It's a sad fact of aviation that, every year, approximately 75 percent of all aircraft accidents are caused by pilot error, with a very large number the direct result of poor decisions. Good decision making is about avoiding the circumstances that lead to really tough choices. Most of the time, the really tough decisions don’t just “sneak up” on pilots. In fuel exhaustion accidents, for example, virtually all the pilots knew that that they were cutting into their fuel reserves when they still had a chance to divert. The good news is that making superior decisions about flying doesn't require superhuman skill or exceptional judgment—just the ability to anticipate and recognize basic problems, and then take timely action to correct them.
This safety spotlight provides practical advice to help you do that, as well as guidance and recommendations for developing your own set of personal minimums.