Features

December 2011 Issue

A U.S. Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier of VMA-214 is shown at Eielson Air Force Base during a training exercise. Military flying has unique risks—for one, they usually carry things that go boom—but the way those risks are managed pose lessons for personal aviation.

Risk Management, Military Style

Especially in military operations, it’s impossible to eliminate risk, but it can be minimized. Many of their risk-management techniques can apply to your flying.

No matter what we do in an aircraft, we cannot eliminate risk entirely. Instead, we can manage that risk and take positive steps to mitigate or reduce it; in rare cases, we may even be able to eliminate it. An example of the latter might be cancelling a trip for poor weather, or because of a mechanical issue. But we should be mostly concerned with mitigating and reducing the risks our flying poses.. Of course, there are many ways to accomplish these goals. I believe most of us in general aviation have sat through a presentation or seminar discussing risk management.

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