FAAST Seminar Targets Psychological Vulnerabilities Of CFIT Victims


You don’t need a Ph.D. in psychology to understand the difference between confirmation bias and continuation bias. But as a pilot, learning the nuances could save your life when it comes to combating controlled flight into terrain (CFIT). The FAA Safety Team (FAAST) is presenting a seminar on the topic (Select Number: EA07117541) on Nov. 22. And the subhead for the presentation appropriately reads, “It’s hard to change horses in the middle of the stream, but sometimes the stream gets too strong for the horse you’re on.”

In a nutshell, the basis for the seminar starts with: “Plan Continuation Bias is a form of Confirmation Bias that features pressing on with a plan even though information that indicates the plan should be modified or abandoned is readily available. It appears stronger as one nears completion of the activity (e.g. nearing a destination).” In other words, it gets harder to swap horses the closer you get to the far shore.

The further summary of the seminar’s format continues:

-Realistic pre-flight planning should objectively consider aircraft and pilot capabilities, route and weather challenges, and alternative destinations.

-Periodic objective pilot performance assessments should be made in consultation with a Flight Instructor. 

-Objective in-flight “how-goes-it?” assessments should be made in order to inform decision-making with respect to continuing, modifying, or abandoning the plan.

For more information on the FAAST seminar or to register, click here.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

Other AVwebflash Articles