The panel duscusses risk managment for the next hour

First topic: Detecting risks

Q: How to detect risky flying?

A1: I always check for the number of landing options. If the number sinks below 3, I get very nervous and alert.

A2: I dont always have 3 options when flying, but I think this is a good idee.

A1: I do not have 3 options, either. But I would get very alert and would start taking decisions.

Q: Do you remember a situation?

A1: Yes, I had all of a sudden only 1 option. That ended with damage.

Q: do you have a risk radar? A concept to conciously permantly evaluate the risk while flying?

A3: I speak now as a competition pilot. During a competition I am ready to take more risks than during a pleasure flight. In competition I would continue a flight and include the risk to outland.

Comment: We saw this in the morning session, competition increases risk taking.

A3: In flat land there are more options to outland. I only flew in one alp competition. There I would be more prudent.

A2: what is different in competition? 1) We fly in any weather condition. 2) We want to win. 3) this point could be changed. The competition rules support risk taking. I give an example: start heigth is not limited, which leads all pilots to fly into the clouds to get away with the best start. This risk could be easily mitigated. Another option is the low arrival at the airport. There, a minimal fly over heigth could be defined to mitigate this risk.

Q: What about risk in figure flying?

A4: Risk is not the aim, precision will be rewarded. But there is a pressure to complete the 10 given figures. The pressure is enormous.

Public: Rules should help pilot safety to limit the risk.

A4: Decision taking in the situation is limited. Preparation or rules can help here.

A4: Juges can help during competitions.


Public: Rules will not always be enough, risk taking under pressure even leads to disrespect rules.

Chair: Let’s move away from competitions. Q to the FIs: Peter, how can we deal with risk in pilot training.

Peter: Mental preparation is important. You cannot start to understand risks and potential solutions when danger is already acute. We have to find ways to understand human behavior. You mention that he got pale. This is an option but does not help very much.
Now to pilot training. The student pilot must prepare the first solo flight. She must think about the fact that the ACFT will be lighter. We have to simulate radio communication before the flight.

Chair: Mental preparation is important, but a student pilot needs the help of CFIs.

A3: three factors are important for safety: 1) human, 2) environment, 3) equipment. Manipulations should be automatic, you should always control the ACFT. 30 hours per year are not enough to fly safely.

Chair: Do you have concepts to fly safely?

A3: I prepare mentally, I keep myself fit, I eat regularly. I reserve enough time to prepare, I hate to be in a rush. I talk to other pilots.

Peter: EASA only requires 5 hours, this is not enough, but EASA also requires two check rides. There the CFIs are challenged, to be honest and tell pilots what they need to be safe, perhaps more training, or to be more cautious.

Public: An crucial point in training is to teach to student pilots to judge/evaluate themselves.

Peter: We CFIs take into account the preparation and start phase and conclude on the entire skills during a whole flight.

Public: A good idea is to work through a question set in winter, there is one that works well.

Chair: I have seen this set.


Public: Self awareness is the important zone between risk detectionnand risk management.

Public: An interesting situation happens in double command ACFT. How to communicate about risk perception.

A2: Two things are important safety issues: Collisions and stalls.
Collisions have been reduced since Flarm.
Stalls continues to be a danger. And we talk about this issue for years but do not really have any success since. We should have to install a stall warning. This should be technically possible. Flarm was a success.

Andy: There is an important difference between Flarm and a stall warner. Flarm warns you from others, stall warners warn you from your own piloting.
There is a friend who is not among us anymore because he died from a stall. He had a stall warner but had turned it off. I have been suggeting this for years but neither the association nor the OFAC picks it up. Technically some motorized gliders have this built in, but pilots reject the idea.




Afternoon Workshop: risk managent

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