Discipline This presentation provides an overview of discipline in aviation. It is intended to enhance the reader's understanding, but it shall not supersede the applicable regulations or airline's operational documentation. Should there be any discrepancy between this presentation and an airline’s AFM / (M)MEL / FCOM / QRH / FCTM, the latter shall prevail at all times.
Introduction This visual guide defines discipline and illustrates its importance to safe flight operations. The objective is to reinforce the importance of discipline as the basis of airmanship. The material may be used for self study or as part of a formal training presentation. The speaker’s notes provide additional information. Speakers may add Speakers Notes to this presentation. To add Speaker Notes, click the right mouse button in Slideshow View, select Screen, select Speakers Notes. This presentation can be printed in the notes format to provide a personal reference document.
Contents • What is discipline? • Attitudes that can affect discipline • Violations • Summary Speakers may add Speakers Notes to this presentation. To add Speaker Notes, click the right mouse button in Slideshow View, select Screen, select Speakers Notes. This presentation can be printed in the notes format to provide a personal reference document.
What Is Discipline? • Behavior in accord with rules of conduct • Behavior and order maintained by training and control • An individual’s personal commitment to comply with rules and procedures • The willpower and ability to operate safely
What Produces Discipline? Aviation discipline comes from training that develops: • Self-control • Character • Positive safety attitudes
What Is Good Discipline? Good aviation discipline is planning and preparing for problems before they arise by thinking ahead and: • Not accepting that rules must be bent to maximize the effectiveness of the flying task • Suppressing the belief that ability and experience enable a pilot to do the job without following standard procedures • Avoiding the temptation to make a task more exciting or interesting by deviating from procedures or rules • Rejecting opportunities for shortcuts or for doing things that appear to be better but are not permitted by procedures or rules • Resisting the temptation to break rules to impress others The effects of poor discipline: Of 93 hull losses investigated, 33% involved a pilot deviation from basic operational procedures and 26% involved inadequate cross-check by the second crewmember.Lautman and Gallimore
Attitudes and Discipline An attitude: • Is a set of beliefs or state of mind that can influence a pilot’s behavior • Is often directed at a person, object or task • May be positive, negative or neutral (neither positive nor negative) Attitudes can have a direct effect on an individual’s level of discipline when operating an aircraft. An individual’s attitude can influence others and thereby have a direct effect on a team’s level of discipline.
Positive Attitudes Positive attitudes: • Optimism — disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions • Openness — willingness to disclose or reveal one's knowledge, thoughts, feelings; receptive to input from others • Honesty — truthfulness, sincerity or frankness Benefits of positive attitudes: • Foster self and team discipline • Foster trust among team members • Increase personal confidence • Increase team confidence A good rule is to trust but verify. Insist that other team members do the same for your actions and decisions.
Negative/Hazardous Attitudes Negative/hazardous attitudes that must be avoided: • Anti-authority • Impulsiveness • Invulnerability • Machismo • Resignation • Complacency Defense against these attitudes requires continual self- assessment. A pilot must be able to identify and correct his or her own negative/hazardous attitudes before considering the attitudes of team members.
Anti-Authority: Don’t tell me what to do! Some people have a problem with being told what to do • It often stems from a lack of knowledge or preparation • A person may feel that his or her authority is being challenged Defenses for the individual: • Understand that you do not know everything and that you cannot attend to everything by yourself • Understand that the other crewmembers are there to help • Do not take offense if someone questions your actions • Explain your thoughts if time permits Defenses for the entire crew: • Before each mission: • Agree on the rules and procedures to be followed • Clearly establish that anyone can voice a concern • Plan for, and prepare for, possible problems • Do not hesitate to question any team member who fails to adhere to a rule or procedure
Impulsiveness: I don’t need to think about that! An impulsive person acts without thinking or analyzing a situation • Impulsive people may believe they have enough information to make a decision when they do not • People who are normally not impulsive may act impulsively when hurried or pressured for a response Defenses for the individual: • Do not rush unnecessarily — take time to consider the situation • Maximize information through detailed preparation • Increase skills through practice Defenses for the entire crew: • Use SOPs whenever possible • For unusual situations, “create” more time to plan and gather information (e.g., initiate a go-around) Not So Fast, Think First!
