What would you do if....? Improving pilot performance during unexpected events through in-flight scenario discussions.
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The ubiquitous reliability of the modern airliner has engendered a significant change in the traditional causes of aircraft accidents. Engine reliability in particular, coupled with sophisticated systems for flight path awareness such as Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems (EGPWS), Vertical Situation Displays (VSD's), Head Up Displays (HUD's) and Electronic Flight Bags (EFB's), have greatly decreased the prevalence of controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) accidents. Inflight loss of control (ILOC) has become far more common than CFIT, often as a result of automation anomalies, failures or mismanagement. With engine failures and fires becoming relatively rare, it is the novel and unexpected events, coupled with human related mismanagement of those events, often through a lack of knowledge and/or expectation, which are weighing on modern accident statistics. A project was completed over 10 weeks at an Australasian Airline, where pilots were encouraged to discuss novel event scenarios. It was hypothesised that discussion of novel events would, in the absence of actual practice, develop a mental plan for the management of such events and also raise levels of expectation for such events. At the completion of the project all the pilots were asked to complete an online survey which outlined their perceptions of project utility, expectation and efficacy as a result of the discussions. While only 44% of available pilots responded, results were overwhelmingly positive.
Aeronautica was published between 2011 and 2014. An archived version of the original journal website is available via PANDORA - http://pandora.nla.gov.au/tep/141892