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Good Situational Awareness

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Good Situational Awareness

Old 1st Apr 2011, 11:35
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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Or better still take yourself off to a decent sim buy yourself some sim time and get loaded with weather, alternatives going down, electrical, nav, autopilot and system failures the lot Do all this SP and see how good your SA and coping really is

Pace
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 12:07
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Situational awareness is far more than buying a GPS or blindly following a magenta line. Situational awareness is far more than knowing where you are. Situational awareness is a term which encompasses every aspect of the flight, and by far the most critical tool to maintaining situational awareness is not a gadget or toy, but your brain. It's you.

Situational awareness absolutely can be taught, and it must. Any instructor who doesn't devote his or her full energy to instilling and developing situational awareness in a student is both an idiot, and a failure. Every aspect of instructing, every single bit of it, is about situational awareness.
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 12:58
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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I totally agree with your points Fuji, glad I was situationally aware enough to realise contributing to this thread with my perspective would help me learn something. I continue to fly with pilot X because they fly outside of the 'PPL box' and I know somehow it must be good for me. We really are good friends and get on well, even if one of us prefers to fly a heading and the other doesn't.

Regarding WWII fighter aces (there is a point to this), mentioned earlier, the very few really top scoring aces generally achieved it by planning. They never engaged unless they had an advantage. Most of the really high scoring aces 100+ kills, were German, learning their 'trade' early in the war. Attacks were from altitude, always from the sun and hit and run rather than dogfights.

Sure there are plenty of accounts too of simply natural airmen, who beat overwhelming odds using exceptional SA within dog fights, but here we are talking 6 to 12 total kills as opposed to hundreds.


I see an analogy to the debate on SA above. On one hand we have the concept of 'informed, calculated, planned SA'' on the other we have the 'thinking outside of the box or pure instinct type of SA', which is absolutely essential when the first method fails, it's also harder to get experience of as it means moving out of ones own comfort zone. More food for thought.

I was also thinking of the 'traps' involved with SA. Such as the pilot who doesn't question where they are because they 'know', but are in fact mistaken. Common causal factor in CFIT accidents. Clearly poor SA was at fault, but the scary side is it may not even be apparent at the time.

As an addition I think it's worth considering that informed, calculated, planned SA done right, should reduce the incidence or the need of the second type. I feel another one of those flying sayings coming on.
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 13:01
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Situational Awareness

I think a lot of over-analysis is happening here.

Firstly, is there really such a thing as good situational awareness? It would imply that there can be bad situational awareness as well, which is a bit of an oxymoron.

The clue is in the name. Situational awareness is an awareness of a situation.

There are many tools that you can use to help you gain and retain situational awareness. Not all of those tools are applicable all of the time, some are even subconscious. Selective use of these tools, as appropriate (and with a personal preference) is the key to maintaining situational awareness.

Every aspect of instructing, every single bit of it, is about situational awareness.
Doesn't leave much room for actually teaching someone how to, for instance, control an aeroplane.
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 13:50
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure it's over analysis, bad situational awareness is real, I know all too well, talking it out helps me understand it.

I've now got a picture of how to improve my own SA.

Keep the planning as I was taught, use the tools available at appropriate times as you have said.

Widen my comfort zone by stepping outside of the planned flight in a safe way, so on the day I actually have to, it's not theory but experience, thus my own level of SA improves for subsequent flights. (Thanks Fuji)

In all it's linked to capacity, if one is overloaded, SA can fall apart, I guess I'm looking now at how I can increase capacity and make abnormal situations (in the context of PPL training) routine and avoid overload and maintain good SA at all times.
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 13:56
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Lack of situational awareness is the deer in the headlights.

Situational awareness is the deer stepping to the side of the road.

Lack of situational awareness is not seeing the deer in time to stop.

Situational awareness is seeing the deer after it moved to the side of the road, pulling the truck over, and loading one's rifle for a clear, unencumbered shot.

True situational awareness is knowing one's backstop, and the location of the nearest game warden.
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 13:58
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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CG, I know it's semantics really but if you aren't aware of a situation then you have no SA not 'bad' SA.

The amount of SA you have will vary, obviously, but I wouldn't say that having 'some' SA compared to having 'full' SA is necessarily bad as it's still better than having none.
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 14:40
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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LSM I would concede that 'poor' SA would be better use of language than 'bad' SA.

If my SA is reduced to only knowing I'm in a metal box in the air I guess it is poor SA, certainly never been anything bad about it, I like it, lots
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 14:51
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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I'll go with that
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 22:31
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Tunnel vision is the most significant issue.

