MOST CONSERVATIVE RESPONSE RULE: occasionally there is a disagreement in the
cockpit which cannot be resolved due to lack of information. It is best to agree in advance to
take the most conservative action in these situations until additional information is available.
HALO EFFECT: the halo effect comes into play when the aircrew is impressed by the vast
experience of a senior person. They tend not to speak up about problems they see, even though
they have much more experience on that type of aircraft or with a particular operation.
Sometimes the individual involved is aware of this effect and even attempts to use it to his/her
advantage. Even without this conscious effort, the halo effect is strong and must be overcome by
HIDDEN AGENDA. Sometimes a crewmember may make suggestions or decisions based on
information or desires the rest of the crew are not aware of, such as a strong desire to make it
back to base due to important plans for the evening. We need to communicate all motives
involved honestly so decisions can be made rationally and are based on the facts rather than on
wishful thinking. Additionally, there may be instances where a crewmember fails to share
certain information about his/her intentions regarding the completion of a particular maneuver,
task, or mission in order to prevent objections and confrontation from other crewmembers.
TWO-CHALLENGE RULE: the key to early response to incapacitation lies in the ability to
establish a norm against which the results of incapacitation can be measured. The two-challenge
rule provides for automatic assumption of duties from any crewmember who fails to respond to
two consecutive challenges. This overcomes our natural tendency to believe the pilot flying must
know what he/she is doing, even as he/she departs from established parameters.
One critical factor of success that cannot be accurately evaluated by the normal selection process
is mental attitude. Mental attitude, as much as any other factor, determines the ease or difficulty
with which the student progresses through the training syllabus. Under the heading of positive
mental attitude come such elements as willingness to conform to military discipline, acceptance
of curtailed personal freedom and leisure, and the ability to encounter occasional setbacks and
still maintain enthusiasm and self-confidence.
Concluding this section is a paraphrased excerpt of a flight surgeon's discussion of the numerous
physical and psychological factors affecting your training.
Physical ease and relaxation while flying make the difference between the pilot flying the plane
and the plane flying the pilot. A proper sense of "feel" of the aircraft is essential. Just as a good
horsemen must be sensitive to the movements of their mount, so must the aviators be sensitive to
the movements of the aircraft. This cannot be achieved in any other way than by the proper
relaxation of all the body muscles and light touch on the aircraft's controls. The ability to be
relaxed in an aircraft involves an awareness of what your body and mind are doing. A natural
reaction to the strange environment or unusual situation is the age-old aviator tendency to
"pucker" in a tight situation. Be alert for involuntary tensing of the muscles and you will find