ERAU Worldwide Commercial Pilot Survey

Safe and efficient flight operations in automated aircraft depend upon pilots’ knowledge and understanding of the aircraft, confidence to manually fly, and retention of flight skills.

However, industry reports indicate that pilots may not understand aircraft systems, lack flight skills due to automation dependence, and ineffective monitoring skills. Airline safety depends upon adequate training and assessment measures, and current training processes may by falling short in providing pilot competency in automated aircraft.

Current industry reports have identified performance issues in modern-day glass cockpit aircraft to include loss of manual flight skills, inability to read the flight mode annunciator, and lack of understanding, which have resulted in accidents, incidents, and safety reports. Whereas current literature has identified automation challenges to include trust and reliability, complacency, display and integrated systems design, confidence, and situation awareness, there appears to be a gap in the research as to what factors impact pilots’ performance and proclivity toward automation usage, and if automation usage is impacting performance. In addition, while there has been much research on safety culture, there appears to be a gap in the research as to how safety culture may impact a pilot’s willingness to manually, pilot training, and aircraft understanding.

The purpose of this research is to examine the relationships among training methodologies, pilots’ aircraft understanding, safety culture, aviation passion, and manual flight, in order to address industry concerns of automation dependence, confusion, lack of mode awareness, and flight skill loss.

If the industry continues to blame the pilot for errors and mishaps, then nothing will ever be fixed. This research will gather the data to show what factors are impacting performance and could be utilized to improve training and safety culture, enabling pilots to achieve their highest performance.

If you fly a two person crew (corporate, charter, or airline) please visithttp://petittaviationresearch.comto access the link.