Forty-one commercial airline pilots executed flight scenarios that varied the time available for deciding whether and when to divert to an alternate airport. Pilots with the most flight experience were the most responsive to variance in available decision time: they diverted relatively early when time was short, and later or not at all when time was plentiful. Greater experience was also associated with efforts to fill gaps in the available information and test assumptions. A framework is proposed that predicts these effects as a function of (1) skill at situation recognition and rapid response, (2) metacognitive skill at detecting and handling uncertainty, and (3) sensitivity to the opportunities to switch between these two skill sets.