Sunday, May 6, 2018

"We do these things, That Others May Live"

This is an excellent ADM training resource provided by Airbus. If you have never seen it, it's worth the time. If you have seen it, it's good to watch again with your flight team and discuss the events that occurred.

What strikes me is that the crew allowed the pilot to proceed so far into a bad situation without "stopping the train." I wonder how many funerals we could have avoided if a team member, typically a nurse or paramedic or RT, had said, "hey, this is a bad idea, we are going by ground" or "we aren't going." This flight team in this video was very very close to being dead. As Omniflight's director of operations said, "we dodged a bullet last night."

We can get so involved in a scenario that we accommodate to risk as a group. We can also fall prey to the social normalization of deviance. I have been in a risky situation myself - flying into a hospital sitting underneath a thunderstorm with a critical patient on board - and when I asked my crew what they wanted to do they said: "take the chance."

In retrospect, I was dumb for taking the chance and dumb for asking them to validate my bad decision. A pilot should let a team member make a more conservative decision, but a pilot should never let a team influence a more risky decision. If a pilot has to ask if something is dumb, it probably is and should be avoided...

You who crew are an integral part of the ADM (aeronautical decision making) process. You have a say in how high we fly and what we fly over, what turbulence level we should tolerate, how low our fuel state can be and most importantly - when we should STOP. If it appears that I the pilot am struggling to make things work, you can and should speak up about doing something different.

You are not a passenger. Don't act like one. Please. It's a better world with you in it.

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