Helicopter Hoisting and the Human in the system:

Applying the 3Hs to decision-making during helicopter hoist operations. On the 29 April 2020 at Biscarosse near Bordeaux in France, two crew members of a French Air Force H225 fell to their deaths when a hoist cable parted during a winch training exercise. (Summary report in English from Aerossurance.) The tragic outcome coupled with theContinue reading “Helicopter Hoisting and the Human in the system:”

Developing Competency in Problem-Solving and Decision Making: The importance of Process vs Outcome.

Separating the quality of a decision from the quality of the processes which lead to a decision being made sounds like it should be straight-forward, but it isn’t. This is especially true if we judge a decision to be a bad one, or a wrong one, when our negative perception of the choice can easily overwhelm what could have been a perfectly acceptable, collaborative, and well-communicated thought process.

The distinction between the quality of the decision-making process and the decision itself is an important one to make in the context of training for competency because although we won’t always make the right, or the best, decisions in any given situation, the ability to develop and improve our decision-making processes, is what competency-based training is all about.


What Nobel Prize Winner Daniel Kahneman can teach us about why taking the hardest decisions of them all is so hard. In his book Thinking Fast and Slow Nobel Prize winning economist and thinker Daniel Kahneman introduces us to many fascinating insights into the human decision-making process. Loss Aversion is one of these. He beginsContinue reading “AERONAUTICAL DECISION-MAKING AND LOSS AVERSION:”

Can a fatal accident provide proof that CRM training does save lives?

On July the 4th last year an AW139 departing from Big Grand Cay in the Bahamas at night hit the water shortly after take off killing all on board. The US National Transport Safety Board (NTSB) has just released the transcript from the cockpit voice recorder carried on board. Perhaps the most shocking part ofContinue reading “Can a fatal accident provide proof that CRM training does save lives?”

Decision Making in a complex environment: The role of experience, intuition, and the contribution of team behaviours.

What is a complex environment? Put simply, a complex environment is a system or situation that has too many elements and relationships to understand in simple analytical or logical ways. It is a landscape with multiple and diverse connections, and dynamic and interdependent relationships, events, and processes. While there may be trends and patterns, theyContinue reading “Decision Making in a complex environment: The role of experience, intuition, and the contribution of team behaviours.”

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:”


Texting & Flying: Pilot distraction & the myth of multi-tasking. On August 26, 2011, at about 6:41 pm CDT, a Eurocopter AS350 B2 helicopter operated by Air Methods on an EMS mission crashed following a loss of engine power as a result of fuel exhaustion a mile from an airport in Mosby, Missouri. The pilot,Continue reading “TEXTING AND FLYING?”