How can we massively improve pilots’ performances with today’s technology?

Today, aviation is facing many challenges. Here is our modest contribution about how to take them on: From today on, Pierre Wannaz, Senior Advisor and Captain on A330/A340, will publish every Tuesday a new article about the subject. Let’s discuss them together to move things forward!

#PilotTraining #FlightDebriefing #AviationSafety #LineTraining

Factual debriefings: key element of success in every learning process

Studies have shown that the debriefing is the most important part in a learning process.

The importance of debriefing

“We do not learn from experience only. We learn from reflecting on experience.”

[John Dewey, psychologist & philoshopher]

It is logical: if we don’t reflect on our work, we will only repeat the same mistakes again and again. But in order to be able to correctly reflect on experience, we need to have the most objective facts to be observed.

Today’s debriefings are usually based on pilots’ memories only, immediately after the flight.

  • Can we guarantee their correct perception?
  • In a dynamic situation, have they realized everything that might have influenced their performance?
  • In a fly-by-wire aircraft, without stick synchronised displacement, how can the opposite pilot get a feedback about the manual stick inputs of the flying pilot?
  • How can we demonstrate that a perception was distorted or wrong when it is the case?

Nowadays, in case of different interpretations, it is the instructor’s statements against the trainee’s statements!

How can we improve flight debriefings?

Today, the independent software company CEFA Aviation proposes a game changer called CEFA AMS (Aviation Mobile Services).

This debriefing tool gives pilots an almost immediate access to the recorded flight data from the digital flight data recorder in order to make a debriefing based on real facts.

It gives a visualization in real time of selected segments of the flight.

CEFA AMS reveals:

  • the facts,
  • the dynamic of a situation,
  • and displays the exact values of some happenings.

Using such a tool will dramatically improve the quality of the debriefing. It will totally remove the risks of wrong perceptions.

A huge potential for novice pilots in line training

The trainee, being confronted with the reality, is more keen to accept the facts and in case of a different perception, he will be in a position to explain his point of view based on factual evidences.

Novice pilots will, with this tool, have the possibility to review the written debriefing later at home on their tablets, and replay portions of their flights as many times as necessary to understand what happened. Instructors and trainees by themselves will also be in a position to set “gates” or “target values” for the next flights in order to improve their performance.

For example, if the landing was a little too long and the instructor suggested for the next flight to idle the throttle a little bit earlier, this is today a fully subjective statement! Using an objective animation based on flight data, the pilot can analyze the exact moment of the throttling back and set up a target radio altimeter gate for the next flight.

Wireless data transmission and tablets are both tools widely used by the current new generation for many things. Using this technology, we are in a position to massively improve the understanding of our own performances as pilots.

So with such a tool, pilots get a solid foundation to make an effective crew centered debriefing. That way, they can improve rapidly the performance of their training, being able to use each flight as a training opportunity.

Pierre WANNAZ, Senior Advisor at CEFA Aviation

Pierre Wannaz
Senior Advisor CEFA Aviation
Captain on A330/A340, TRI/SFE,  acceptance pilot and legal expert in accident investigations

Next to be read: keep your eyes peeled next Tuesday, 16th October 2018 with “big data for pilots!

If you wish to discuss more about flight debriefing, contact Pierre via LinkedIn or via this contact form, or come & meet us:
on CEFA Aviation stand, booth #11
at the European Airline Training Symposium (EATS)
on 6th-7th November 2018
in Madrid, Spain, organized by Halldale!