Tips for good Situational Awareness

Following are some tips to avoid becoming disorientated.

  1. Predetermine crew roles for high-workload phases of flight
  2. Develop a plan and assign responsibilities for handling problems and distractions
  3. Solicit input from all crew members, including cabin, ATC, maintenance, dispatch, etc
  4. Rotate attention from plane to path to people – don’t fixate
  5. Monitor and evaluate current status relative to your plan
  6. Project ahead and consider contingencies
  7. Focus on the details and scan the big picture
  8. Create visual and/or aural reminders of interrupted tasks
  9. Watch for clues of degraded SA
  10. Speak up when you see SA breaking down

Tips for Good SA Management (Bovier, 1997)

Training can help flight crew manage their workload to avoid overload situations and the associated reduction in SA. Training can help flight crew recognise reduced SA when it happens.

CRM training can help improve teamwork such that team members can have good team SA, as well as monitoring one another to ensure that individual team members are maintaining SA.

One of the key benefits of training, however, is to train individuals and teams how to cope in a non-normal or emergency situation, and how to maintain SA under stress. Training aids and videos are available for specific situations, e.g. approach and landing, engine failure, CFIT, turbulence, etc., but generic training in how to maintain and improve SA is valuable to give flight crew a good understanding of the techniques available.