1917 · Cited by 1 — This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance for the design, development, implementation, evaluation, and updating of standard operating
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U. S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular Subject: Standard Operating Procedures and Pilot Monitoring Duties for Flight Deck Crewmembers Date: 1/10/17 AC No: 120-71B Initiated by: AFS -200 Change: This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance for the design, development, implementation, evaluation, and updating of standard operating procedures (SOP), and for pilot monitoring (PM) duties. SOPs are universally recognized as fundamental to safe aviation operations. Their importance cannot be overstated, especially in light of the advent of PM standards with respect to the use of increasingly modernized automated systems. This AC provides a process for developing procedures that meet clear and specific requirements. Safe operations are founded on comprehensive SOPs made readily available within the manuals used by flight deck crewmembers. This AC also provides guidance on the definition and the training of PM duties and their integration into SOPs. Although this AC is directed towards Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 121 and part 135 air carriers, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) encourages all air carriers, aircraft operators, pilot schools, and training centers to utilize this guidance. John Barbagallo Deputy Director , Flight Standards Service

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1/10/17 AC 120-71B CONTENTS Paragraph Page Chapter 1. Background Information .. 1-1 1.1 General .. 1-1 1.2 Cancellation 1-1 1.3 Summary of Changes . 1-1 1.4 Terms and Definitions . 1-2 1.5 Related 14 CFR Sections . 1-2 1.6 Related Gudiance and In formation . 1-3 Chapter 2. Determining W hen Procedures Need to be D esigned or Modified . 2-1 2.1 Requirements for Procedures . 2-1 2.2 Modifying OEM Procedures .. 2-1 Chapter 3. Creating a Procedure Development P rocess .. 3-1 3.1 Characteristics of Good Procedures 3-1 3.2 Collaborating for Effective SOPs 3-1 3.3 Resources to Develop SOPs 3-1 Chapter 4. Writing Procedures .. 4-1 4.1 General Guidelines .. 4-1 4.1.1 Information to Include . 4-1 4.1.2 Avoid Visual Clutter 4-1 4.1.3 Use Plain Language .. 4-1 4.1.4 Use Short Sentences . 4-1 4.1.5 Use Active Verbs 4-1 4.1.6 Write Steps as Imperatives 4-1 4.2 Organization 4-1 4.2.1 General Organization .. 4-1 4.2.2 Navigation and Place Keeping 4-1 4.2.3 Lists .. 4-1 4.2.4 References . 4-2 4.2.5 Memory Items . 4-2 4.2.6 Indices . 4-2 iii

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1/10/17 AC 120 -71B 4.3 Vocabulary .. 4-2 4.3.1 Use Words C onsistently . 4-2 4.3.2 Avoid Using Words with Multiple Common Meanings 4-2 4.3.3 Use Abbreviations Carefully 4-2 4.4 Numbers 4-2 4.4.1 Use Arabic Numbers 4-2 4.4.2 Include Units of Measurement 4-2 4.5 Format 4-2 4.5.1 Type Size 4-2 4.5.2 Line Spacing . 4-3 4.5.3 Font. .. 4-3 4.5.4 Case. . 4-3 4.5.5 Grouping. 4-3 4.5.6 Justification .. 4-3 4.5.7 Line Length .. 4-3 4.6 Place Keeping 4-3 4.6.1 Title .. 4-3 4.6.2 New Lines .. 4-3 4.6.3 Bullets an d Numbering 4-3 4.6.4 Continuation . 4-3 4.6.5 End . 4-3 4.7 Emphasis .. 4-3 4.7.1 Typographical .. 4-4 4.7.2 Graphical 4-4 4.7.3 Spatial .. 4-4 4.7.4 Verbal .. 4-4 4.8 Conditional Steps . 4-4 4.8.1 Complex Conditional Statements .. 4-4 4.8.2 Waiting, Continuous Actions, Repeated Actions .. 4-5 4.9 Cross -References . 4-5 4.9.1 Explicit Reference . 4-5 4.9.2 Version Control .. 4-5 4.10 Warnings and Cautions . 4-5 iv

