Updated: Dec 8, 2020

Single Pilot Resource Management (SRM) Lesson by wifiCFI

Single Pilot Resource Management

SRM is defined as the art of managing all the resources (both onboard the aircraft and from outside sources) available to a pilot prior to and during flight to ensure a successful flight. 

SRM training helps the pilot maintain situational awareness by managing automation, associated aircraft control, and navigation tasks. 

This enables the pilot to accurately assess hazards, manage resulting risk potential, and make good decisions. 

Available Resources

Internal Resources:

One of the most underutilized resources may be the person in the right seat, even if the passenger has no flying experience. 

A passenger can assist with:

Providing information in an irregular situation, especially if familiar with flying. A strange smell or sound may alert a passenger to a potential problem. 

Confirming after the pilot that the landing gear is down. 

Learning to look at the altimeter for a given altitude in a descent. 

Listening to logic or lack of logic. 

Aircraft Checklists

Pilot Operating Handbook (POH)

Charts and GPS


External Resources:

Air Traffic Control (ATC)

Navigation Facilities (VOR, NDB, ILS)

Other pilot’s on CTAF

The Five P’s SRM sounds good on paper, but it requires a way for pilots to understand and use it in their daily flights.  One practical application is called the Five Ps: Plan





The 5 Ps are based on the idea that the pilots have essentially five variables that impact their environment and can cause the pilot to make a single critical decision or several less critical decisions that when added together can create a critical outcome. 

This concept stems from the belief that current decision-making models tended to be reactionary in nature. 

A change has to occur and be detected to drive a risk management decision by the pilot.


The plan can also be called the mission or the task. It contains the basic elements of cross-country planning: weather, route, fuel, current publications, etc. The plan should be reviewed and updated several times during the course of the flight.


The plane consists of the usual array of mechanical and cosmetic issues that every aircraft pilot, owner, or operator can identify. 


Use the IMSAFE Checklist.


Sometimes passengers also have their own priorities that influence the PIC. The desire of the passengers to make airline connections or important business meetings easily enters into a pilot’s decision-making loop. Done in a healthy and open way, this can be a positive factor.


The advanced avionics aircraft adds an entirely new dimension to the way GA aircraft are flown. The electronic instrument displays, GPS, and autopilot reduce pilot workload and increase pilot situational awareness. 

While programming and operation of these devices are fairly simple and straightforward unlike the analog instruments they replace, they tend to capture the pilot’s attention and hold it for long periods of time.


The SRM process is simple. 

At least five times before and during the flight, the pilot should review and consider the plan, plane, pilot, passengers, and programming and make the appropriate decision required by the current situation. 

It is often said that failure to make a decision is a decision.

FAA Sources Used in this Lesson

Risk Management Handbook - Chapter 6

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