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Since the early years of aviation, golden rules define the basic principles of “airmanship”, and are essential to all pilots, from training pilots to experienced pilots. Following these rules in order to enhance situational awareness and maximize safety.

With the development and modernization of aircraft technology, combined with research on human-machine interface and crew coordination, the golden rules have been broadened in order to include the principles of interaction with automation and crew resource management (CRM).

These golden rules have originally been designed by Airbus to assist trainees in maintaining their basic airmanship as they progress to increasingly automated aircraft models.

They mainly address aspects that are frequent causal factors in incidents and accidents, such as inadequate situational awareness, incorrect interaction with automation, over-reliance on automation, and ineffective cross-checking and mutual back up from crews.

What are the golden rules

· Fly, navigate, communicate. In this order, and with appropriate task sharing

· Use the appropriate level of automation at all times

· Understand the FMA (flight mode annunciator) at all times

· Take actions if things do not go as expected.

Fly, Navigate, Communicate

· Fly: The number one priority in any event and at all times is to fly the aircraft. Task sharing should then be adapted to the prevailing situation. (Hand flying, autopilot, abnormal/emergency). Remember, an automated aircraft can be flown like any other aircraft. If something goes wrong, never hesitate to disconnect your autopilot and/or FD.

· Navigate:

  • Know where you are

  • Know where you should be

  • Know where the weather, terrain and obstacles are

· Communicate: Observe effective communication, standard phraseology and callout

between :

  • PF and PM

  • Flight Crew and ATC

  • Flight Crew and Cabin crew

  • Flight Crew and ground personal

Proper communication allows sharing goals and intentions, hence enhancing situational awareness.

Use the appropriate level of automation at all times

Modern aircrafts are more and more automated, and several levels of automation are available. The appropriate level of automation depends on the situation, the phase of the flight, the weather and whether it is a normal, abnormal or emergency situation.

Understand the FMA at all times

Any actions taken should be crosschecked, confirmed and understood through your FMA, PFD or ND. Monitor, announce, confirm and understand your FMA at all times.

Take actions if things do not go as expected

If at any point, the aircraft does not follow the desired path (vertical/lateral) and time does not permit analyzing and solving the observed behaviour, the crew should react accordingly, without delay.


By creating an app that will ease your workload, facilitate your cockpit organization, be more efficient in your workload management, you will have ample time to focus on the golden rules hence enhancing your overall safety and efficiency.

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