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you will evaluate the given situations, arrive at logical and safe decisions, and communicate these
decisions to the crew. To better illustrate the desired behaviors we want to develop, the seven critical
ACT skills are listed below.
Decision Making. This is the ability to use logical and sound judgement based on the information
available. Effective decision-making (good headwork) is developed over time; experience and training
dominate the cognitive process of problem solving. Some situations will require immediate action
(emergency memory items) while other situations (low fuel, bad weather) may allow for more time.
Fortunately, in most situations encountered by a multi-engine PIC, flight critical decisions have the
luxury of time, thought, and discussion.
Assertiveness. This is a crewmember's willingness to actively participate, state, and maintain a
position until convinced by facts that other options are better. Assertiveness involves the open flow of
information within the cockpit in a tactful and professional way, never assuming other crewmembers
see or know something. It also means having a "healthy dose of skepticism" with regard to ATC
instructions as well as to the navigational instruments (are they telling you what you expect?).
Mission Analysis. This is the ability to develop short-term, long-term, and contingency plans and to
coordinate, allocate, and monitor resources. Mission analysis involves updating critical information
(fuel, weather, etc.) and identifying and communicating changes to the plan.
Communication. This is the ability to clearly and accurately send and acknowledge information,
instructions, or commands, and to provide useful feedback. Good communication skills include
practicing standardized and professional communication techniques (both inside and outside the
cockpit), providing clear and thorough briefs, and verbalizing plans or altered plans for procedures or
maneuvers to the copilot.
Leadership. This is the ability to direct and coordinate the activities of other crewmembers, and to
encourage the crew to work together as a team. Involve the crew in the decision-making progress.
Adaptability. This is the ability to alter a course of action to meet situational demands, maintain
constructive behavior under pressure, and interact constructively with other crewmembers.
Adaptability involves anticipating problems or changes that may occur, recognizing and
acknowledging malfunctions or abnormalities, and changing the plan to respond to the situation.
Situational Awareness. Situational awareness is the accurate perception of the factors and conditions
affecting you, your crew, the aircraft, and the surrounding environment, now and in the near future. In
simplest terms, it is knowing what is going on around you--a concept embraced in the need to "think
ahead of the aircraft," which every pilot learns in primary flight training and is reminded of thereafter.
When perception matches reality, you have good situational awareness. Without situational
awareness, nothing else may matter; the loss or a lack of situational awareness is the biggest factor in
nearly all accidents designated by the NTSB as controlled flight into terrain (CFIT). Five elements
contributing to situational awareness:
(1) Experience and Training. Experience is gained by doing and establishes how you interpret and
respond to conditions and events. Training enhances your experience by creating events that rarely
occur in day-to-day flying. By repetitive and supervised practice, responses to rare stimuli can become
part of a well-developed routine.
(2) Physical Flying Skills. Flying the aircraft remains the highest order of priority, regardless of other
demands for a pilot's attention.
(3) Spatial Orientation is position awareness, knowing where the aircraft is in relation to attitude,
altitude, terrain, navigational aids, airports, runways, and other aircraft. You must know, at all times,
where the aircraft is and where it is going.
(4) Health and Attitude. Physical and emotional health affects one's ability to clearly define the world
as it exists around him or her. Attitude has a strong influence on safety, which cannot be achieved
without dedicated, positive effort.

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