Category Archive: Aviation Training

Protection against the ‘G’

Average relaxed ‘G’ tolerance of combat aircrew varies between 4 to 5G, although the range may be 3 to 8G. Yet, one must note there are large individual variations in G tolerance and even in the same individual, the tolerance may vary on different days or different times of the day. It is here that …

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Hypoxia Training – Essentially Useful.

Most military aircrew undergo hypoxia training, including experience in decompression chamber, to understand the ill-effects of the silent but deadly hazard of in-flight hypoxia [1]. Symptoms experienced during the classic mask-off hypoxia indoctrination in altitude/decompression chamber correlates well with reported in-flight symptoms [2]. The objectives of hypoxia indoctrination, an effects-based training, is to make aircrew …

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Loss of Control: Human Factors in Air France Flight 447

Investigating the crash of Air France Flight 447 [1], from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, into the Atlantic Ocean on 01 June 2009, the French Bureau of Enquiry and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety (BEA = Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’Analyses pour la Sécurité de l’Aviation Civile) released an interim report on 29 Jul 11. This …

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Orientation & Pilot Training – Likely Lacunae!

James Doolittle made history on 24 September 1929, when he took off, flew a distance of 20 miles and landed an airplane by instruments alone [1]. The array of instruments included the Sperry Horizon, precursor of the artificial horizon, which still remains the essential instrument for maintaining orientation in flight. 

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Do Flight Simulators help in Transfer of Learning?

Despite the wide scale acceptance and use of flight simulators, some doubts may continue being raised about their limitations in the transfer of learning, especially whenever there is an aircraft accident. 

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Sick in the Air: Motion Sickness/Air Sickness

Motion Sickness, characterised by nausea, pallor, cold sweating and vomiting, occurs when humans are exposed to unfamiliar motion stimuli, either real or apparent. The earliest known reference to motion sickness was ‘sea-sickness’ but now this term encompasses symptoms induced by any form of motion or even in the absence of physical motion it is known …

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Spatial Disorientation: Prevention

Prevention of SD is a multi-pronged approach. Preventive strategies start with the selection of healthy candidates with normal vestibular function for aviation duties. The trained aircrew should make conscious and concerted efforts to be physically and mentally healthy, and if unwell or under medication – prescribed or self-medicated, must avoid flying under any circumstances for their …

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Lost It, Situational Awareness!

Situational Awareness “can be conceived of as the pilot’s internal model of the world around him at any point in time” [1]. Conventional flight requires the pilots to glean information from the instrument panel and other auditory inputs, interpret it and draw inference to maintain their situational awareness and in turn ensure safe flight. And …

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Decision Making in Aviation – The Twain shall Meet

The vital difference between classical or normative Decision Making and Naturalistic Decision Making is that whereas the former prescribes the correct way to make a decision, the latter describes the process of Decision Making, without prescribing a way to make the decision [1]. The process of normative (classical) Decision Making conventionally focuses on criteria and …

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Decision Making in Aviation: Classical versus Naturalistic

Sometimes procedural errors, due to lack of currency, increased workload (due to adverse weather, equipment malfunction or enemy action) or poor judgement (due to situational uncertainty or potential imminent catastrophe), leads to ‘pilot error’ [1]. The pilot errs, conventionally, whenever the perceptual, judgemental and motor demands exceed (her)his momentary attention capacity. “Typically it occurs when …

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