PILOTS’ HEADS USED TO BE OUTSIDE THE COCKPIT; VOSS SAYS THAT THEIR HEADS NOW ALSO NEED TO BE BEHIND THE COMPUTER

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NEWS ARTICLE: Voss Says Pilots Must Back Up AutomationBill Voss, Flight Safety Foundation

It used to be said that pilots’ focus should be outside of the cockpit, that being fixed on her/his instruments would detract from the important task of scanning the skies.

Bill Voss, Flight Safety Foundation’s highly respected CEO, suggests that the computerization of the cockpit compels a new and different role-BACKING UP THE COMPUTER. Mr. Voss’ observation is that the cockpit crews overly rely on the data displayed on the CRTs and that the information generated by the computers is not always infallible. Consequently, he suggests that the training of these professionals needs to be revised to reflect this change in roles. Analytical thinking and the propensity to question the computer are skills that should be included in flight training.

Great suggestion, Mr.Voss, hopefully the airline’s training departments will amend their training syllabuses to include training for these critical skills.

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1 Comment on "PILOTS’ HEADS USED TO BE OUTSIDE THE COCKPIT; VOSS SAYS THAT THEIR HEADS NOW ALSO NEED TO BE BEHIND THE COMPUTER"

  1. Fly the aircraft first.
    My years at an Airline taught me to check the standby flight instruments immediately upon suspecting an flight indication or messaging system.
    This began even before the electronic computerization. In instrument conditions and night, I made it a habit of flying the standby attitude indicator when initiating any turn, manual or autopilot. It is interesting how many times things were not how they should be.
    The multitude of times little things happen to flight crews that are disregarded can never be accounted for. A simple indicator problem is written up and forgotten…until it becomes an incident or accident.
    The pilot must always fly the airplane.

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