Build Situational Awareness:

Set specific objectives – Define flight targets and data gathering.

Set priorities – Follow standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Prepare for anomalies – Consider visual illusions, missing information, etc.

Make risk assessments – Ask “what if?”

Manage workload – Shift tasks away from busy times, delegate, anticipate.

Maintain Situational Awareness

Communicate – Keep all crew members and external participants informed.

Manage attention – Set priorities, avoid distractions, adjust monitoring to the urgency of the flight phase

Seek Information – Use your senses.

Know WHAT is important, WHEN to seek it and WHERE to find it 9Validate your data.

Cross-check – Use multiple sources of information when available.

Use rules of thumb when data are not available

Check Your Understanding.

Check for contradictory elements in the real world 9Apply experience and lessons learned.

Think Ahead

Brief others on what you expect.

Compare projected situation with objectives.

Set markers for confirmation and information.

Compare actual situation with expectations and objectives.

Readjust your plan if required.

Detect Loss of Situational Awareness

Ambiguity – Unclear flight plans or ATC instructions

Fixation – Focusing on one thing to the exclusion of all else

Confusion – Uncertainty about or misunderstanding a situation or information.

Preoccupation – Everyone focusing on non-flying activities; no one flying the aircraft.

Unresolved discrepancies – Contradictory data or personal conflicts.

Expected checkpoints not met – Flight plan, profile, time, fuel burn.

Poor communications – Vague or incomplete statements.

Broken rules – Limitations, minimums, regulatory requirements, failure to follow SOPs.

No time – Falling behind the aircraft

Recover Situational Awareness

Go to the nearest SAFE, SIMPLE and STABLE situation

Follow rules, procedures and SOPs 9Change automation level.

Buy time.


Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.

Recover the big picture.

Go back to the last thing you were sure of.

Assess the situation from different perspectives, with different sources.

Expand your focus to avoid fixation and tunnel vision.

Manage stress and distraction.

Take time to think / Use that time / Be willing to delay flight progress

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