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Decision Making Simulator

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You are a competent pilot. You know how to make an airplane do what you want it to do. You know how to get from point A to point B and back again. But is this everything you need to know in order to be a professional pilot?

Perhaps you have heard the saying that a pilot licence is really just a licence to learn. This wisdom sums up the fact that there is much more to being a professional pilot than knowing how to handle an airplane. The really challenging aspect of flying professionally is the decision making required, which has very little to do with the actual manipulation of the controls.

This site is an introduction to the business of flying for a living. The scenarios you will find in these pages are drawn from real-life events that challenged the pilots involved. These scenarios left an indelible impression on those pilots and they wanted to pass them on to you so that you could learn from their experiences. Some of these scenarios ended with a successful landing; some ended with broken airplanes or fired pilots; and some were drawn from accident reports where lives were lost.

In each scenario, you will be asked to decide how you believe you would respond to the situation described. No one is looking over your shoulder, so don't try to pick the “ideal” answer. Picture yourself in the scenario and try to imagine how you would actually respond. Try to imagine yourself, with your own personality, interacting with the people and circumstances described, and then find the response that most closely matches your own. As you read on, you will see how different choices can lead down different paths that can sometimes take you to surprising conclusions.

It is hoped that these scenarios will give an indication of some of the challenges that you will face in your career. They will also demonstrate how a variety of factors must be weighed. These factors may sometimes overwhelm your central concern for the safety of the flight and lead you to make decisions that could compromise the successful outcome of your flight.

Scenario #1 - Sometimes you don't know what you don't know until it is too late.

Scenario #2 - A Navajo trip gets complicated.

Scenario #3 - Northern flying at its finest.

Scenario #4 - Are you qualified for this flight?

Scenario #5 - Crew Resource Management

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