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1/10/17 AC 120-71B 4.10.1 Components of Warnings and Cautions. 4-5 4.10.2 Placement .. 4-5 Chapter 5. Developing C hecklists 5-1 5.1 General. . 5-1 5.1.1 Consistency .. 5-1 5.1.2 Type of List and Manner of Execution .. 5-1 5.1.3 Timing . 5-1 5.1.4 Roles . 5-2 5.1.5 Initiation Anchor 5-2 5.1.6 Completion Signal . 5-2 5.1.7 Checklist Verification .. 5-2 5.2 Methods for Managing Checklist Accomplishment .. 5-3 5.2.1 Single -Pilot Aircraft . 5-3 5.2.2 Multi -Pilot Aircraft 5-3 5.2.3. Interruptions . 5-4 5.2.4 Representative Items. .. 5-4 5.3 Item Order 5-5 5.4 Phraseology . 5-5 5.5 Common Errors That Occur When Using Checklists 5-5 5.6 Preventing Checklist Errors 5-6 5.6.1 Training Support Personnel .. 5-6 5.6.2 Restarting From the Beginning .. 5-6 5.6.3 Cognitive Limitations .. 5-6 5.6.4 Checklist Error Prevention Tips . 5-6 Chapter 6. Pilot Monitoring 6-1 6.1 General .. 6-1 6.2 Effective Monitoring .. 6-1 6.3 Challenges and Barriers to Effective Monitoring 6-1 6.3.1. Time Pressure .. 6-1 6.3.2 Lack of Feedback to Pilots When Monitori ng Lapses Occur . 6-1 6.3.3 Design of SOPs .. 6-1 6.3.4 Pilots™ Inadequate Mental Model of Autoflight System Modes. 6-2 v

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1/10/17 AC 120 -71B 6.3.5 Training .. 6-2 6.3.6 Pilot Performance .. 6-2 6.4 Defining Pilot Monitoring Duties 6-2 6.5 Operational Policies and Procedures .. 6-3 6.6 Intervention Strategies .. 6-3 6.6.1 What Intervention Strategies Should Include .. 6-3 6.6.2 Human -to-Human Intervention .. 6-3 6.7 Training for PM 6-4 6.8 Incorporate Monitoring into SOPs .. 6-5 6.9 Autoflight Considerations 6-6 6.9.1 Autoflight Mode C onfusion . 6-6 6.9.2 Autoflight Mode Awareness 6-7 Appendix A. Related Guidance and Information. A-1 vi

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1/10/17 AC 120 -71B CHAPTER 1. BACKGROUND INFORMATI ON 1.1 General. Standard operating procedures (SOP) are universally recognized as fundamental to safe aviation operations , yet accidents and incidents continue to occur as a direct result from, or related to, a failure by the flightcrew to follow SOPs, particularly during critical phases of flight . This advisory circular (AC) provides guidance for the design, development, implementation, evaluation , and updating of SOPs. It emphasizes that SOPs should be clear, comprehensive, and readily available within the manuals used by flight deck crewmembers. Although this AC is directed towards Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulatio ns (14 CFR) part 121 and part 135 air carriers, the FAA encourages all air carriers, aircraft operators, pilot schools, and training centers to utilize this guidance. The basis for this guidance is contained in the related regulations and FAA guidance sect ions of this AC. This AC is not mandatory and does not constitute a regulation. This AC describes an acceptable means, but not the only means, to design, develop, update , and use SOPs. Effective crew coordination and crew performance depend on the crew™s having a shared mental model of each task. That mental model, in turn, is founded on SOPs. SOPs should serve to provide a consistent, standardized model of each task that must be performed by each crewmember during each phase of flight and during any reaso nably anticipated abnormal , non-normal, or emergency situation. SOPs must be kept current and may be individually developed by the operator or by incorporating those procedures found in their aircraft operating manuals into their daily operations. Once est ablished , the SOPs must be applied with consistency and uniformity throughout the operation. Implementation of any procedure as an SOP is most effective when: 1. The procedure is appropriate to the situation. 2. The procedure is practical to use. 3. Crewmembers un derstand the reasons for the procedure. 4. Pilot flying (PF) and pilot monitoring (PM) duties are clearly delineated. 5. Effective training is conducted. 6. Adherence to the standard is emphasized by flightcrews, and reinforced by instructors, check pilots, and man agers alike. 7. Crewmembers are aware of the potential risks/hazards if SOPs are not followed. 1.2 Cancellation. This AC cancels AC 120 -71A, Standard Operating Procedures for Flight Deck Crewmembers, dated February 27, 2003. 1.3 Summary of Changes. Many changes have been made to improve clarity, accuracy, completeness, and consistency. Significant changes include adding regulatory 1-1

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1/10/17 AC 120 -71B CHAPTER 2. DETERMINING WHEN PRO CEDURES NEED TO BE D ESIGNED OR MODIFIED 2.1 Requirements for Procedures. Operators are required to provide flightcrews with operating procedures per the applicable regulations as identified in the related regulations section. Although an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will typica lly supply its customers with suggested procedures and checklists for its equipment, operators may choose to develop, or modify , the procedures and checklists provided by the OEM. Some procedures may require a fiNo Technical Objection fl from the OEM to modif y them. Also, some procedure modifications may require acceptance or approval from an operator™s principal operations inspector (POI). Operators should work with the OEM and FAA to determine if involvement in a SOP modification is necessary. 2.2 Modifying OEM Procedures. Procedures and checklists published by the OEM are designed to reflect that manufacturer™s flight deck design and operating procedures. They promote optimum use of aircraft features as envisioned by the designers, but may be generic in their applicability. Potential factors which may drive changes to OEM procedures and checklists include new or modified equipment, changes to the operational environment, company mandated procedures, standardization among related fleets, observed operational problems, inciden ts, accidents , or airline mergers. 2-1

