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Key Takeaways

  • Get-There-Itis is a phenomenon that pilots can experience when flying.
  • During Get-There-Itis, pilots may prioritize reaching their destination over safety threats.
  • Accidents caused by Get-There-Itis highlight the importance of prioritizing safety always.
  • Time pressure, personal goals, and lack of decision-making contribute to Get-There-Itis.

As a pilot, it's crucial to prioritize safety over everything else. Unfortunately, many pilots can experience "Get-There-Itis," which can be deadly.

Get-There-Itis is an in-flight phenomenon that pilots can experience when operating an aircraft that encourages them to prioritize reaching their destination over following standard safety protocols. A series of aviation accidents have been linked to Get-There-Itis.

As a trusted source of aviation information, we have consulted with industry experts and analyzed data to provide you with the most accurate and up-to-date information on Get-There-Itis. We understand the importance of safety in aviation, and we are committed to helping pilots make informed decisions that prioritize safety. So, let's dive into the world of Get-There-Itis and learn how to prevent it.

Table of contents


Understanding Get-There-Itis for Pilots

For pilots, it's not uncommon to experience the desire to reach their destination, no matter what. This phenomenon is known as "get-there-itis," and it can be incredibly dangerous.

In this section, I will discuss what get-there-itis is, the consequences of this mindset, and strategies for awareness and mitigation.

What is Get-There-Itis?

Get-there-itis is a mindset that occurs when a pilot becomes so focused on reaching their destination that they ignore safety threats.

Pilots who experience get-there-itis may disregard weather warnings, exceed aircraft limitations, or make risky decisions that put themselves and their passengers in danger.

This phenomenon is is an unconscious cognitive bias to continue with the original plan despite changing conditions.

Consequences of Get-There-Itis

The consequences of get-there-itis can be severe. Pilots who prioritize reaching their destination over safety may experience accidents, injuries, or even fatalities.

According to the Air Safety Institute, dozens of pilots and their passengers lose their lives each year due to get-there-itis. It's important to remember that the safety of yourself and your passengers should always come first.

Awareness and Mitigation Strategies

To prevent get-there-itis from clouding your judgment, it's essential to be aware of the signs and to have mitigation strategies in place. Some strategies include:

  • Recognizing the signs of get-there-itis, such as feeling pressure to complete a flight or disregarding safety warnings
  • Establishing personal minimums for weather, equipment, and pilot proficiency
  • Having a contingency plan in place in case of unexpected weather or other safety threats
  • Using a checklist to ensure that all safety precautions are taken before and during a flight
  • Seeking the advice of other pilots or aviation experts when unsure about a decision

By being aware of the signs of get-there-itis and having mitigation strategies in place, you can help prevent this dangerous mindset from taking hold. Remember, your safety and the safety of your passengers should always come first.

Case Studies of Get-There-Itis Accidents

As a pilot, I know how easy it can be to fall into the trap of "Get-There-Itis."

This phenomenon is responsible for many aviation accidents, and it's important to understand how it can happen. Here are a few case studies of Get-There-Itis accidents:

Bruce Landsberg's Accident Report

In 1996, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Vice Chairman, Bruce Landsberg, was involved in a Get-There-Itis accident.

Landsberg was piloting a Cessna 182 to a meeting in Virginia when he encountered bad weather. Despite the weather conditions, he continued to fly, ultimately the plane crash resulted in Ladsber injuring himself and his passenger.

General Aviation Pilots and Crew Error

General aviation pilots are particularly susceptible to Get-There-Itis. In many cases, pilots are under pressure to meet deadlines or arrive at their destination on time.

This can lead to poor decision-making and ultimately, accidents. Crew error is also a common factor in Get-There-Itis accidents, as pilots and co-pilots may be hesitant to speak up if they feel that their concerns will be dismissed.

Critical Decision-Making in Los Angeles

In 2018, a Learjet 35A crashed into a building in Los Angeles, killing both pilots and a third person on the ground.

The NTSB determined that the accident was caused by the pilots' failure to follow proper procedures and their decision to continue the flight despite adverse weather conditions. The pilots were likely suffering from Get-There-Itis and were determined to complete the flight, despite the risks.

As these case studies show, Get-There-Itis can be a deadly trap for pilots. It's important to be aware of the signs of this phenomenon and to take steps to avoid it.

