May 2018 Issue

Risk Assessment Tools

Managing risk is crucial, so the formal process you use to assess it must be effective. So-called “numerical” flight risk assessment tools leave much to be desired.

Thanks to the contents of the FAA’s new airman certification standards (ACS), which are replacing the practical test standards (PTS), most applicants for pilot certificates and ratings must now demonstrate that they can identify, assess and mitigate risk. Although the FAA and industry organizations have developed flight risk assessment tools (FRATs) to help pilots identify and manage risks, these tools often use a simplistic numerical scoring system that will produce a “go” decision when significant risk is still present. With a little more thought, analyzing risk can be more realistic and much more effective.

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