You're Wrong....

popaviator

Well-Known Member
So what's the best way to tell a fellow pilot that he/she is wrong without them getting upset or offended both in the cockpit and out?
 

popaviator

Well-Known Member
Eh.....apparently I'm wrong......been in the simulator for wayyyyyy too long.....(correction to title) you're
 

Nick

Well-Known Member
Go right to the source. FAR/AIM. A CFI. A good textbook. et cetera.

Find what they are wrong about, take a few minutes to make sure you really are able to prove that your assertion is correct, and go for it.

I wouldn't phrase what you are trying to convey to them as an introduction to a debate -- just kindly let them know that they have their facts mixed up.

I hope I understood the question.
 

bdhill1979

Gone West
Re: Your'e Wrong....

like Nick said, have evidence readily available.

When I was a student I found the "Hey I was reading the Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and it didn't jive with what you were saying...." sort of approach was pretty successful.

As an instructor, correcting other instructors it is usually pretty similar. Though some get all huffy when you try to correct them, if the evidence is there its hard to argue.

In the cockpit, I tell my students that I am in charge; if they disagree with something, or don't understand then we will talk about it after we land. So far I have only had two or three incidents which involved yelling in the cockpit, but they were on the verge of killing me.
 

Derg

New Arizona, Il Duce/Warlord
Staff member
So what's the best way to tell a fellow pilot that he/she is wrong without them getting upset or offended both in the cockpit and out?
In the cockpit? Hmm, "Sir, I really thought the procedure was XXXX, let me take a peek (pause)... Did the procedure change in the latest (whatever book)"
 

surreal1221

Well-Known Member
Just call him an idiot and that he needs to go back to "Flight School."

Really though. . .no one likes to be told their wrong, break the news lightly and with a hint of humor.
 

amorris311

Well-Known Member
make suggestions and ask questions. i have found if you have the person explain it outloud they realize that their idea might not be the best and seem to be open for change. hell i did it with my ca today. i wasnt 100% on board with what was going to go on and we talked about it. we came up with something that suited us both and made both of us comfortable.
 

SlantG

Well-Known Member
"Is this Kilo? Oh where's the sign? Echo, Juliet. . ." :)

"Did I hear 'descend to 4000'?"

"Verify Airliner XXXX descend 4000'?"
 

Firebird2XC

Well-Known Member
I play "dumb First Officer".

It goes something like this:

"Hey Skipper, you did that that X way.. and I've been doing it Y way. Have I been doing it wrong?"

I've just engendered two important concepts: This is a question of procedure and technique, and tacitly asserts yourself as the lesser experienced, therefore more likely to be wrong. Even if you KNOW you're right from the very get go, sometimes having the 'new guy' with less experience than the Captain got LAST YEAR might sting a little.
The first concept is diplomacy. The second is CRM- you're cross checking the Captain's actions against your own. While the Captain IS the "Final Authority" on board, as First Officer, if you think an oversight has been made by either of you that requires correction, it's your DUTY to bring it to the Captain's attention. How well you do that depends on the rapport you and the Captain have. A little tact and diplomacy will help maintain that rapport, that rapport will help maintain positive CRM.

If it's safety critical, and you still aren't in agreement, just say something to the effect of "I really think that for safety's sake I should double check this."

Then break out a manual. Even if you're right, to the letter, don't rub anybody's nose in it. Nobody likes that.

If the Captain still insists.. get a second opinion later.

If the question of safety or practicality was ever a serious concern, see if you can take it elsewhere. I know at my carrier the Union has a Professional Standards department. It's a way for pilots to police each other without involving the Chief Pilot's office.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
This is a great question, actually, and it applies to a lot more than flying. In my business, I see this a lot every day.

At my company, my team deals with a fairly complex telecommunications platform in a variety of configurations across the board. There's a lot of ways to skin the telephony cat. As such, my guys do a lot of factory-level troubleshooting for our customers, we do a lot of field work, and we often have to correct mistakes made by our customers.

Tact and diplomacy are king. While ever fiber of my being often wants to scream all Gregory House-like "How in the hell did you pass certification? You put IP phones on analog centrex trunks and programmed the whole thing as a 1A2 system and then you COMPLAIN about functional problems? You're a moron, man, and now I have to clean up your mess."

But what I end up saying is, "Okay...this'll work, but your end user might be a little unhappy here. Let me show you something that you might like better, and as a bonus, it'll be easier for you to maintain, etc..."

Respecting people's feelings/egos isn't always false and thinly flattering. It goes a long way to preserving a good working environment. My CFI was really good about correcting me on things in a positive way, because I tended to learn well by being prodded in the right direction without being made to feel stupid.

And people who say, "Hey, I'm blunt/direct/I tell it like it is" are excusing bad manners and rudeness for what they mistakenly believe is virtuous plainspeak. They, in fact, are wrong.
 
R

Roger, Roger

Guest
It goes a long way to preserving a good working environment. My CFI was really good about correcting me on things in a positive way, because I tended to learn well by being prodded in the right direction without being made to feel stupid.
Yet another one of those valuable skills learned as a CFI.
 

imasaluki

New Member
But what I end up saying is, "Okay...this'll work, but your end user might be a little unhappy here. Let me show you something that you might like better, and as a bonus, it'll be easier for you to maintain, etc..."

Respecting people's feelings/egos isn't always false and thinly flattering. It goes a long way to preserving a good working environment. My CFI was really good about correcting me on things in a positive way, because I tended to learn well by being prodded in the right direction without being made to feel stupid.

And people who say, "Hey, I'm blunt/direct/I tell it like it is" are excusing bad manners and rudeness for what they mistakenly believe is virtuous plainspeak. They, in fact, are wrong.
I like your response! haha, that's good stuff. Aviation seems to have a "macho" realm to just about every aspect of it... including the ego part. If you've been able to respond to people like you did above all of your life, you are a truly gifted person. Sensitivity, for most of us, is usually something that has to be specifically trained and developed with experience. While I'm still not good at it most of the time, I try to be gracious and sensitive all the while retaining the integrity of the matter at hand. :) It's really easy for "sensitive" to come off as "patronizing" or as "underestimating one's intelligence".
 

falconvalley

Absentee Dad of the OOTSK, Runner, Cat Frustrator
The situtation comes up when I'm in the sim with my partner and they skip a checklist or miss an element of a maneuver, also during those late night study sessions....:buck:
For checklists, when it is obvious the checklist will not be called for I ask "would you like a (before landing) checklist?"

For other things like forgetting parts of manuevers, my sim partners and I usually come up with cues for different things. I can't say it necessarily helps for remembering, but it puts us both on the same page and it encourages teamwork instead of putting a wall up between us. In real life, the pnf is there to help so until the instructor says "stop" I will do what I can to help without spoon feeding the pf.
 

B767Driver

New Member
So what's the best way to tell a fellow pilot that he/she is wrong without them getting upset or offended both in the cockpit and out?
In the cockpit, your level of assertiveness should be appropriately tailored to the criticality of the situation.

Low levels of criticality should be met with diplomacy and tact...and high levels of criticality (like you're about to crash) should be dealt with aggressively.

The longer you are in aviation...the less "ego" maniacal pilots tend to be. It becomes more about what's right than who's right. Earlier in pilots' careers it tends to be reversed somewhat, as people are still trying to prove themselves.
 

sdfcvoh

This is my Custom Title
The situtation comes up when I'm in the sim with my partner and they skip a checklist or miss an element of a maneuver, also during those late night study sessions....:buck:
Just be human about it. If they can't be approached then there are more concerns lurking for them. Have you tried unsuccessfully?
 
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