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1/10/17 AC 120 -71B CHAPTER 3. CREATING A PROCEDURE DEVELOPMENT PROCESS 3.1 Characteristics of Good Procedures . A well -designed procedure aids flightcrews by specifying a sequence of actions that, if followed, help s ensure that the primary task will be car ried out in a manner that meets the basic guidelines of being clear, correct, reliable, and robust . In general, as a minimum, good procedures cover the following elements: What the procedure is designed to accomplish. When and under what conditions the pr ocedure should be executed. Who is responsible for executing each step in the procedure. How, in sufficient detail, the procedure is to be performed. How to confirm the procedure has been accomplished properly. 3.2 Collaborating for Effective SOPs. Collabora tion can improve the effectiveness of SOPs. Partners in the collaboration could include representatives of the aircraft manufacturer, pilots having previous experience with the aircraft or with the type of operations planned by the operator, training organ izations, and representatives from the FAA. Procedure developers should pay close attention to the approved Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) or Rotorcraft Flight Manual (RFM), to AFM/RFM revisions and operations bulletins issued by the manufacturer, and to the applicable FAA Flight Standardization Board (FSB) report. It is especially important for a new operator to establish a periodic review process that includes line flightcrews. Together, managers and flightcrews are able to review the effectiveness of SOPs and to reach valid conclusions for revisions. A trial period might be implemented, followed by feedback and revision, in which SOPs are improved. The review process will be meaningful and effective when managers promote prompt implementation of revisions t o SOPs when necessary. 3.3 Resources to Develop SOPs. The procedure development process should start with a careful analysis of the factors driving the need to develop or modify a procedure and the implications of these factors. Procedure developers should research all available sources of information that pertain to the process or procedure being developed or revised. This may include reviewing data from an Aviation Safety Action Program (ASAP) or a flight operati ons quality assurance (FOQA) program. Procedure developers should also understand the entire system of procedures and how they fit within the framework of existing policies, guidance, and the operator™s overall operational philosophy. Any new process or procedure should be consistent with that framework. Employee groups who will be affected by the procedures in question may also add value in the development process. Procedures which interface with other employee groups sho uld be coordinated accordingly. 3-1

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1/10/17 AC 120 -71B CHAPTER 4. WRITING PROCEDURES 4.1 General Guidelines. Procedures should be communicated and trained effectively after they are developed. 4.1.1 Information to Include . Include only the information needed to validate it is the correct procedure to use and information to properl y execute the procedure. While it is important to document and communicate the rationale behind the procedure design, this information should be provided in a separate training manual or other document. 4.1.2 Avoid Visual Clutter . Include supplemental detail only when necessary. When the addition of supplemental information is necessary, separate the supplemental information from the presentation of the actual steps to be accomplished. 4.1.3 Use Plain Language . Use simple English; the use of uncomplicated wording will increase comprehension while reducing ambiguity. 4.1.4 Use Short Sentences . Break long sentences into short sentences with a simple sentence structure. 4.1.5 Use Active Verbs . Sentences with active verbs (e.g., fiDo Xfl) are easier to read and less likely to be misun derstood than sentences using passive verb forms (e.g., fiX should be donefl). 4.1.6 Write Steps as Imperatives . Imperative commands are direct ; they tell someone what to do, and are often used when giving instructions. Avoid negatives when possible. Negative stat ements are difficult to read and if it is missed, the meaning of the sentence will be misunderstood. When negatives are required, clearly specify what is being negated. 4.2 Organization. 4.2.1 General Organization . Procedures should be organized as simply as possibl e by order of tasking. Normal procedures are typically organized in sequence by phase of flight. When applicable, abnormal , non -normal, and emergency procedures should be organized by the triggering condition (e.g., smoke in the flight deck) rather than th e potentially related system (e.g., electrical system). 4.2.2 Navigation and Place Keeping . Steps should follow a simple numbering system to assist pilots in maintaining their place in the procedure. Excessively detailed hierarchies should be avoided. Use header s when necessary to distinguish major sections of multifaceted procedures. Headers should provide useful cues to the purpose of the section of the procedure they address. 4.2.3 Lists . One step in a procedure may require that the pilot perform several actions or check several different indications. These components should be presented on separate lines in an indented numbered or bulleted list rather than in the body of the text. 4-1

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