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June 21, 2013

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 canceling 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. While serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, I sat through those classes as well as taught them, and I always came away with the same question, "How will this reduce the mishap rate?" Given the resources available, along with the missions, the military's way of managing risk can't be implemented by the average GA pilot. But it's worthwhile to examine the military's risk-management process. Using it as a template, then taking some simple steps and applying its techniques over time, on our own, can help reduce the GA mishap rate, before someone does it for us.

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http://www.avweb.com/news/features/military_risk_management_pilots_208888-1.html