Invulnerability: It could never happen to me! Invulnerability is the belief that nothing can go wrong or that you are immune from harm • Often due to overconfidence in one’s abilities or technology • Experts are as susceptible to feelings of invulnerability as novices • Over-reliance on automation or new systems can lead to feeling invulnerable • May stem from a failure to understand surrounding hazards • Anyone in a new situation, not just novices, may fail to understand the hazards associated with a particular task Defenses for the individual: • Increase knowledge and risk-assessment training • Identify opportunities for error, even in routine tasks Defenses for the entire crew: • Beware of careless and overconfident crewmembers • Openly discuss problems you observe or anticipate and have a plan for dealing with them
Machismo: I’m in charge! A machismo attitude involves being overly assertive and domineering, and feeling the need to prove oneself or to impress others • Although machismo is generally associated with men, both men and women can feel the need to prove themselves and, in turn, engage in risky behaviors • Machismo can lead to characterizing important information from others as unimportant and ignoring it Defenses for the individual: • Request and consider information from fellow crewmembers • Learn from others, instead of competing • Realize that safe flight is proof enough of your skills Defenses for the entire crew: • Create a team environment in which everyone’s concerns are heard and everyone is expected to contribute to decisions
Resignation: Nothing else can be done! Resignation is an attitude that nothing more can be done to improve a situation • Resignation is marked by a sense of helplessness, and • A belief that fate/chance will determine the outcome • Defenses for the individual: • Train for as many scenarios as possible • Seek input from other team members • Never give up • Defenses for the entire crew: • Ask the question, “Have you considered…?” • Look outside the aircraft to ATC or others for help
Complacency: We don’t need to worry about anything right now! Complacency is a feeling of satisfaction or contentment with what is happening without awareness of the real dangers of the situation • Complacency is often marked by failure to understand the hazards • Complacency can be associated with boredom and attitudes of machismo and invulnerability • Novice pilots are at risk because they do not understand risks • Expert pilots are at risk because of overconfidence Defenses for the individual: • Learn and understand the hazards associated with each phase of flight • Constantly assess the status of the aircraft Defenses for the entire crew: • Monitor each other’s attitudes, activities and activity levels • Do not hesitate to ask a crewmember to pay more attention
Errors and Discipline Errors result in the failure of planned actions to achieve their desired goal. The three main types of aviation errors involve: • Slips — errors of observable actions that are usually related to attentional failures (e.g., pressing the wrong button when trying to press the one next to it) • Lapses — internal errors of omission that usually involve memory (e.g., forgetting to use a call number when contacting ATC) • Mistakes — errors when a planned action is inadequate or inappropriate Errors can happen to anyone, but good discipline can help a crew recover before the error grows into a larger problem. Cross-checking is especially helpful in detecting errors.
Violations and Discipline Violations occur when an individual fails to follow rules or procedures. Violations can be: • Unintentional — unknowing violations of rules or procedures. These can include slips, lapses and mistakes that violate a rule and are often related to lack of knowledge or high workload • Intentional — deliberate failure to comply with a rule or procedure • The same violation (e.g., failure to use a checklist) could be intentional or unintentional depending on why it occurred. • Time pressure and high workload increase the likelihood of all types of violations, particularly intentional ones. • The perceived benefits of violating a procedure may appear to outweigh the risks, but a crew’s perception of risk may be flawed by external or internal pressures.
Discipline as a Defense Against Errors and Violations • Following rules and procedures eliminates intentional violations • Having the willpower to use checklists and cross-check even in common/familiar situations will help avoid errors and detect errors that do occur • Having the discipline to take training seriously and to take the time to retrain old skills will eliminate many errors • Exercising discipline in the control of negative/hazardous attitudes (self and crew) can reduce errors and violations dramatically • Exercising discipline in preparation and planning for each phase of the flight will eliminate the many errors and violations caused by “winging it”
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