07 Dec 2015

Piloting and Crisis Management

Piloting and Crisis Management

Imagine the plane you are piloting as the company and you serve as its CEO. It’s your duty to set strategy, maintain direction, establish a culture, and remain in control in all situations, especially crises. There are great benefits in learning crisis management, giving you experience and training to handle many predicaments encountered in the air. Pilot Kim Green goes over three major points as to why she’s thankful for crisis management training in an article for Fast Company.


1. Emergency Checklists Mattermaster caution blog2

Of course nobody wants to focus on negative possibilities, but it is best to consider and prepare for all outcomes through practice. By going over emergency procedures in the air, you will be prepared when something happens.

Kim Green talks about an issue during an instruction one evening when the green nose-wheel light wasn’t illuminated. Her instructor, Volken, remained calm and went through the procedures as normal though they ultimately needed to perform an emergency landing.

Green states, “I was in awe of him. Throughout the lesson, I’d followed his lead. He appeared confident and unruffled, so I concluded that this situation called for deliberate action, not for fear.”

Practicing the checklist for emergency landings many times, even when there was no such need, Green and Volken knew what to do when it happened.

2. “Fake It ‘Til You Make It”

Volken kept his cool by going through his emergency checklist with Green. He acted as though nothing different was going on because he practiced his procedures numerous times before.

By knowing your emergency procedures thoroughly, you can maintain your composure during a crisis. Many claim that “faking it until you make it” means feigning experience. In reality, if you know what you’re doing, you can pretend you’re not scared in order to remain calm and see all crises to the end, thus showing competence to your crew and keeping them relaxed.

3. Eliminate Surprises and Plan for Others

Reviewing procedures and remaining calm – even if you’re not – are great habits, but there are times when you need to see what happens when things go wrong to plan ahead for future mishaps.

For example, Kim Green attended a two-day spin-training course. By experiencing the lurching in the twists and turns in the air, and seeing the way her instruments would read during such an event, Green knew how to prepare herself for any possible experiences in the future.

Flying can be exhilarating, but it isn’t as thrilling as one may think. In fact, a good pilot is planning for any future outcomes, even when nothing is going wrong, all thanks to practice.