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7 Most Hazardous Attitudes in Aviation: How To Avoid Them?

By: Propel RC
Updated On: May 12, 2022

Hazardous attitudes in aviation are common among pilots and other aviation industry members. These attitudes can be detrimental to safety, as they often contribute to increased risk-taking behavior and reduced situational awareness.

This article will discuss what these hazardous attitudes are, how to spot them in yourself or others, and some tips on how to mitigate their effects.

One of the most common hazardous attitudes in aviation is complacency. This can manifest itself in several different ways, such as failing to adequately maintain and monitor aircraft systems or avoiding checking weather conditions before the flight.

Most Hazardous Attitudes in Aviation

Another common hazard is overconfidence, which can lead pilots to overlook potential hazards or believe that they are not at risk of encountering an emergency.

Read: How Do Planes Fly In Bad Weather Conditions? Is It Safe or Not?

Reasons To Identify Hazardous Attitudes In Aviation

There are a few reasons why it’s important to identify hazardous attitudes in aviation. First, these attitudes can lead to increased risk-taking behavior, which can ultimately result in an accident or incident.

Hazardous Attitudes In Aviation

Additionally, hazardous attitudes often contribute to reduced situational awareness, as pilots may become fixated on one task or hazard while ignoring others. Finally, these attitudes can hurt crew resource management, as they can lead to communication breakdowns and conflict within the cockpit.

7 Most Hazardous Attitudes In Aviation

The five most dangerous attitudes in aviation are discussed below:

1. Anti-Authority

This hazardous attitude manifests itself as a rebellion against rules and regulations. Pilots who display this attitude may be more likely to take risks, ignore safety procedures, or fail to follow instructions from air traffic control.

Additionally, they may be less likely to listen to advice from more experienced pilots or seek help when needed. This attitude can often lead to disaster.

2. Machoism

This attitude is often ego-driven and manifests itself as a need to prove oneself. Pilots who display this attitude may take unnecessary risks, fail to follow safety procedures, or become aggressive when communicating with other pilots or air traffic controllers. This attitude can lead to dangerous and even fatal accidents.

Machoism is a major problem in the pilot community and is one of the leading causes of accidents. If you know or suspect that a pilot you are flying with is exhibiting macho behavior, be sure to speak up and let them know it is unacceptable. Remember, safety always comes first.

3. Invulnerability

This attitude can lead pilots to underestimate their own risk of encountering an emergency and overestimate their abilities.

Pilots who display this attitude may take unnecessary risks, disregard safety protocols, or become distracted by things that are not relevant to the flight.

Sometimes, this attitude can lead to a pilot becoming overconfident and neglecting to properly prepare for or react to a situation.

4. Resignation

This attitude is characterized by a sense of fatalism or “giving up.” Pilots who display this attitude may be more likely to take risks, ignore safety procedures, or fail to seek help when needed. This attitude can lead to a downward spiral in which the pilot loses confidence and becomes increasingly less effective.

Hazardous Attitudes In Aviation

One way to prevent this attitude from developing is to maintain a positive outlook and focus on your goals. It’s also important to be realistic about your abilities and seek help when needed. Finally, remember that flying is a privilege, not a right, and safety is always the top priority.

If you find yourself displaying signs of resignation, take a step back and assess your situation. Is there something you can do to improve your outlook or address the underlying issues? If not, it may be time to consider another line of work. Fatalism, or "giving up," is not an attitude that will lead to success as a pilot.

5. Impulsivity

This attitude can be characterized by a lack of planning and risk-averse decision-making. Pilots who display this attitude may take unnecessary risks, refuse to seek help from other pilots or air traffic controllers, or attempt to manage situations that are out of their control. This impulsivity can lead to disastrous consequences.

6. Overconfidence

This attitude is often ego-driven and manifests itself as a pilot feeling that they are better than they actually are. Pilots who display this attitude may take unnecessary risks, ignore safety procedures, or become aggressive when communicating with other pilots or air traffic controllers. This attitude can lead to dangerous and even fatal accidents.

Overconfidence is a major problem in the pilot community and is one of the leading causes of accidents. If you know or suspect that a pilot you are flying with is exhibiting overconfident behavior, be sure to speak up and let them know it is unacceptable. Remember, safety always comes first.

7. Recklessness

Pilots are entrusted with the lives of their passengers and must exercise a high degree of care and caution while operating an aircraft. Unfortunately, there have been instances where pilots have acted recklessly, endangering the lives of those on board.

In February 2018, a pilot flying a Twin Otter plane from St. Maarten to Saba crashed into the hillside of the island, killing all 19 people on board. The crash was caused by the pilot’s reckless decision to fly in bad weather conditions.

