Being fit to fly depends on more than just a pilot’s physical condition and recency of experience. For example, attitude will affect the quality of decisions. Attitude can be defined as a personal motivational predisposition to respond to persons, situations, or events in a given manner. Studies have identified five hazardous attitudes that can interfere with the ability to make sound decisions and exercise authority properly.

1. Anti-Authority:
“Don’t tell me.”
This attitude is found in people who do not like anyone telling them what to do. In a sense, they are saying, “No one can tell me what to do.” They may be resentful of having someone tell themwhat to do, or may regard rules, regulations, and procedures as silly or unnecessary. However, itis always your prerogative to question authority if you feel it is in error.
2. Impulsivity:
“Do it quickly.”
This is the attitude of people who frequently feel the need to do something, anything, immediately. They do not stop to think about what they are about to do; they do not select the best alternative, and they do the first thing that comes to mind.
3. Invulnerability:
“It won’t happen to me.”
Many people feel that accidents happen to others, but never to them. They know accidents can happen, and they know that anyone can be affected. They never really feel or believe that they will be personally involved. Pilots who think this way are more likely to take chances and increase risk.
4. Macho:
“I can do it.”
Pilots who are always trying to prove that they are better than anyone else are thinking, “I can do it –I’ll show them.” Pilots with this type of attitude will try to prove themselves by taking risks in order to impress others. While this pattern is thought to be a male characteristic, women are equally susceptible.
5. Resignation:
“What’s the use?”
Pilots who think, “What’s the use?” do not see themselves as being able to make a great deal of difference in what happens to them. When things go well, the pilot is apt to think that it is good luck. When things go badly, the pilot may feel that someone is out to get me, or attribute it to bad luck. The pilot will leave the action to others, for better or worse. Sometimes, such pilots will even go along with unreasonable requests just to be a “nice guy.”
Figure 1. The pilot should examine decisions carefully to ensure that the choices have not been influenced by a hazardous attitude.

Hazardous attitudes can lead to poor decision making and actions that involve unnecessary risk. The pilot must examine decisions carefully to ensure that the choices have not been influenced by hazardous attitudes and be familiar with positive alternatives to counteract the hazardous attitudes. These substitute attitudes are referred to as antidotes. During a flight operation, it is important to be able to recognize a hazardous attitude, correctly label the thought, and then recall its antidote.

1. Anti-Authority:
Although he knows that flying so low to the ground is prohibited by the regulations, he feels that the regulations are too restrictive in some circumstances.
Follow the rules. They are usually right.
2. Impulsivity:
As he is buzzing the park, the airplane does not climb as well as Steve had anticipated and without thinking, Steve pulls back hard on the yoke. The airspeed drops and the airplane is close to a stalling attitude as the wing brushes a power line.
Not so fast. Think first.
3. Invulnerability:
Steve is not worried about an accident since he has flown this low many times before and he has not had any problems.
It could happen to me.
4. Macho:
Steve often brags to his friends about his skills as a pilot and how close to the ground he flies. During a local pleasure flight in his single-engine airplane, he decides to buzz some friends barbecuing at a nearby park.
Taking chances is foolish.
5. Resignation:
Although Steve manages to recover, the wing sustains minor damage. Steve thinks to himself, “It’s dangerous for the power company to put those lines so close to a park. If somebody finds out about this I’m going to be in trouble, but it seems like no matter what I do, somebody’s always going to criticize.”
I’m not helpless. I can make a difference.
Figure 2. The pilot must be able to identify hazardous attitudes and apply the appropriate antidote when needed.