Current check-and-training systems developed to maintain flight standards on earlier generation aircraft may not necessarily cover all issues relevant to operation of advanced aircraft. Training is evolving from a skill-based instructional and examining activity; to one that uses scenario-based training to integrate risk management, aeronautical decision-making (ADM), situational awareness, and single-pilot resource management (SRM).
To quote IFALPA, which ran a workshop on best practices for pilot training in 2012, pilot training programs revolved around “two basic needs”:
The first was the need to focus on basic flying skills from the beginning and continue to practice these throughout a professional pilot’s career. The second was the need to enhance training programmes to account for added demands on pilots brought about by increased automation, emerging technology, high-density airspace, and globalization. In a world of growing competition, we need to improve and increase the amount of training a professional pilot receives, not diminish it. The gradual erosion of training time will have a delayed effect as the older generation of pilots leave the left seat and take their experience with them. According to CAE forecasts, airlines will need to produce 70 type-rated pilots a day, on average, to meet increasing demand and account for attrition; if these officers lack training to handle aviation’s increasing challenges, the safety of operations will be at increasing risk.
Other agencies have begun to take action in this area. NASA is currently assisting American Airlines in developing new training protocols, sitting in on their flights and offering suggestions based on observed areas of weakness. The project began in 2016.
Research must be pursued to:
• define the changing profile of job qualifications needed by applicants
• devise efficient methods and tools by which to select qualified candidates without high attrition costs
• develop and validate advanced training delivery systems that meet future staffing and training requirements
• create cost-effective new equipment training guidelines and procedures
• provide integrated team training for all aviation operations
• address training for mixed fleet and multi-cultured crews
• evaluate and remediate skill decay for diagnostic and complex operational tasks
- Lack of in-flight situational awareness, decision-making, and inadequate risk management if training methods are not effective.
- A single unsatisfactory demonstration of a test event will result in suspension of the check ride or simulator session.
- Failure to identify risks beyond an emergent or abnormal procedure. There are enormous cultural difficulties in satisfactory implementation of CRM: authoritarian captains, subservient first officers (not permitted to touch the controls), and emerging trend of some pilots to reject CRM because of the perception by captains that CRM – flight by consensus – is being abused by FOs?