The automation explosion: examining the human factor fallout

Also published in AirMed&Rescue, Nov 2021 edition. Automation reduces workload, frees attentional resources to focus on other tasks, and is capable of flying the aircraft more accurately than any of us. It is simultaneously a terrible master that exposes many human limitations and appeals to many human weaknesses. As we have bid to reduce crewContinue reading “The automation explosion: examining the human factor fallout”

Distributed Situation Awareness

Pretty much everyone in aviation is familiar with the concept of situation awareness. But as research interest in SA grew, the concept expanded from the individual level to how SA might apply in the context of larger and more complex systems. What does distributed SA actually mean? The idea is that SA is held by both human and non-human agents. Myriad technological artefacts within a system also hold some form of SA. Now if, like me, you initially struggle with the idea that an artefact (such as a radio, or altimeter) can have ‘awareness’, then bear with me…

ARE YOU A SPECIALIST AVIATOR? WHY DEVELOPING RANGE IS PART OF YOUR JOB.

Most of us will recognise amongst our colleagues that figure who has an unmatched knowledge of their aircraft and operational procedures but isn’t a natural team player, doesn’t share thought processes much, and just perhaps doesn’t quite integrate with the rest of his/her colleagues as comfortably as others. We admire technical knowledge in aviation, butContinue reading “ARE YOU A SPECIALIST AVIATOR? WHY DEVELOPING RANGE IS PART OF YOUR JOB.”

On Lookout and helicopters

The importance of an effective lookout. We’ve heard it from day one in aviation, a constant through our flying training days and beyond. The dangers of mid-air collision, obstacles, and controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) will always be there.  These are not static threats however, but are always evolving. Take the proliferation of drones asContinue reading “On Lookout and helicopters”

Is Human Factors in aviation at a crossroads?

Now seems like a good time to look beyond the dark prism of the current COVID-induced crisis in aviation to consider a future beyond the mire. The Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (CIEHF) recently published a White Paper called “The Human Dimension in Tomorrow’s Aviation System”. It’s made up of a series ofContinue reading “Is Human Factors in aviation at a crossroads?”

Can you learn to deal with the unexpected & unpredictable?

Cognitive Readiness in Search and Rescue operations: What is it? Do you have it? How do you get it? There’s a problem with training to learn to deal with the unexpected: we simply don’t know in advance what the objectives of any training or instruction should be. If you haven’t come across it already, CognitiveContinue reading “Can you learn to deal with the unexpected & unpredictable?”

A machine for jumping to conclusions:

Human Decision-making: Extracts from Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow. Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel prize winner for his work, first became famous for his article Judgement under uncertainty (1974) Heuristics and Biases. The Article was produced from research funded by US Department of Defense and Office of Naval Research. He expanded this into a bookContinue reading “A machine for jumping to conclusions:”

Human perception & the mental model

Memory and meaning I cdnuol’t blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aocdcrnig to rscheearch at Cmadrigbe Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht odrer the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt thnig is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghitContinue reading “Human perception & the mental model”