Safety: Are There Rocks in Those Clouds?

Welcome to the Safety Section of the Flying Clubs Newsletter, Club Connector!

Each month we provide resources for flying club safety officers so that they can keep their clubs informed and safe.   We also include links to the FAASTeam Topic of the Month PowerPoint slides providing talking points for your next safety brief.  Along with the slides, we often provide links to relevant articles, videos, and other media that you may also find helpful.  To learn more about this section, be sure to check out Episode 15 and 15b of Flying Clubs Radio! 

If you are interested in using the FAASTeam WINGS program with your flying club, feel free to contact Steve, who is a Lead Representative and WINGSPro, and uses the program in his club.

More on WINGS for Clubs can be found here in Flying Clubs Radio Episode 8 and the May 2020 Question of the Month.

Before we get to this month’s Topic of the Month, let’s do a quick reminder of just some of the resources available to all pilots:

  1. The FAASTeam website is the portal to a vast array of courses, videos, links, and much more.Remember that WINGS not only encompasses “knowledge” activities, but also flight activities.Use the various search options to narrow done, to, say flight activities for a basic phase of WINGS and you’ll be able to find a syllabus and often a worksheet for each flight activity.


  2. AOPA’s own Air Safety Institute, which by the way, is funded by the AOPA Foundation just like the You Can Fly program, is packed with amazing content, including exceptional videos, podcasts, accident analysis, online courses, recorded webinars and more.Completing these activities may also earn WINGS credits.Of particular interest to flying club safety officers is the recently updated Safety to Go section.Here, you can download a selection of topics, each coming with PowerPoint slides and speaker’s notes!

Alright then, let’s get on with this month’s safety topic!


November Safety FAASTeam Topic of the Month: CFIT and Plan Continuation Bias

A GAJSC study of General Aviation CFIT Accidents suggested that human biases, particularly Plan Continuation Bias, may compromise effective pilot decision making and lead to CFIT accidents.


CFIT and Plan Continuation Bias

Human biases are patterns of reasoning that weigh the value of information according to

pre-conceived beliefs. Biases present as a prejudice in favor or against one thing, person, or group compared with another; often in a way considered to be unfair


  • Plan Continuation Bias is a form of Confirmation Bias that features pressing on with a plan

    even though information that indicates the plan should be modified or abandoned is readily available. It appears stronger as one nears completion of the activity (e.g. nearing a destination).

  • Realistic pre-flight planning should objectively consider aircraft and pilot capabilities, route

    and weather challenges, and alternative destinations.

  • Periodic objective pilot performance assessments should be made in consultation with a

    Flight Instructor.

  • Objective in-flight “how-goes-it?” assessments should be made in order to inform decision making with respect to continuing, modifying, or abandoning the plan.



Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA-H-8083-25B) – Chapter 2 – ADM

AC 61-134 General Aviation Controlled Flight Into Terrain Awareness

November Safety FAASTeam Topic of the Month: CFIT and Plan Continuation Bias

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