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What Is Single-Pilot Resource Management?
February 2017 - When you climb into a cockpit, the FAA expects you to have full knowledge of your personal minimums and physical and mental readiness. You need to be on top of your game. Single-pilot resource management (SRM) is the art of managing all onboard and outside resources to ensure a safe and successful flight.
The five-P approach to SRM
A good approach uses the regular evaluation of plan, plane, pilot, passengers, and programming.
Plan: Plan your flight using the essential elements of cross-country planning, including weather, route, and fuel. Make sure you consider any events that could affect the flight. Review and update your plan at regular intervals during the trip, and keep in mind that it could change at any time.
Plane: The plane includes the airframe, systems, and equipment, including avionics. You should be comfortable using all installed equipment, and be familiar with your aircraft’s performance characteristics and limitations. As your flight continues, keep an eye on your systems and instruments so you can detect anything out of the ordinary as early as possible.
Pilot: You need to pass the “I’M SAFE” checklist. This handy list will help you determine if you are indeed fit for flight:
Illness: Do I have any symptoms?
Medication: Have I been taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs?
Stress: Am I under pressure from work, or am I worried about money, health, or family?
Alcohol: Have I been drinking within 8 hours?
Fatigue: Am I rested?
Emotion: Am I emotionally upset? Some pilots may wish to include eating as well — are you adequately nourished?
In addition to some of the physical and mental hurdles an aviator faces, pilots also need to consider the legal and experiential aspects associated with being fit for flight.
It boils down to three basic questions you should ask yourself before any flight: Am I healthy? Am I legal? And am I proficient?
Passengers: Your passengers can help you, but they can also distract you. Their needs, including a desire to reach the destination quickly, can create potentially dangerous distractions.
If your passenger is a pilot, it’s important to establish who is doing what.
Programming: Know your equipment. Today’s electronic displays, moving map navigators, and autopilots can reduce your workload and increase your situational awareness. But the task of operating the equipment can create dangerous distractions. Know your equipment before takeoff and plan in advance when you’ll be programming for approaches, route changes, and airport information.