The Aviation Operational Environment: Integrating a Decision-Making Paradigm, Flight Simulator Training and an Automated Cockpit Display for Aviation Safety

The Aviation Operational Environment: Integrating a Decision-Making Paradigm, Flight Simulator Training and an Automated Cockpit Display for Aviation Safety

Ronald John Lofaro (Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide, USA) and Kevin M. Smith (United Airlines (ret.), & USN (ret.), USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-887-3.ch015
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Abstract

This chapter will focus on the role of pilot/flightcrew training and performance evaluation in the identification and management of risk, especially while aloft and in changing conditions. The chapter will integrate different- but we posit interrelated, topic areas: First, a decision-making paradigm for flight crew’s use in the operational environment. Second, training and performance evaluation in flight simulators (FS), as well as the design and development of FS scenarios to test decision performance. Third, Relevant Federal Aviation regulations (FAR’s) and approved programs in current pilot/flightcrew training. Fourth, accident investigations; the role and use-value of accident investigation data in flying safety. Finally, the authors will present recommendations for the next steps in the development and use of new and emerging technologies for maximum pilot/flight crew decision performance and safety. This will be done via a collaborative ground-air, automated system and is what we propose to achieve our goal, increasing safety of flight.
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Introduction

The perspective in this chapter is identifying seemingly unrelated aviation safety issues, demonstrating that they are interrelated, then describing a set of methodologies whereby these issues can be addressed and resolved. We are at a tipping point in aviation safety where there are many efforts, within the airline community and by governmental agencies, to deal with the same genre of accidents that has plagued civil aviation since its initial development. No attempts seem to be completely sufficient or totally effective. The initial definition and concepts of what was called pilot judgment has been with aviation for many, many years. We now re-define pilot judgment as the capability to make an optimum decision; a decision that is based on the identification, analysis and evaluation of the risk factors in play, with resultant action. We have called this operational decision-making (ODM; Lofaro, Smith or Smith, Lofaro: 2009, 2008, 2003, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1993) and define it as a cognitive process that is not solely, or in the main, the result of experience, as was previously thought. What will be presented is our effort to met the challenge of this last frontier in aviation training and evaluation: how to accurately identify and manage risk before and while in flight. We now go past ODM to what we call decision performance; the processes for making such decisions and implementing them to manage risk and ensure safety.

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