Pilot training, does it help?

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How would pilot training help me fly my drone more safely?


Answer: Every day, we see new products and new technology that promise to improve flight safety. Despite all these advancements, one thing remains the same: the human factor. In the world of manned aviation, the human factor leads to errors and accounts for 80 percent of accidents and incidents. Some areas of flight training focus on decision making, and this knowledge can help you fly your drone more safely. What causes humans to make decisions, and how can that decision-making process be improved? Research in this area prompted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to produce training directed at improving the decision-making of pilots, which led to current FAA regulations that require that decision making be taught as part of the pilot-training curriculum.

Aeronautical Decision Making is a systematic approach to risk assessment. To fly safely, the pilot needs to assess the degree of risk and determine the best course of action. During each flight, the pilot makes many decisions under hazardous conditions. The successful pilot possesses the ability to concentrate, manage workloads, and monitor and perform several tasks simultaneously.

How do you apply proper decision making to your scenario? The next time that you go out for a flight, take a look at the big picture: think drone, pilot, environment. Visualize your flight ahead of time—beginning to end—and think about any risk factors that you might experience. Did you conduct a preflight check? How’s the weather? Is it too windy? What’s your physical environment like? How’s the terrain? How do you feel? Are you up to the challenge if something goes wrong?

Good decisions reduce risk. The more decisions that you make prior to the flight, the more you will feel in control of that flight. It’s really that simple. The ability to make good decisions is based upon direct experience, training, and education. By Gus Calderon

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