Hazardous Attitudes


The five pilot's hazardous attitudes was identified by the FAA to recongnise wrongful mindsets that can influence decision making and impact flight safety. The five attitudes are Anti-authority, Impulsiveness, Invulnerability, Macho and Resignation.

Theoretical frame

Hazardous attitudes can create unnecessary risk and danger that can otherwise be avoided. Attitude is defined as personal motivational predisposition to respond to persons, situations or events in a given manner (Federal Aviation Administration, 2007 [1]). Most syllabus today around the world include the study of hazardous attitudes for trainee pilots to not only recongise the symptoms but also how to positively correct it. It is important to note that good decision making involves well before the flight takes place and the aircraft being airborne.

The five pilot's hazardous attitudes are:

Anti-authority ("Don't tell me"): Attitude that is resentful of rules, regulations, procedures or instructions. One who posses such attitude is reluctant to follow instructions, orders or told what to do. It is important for pilots who have traits of anti-authority to realise all rules and regulations, procedures and checklists are implemented for the reasons of flight safety and not annoyance.

Impulsiveness ("Do it quickly"): People with an attitude that something has to be done immediately, the action is often done without thinking and consequently it means that it may not of been the best option as alternatives were not considered. Although prompt action is recommended, pilots must analyse the situation and think before acting.

Invulnerability ("It won't happen to me"): Mindset that accidents and incidents occur to others but not oneself. One will acknowledge that accidents do occur but still willingly take further chance and risk. Invulnerability tend to increase as experiences increases, providing nothing serious has taken place. Successful outcomes following a dangerous or risky encounter will likely to increase the pilots invulnerability attitude. It is important for pilots to remind themselves that accidents and incidents do occur every year, and it happens to both experience and experience pilots.

Macho ("I can do it."): Competitive attitude that is willing to take extra and unnecessary risk to impress or prove oneself or others. Pilots with macho attitude will always seek opportunities to show and justify their over confidence which can lead to recklessness. Despite the name, such trait is susceptible to both men and women. Macho pilots need to take note that displaying and executing vigilant discipline and humble confidence, not arrogance, is the way to impress others. All impressive pilot show signs of good airmanship.

Resignation ("What's the use?"): Resignation is an attitude that believes result or outcome is never dependent on his or her action. When outcomes are positive or correct one will believe it is because of luck or chance, when outcomes are not favorable one will blame oneself or attribute it to bad luck. Due to this one will leave the control to others for better or worse. Pilots with resignation attitude must develop the correct mindset where one does make a difference and understand the concept of synergy, where the output of a group is greater than the sum of the individual inputs.

Supporting evidence

Refuting evidence

Way forward (to do list)

1. Federal Aviation Administration (2007). Pilot's Encyclopedia of Aeronautical Knowledge. Skyhorse Publishing Inc (New York, USA), 2007.
2. KERN Tony (1998). Flight Discipline. McGraw-Hill (New York, USA), 1998.
3. TURNER Thomas (1998). Cockpit Resource Management - The Private Pilot's Guide (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill (New York, USA), 1998.
4. KRAUSE Shari(1996). Aircraft Safety: Accident Investigations, Analyses, & Applications. McGraw-Hill (New York, USA), 1996.

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