The Three Things You Never Want in the Cockpit (video)

The Three Things You Never Want in the Cockpit (video)

The Three Things You Never Want in the Cockpit

What are the Three Things You NEVER Want to Bring Into the Cockpit?

If someone were to ask you, “What should you never bring into the cockpit?”, you could compile a very long list of items.

However, rather than simply compiling a list of obvious items; let’s examine this question from the broader perspective of reducing aircraft accidents.

The number one cause of aviation accidents is poor judgment, and so the answer is simple.  We do not want to bring into the cockpit those items that are detrimental to the use of our good judgment.  They are primarily; clutter, frustration, and stress.

If you have too much clutter in your life, mental or physical, you must work to reduce it because otherwise you are more susceptible to distractions.  Frustration can cause someone of normally good judgment to make terrible decisions.  We all know the negative impact of stress on our judgment.

If you have these items in your life, before you go fly, make a conscious effort to compartmentalize.  Put them into a cubbyhole in your mind and leave them there for the duration of the flight.  Don’t worry, they will be there when the flight is over, and you can deal with them then.

Remember, under no circumstances do you want to bring anything into the cockpit that might interfere with your good judgment, and the three main culprits are clutter, frustration, and stress.

One of the great benefits of Pilot Judgment® is that we accurately measure the influence of each of these items on your judgment and decision-making ability.


  1. Anita 10 years ago

    What a powerful metaphor! I’ve realized that I fly an overloaded plane… I will try your advice to compartmentalize, thank you!

    • Author
      CDR Barry W. Hull, USNR (Retired) 10 years ago

      Anita, compartmentalizing works whenever you need to use your best evaluative judgment. Get the clutter, frustration, and stress out of your mind, even if only temporarily, so that you can concentrate and focus on the decision you are about to make. I see this issue very often with pilots, and non-pilots alike. Thanks Anita.

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