Break the Error Chain with Your Tablet
Flying|October 2021
Just a little nudge will do it.
BRET KOEBBE

I’ve been an avid Flying reader for nearly 30 years, starting when I was 10 years old and initially interested in the new aviation photography each month (there was no YouTube then). When I started flight training several years later, and could better relate to the articles, I was immediately drawn to the stories submitted by pilots in the I Learned About Flying from That series. These real-life accounts provided the opportunity to armchair-fly with other pilots who experienced actual emergencies and to learn about the series of events that led to the problem and how they recovered.

One of the big takeaways when reading or listening to these scenarios is that no one gets up in the morning and plans to get into a dicey situation just so they can come away with a good story. A combination of unlucky and unplanned events must happen in just the right sequence to lead to an emergency. This is referred to as the accident or error chain in the academic world of human factors.

While accident statistics prove that it’s impossible to completely prevent these occurrences from happening in GA flying, it’s our job to be as prepared as possible and use all resources available to break the error chain early on. Outside of the airplane, we routinely rely on calendar apps for meeting reminders, map apps for highway traffic delays, and weather apps for severe weather alerts. The stakes are much higher at 10,000 feet, so it would only make sense to use the same technology and contextual alerts to keep us equally informed in the air.

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