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Single-Pilot Resource Management

by Darren Smith, CFII/MEI
General Aviation Human Factors, January, 2010
New Captain Series:   Becoming a Captain | Bag of Crap | The Model Captain | FOTA | Threat & Error Management Series | CRM Series | Professionalism  | Safety Triangle 

Checkide Series: About Checkrides | Are You Really Ready For the Checkride? |
Checkide Mindset | Single-Pilot Resource Management

The examiner shall evaluate the applicant’s ability throughout the practical test to use good aeronautical decision-making procedures in order to evaluate risks. The examiner shall accomplish this requirement by developing a scenario that incorporate as many TASKS as possible to evaluate the applicants risk management in making safe aeronautical decisions. For example, the examiner may develop a scenario that incorporates weather decisions and performance planning.
The applicant’s ability to utilize all the assets available in making a risk analysis to determine the safest course of action is essential for satisfactory performance. The scenario should be realistic and within the capabilities of the aircraft used for the practical test.
Single-Pilot Resource Management (SRM) is defined as the art and science of managing all the resources (both on-board the aircraft and from outside sources) available to a single-pilot (prior and during flight) to ensure that the successful outcome of the flight is never in doubt.
SRM available resources can include human resources, hardware, and
information. Human resources “...includes all other groups routinely working with the pilot who are involved in decisions that are required to operate a flight safely. These groups include, but are not limited to:  dispatchers, weather briefers, maintenance personnel, and air traffic controllers.” SRM is a set of skill competencies that must be evident in all TASKS in this practical test standard as applied to single-pilot operation.
The following six items are areas of SRM:
1. Aeronautical Decision Making
REFERENCES: FAA-H-8083-25, AC 60-22, FAA-H-8083-15A.
Objective. To determine the applicant exhibits sound aeronautical decision making during the planning and execution of the planned flight.  The applicant should:
1. Use a sound decision-making process, such as the DECIDE model, 3P model, or similar process when making critical decisions that will have an effect on the outcome of the flight.  The applicant should be able to explain the factors and alternative courses of action that were considered while making the decision.
2. Recognize and explain any hazardous attitudes that may have influenced any decision.
3. Decide and execute an appropriate course of action to properly handle any situation that arises that may cause a change in the original flight plan in such a way that leads to a safe and successful conclusion of the flight.
4. Explain how the elements of risk management, CFIT awareness, overall situational awareness, use of automation, and task management influenced the decisions made and the resulting course of action.
2. Risk Management
REFERENCES: FAA-H-8083-25, FITS document: Managing Risk through
Scenario Based Training, Single Pilot Resource Management, and Learner Centered Grading.
Objective. To determine the applicant can utilize risk management
tools and models to assess the potential risk associated with the
planned flight during preflight planning and while in flight. The applicant
1. Explain the four fundamental risk elements associated with the flight being conducted in the given scenario and how each one was assessed.
2. Use a tool, such as the PAVE checklist, to help assess the four risk elements.
3. Use a personal checklist, such as the I’MSAFE checklist, to determine personal risks.
4. Use weather reports and forecasts to determine weather risks associated with the flight.
5. Explain how to recognize risks and how mitigate those risks throughout the flight.
6. Use the 5P model to assess the risks associated with each of the five factors.
3. Task Management
Objective. To determine the applicant can prioritize the various tasks associated with the planning and execution of the flight. The applicant should:
1. Explain how to prioritize tasks in such a way to minimize distractions from flying the aircraft.
2. Complete all tasks in a timely manner considering the phase of flight without causing a distraction from flying.
3. Execute all checklists and procedures in a manner that does not increase workload at critical times, such as intercepting the final approach course.
4. Situational Awareness
REFERENCES: FAA-H-8083-25, FAA-H-8083-15A.
Objective. To determine the applicant can maintain situational awareness
during all phases of the flight. The applicant should:
1. Explain the concept of situational awareness and associated factors.
2. Explain the dangers associated with becoming fixated on a particular problem to the exclusion of other aspects of the flight.
3. State the current situation at anytime during the flight in such a way that displays an accurate assessment of the current and future status of the flight, including weather, terrain, traffic, ATC situation, fuel status, and aircraft status.
4. Uses the navigation displays, traffic displays, terrain displays,  weather displays and other features of the aircraft to maintain a complete and accurate awareness of the current situation and any reasonably anticipated changes that may occur.
5. Controlled Flight Into Terrain Awareness
REFERENCE: Controlled Flight Into Terrain Training Aid website:
Objective. To determine the applicant can accurately assess risks associated with terrain and obstacles, maintain accurate awareness of terrain and obstacles, and can use appropriate techniques and procedures to avoid controlled flight into terrain or obstacles by using all resources available. The applicant should:
1. Use current charts and procedures during the planning of the flight to ensure the intended flight path avoids terrain and obstacles.
2. Be aware of potential terrain and obstacle hazards along the intended route.
3. Explain the terrain display, TAWS, and/or GPWS as installed in the aircraft.
4. Use the terrain display, TAWS, and/or GPWS of the navigation displays as appropriate to maintain awareness and to avoid terrain and obstacles.
5. Plan departures and arrivals to avoid terrain and obstacles.
6. Alter flight as necessary to avoid terrain.
7. Plan any course diversion, for whatever reason, in such a way to insure proper terrain and obstruction clearance to the new destination.
8. Explain and understand aircraft performance limitations associated with CFIT accidents.
6. Automation Management
Objective. To determine the applicant can effectively use the automation
features of the aircraft, including autopilot and flight management systems, in such a way to manage workload and can remain aware of the current and anticipated modes and status of the automation. The applicant should:
1. Explain how to recognize the current mode of operation of the autopilot/FMS.
2. Explain how to recognize anticipated and unanticipated mode or status changes of the autopilot/FMS.
3. State at any time during the flight the current mode or status and what the next anticipated mode or status will be.
4. Use the autopilot/FMS to reduce workload as appropriate for the phase of flight, during emergency or abnormal operations.
5. Recognize unanticipated mode changes in a timely manner and promptly return the automation to the correct mode.

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