Tips for candidate pilots


According to Porter (1964), “a human factor is a physical or cognitive property of an individual or social behavior which is specific to humans and influences functioning of technological systems as well as human-environment equilibriums”. Aviation operation is a huge and complicated system, which heavily involved high technology and human decision and operation. Human factors are very important issue in aviation industry: It is reported that more than 75% of the aviation accidents are made because of pilot error (Ison, 2005). In the following, the most important pilot errors is listed and analyzed.

10 Pilot Errors:

The top pilot errors
According to Ison (2005), the following 10 errors are the top errors that the pilot made:

1. lost control in the poor weather

Many accidents happen in the bad weathers, especially in fog and heavy clouds. Fog and cloud does not harm, the problem is with the pilot flying into the cloud or fog, he/she does not know how to operate in such a situation. Therefore, this might end up with an accident.

2. CFIT (Controlling flight into terrain)

According to Ison (2005) CFIT simply means “flying a perfectly good airplane into the ground”. It means when it is in a bad weather, the pilots have to land properly and safely. As it is in the bad weather, the pilot can not see around, it is the second high error rate, which causes accident. In such a case pilots always have to allocate their point or position.

3. Poor communications

The poor communication happens in the following forms: first when the pilot communicates with the traffic control, they hear what they want to hear: some pilot can anticipate the situation, the anticipation impacts their understanding. This is very typical human factors that impact their operations. Second they misunderstand each other, when the pilot communicates with ATC. Last, when the polite does not understand, he/she does not ask.

4. Pilots showing off.

This happens with the small planes. The pilot shows their skills or shows their planes to the friends, families to do some thing unusual. In the show, they lost their controls and face unpleasant situation.

5. Inadequate Preflight Inspections

It happens in both big and small aircrafts. For the big ones, it is the engineer’s responsibility to inspect; while for the small ones, it is the pilot’s responsibility to inspect and check the aircraft. For example, taking one last check around the aircraft to assure nothing is hooked or still connected to the aircraft and its ready to take off.

6.Inadequate Preflight Planning.

It happens to the small aircrafts, especially the private ones; same pilots neglect to check density altitude or even weight and balance. It is something that often is dismissed by pilots especially when they don’t set up a plan before he/she take off. According to Ison (2005) “Those who are prepared are equipped to deal with the tasks at hand”.

7.Failure to Use a Checklist

The use of checklist before flying plays a major role in giving confidence to the pilot. For instance, most of the time they could do 99% right of the checklist properly, while the rest 1% wrong might be the major cause of an accident.

8.Failure to Perform the “I’M SAFE” Checklist

The pilot did not check himself using the “I’ M Safe” check list. The pilots are not supposed to takeoff when they are in sick, Stress, under alcohol effects, fatigue and in emotion. Pilots who fly in such a situations, they drive them self to take risky situations that might cause an accident.

9. Running Out of Fuel

Ison (2005) mentioned that “Instead, pilots try to push it just a little bit too far, running out of gas just short of their destination”. Thus, the good management of fuel is to determine whether the fuel will be enough while airborne, in hours and minutes.

10. Mismanagement of Technology

What often happens is that pilots don’t take the time to learn the equipment thoroughly, as the result the pilot makes wrong operation on the equipments. Therefore, pilots have to manage their resources and make sure they can use the new updates in such avionics.

Discussion & Conclusion

Among the above 10 most made errors, according to Ison (2005), most of them are human factors, except weather conditions. The 10 errors can be concluded into three types of human factors:

One: the polite did not have enough knowledge, skill or experiences. The example is landing in the bad weather, fly into clouds and fog, also mismanagement of technology.

Two: did not treat the fly very serious, and refuse to take the responsibility. The example is: failure in plan checking before flying, failure in pilot’s condition checking, running out of fuel, and weak flying plans.

The last type is poor communications, which happens when the polite communicate with traffic control.

Again It is reported that more than 75% of the aviation accidents are made because of pilot error (Ison, 2005), which means human factors made 75% of air travel accidents. Communication, responsibility and skills are the key areas.


Porter, E, H. (1964). Manpower Development: The System Training Concept. New York: Harper and Row, p. xiii.

Ison, D. (2005). Top 10 Pilot Errors. Retrieved August 18, 2011 from

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