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Situational Awareness


Ver 12 1 Feb 06 ... How to gain and maintain it Three Levels of Situational Awareness We have to see and sense : PERCEIVE Gathering data : What to look for and when ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness
How to gain and maintain it
Gaining and Maintaining Situational Awareness
  • What is Situational Awareness ?
  • Gaining Situational Awareness
  • Gathering data
  • Understanding
  • Thinking ahead
  • Maintaining your Situational Awareness
  • Improving your Situational Awareness

Why Situational Awareness ?
The most frequent causal factor of all accidents
(41 percent) was lack of positional awareness in
the air. UK CAA Global Fatal Accident Review
1980 -1996 The second most common primary causal
factor was lack of positional awareness in the
air, generally resulting in controlled flight
into terrain (CFIT). Flight Safety Digest
November 1998February 1999. Special FSF Report
Killers in Aviation
Good airmanship requires pilots to have good
situational awareness it is the basis for
decision making and action.
Gaining and Maintaining Situational Awareness
What is Situational Awareness ?
  • q The perception of elements in the environment,
    within a volume
    of time and space,
  • q The comprehension of their meaning
  • q The projection of their status in the near

What happened ? Where am I ? What is
happening ? What could happen ?
Elements of Situational Awareness
Informational Influences
Environmental Influences
Environmental Awareness
System Awareness
Crew Actions Behaviours
Mode Awareness
Spatial Orientation
Personal Influences
Organizational Influences
Time Horizon
Source Aircrew Incident Reporting Scheme (AIRS)
Three Levels of Situational Awareness

Understanding the situation triggers decision
making, action and review
Feedback, check, monitor
Assessment of your Situational Awareness
q Seek and gather data (sensing) q Combine data
into meaningful information (perception) q
Understand what the information means
(comprehension) q Use your understanding to
think ahead and reconsider the plan (projection)
Where do we want to go?
How Can We Improve Our Situational Awareness ?
Where Are We Now
Where have we been?
Situational awareness describes the pilots
knowledge of what is going on around him where
he is, his orientation, what mode the aircraft is
in and what other people are doing
Gaining and Maintaining Situational Awareness
Gathering data What to look for and when
  • Build the mental model by
  • - scanning the important aspects of our
  • - comparing them with experiences and knowledge
    in memory
  • Plane Control
  • Path Navigation
  • People Self and Others
  • Manage System and Situation

Evaluate all aspects Plane, Path, People

Gathering data Learning what to see
  • What to search for driven by the need for the
  • When to look at specific information, phase of
    flight or event timing
  • Where the information can be found, source and
  • Why the information is relevant to the

Gathering data Failing to see
  • q Actively seek new data, use alternative
    sources where data are not available or
    difficult to detect
  • q Scanning and observing require discipline
  • q Be aware of visual illusions (senses to
    pick-up gs - !!??)
  • q Do not expect to see something

Sometimes you see only half of the picture but
need all of it to understand the situation
Understanding - Creating the mental model
  • Mental models are formed by
  • q The combination of knowledge and experience
    recalled from memory, and
  • q The perceived information from the real world

Understanding - Creating the mental model
Mental models are formed by q The
combination of knowledge and experience recalled
from memory and q The perceived
information from the real world
Understanding Comparison and Analysis
  • q Compare and update our mental models with the
    real world
  • q When matching, understanding of the situation
    is achieved

External attention
Internal attention
Understanding of the situation
When Understanding Organize! Control your
  • Understanding improves with experience
  • more memory situations (patterns and
    associations) developed for comparisons
  • q Check all aspects of the mental model
  • q How does the situation compare with the plan
  • q How does the situation compare with previous

When NOT Understanding Watch Out !
  • q Information may be misinterpreted Poor
    mental model
  • q Failure to recognize the mental model needs to
  • q Control thinking process

Question yourself, monitor yourself, be aware of
your own situation Do Not Assume. CHECK !
Thinking Ahead Projection
  • An accurate understanding of the situation is
    essential for planning ahead

q Stay ahead of the airplane Anticipating is
projecting the current situation into the future
Standard procedures allow you to anticipate what
other crew members will do in a given situation
  • Planning
  • All crew members build their situation awareness
    on common planning

Thinking ahead prepares for decision making
Situational Awareness Decision Making
Situational Awareness Process
Decision Making Loop
Thinking Ahead in practice
  • q Set time or place markers for rechecking the
  • q Confirm that the future situation agrees with
    the plan
  • q Set priorities regarding the current situation
  • Rules
  • Standard Procedures
  • q Set priorities for thinking
  • Workload
  • Attention Task

1000 ft Speed lt Vref 20 Check height, flight
path, configuration Next 500 ft, wind /
tailwind check
500 ft Speed lt Vref 20 Check height, flight
path Next Threshold, lt Vref 15
Threshold lt Vref 15, height 50 ft Next
touchdown speed and position
Failing to Think Ahead What If ?
  • q Consider contingencies
  • q Manage awareness of other crewmembers
  • Recognize typical threat scenarios
  • Rushed briefings and checklists
  • Rapidly changing weather
  • Last leg of the day
  • Runway change
  • Unstable approach

Gaining and Maintaining Situational Awareness
Maintaining Situational Awareness
  • Monitor, Focus and Direct your Attention
  • Scan Plane, Path, People 3Ps
  • Anticipate, Stay Ahead of the Airplane
  • Consider what if

Focus on the right information at the right time
Keeping the priorities straight is a constant
What don't we know that we need to know What do
they know that I need to know What do I know that
they need to know What are we not paying
attention to
Clues to the loss of awareness
  • Losses in Situational Awareness may occur during

q Periods of high workload q Periods of
multi-tasking q Preoccupation with other tasks q
Inadequate feedback from crewmembers q Periods
of stress q Interactions with automated systems
Fly the aircraft Take over Change automation
level Go back to the last stable situation Check
navigation, speed, height Plane, Path, People
Recovering Situational Awareness
The Golden Rules
  • q Go to the nearest safe, simple and stable
    situation follow procedures
  • q Assess the current situation with different
  • q Go back to the last thing you were sure of
  • q Avoid fixation on a past problem
  • q Take time to think

Pay attention to mode transitions Monitor and
learn from them
Recovering Situational Awareness
Gaining and Maintaining Situational Awareness
Improving your Situational Awareness
Control your thinking
  • Preparation
  • Anticipation

Gathering and Checking
Knowledge Behavior
  • Prepare and review
  • Notice and perceive
  • Understand and interpret
  • Project and think ahead
  • Communicate
  • Manage stress and workload

Know your boundaries how close to the edge of
safety do you operate ?
Improving your Situational Awareness
Relating theory to operation, the legacy of
Enhanced Safety through Situation Awareness
Integration in training
Situation Awareness
Threat Management
Summary Gain and Maintain Situational Awareness
  • Scan to seek information
  • Know what is important, when, and where to find
  • Plane, Path, People 3Ps
  • Check understanding
  • Real world
  • Memory
  • Plan ahead
  • What if
  • Cross Check
  • Manage your attention