Monitored approaches

Principles underpinning these procedures can be successfully applied throughout all flight phases in new ways which lead to safer, more efficient and less costly operations.

• Understanding barriers to effective monitoring and using effective countermeasures.
• Disciplined and diligent use of procedures and checklists to assure that actions are performed in an approved manner and that the aircraft is operated in or returned to an acceptable flight path and configuration.
• Redundancy which coordinates use of multiple resources (ie aircraft systems, pilots).
• Foundational organizational policy, training and practices.

FPM model

A simplified FPM model has strategic goals to complete all flights safely and securely while optimizing comfort, efficiency and cost and the means by which it is achieved.
Set goals/plan flight. At the captain's discretion and as coordinated, one pilot is made responsible for aircraft handling during instrument flight and is designated pilot flying (PF). In earlier times, the remaining pilot was designated pilot not flying (PNF), a term describing inaction rather than the important roles now assigned to this individual as pilot monitoring (PM).

In addition to standard preflight briefing elements, the captain reviews PF and PM monitoring roles and responsibilities, crew coordination techniques, and communication procedures, making it clear that both PF and PM remain responsible for monitoring appropriate to phase-of-flight circumstances. Cross-checking is mutual monitoring and evaluation of pilot situational awareness, decision making and aircraft maneuvering to ensure continuous and appropriate threat and error management.

The PF will encourage the PM to identify any deviation from the briefed plan using standard cockpit crew communication and to challenge and acknowledge monitored actions. Positive attitudes, knowledge, skill and experience are combined to promote vigilance and effective monitoring.

Manage flight. Once airborne, the flight proceeds to destination and is managed to meet performance goals, adjusting the flight path as conditions (ATC, aircraft, weather, traffic) require or permit. The PM will monitor and evaluate the fidelity with which the PF, the aircraft and the automation are managed towards agreed goals.

How the flight is managed may affect both pilots, not just the PF. For example, the PF concentrates on flying the aircraft while the PM multi-tasks to monitor and resolve any outstanding issues while regularly verifying the flight path. If the PF deselects the autopilot, the workload for the PM increases. Autopilot modes selected should achieve appropriate workload sharing between PF and PM.

Flight level clearance and frequency changes must be recorded by both pilots on receipt from ATC to avoid the need for memory recall. If in doubt, reconfirm cleared flight level with ATC. Always provide ATC with flight level clearance when changing frequencies.
Monitoring. Key desirable monitoring behaviors commonly identified by several authorities include situational awareness, leadership/teamwork, workload management and communication, observable examples of which are summarized in the chart above.

Evaluation. The PM continuously evaluates flight progress against agreed goals, identifying all deviations and soliciting or suggesting alternatives. In minor cases, action taken may range from deviation ignored to deviation accepted to deviation corrected. Evaluation may also suggest an intervention to resolve or mitigate a failure or changed circumstance. The flight is then either managed to its planned destination, allowing the intervention to proceed, or to a new agreed destination.

Although unlikely, certain situations demand more comprehensive evaluation, including consideration of more comprehensive intervention. These include loss of situational awareness or poor management of low energy, vertical path or technical faults.

Symptoms may include unresponsiveness, failure to fly accurately, failure to appreciate hazardous environment, failure to comply with stabilized approach SOP, failure to respond to aural and visual warnings, inappropriate continuation of approach and failure to conduct go-around, and incapacitation.

Intervention. This simply means that some action must be taken, no matter how minor. However, training all pilots on how the PM will intervene (react/act) when the PF is uncooperative, unresponsive or incapacitated is critically important, especially regarding influences of nationality, culture, age groups, experience, etc. Studies have identified cultures which may hinder or preclude crew interaction, particularly those with high power distance in which a leader is likely to be revered and unlikely to be challenged. Specially tailored crew training is needed in these cases to prevent adverse intervention consequences.

To empower the PM, the following intervention strategy may be useful in resolving PF inaction:

Inquiry stage: PM inquiries if PF is aware of the deviation and evaluates response.
Suggestion stage: PM solicits or suggests alternate action to be taken and evaluates response.

Warning stage: PM tells PF actions required to be taken and evaluates response.
Action stage: PM declares PF incapacitated, assumes control and completes required action(s).

Best monitoring practices

The following best monitoring practices are paraphrased from the UK CAA guidance document Monitoring Matters:

1. Consider likely impact of deferred defects on monitoring tasks. Note affected flight parameters, modes or systems requiring greater monitoring and discuss these during the preflight briefing

2. Stay in the loop by mentally flying the aircraft even when the autopilot or other pilot is flying it. Monitor flight instruments just as when manually flying the aircraft.

3. During briefings include "monitor me" type comments to encourage appropriate intervention from the other pilot. Such comments invite appropriate prompting and coordination such as a reminder to call for the normal checklist following use of a non-normal checklist.

4. Provide occasional monitoring reminders. A typical request might be to advise me if the tailwind exceeds 10 kts.

5. During flight, the PF should ensure that the shared mental model remains intact through:
• Agreed planning based on consideration of time, diagnosis and options leading to decisions and actions followed later by review.
• Expressing intent. Announcements such as "I will descend at 200 kts" avoid surprising the PM and promotes continuous monitoring.
• Providing a situation update when the PM has completed a non-monitoring task.


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