Best Practice in Pilot Monitoring

How pilot monitoring can help maintain safety

Good monitoring can make a difference and this clip summarises all the good strategies that could have reduced the likelihood of any of the incidents shown in the video scenarios from occurring. . 

A summary of additional good monitoring practices is abstracted from the Monitoring Matters document:

  • Stay in the loop by mentally flying the aircraft  even when the autopilot or other pilot is flying the aircraft
  • Monitor the flight instruments just as you would when you are manually flying the aircraft
  • During briefings include ‘monitor me’ type comments to encourage intervention – ‘remind me if I haven’t asked for  the after take-off checks’
  • Provide the occasional monitoring reminders e.g. – ‘make sure that the tail wind doesn’t exceed 10 kt’

  • During flight the captain should ensure that the shared mental model remains intact this can be achieved through:
    • application of TDODAR (Time, Diagnose, Options, Decide, Act/Assign, Review) (agree the plan).
    • expression of intent (I will be flying the descent at 200kt)
    • Providing a situation update to the PM when he/she has been carrying out a non-monitoring task

  • Manage the workload
    • When the workload gets too high, prioritise which parameters to monitor – don’t multi-task for too long
    • When dealing with emergency situations ensure adequate time and space to enable the continuation of the monitoring tasks
    • Avoid programming the FMS at critical phases of flight

  • Mentally rehearse during low periods of workload, monitoring tasks that will occur in the next phase of flight
  • Make cross checking achievement of the autopilot targets a force of habit
  • Verbalise your observations or checklists (especially if single pilot)
  • At the end of the flight discuss how well the monitoring was carried out – did you both share the same plan

  • When the aircraft is carrying defects that are acceptable in the MELs consider the impact on the monitoring task – make a note (mental or otherwise) of the affected flight parameters, modes or systems that will require more attentive monitoring (discuss this during briefing)

  • When referring to charts/checklists/QRH hold them in a position that facilitates the scanning of flight parameters
  • The PF can put the A/C into a situation where it is unsafe but PM can stop it  ‘Never whisper when you know it’s time to shout’