How a cockpit forgets speeds (and speed-related events): toward a kinetic description of joint cognitive systems
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Two seminal papers investigating the cognition involved in navigating modern, multi-crew aircraft developed a joint cognitive system approach while focusing on how a cockpit calculates and remembers speed (Henriqson et al. in Cogn Technol Work 13:217-231, 2011; Hutchins in Cogn Sci 19(3):265-288, 1995b). Although the joint cognitive systems approach constituted an advance over more traditional approaches focusing on individual pilot performances, both fall short of describing the cockpit joint cognitive system. Based on extensive ethnographic data-including recorded modified think-aloud protocols, debriefing sessions following (recorded) simulator biannual simulator assessments, and simulator performances followed by stimulated recall using simulator recordings-we show that a considerable amount of flying involves bodily and embodied knowledge sequentially and temporally organized in flows (kinetic melodies). These become apparent when pilots are asked to fly multiple aircraft (mixed-fleet flying), where the flow patterns from one cockpit are triggered in a physically and cognitively different cockpit. Focusing on embodied flows (kinetic melodies) allows us to highlight how cockpits forget speeds and how they fail to calculate the required speeds and speed-related events.
Cognition, Technology & Work
Education Assessment and Evaluation