I gave the example earlier of where a pilot looks when they depart from a GA field. Some pilots have not been told how important it is to maintain an all round look out taking off; they are excused. However, those that have often still fail to do so. Why? Well if they haven't flown for a while they become focused - their vision tunnels on the same aspects of the departure. We all become obsessed with the air speed, the AI and whats happening in front. Now stop for a moment, force yourself every time you take off to look above left and right, and then look again at which ever direction that s** who has just joined crosswind is coming from. Form a good habit. don't just think in terms of the clean up checklist but make a mental note before you start the take off roll that you will look in every direction for traffic. I would go further and suggest it is worth rehearsing the other aspects of the departure. Think about the spot on the runway you will reject the take off if the need arises. Have you ever rejected a take off - it is worth telling AT that you are going to practice a rejected takeoff. Think about what you will do if you have an engine failure after take off. We have discussed that subject many times but how many pilots know at what height they will return to the airfield, how many pilots have thought about which way they will turn? Even before you line up how often do we line up because we are told to do so without a care for the next aircraft to land - it happens, I have been told to line up twice in my flying hours when infact the controller had "overlooked" the aircraft already on late final.

So these are examples of some of things we all "forget" to think about when taking off but which we should "force" ourselves to do every time and which if we care to self critique after the take off will give a good indication of whether we have allowed our vision to tunnel or we are up to our game.
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Old 1st Apr 2011, 22:47
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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The bottom line in safety is that of all the pilots who killed themselves, very few would have done "the mistake" in their armchair. For example any half-serious IFR pilot can read a plate - in his armchair - and fly it just fine, on FSX with frequent use of the Pause button

It is cockpit workload which does it, just about every time.

The establishment figures who believe that flying should be hard (plenty of them around - just see right here) believe that a pilot should be able to perform perfectly under a massive cockpit workload.

The airlines realised decades ago that is a fallacy, and much of the great safety of modern airline ops comes from a very low and carefully managed cockpit workload, made possible by 2 pilot and a lot of automation.

I was reading a book about SR71 pilot training, where they would fail a system after system, forcing the pilot do drop one task after another, and whether you got selected depended very much on the exact order in which you dropped the various tasks until you were just hanging in there doing just 1 or 2 basic things.

Flying, in most phases of flight, becomes very easy and very safe (hardware permitting) if the cockpit workload is suitably reduced.
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 10:13
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Flying, in most phases of flight, becomes very easy and very safe (hardware permitting) if the cockpit workload is suitably reduced.
10540

Totally agree when everything is going right flying is very easy and safe but that is not what kills pilots!
It is when things go wrong, when the pilot is tested that some start to loose the plot.

I was flying from Nice to Gatwick at night climbing up through storm clouds through 24000 feet when all three screens went black so having an all singing dancing aeroplane is little to do with the situational awareness that I am talking about.

I have flown as a second pilot with some very good pilots. They all had one thing in common and that is an ability to pick up their game and to stay ahead of the aircraft to fit any situation which hits them.

It the pilot who can hand fly in clouds, operate the aircraft, nav and radios but who can still hold a conversation on the latest football match and still lock onto an abnormal indication.

Yes a lot is to do with experience and teaching but NOT ALL and neither is it to do with organisation.
The killer is overload or brain freeze and some have a natural much higher load limit before that is achieved.
My guess is its the ability to take in a lot of visual information which some have and some dont. Its a makeup thing.

Pace
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 10:26
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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i don't think we should be too concerned about killing yourself - after all that is not too common!

Every day SA is much more about avoiding infringements (which happen all the time), irritating other pilots because of unintentional poor airmanship, and scaring yourself a bit because you get into situations you wished you had not.

In reality these are some the everyday consequences of a loss of SA.
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 19:01
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Totally agree when everything is going right flying is very easy and safe but that is not what kills pilots!
It is when things go wrong, when the pilot is tested that some start to loose the plot.
I think you will find that most CFITs took place with the pilot(s) being actually very comfortable indeed and suspecting absolutely nothing.
I was flying from Nice to Gatwick at night climbing up through storm clouds through 24000 feet when all three screens went black so having an all singing dancing aeroplane is little to do with the situational awareness that I am talking about.
So, you fly the heading, maintain the pitch/roll attitude, and tell ATC you are in the sh*t. ATC will part the waters for you. You DO NOT pretend to be a hairy chest hero and fly the rest of the filed route complete with a single pilot IFR 12-stepdown SDF approach into Kathmandu at night, IMC and icing conditions

Any monkey can fly straight-ish in IMC, with a little bit of radio chatter.
The killer is overload or brain freeze and some have a natural much higher load limit before that is achieved.
I don't think so. I think that mostly just causes c0ckups, and it definitely causes IR checkride failures

after all that is not too common!
Per individual, it happens only once
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 19:58
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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being actually very comfortable indeed and suspecting absolutely nothing.
So they had good SA? hmm I think not as they would not have been blind to where they were!

Most fatal accidents are not caused by one mistake but by an accumulation of further mistakes and a total lack of situational awareness which eventually leads to a crash when the pilot looses the plot.

Pace
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Old 2nd Apr 2011, 21:45
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Any monkey can fly straight-ish in IMC, with a little bit of radio chatter.
It's that exact misplaced belief which leads a number of victims to their deaths, every year. Controlled flight into terrain, inadvertant entry into instrument conditions, continues to be one of the leading killers in private flying, right after fuel mismanagement/exhaustion.

A big segment of situational awareness is recognizing these myths and internalizing the concept that they are not true. Anything else is just fooling yourself.
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Old 3rd Apr 2011, 10:57
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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Was that an interesting thread brought to an end with a smilie?
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