EASA’s proactive “kit” for Pilot Skills Decay

COVID decay pilot skills
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Pandemic Quarantine kept many pilots from Cockpit

 Long absence from controlling planes likely to diminish SKILLS

EASA issues practical guidance to address DECAY

Many, if not all, aviation safety pundits have expressed concerns about the hand-eye-automation interface of the thousands of commercial pilots who were grounded by the pandemic. Much credit to EASA[1], which in July 2020,  published guidelines on the importance of resilient ‘air operators’ management systems in the COVID-19 recovery phase.

EASA plus pilot

The European Aviation Safety published three separate pilot scenarios to help these professionals return to the cockpit, each of which will aid these women and men back flying schedules. Each begins with a specific hypothetical statement of a situation and is followed by tables of specific considerations to be assessed by management and the crews.

Here is the EASA explanation of their practical self-testing:


In order to support the safe return to normal operations (RNO), a document on “The role of air operators’ management systems in the COVID-19 recovery phase” has been developed as part of the basket of measures the Agency is assembling as a response to the crisis.

These guidelines address the air operators to identify and consider safety threats associated with RNO. They have been developed by a team of subject matter experts from EASA, industry and national competent authorities, appointed by the RNO Taskforce.

More specifically, the document enhances the needed robustness and resilience of the air operator’s management system in order to identify and mitigate COVID-19 generated risks, by outlining the importance of:

        • The safety risk management process;
        • The compliance monitoring function;
        • The safety performance monitoring and measurement;
        • The management of changes.
        • The guidelines further focus on operational and airworthiness aspects, taking into consideration organisational and human factor elements.

Scenario 1

scenario 1


From there the paper explores:

                    • From an ORGANISATIONAL perspective
                    • From FLIGHT OPERATIONS perspective
                    • From a TRAINING perspective
                    • From an OPERATION CONTROL CENTER’s and CREW SCHEDULE DEPARTMENT perspective

Practical scenario 2-one of the specific study guides

scenario 2



Practical scenario 3- description of #3’s hypothetical facts

scenario 3


Practical scenario 4– another review syllabus


scenario 4



pilots in cockpit


EASA publishes practical scenario on crew skill decay to support the Return to Normal Operations

22 Oct 2021


EASA covid guidance

In July 2020, EASA published guidelines on the importance of resilient ‘air operators’ management systems in the COVID-19 recovery phase, which were complemented by three practical operational scenarios.

EASA has now developed an additional scenario addressing the issue of crew skill decay.

This scenario was reviewed and agreed with a task force composed of representatives of EASA, authorities and airlines.

This practical scenario supports the air operators in developing their comprehensive risk assessments to resume normal operations and monitor the assurance of safety by providing information on possible hazards, threats and consequences, and by suggesting mitigation measures.

[1] Past posts have been lessons that somewhere in the morass of FAA documents- website, FAST. INFO, SAFO, etc. there may be a similar set of advisories for crews in RNO.

EASA class


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1 Comment on "EASA’s proactive “kit” for Pilot Skills Decay"

  1. The importance of a thorough preflight on aircraft coming out of storage cannot be overstressed. Those aircraft may have undergone maintenance or have un-disclosed damage, or simply have developed system anomalies. The “preflight” is there for a purpose.

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