What is considered an emergency?
ICAO defines an emergency as a sudden, unplanned situation or event requiring immediate action. An emergency situation is one in which the safety of the aircraft and/or of the persons on board/ground is endangered for any reason.
By definition, these are situations we cannot anticipate. There is no way to be completely prepared for every emergency, but there are ways to maximize our performance in handling them and reducing the risks associated to them.
How to handle emergencies?
Procedure wise, there is not much margin for creativity, as the procedures are clearly established by the manufacturer in the aircraft-operating manual.
Us, pilots, must learn how to efficiently and timely apply them, which is simple in theory. But when we add several factors such as time constraints, stress, busy environment, noises, lights, we all tend to react differently, depending on our experience, skills and abilities.
For the following reasons we must constantly review and know our emergency procedures, and regularly train to stay proficient and on top of it.
Some techniques and tips:
Beside the rigorous training and learning, here are some tips and techniques that can always help.
· Fly frequently. Pilots who are current, are much more likely to be able to handle the rigors of an emergency than those who fly infrequently. As we discussed in our previous article about workload, the more we are exposed to tasks, the less efforts and attention they will require, and more brainpower is available to deal with the emergency at hand.
· Know your airplane & systems
· Practice. Simulate emergencies with a mock up. It will develop your muscle memories and teach you to sequence your actions and decisions adequately.
· Understand. When noticing a problem, do not simply react. Keep calm, think through the situation first in order to see the big picture and make a plan of action.
· Strictly observe the golden rules. Aviate, Navigate, and Communicate.
Additionally, there are also some modern tools we can benefit from. Nowadays the digital world has a lot to offer. The app we have developed for you is here to make your life easier in any normal situations but will surely also get you out of the most critical ones. How? As mentioned, during emergencies, a factor we often lack of is “time”. The simple and fast access to our electronic checklist will save you important seconds/minutes under stress and time pressure. Quite often, it is not obvious to recall the appropriate checklist name and find it among the multiples options. For these reasons, we’ve added several features that will ease your handling of any emergencies, including our Emergency Search tool.
Emergency search tool
At any point of time, on top of your screen, an emergency search tool will be at your disposition to search for specific information and checklist. Just by typing the keywords or the appropriate letters, find and carry out a procedure within seconds.
It also works with codes. For example, you are experiencing some hydraulics issues but aren’t sure of which checklist to look for? You can just type “HYD” and all hydraulic related checklists will be displayed for you to choose from.
There are 2 main purposes on the use of this feature:
1. If you don’t have time to scroll through multiples checklists
2. You are not sure if you are carrying out the adequate checklist and would like a list of all the checklists related to a specific system
More detailed information is explained in our User’s Manual. Together with the multiple other features the app has to offer, you will find an essential tool to enhance your safety while easing your workload, without changing any of your habits. Stop wasting precious time scrolling pages to find your checklist and be a part of the development. Join in on the electronic checklist world.