Pilot Personalities: What’s Your Risk Type?

This article, published in Air Beat magazine in September 2018, was written by Kenneth Cerney, EMS Helicopter Pilot and Teamwork Consultant.

Typically, risk takers are assumed to be more dangerous than non-risk takers. Look at the insurance industry – companies choose who can buy life insurance primarily based on occupation.


But what if an entire industry, like HEMS, firefighting and public safety aviation, is made up of risk takers? What about helicopter air ambulance (HAA) pilots?

Anyone who flies helicopters will probably admit the risks are real, but how individuals look at those risks might differ. Risk assessment worksheets help evaluate risk level, but they don’t look at personal risk tolerance or how crew members approach risks. A relatively new assessment, the Risk Type Compass, does just that, providing individuals and organisations a look at how personality affects risk tolerance and how it may influence decision making individually or as a crew.

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