Coping with Interruptions and Distractions

2020 02 1 gajsc distractions and interruptions

2020 02 2 gajsc distractions and interruptions


FAA Airplane Flying Handbook, Chapter 16, Emergency Procedures

Airplane Flying Handbook, Chapter 16, Emergency Procedures

FAA Risk Management Handbook, Chapter 6, Single Pilot Resource Management

“# Fly Safe, Your Guide to Preventing Loss of Control,” March/April 2016 FAA Safety Briefing


2016-01 gajsc logo headrer

General Aviation Joint Steering Committee
Loss of Control Working Group

Outreach Guidance Document


This outreach guidance is provided to all FAA and aviation industry groups that are participating in outreach efforts sponsored by the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC). It is important that all outreach on a given topic is coordinated and is free of conflicts. Therefore, all outreach products should be in alignment with the outline and concepts listed below for this topic.


Outreach Month: February 2020


Topic: Coping with Interruptions and Distractions
The FAA and industry will conduct a public education campaign emphasizing the need for improved Aeronautical Decision Making to include coping with Interruptions and Distractions.



Distractions and interruptions are causal factors in nearly 25% of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. The NTSB has noted these causal factors in fatal aviation accidents as well however the linkage is often not as clear as with motor vehicle accidents. The linkage is strong enough for the GAJSC to recommend awareness training on the benefits of successful coping with interruptions and distractions while flying.


Teaching Points:

  • Distractions and interruptions can severly compromise flight safety if they occur during critical phases of flight.
  • General Aviation Pilots are particularly at risk because they usually do not have addititional flight crew members to assist them.
  • Management of passenger expectations is essential to minimizing the occurance and effect of interruptions and distractions.
  • Checklist discipline and the proper use of autopilots are effective means to effectively cope with interruptions and distractions.