Automation Airmanship: The Blog
Monday, 21 May 2018 15:36

Logic Knowledge

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This is the last in a series of posts that began over a year ago; it’s the last leg of an improvement strategy that has covered the entire family of 9 Automation Airmanship® principles. If you have not been able to follow the entire series from the beginning, the last 12 month’s posts are available as archives on the home page for this blog. The researcher and futurist Ray Amara famously said, “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” It’s hard to speculate which emerging technology…
Tuesday, 27 February 2018 10:19

Positive Flightpath Control

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This is the Tenth in a series of posts that will provide an improvement strategy that covers the entire family of 9 Automation Airmanship® principles. Following this post, there will be one more to close out this series which began just over one year ago, in January 2017. If you have not been able to follow the entire series from the beginning, the last 12 months of posts are available as archives on our blog’s home page. When we complicate our lives with new technologies, we often bury the fundamentals while focusing on the faster, higher, farther aspects of progress.…
Tuesday, 09 January 2018 10:08

Workload Management

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This is the Ninth in a series of posts that will provide an improvement strategy that covers the entire family of 9 Automation Airmanship® principles. There’s been a lot written lately about the rapid turnover of the workforce throughout the entire global aviation industry—not a week goes by without some major trade publication making the observation, and claiming to understand the solution to the increasingly dire “global pilot shortage.” Over the past few years, I’ve encountered it in every area of the profession; and on a very personal level, I’ve also had the privilege to administer the final checking event…
Tuesday, 12 December 2017 09:50

Situation and Mode Awareness: SMA

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This is the Eigth in a series of posts that will provide, throughout the year, an improvement strategy that will cover the entire family of 9 Automation Airmanship® principles. Just a few years ago, we went on the record to update an outdated concept, one that had remained unchanged for decades while our industry had evolved to become the technology- and automation-dominant business that it is today. By combining and updating the concepts of Situation Awareness and Mode Awareness, we made it possible for crews to view these two important aspects of contemporary aviation for what they actually are: highly…
Friday, 29 September 2017 12:45

Adept Multi-tasker, or Serial Processor: Which One are You?

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This is the Seventh in a series of posts that will provide, throughout the year, an improvement strategy that will cover the entire family of 9 Automation Airmanship® principles. Sixty-Nine Million. That’s the number of results that the search engine on my computer generated when I typed in the term “monitoring accidents” just a few minutes ago. I’m thinking that interrogating the world wide web with the same query a year from now will provide several million more, and in the decade to come, tens of millions more on top of those. In the distraction-laden environment that our civilization has…
Tuesday, 22 August 2017 08:58

Communicating Intent

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This is the Sixth in a series of posts that will provide, throughout the year, an improvement strategy that will cover the entire family of 9 Automation Airmanship® principles. Good, effective communication is a constant across high-performance teams in any domain. In Automation Airmanship, we apply this truth to working directly with fellow crewmembers, the technology on the flight deck, and around the flight operation in general (that is, Air Traffic Control, maintenance, dispatch and flight following, mission coordination, etc.). It’s not just a recommendation that individuals and organizations constantly seek to improve this skill, our experience and field work…
Wednesday, 14 June 2017 13:18

Data Entry: The 21st Century Pilot's Essential Vocational Asset

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This is the Fifth in a series of posts that will provide, throughout the year, an improvement strategy that will cover the entire family of 9 Automation Airmanship® principles. This posting marks the half-way point for the year! Nearly every contemporary aviation accident (and many similar accidents in other high-risk/high-reliability industries) have a causal component related to data entry error, or data evaluation error. It’s a real problem across so many aspects of our profession that in 2013 we called it out as a fundamental principle of contemporary airmanship. Not a day passes—whether I am involved in cockpit duties or…
Thursday, 04 May 2017 15:06

Performance Feedback: Debriefing both the Good and the Not-so-good

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This is the fourth in a series of posts that will provide, throughout the year, an improvement strategy that will cover the entire family of 9 Automation AirmanshipÒ principles. Last month we examined how we can use Breifings to connect a plan to the desired outcome. This month, looking back on that last flight leg or trip, we offer a short tutorial on Debriefing—the one principle that allows us to improve beyond normal progress and experience to get better faster, driving down the likelihood of future errors while increasing our own expert knowledge.. Almost nothing impacts performance like focused, sustained…
Wednesday, 29 March 2017 21:14

A Good Briefing Connects Your Plans to the Real World

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This is the third in a series of posts that will provide, throughout the year, an improvement strategy that will cover the entire family of 9 Automation AirmanshipÒ principles. This post looks at how a well-constructed plan is put into action using the first half of the second principle – Briefing – to improve today’s flight (because we want to provide emphasis on the first half of this principle, in next month’s posting we will talk about debriefing). Briefings (noun) have been improving outcomes in aviation for over a century, and every time that technology has been improved and added…
Thursday, 23 February 2017 11:51

Planning Your Way to Consistently Better Outcomes

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This is the second in a series of posts that will provide, throughout the whole year, an improvement strategy that will cover the entire family of 9 Automation Airmanship® principles. This post lays out some strategies that crews can use on their very next flight to achieve expert results. “…Experts really do ‘see’ problems differently… [and] because they’re looking in the right place at the right thing , constructing a solution is immensely easier.”* – Denise D. Cummins So, you’ve made the move to engage in continuous improvement for all of 2017, and are wondering what few things you can…
Tuesday, 24 January 2017 14:32

A Year of Improving Airmanship

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This is the first of a series of posts that will provide, throughout the whole year, an improvement strategy that will cover the entire family of Nine Automation Airmanship® principles. This first post lays out the guidelines for a year of steady, disciplined improvement. The New Year always brings us to a point of reflecting on past actions and their results, and how another year might bring improvement in areas from physical fitness to personal relationships to professional aspirations, just to name a few. Some of the questions we have asked since the New Year include these: How can I get…
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 10:24

PBN Everywhere

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This is the third in a series of posts on the rapid and ongoing adoption of NextGen procedures and processes, and what that means for 21st-century flight crews. Perhaps after last month’s post you have had the chance to browse the FAA’s NextGen Website; chances are you were surprised to see how quickly and widely the FAA has been implementing changes to the national airspace. In September of this year, the FAA unveiled its “PBN NAS Navigation Strategy 2016”—a detailed plan to make Performance Based Navigation the primary means of navigation in the U. S. within 15 years (by the…
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