Risk Management

The goal of risk management is to proactively identify safety-related hazards and mitigate the associated risks. Risk management is an important component of ADM. When a pilot follows good decision-making practices, the inherent risk in a flight is reduced or even eliminated. The ability to make good decisions is based upon direct or indirect experience and education.

Laws of Risk Management

  • Accept no unnecessary risk. Flying is not possible without risk, but unnecessary risk comes without a corresponding return. If you are flying a new airplane for the first time, you might determine that the risk of making that flight in low visibility conditions is unnecessary.
  • Make risk decisions at the appropriate level. Risk decisions should be made by the person who can develop and implement risk controls. Remember that you are pilot-in-command, so never let anyone else—not ATC and not your passengers—make risk decisions for you.
  • Accept risk when benefits outweigh dangers (costs). In any flying activity, it is necessary to accept some degree of risk. A day with good weather, for example, is a much better time to fly an unfamiliar airplane for the first time than a day with low IFR conditions.
  • Integrate risk management into planning at all levels. Because risk is an unavoidable part of every flight, safety requires the use of appropriate and effective risk management not just in the preflight planning stage, but in all stages of the flight.
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