What’s an Important Risk Management Tool for a Pilot?

What is risk management? it is the vital process of making constructive and effective decisions. It includes two frequently-used tools: PAVE and the 5Ps. I chose to write, in detail, about the 5Ps checklist because I simply prefer it and feel it pays attention to the smallest detail. This checklist is crucial for the flight and that is why a pilot goes through it thoroughly. But why is it so important? Because it helps the pilot make fundamental and careful conclusions.

Photo by Getty images

During each flight, the pilot is required to make decisions regarding four fundamental risk elements: the pilot, the aircraft, the environment, and the type of operation.

What is the 5Ps checklist:

Photo by Angelo Giampiccolo
  • Pilot – Evaluate your training, experience, and fitness.
  • Passengers – Consider your passengers’ experience, flexibility, and fitness.
  • Plane – Determine airworthiness, performance, and proper configuration.
  • Programming – Check avionics airworthiness, operation, and configuration.
  • Plane – the purpose of the flight – and how critical it is to maintain the schedule.

Using the 5Ps in Flight

At each decision point, the pilot considers each of the 5Ps and asks these questions:

Phases of a flight

What is the situation?

What has changed since my Go decision?

Is the risk associated with a change acceptable?

What can I do to mitigate risk?

Photo By Beverly Paulan, DNR Aircraft Pilot

This will help pilots carefully check their aircraft and make sure everything is working perfectly in order to minimize any type of risk during flight as well. Having said that, keep in mind that this is only one of the many checklists pilots have to go through before every single flight. Hence, for all the anxious passengers out there, relax and enjoy your flight, the pilot has gone through extreme measures in order for the flight to go smoothly and safely.


Source: Guided Flight Discovery: Private Pilot book

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