This includes being willing to delay or cancel flights if necessary, and being open to feedback and input from other members of the crew. By taking these steps, we can reduce the risk of Get-There-Itis accidents and keep ourselves and our passengers safe.

Factors That Contribute to Get-There-Itis

As a pilot, I understand the desire to get to a destination as quickly as possible. However, this mindset can lead to a dangerous condition known as Get-There-Itis. There are several factors that contribute to this condition, including:

Pressure to Meet Deadlines

One of the biggest factors that can contribute to Get-There-Itis is the pressure to meet deadlines.

This can come from passengers, employers, or even the pilot themselves. When there is a deadline to meet, it can be tempting to take risks and push the limits to get there on time.

Personal Minimums and Decision-Making

Another factor that can contribute to Get-There-Itis is a lack of personal minimums and poor decision-making.

Pilots who do not have clear personal minimums may be more likely to take risks and ignore warning signs. Additionally, poor decision-making can lead to a situation where a pilot is not able to make rational choices.

Confirmation Bias and Plan Continuation Bias

Confirmation bias and plan continuation bias can also contribute to Get-There-Itis.

Confirmation bias is the tendency to look for information that confirms pre-existing beliefs, while plan continuation bias is the tendency to continue with a plan even when there are warning signs that it may not be safe.

These biases can lead to a situation where a pilot is not able to see warning signs or make rational decisions.

Situational Awareness and Alternatives

Finally, a lack of situational awareness and failure to consider alternatives can contribute to Get-There-Itis. Pilots who are not aware of changing weather conditions or who do not consider alternate airports may be more likely to push ahead with a risky flight.

It is important for pilots to be aware of these factors and take steps to mitigate the risks of Get-There-Itis.

This may include setting clear personal minimums, having a backup plan in case of bad weather, and being willing to make the difficult decision to cancel a flight if necessary. By being aware of these factors and taking steps to mitigate them, pilots can help ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers.

Preventing Get-There-Itis

As a pilot, it's important to understand the risks of Get-There-Itis and take steps to prevent it. Here are some mitigation strategies that I use to prevent plan continuation bias:

Planning Ahead

Overcoming get there itis requires patience and planning ahead. It’s human nature to try to do things as efficiently as possible, but this can result in serious safety risks in aviation when protocols are not followed.

Before every flight, I plan my route, alternate airports, and fuel stops. I also check the weather forecast, NOTAMs, and TFRs. I make sure to include extra time in my flight plan to account for any unexpected delays.

Setting Personal Minimums

I have personal minimums for visibility, ceiling, and crosswind limits. For example, I won't take off if the visibility is less than 1 mile or the crosswind component exceeds 15 knots. I stick to these limits even if it means delaying or canceling the flight.

Having a Plan B

I always have a backup plan in case something goes wrong. This could include having an alternate airport in mind or carrying extra fuel to divert to another airport.

I also make sure to have an online database of rental car companies and hotel rooms in case I need to stay overnight.

Staying Informed

During the flight, I constantly monitor the weather and ATC communications. If instrument meteorological conditions indicate dangerous weather, I reevaluate my plan and adjust accordingly.

I also make sure to stay in contact with my chief pilot and other pilots in my company to stay informed of any potential issues.

Knowing When to Divert or Go-Around

If conditions deteriorate during the flight, I'm not afraid to divert to an alternate airport or go-around and try again. I always prioritize safety over getting to my destination on time to mitigate get there itis.

By following these mitigation strategies, I can prevent plan continuation bias and ensure the safety of myself and my passengers. Remember, the most important thing is to always prioritize safety over getting to your destination on time.

How Common is Get-There-Itis in Aviation?

As a pilot myself, I'm well aware of the dangers of "get-there-itis" in the aviation industry. According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), "get-there-itis" is a common factor in many aviation accidents and incidents.

It refers to the tendency of pilots to become fixated on reaching their destination, even in the face of adverse weather conditions or other safety hazards.

By understanding the factors that contribute to this mindset, we can develop more effective pilot training programs and safety guidelines to help pilots make better decisions in the air.

Ultimately, our goal is to improve safety in the aviation industry and prevent accidents and incidents caused by poor decisions and "get-there-itis."