Aeronautical Decision-Making is defined in Advisory Circular 60-22 as “A systematic approach to the mental process of evaluating a given set of circumstances and determining the best course of action.” This is a mouthful, but what does it really mean?
In short, it means making the right decision, at the right time, while taking into consideration the circumstances at that time. This is easier said than done. When making decisions, pilots must take into consideration the risks involved in order to make the best decision. The various situations factored together will either make the flight more or less safe. One tool that can be used by both pilots and flight instructors is AOPA ASI’s Flight Risk Evaluator interactive course. The detailed evaluation will give comprehensive results and will alert the pilot of areas that need further consideration. It’s very simple, if the area is “green” then conditions are normal. If the area is “yellow” then caution must be exercised before proceeding. If the area is “red” then serious concerns are present for the safety of that flight. I recommend that you give it a try and then ask the questions – What needs to be done to change these “red” areas to either “yellow” or “green” and what can I change to make these “yellow” areas “green”? Of note, there is talk of this tool becoming an app for mobile devices in the near future – great idea. Fly safe!