety before, during, and after the flight.


Judgment can be defined as the mental process of recognizing and analyzing all pertinent information in a particular situation, a rational evaluation of alternative actions in response to it, and a timely decision on which action to take.

Good judgment can be taught and increases with experience through accident-free flight hours.


What’s CRM?

The definition of crew resource management (CRM) is the application of team management concepts in the flight deck environment. This definition includes all groups routinely working with the flight crew who are involved in decisions required to operate a flight safely. These groups include, but are not limited to, pilots, dispatchers, cabin crewmembers, maintenance personnel, and air traffic controllers.

Crew resource management (CRM) training for flight crews is focused on the effective use of all available resources: human resources, hardware, and information supporting aeronautical decision-making (ADM). The goal of all flight crews is good ADM, and the use of CRM is one way to make good decisions.

CRM training is comprised of three components: initial indoctrination/awareness, recurrent practice and feedback, and continual reinforcement.


Error management is an important addition to CRM training, which acknowledges that not all errors can be prevented.

Error management includes error prevention, error detection, and recovery from the error.


Crew monitoring and cross-checking is an important role of the crewmembers.

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