Elements of Airmanship

Elements of Airmanship

Airmanship is the consistent use of good judgment and well-developed skills to accomplish flight objectives.

This consistency is founded on a cornerstone of uncompromising flight discipline and is developed through systematic skill acquisition and proficiency.

A high state of situational awareness completes the airmanship picture and is obtained through knowledge of one’s self, aircraft, environment, team and risk.


Adhere to SOPs and rules.

Control your attitude.

Don’t take chances in order to impress others or make flying more exciting. Focus on immediate safety issues and prioritize tasks.

Think ahead and plan for problems that could occur.

Skill and Proficiency.

Practice perceptual-motor and cognitive skills.

Practice under high stress, time pressure and high workload.

Take recurrent training seriously.

Practice recognizing when you have lost Situational Awareness.

Study decision making; look at good and bad decisions, others have made. Practice communicating with a variety of people.

Know how to assess yourself and the team.

Practice abnormal situations.


Know your aircraft, environment, risks, mission, self and team:

Understand all systems of the aircraft.

Know the limits of the aircraft.

Be aware of risks associated with manoeuvres.

Review emergency procedures for the aircraft.

Review the flight plan.

Review flight conditions.

Know your own limitations.

Know the capabilities of other crewmembers.

Ask for help if you do not know something.

Situational awareness.

Gather, interpret and plan:

Gather as much information related to the flight as possible.

Understand which information is important and which is not.

Plan ahead and create a mental model of what should occur.

Constantly search for new relevant information.

Update your mental model based on new information.

Manage stressors that may affect situational awareness.


Evaluate and decide:

Know how much time you have to make a decision.

Eliminate as much uncertainty as possible.

Use discipline, skill and proficiency, knowledge and situational awareness to evaluate the consequences of your decision.

Ask others for input if time permits.

Fully commit to your decision.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments