Murphy’s Real Law; Luck!

Murphy’s (real) law seems to be that we often succeed despite poor procedures and sloppy execution (luck). It is only the painful failure that stimulates reflection and results in learning; ouch! In most cases, “lucky success” actually reinforces and “normalizes” questionable procedures and activities so they persist (no real learning). Popular online stupidity provides an … Continue reading “Murphy’s Real Law; Luck!”

“Soft Skills” for Safety; Honesty/Flexibility!

We often talk about safety only in terms of pilot operator skills and capability; very objectifiable attributes. But regardless of how proficient and talented a pilot might be, we all have limitations. Challenges that exceed the skill/knowledge capability of a pilot lead to accidents or death. This “safety equation” of skill vs challenge is unforgiving. … Continue reading ““Soft Skills” for Safety; Honesty/Flexibility!”

Learning Well is an Acquired Skill!

Most people think “learning from experience” is easy, or natural, but neither is true in a high-consequence environment. It takes serious effort and a disciplined awareness to learn well when safety is a critical concern. Some “successes” may be accepted as valuable – but only after careful analysis. Many other “successes” should be rejected as … Continue reading “Learning Well is an Acquired Skill!”

“But, My CFI Told Me…”

CFI guidance can sometimes be wrong. Either communication failed, or the CFI taught it wrong – but either way, it’s a mistake. As a result, amazing errors and weird techniques often get demonstrated in flight tests or during flight reviews. The “probable cause” in NTSB accident reports often reveals ingrained bad habits that were embedded … Continue reading ““But, My CFI Told Me…””

Reflective Learning; Immediate Pilot Improvement!

The US NAVY wisely called a halt to all flying Monday for a Safety Stand-Down after a series of fatal accidents. This “time out” allowed the necessary pause “to review risk-management practices and conduct training on threat and error-management processes.” This should sound familiar to every pilot at every level since self-aware risk management is … Continue reading “Reflective Learning; Immediate Pilot Improvement!”

Airlines -vs- GA: Safety Solutions!

Comparing the safety record of “big iron operations” with general aviation is a very common but also inherently unfair contest. The airline “safety sales pitch” goes something like: “airlines have a near-zero accident rate due to some superior skill, secret sauce or magic techniques (buy it here…)” But in fact, the General Aviation piloting job, … Continue reading “Airlines -vs- GA: Safety Solutions!”

Inspiring Excellence and Motivating Mastery!

Hopefully, every aviation educator has had a student who excelled, passionately taking every lesson further, expanding every thought or skill to a level of excellence. These learners seem like genetic anomalies, where we plant the seeds and watch an almost magical transformation. Other learners need to be dragged along, and never seem to fully flourish. … Continue reading “Inspiring Excellence and Motivating Mastery!”

Reflect and Redirect; “Double Loop” Learning!

Pilots are a “different breed of cat” as you well know. As a personality type we are confident, higher than average in intelligence, tend toward dominance and are almost never wrong about anything! (ask my wife…) “Never wrong” is “sort of” a joke but you know our tribe; pretty self-assured and assertive, with perfectionist tendencies. … Continue reading “Reflect and Redirect; “Double Loop” Learning!”

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