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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A World of Threats

Communication, workload management, standard phraseology, planning, decision making, and CRM (Crew Resource Management), are a few of the “buzz” words tossed about the aviation industry that impact the management of a safe flight. Advancing beyond CRM the airline industry is training for Threat and Error Management. But T.E.M. is something that should be addressed for the private sector as well.

The core of Threat and Error Management is that we live in a world of threats. In the aviation world these threats include anything that could increase operational complexity such as lack of familiarity with an airport, weather, new equipment, fatigue, or any potential distraction. What has the potential to distract your operation today? Think about all the possibilities. A good habit for pilots to make is become aware of all potential threats prior to stepping into the plane.


We are human. And humans make mistakes. Our goal, as pilots, is to be proactive and identify the potential threats before they turn into errors. Remember an error is something that has already happened—something that needs to be managed. A threat is something that creates the potential to error. By properly managing the threats, we will mitigate the chance of errors.


Distraction is everywhere. Due to the current economy, furloughs, bankruptcies, mergers, worries about training or the threat of terrorism, we live in an ocean of stress. How do we manage that environment in which we live and work?


Focus. Make sure you get out of the ocean before the title wave hits by managing your flight before stepping into your aircraft. Never point your airplane someplace your brain hasn’t been five minutes before.


Preparation is the key to Success.


Awareness is the key to Preparation.


There has never been “one” error that has caused a crash, but multiple errors that led the flight crews down the wrong path. Get off that path. Look into the future. Learn from past mistakes. Become aware. This is a great way to live for all my earthbound friends too. Pay attention to what the potential threats could be, and work toward mitigating the possibilities before they turn into errors.


How do you manage the stress of life and maintain the ability to focus on your task at hand?


Enjoy the Journey!


~ Karlene

10 comments:

  1. This sounds like excellent cognitive advice for anyone, Karlene. When in a potentially stressful situation, imagine the worst that could happen, then decide what you will do to a) prevent that from happening and b) cope, or manage the situation, if it does happen. The outline of the script is pre-written in your head, and your reactions are therefore likely to be good ones, You can relax and enjoy the ride.

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  2. Awareness and preparation, beautifully said. My own industry can be similar in some ways, stressful and placating at the same time with it's routines. We keep our minds sharp by interacting with others and running through 'what ifs' as we call it. At my job we leave life at the gate, or vica versa when we're going home. It's not a great solution, but it works for us. Sort of.

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  3. Thank you very much for telling important knowledge for the world,Karlene san.I am sure as you said,I need to improve these:)
    Preparation is the key to Success.
    Awareness is the key to Preparation.
    I am really agree with your quotes and like:)
    Have a great day.
    Jun

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  4. I know this is not the appropriate place to ask this but I would love to get your thoughts on this Karlene given that you are also an A330 pilot that crosses the pond often.

    http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/5210611/#menu27

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  5. Hey Blessa, can you email me your question? There was so much to read on that link, and I need to be careful how I respond openly. Looking forward to talking to you.

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  6. I like the analogy a engineer friend of mine uses, accidents are like holes in layer of swiss cheese, occasionally they all line up and then something bad happens. I technique I use before a GA flight to familiarise with the terrain etc is to fly the route in Google Earth and also the GPS sim first.
    Cheers

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  7. Thanks for the great comment Capt Daags! Yes... the Swiss Cheese analogy is perfect. And I love the idea of flying the trip with Google Earth and the sim. What a great idea!!!

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  8. Jun, Thank you so much for the great comment! Did I tell you how much I appreciate you? You are going to be such an example for your peers to follow. Keep up the great attitude!

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  9. Thank you very much for wonderful comment,Karlene san.I have learned a lot from your blog,and let me think about future more in detail.These are the reason I love to read.I have no idea when I will be able to get English certificate to study in US though,this blog motivates hugely me:)
    Have a great day!
    Jun

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  10. Thank you Jun! This means a lot to me. I'm looking forward to the day you will be in the US studying! And the day I can fly your way, too. Keep reading.

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