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Models for Practicing ADM – Perceive, Process, Perform (3P)

by Flight Learnings

in Human Factors

The Perceive–Process–Perform (3P) model for ADM offers a simple, practical, and systematic approach that can be used during all phases of flight. [Figure 1-12] To use it, the pilot will:

  • Perceive the given set of circumstances for a flight;
  • Process by evaluating their impact on flight safety; and
  • Perform by implementing the best course of action.
Figure 1-12. The 3P Model for Aeronautical Decision-Making.

Figure 1-12. The 3P Model for Aeronautical Decision-Making.

In the first step, the goal is to develop situational awareness by perceiving hazards, which are present events, objects, or circumstances that could contribute to an undesired future event. In this step, the pilot will systematically identify and list hazards associated with all aspects of the flight: pilot, aircraft, environment, and external pressures. It is important to consider how individual hazards might combine. Consider, for example, the hazard that arises when a new instrument pilot with no experience in actual instrument conditions wants to make a cross-country flight to an airport with low ceilings in order to attend an important business meeting.

In the second step, the goal is to process this information to determine whether the identified hazards constitute risk, which is defined as the future impact of a hazard that is not controlled or eliminated. The degree of risk posed by a given hazard can be measured in terms of exposure (number of people or resources affected), severity (extent of possible loss), and probability (the likelihood that a hazard will cause a loss). If the hazard is low ceilings, for example, the level of risk depends on a number of other factors, such as pilot training and experience, aircraft equipment and fuel capacity, and others.

In the third step, the goal is to perform by taking action to eliminate hazards or mitigate risk, and then continuously evaluate the outcome of this action. With the example of low ceilings at destination, for instance, the pilot can perform good ADM by selecting a suitable alternate, knowing where to find good weather, and carrying sufficient fuel to reach it. This course of action would mitigate the risk. The pilot also has the option to eliminate it entirely by waiting for better weather.

Once the pilot has completed the 3P decision process and selected a course of action, the process begins anew because now the set of circumstances brought about by the course of action requires analysis. The decision-making process is a continuous loop of perceiving, processing and performing.

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