As a Pilot, it is crucial to understand the psychological aspects of flying, particularly the hazardous attitudes that can compromise safety. Recognizing these attitudes and knowing how to counter them is essential for maintaining a safe and efficient environment. This post will explore the five hazardous attitudes identified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and provide practical strategies to counteract them. Beyond Aviation, the application of these principles will extend into your every day life

Anti-Authority: “Don’t Tell Me”

This attitude thrives on a blatant disregard for rules, procedures, and instructions. It typically manifests in pilots who dismiss the necessity of rules, convinced they have superior knowledge compared to the authorities. To counter this mindset, it’s crucial to underline the critical role of rules and regulations. Stress that these guidelines aren’t arbitrary; they are vital for the safety of all participants in aviation. Always remember, “Follow the rules, they were forged in blood,” as this highlights their significance.

Impulsivity: “Do Something Quickly”

Characterized by making snap decisions without considering the potential fallout, impulsivity can lead pilots to react swiftly without deliberating on the optimal response to a situation. To mitigate this impulsiveness, the principle “Think first, not fast” becomes indispensable. Encouraging pilots to pause, fully evaluate the circumstances, and weigh all possible options before acting can steer them away from precipitous decisions.

Invulnerability: “It Won’t Happen to Me”

Some pilots harbor the misconception that they are exempt from the errors and mishaps that afflict their peers. To challenge this false sense of invulnerability, it’s effective to remind them that no one is immune and that overconfidence can precipitate grave mistakes. Promoting the mindset, “It could happen to me,” serves to cultivate a healthy level of caution.

Macho: “I Can Do It”

This attitude is all about taking needless risks to showcase one’s prowess, often mistaken for bravery or skill. It’s important to remind pilots that true professionalism isn’t demonstrated by courting danger but by acknowledging and respecting one’s limitations. The advice “Don’t Take Chances” reinforces the wisdom of prudence over recklessness.

Resignation: “What’s the Use?”

Resignation breeds a sense of powerlessness, with pilots feeling they have no influence over the outcome, which can lead to inaction or an excessive dependence on others in crucial moments. To counteract this sense of resignation, it’s beneficial to encourage pilots to remain involved and take initiative. The affirmation, “I am not helpless,” can instill a sense of empowerment and underscore the importance of taking responsibility.


Understanding and countering these five hazardous attitudes is vital for pilots to maintain safety and professionalism in the air. By incorporating these strategies into training and practice, pilots can develop a mindset that prioritizes safety and effective decision-making, leading to a safer aviation environment for everyone. Remember, a good pilot is always learning and adapting, both in the air and on the ground.

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