Cockpit Automation Report Highlights FAA's Progress, Underscores Threats

By Sean Broderick
Source: AWIN First

Earlier this year, the agency issued new certification standards based in part on the flight deck design recommendations. “Until now, little or no guidance has existed to show the applicant how they may address potential flight crew limitations and design-related errors,” the agency explains. The new standards require manufacturers to factor human abilities and limitations into their designs.

While many in the industry welcome such moves, there is acknowledgment that waiting on regulators to mandate changes to known problems is not always the most prudent course of action. That was the motivation behind an industry-driven group working on a fast-tracked project aimed at improving pilot monitoring skills.

The working group formed a year ago following discussions at an industry human factors meeting. The group’s final report, expected out by the end of the year, will present qualitative data—much of it derived from LOSA reports—to establish inadequate monitoring as a widespread problem. One conclusion reached, according to working group members, is that LOSA data reveals poor monitoring skills that make pilots at least twice as likely to make a mistake compared to pilots that monitor effectively. 

To combat these challenges, the group plans to punctuate its report with several straightforward recommendations and publish related training aids designed for quick implementation by flight training departments.

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