Over the years we have conducted a lot of research on how various psychological factors influence your risk of being in an accident.
Being in an accident is usually the result of a large number of conditions coming together at the same time. None of them may cause an accident by themselves, but when put together they can lead to disaster. Our research has clearly shown that psychological factors can enter into the mix of conditions that contribute to an accident.
Being aware of your psychological tendencies that increase your accident risk will allow you to take steps to control and manage them.
Having a high risk score on these factors is a signal that you should look more carefully at how you fly. It also means that you should seek out some training to help control those risk factors -- either the training here on this site or from a competent instructor, or both.
Listed below are some exercises designed to help you learn a little about yourself -- your attitudes, your style of responding, your knowledge of aviation.
These factors are listed in order of importance, from most important to least important. Research has shown that Hazardous Events is a much better predictor of accident involvement than Hazardous Attitudes. So, if you are pressed for time, you might want to start at the top of this list.
- Hazardous Events. Accidents are like the tip of the iceberg. For every accident, there are many hazardous events that don't turn into an accident. If you are having a lot of these events, then you may be at greater risk of being in an accident.
- Pilot Judgment. How does your judgment stack up against the experts?
- Safety Locus of Control. Are you the master of your fate or the victim of luck? Your attitudes about those issues can influence how you fly.
- Aviation Risk Perception. Everything carries at least some degree of risk. But, how well can you separate the risky things from the not-so-risky things?
- Hazard Perception. Can you spot a hazard before it spots you? Knowing what hazards are present in a flight lets you prepare for them and control their impact.
- Hazardous Attitudes. Do you have an attitude problem? Your attitudes affect the way you approach situations and how you search for solutions to problems.