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TEM Series: Threats to Safety | Unsafe Acts | Intro to TEM | Error Management | Integrating TEM | Countermeasures
To err is human -- there's a limit to our performance capabilities as a human. As such, error is inevitable. Pilots must deploy countermeasures to help resist and avoid threats and to resist or manage errors as part of normal flying duties. For years, Human Factors research has given us ways to increase safety margins. Things like checklists, briefings, procedures, and standards have gone a long way to improving safety in aviation. Outcomes research has given us rules of thumb to keep us safe such as minimizing heads down activities while taxiing and briefing the approach prior to top of descent. Add to that your own personal strategies, tactics, personal minimums (see Appendix A) and you have a well rounded personal safety program. In fact, research indicates that pilots may well be managing and resisting threats 75% of the time.
As Human Factors research has progressed, we’ve learned that new “TEM countermeasures” are required to bolster the margin of safety, especially in today’s complex operating environment. We're trying to get that remaining 25%. TEM Countermeasures can be grouped into 4 primary categories:
When pilots first hear of the TEM Countermeasures, the reaction is one of recognition. These are common-sense techniques and strategies that feel right. Simple awareness is implicit and therefore not sufficient to improve safety margins and resist threats. An explicit approach is required, therefore an active TEM mindset makes the difference between a pilot who actively resists errors and those who don’t.