In December 2016, a Lion Air flight from Jakarta to Bali crashed into the sea, killing all 189 people on board. The crash was caused by the pilot’s reckless decision to take off in bad weather conditions.

Pilots must always exercise caution and follow all safety procedures to avoid tragic accidents like these.

Read: 5 Causes of Plane Crashes & Preventive Measures

Using The IM SAFE Checklist For Self-Evaluation

If you are a pilot and you suspect that you or others within your flight crew may display some of these hazardous attitudes, an easy tool called the IM SAFE checklist can help you identify potential warning signs. The acronym “IM SAFE” stands for:

Hazardous Attitudes In Aviation
  • I: Impairments in judgment
  • M: Memory lapses
  • S: Stress
  • A: Attitude
  • F: Fatigue and sleepiness
  • E: Emotion

By using this checklist, you can become more aware of any attitudes that could affect your flight safety and take steps to mitigate the effects of these attitudes. For example, if you notice that a fellow pilot is displaying a lot of stress or lack of situational awareness, you can offer to help with the flight or take over the controls.

Read: How Many Hours Does It Take to Become a Pilot?

Few Reasons That May Lead To The Development of These Attitudes

There are many factors that can contribute to the development of hazardous attitudes. Some of these include:

Illness or Medication

It’s also important to be aware of any illness or medications that could affect your ability to fly safely. For example, if you take a medication that makes you drowsy, it’s important to let your co-pilot know and take a break if needed.

Additionally, suppose you are feeling ill and suspect that it might be affecting your ability to fly safely. In that case, you should consider rescheduling or postponing your flight until you are feeling better.

By taking these proactive steps and actively monitoring for any signs of hazardous attitudes, pilots can help ensure safe, effective flights every time.

Stress

While some stress is inevitable, there are many things that pilots can do to manage their stress levels and stay safe during flight. For example, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep before a flight, eat healthy meals, and exercise regularly.

Additionally, pilots should take breaks when needed and avoid flying if they are feeling exhausted or ill. If you are feeling stressed, it’s also important to take some time to relax and de-stress before getting behind the controls.

Some helpful relaxation techniques for pilots include:

  • Deep breathing
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Meditation
  • Visualization

By taking steps to manage their stress levels, pilots can help ensure safe and successful flights.

Read: What Is The Minimum Age To Get A Pilot License?

Alcohol

Alcohol and drug use can also significantly impact flight safety, as both can affect judgment, awareness, and reaction time. Pilots who suspect that they or their co-pilots may be under the influence should avoid flying until they are sober and well-rested.

Additionally, pilots should have clear guidelines in place for reporting substance use or impairment, and they should always seek help if they suspect that they may be impaired by drugs or alcohol.

Fatigue

Pilots who are feeling fatigued or sleepy should avoid flying until they have had adequate time to rest and recharge. If you do need to fly while feeling tired, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs of fatigue, such as slow reaction times, difficulty concentrating, and/or frequent yawning.

To help stay alert and avoid fatigue, pilots should take steps such as getting a good night’s sleep before their flight, drinking plenty of water, eating healthy meals, avoiding caffeine late in the day, and taking short breaks during long flights.

Emotion

It’s also important for pilots to be aware of their emotional state, as extreme emotions can impact judgment and decision-making. For example, angry or upset pilots may be more likely to take risks or make mistakes.

If you find yourself feeling emotional before or during a flight, it’s important to take a step back and try to regain your composure.

This might involve spending some time alone, engaging in a calming activity such as breathing exercises or guided meditation, or stepping away from the flight controls until you feel more level-headed.

By practicing self-awareness and managing your emotions before and during a flight, you can help ensure safe and effective flights every time.

Conclusion

As a pilot, it is important to stay aware of your situational awareness and any potential hazards or risk factors that could impact flight safety. Some common hazardous attitudes that can affect pilots include stress, fatigue, illness, alcohol use, and emotional states.

It is important to be proactive in monitoring for any signs of these hazardous attitudes and to take steps such as getting plenty of rest, eating well, managing stress levels, avoiding alcohol use or impairment, and practicing self-awareness to help maintain safe and effective flights.

By doing so, you can help ensure safe and successful flights every time. If you are a pilot, it is important to be aware of these hazardous attitudes and monitor your behavior for signs of any of them.

It is crucial to establish safe flight procedures, pay attention to cues that indicate increased risk-taking behavior, and remain humble and willing to ask for help when needed to mitigate the effects of these attitudes.

By focusing on safety and remaining aware of your behavior, you can ensure a safer flight experience for yourself and your passengers. Thanks for reading!

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