Page 10 - InterPilot Vol1 No4
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Flying skills lacking?

A US Federal Aviation Administration- responsibility, and the means of accom- The drones
commissioned report issued by a blue- plishing it have evolved considerably.
ribbon working group has identified “vul- Since 1996, improvements have been
nerabilities … in pilot knowledge and made in the design, training, and opera- are coming
skills for manual flight operations,” over- tional use of onboard systems for flight
reliance on automated systems, and inad- path management, including autopilots, In November, the US Federal Aviation
equacies in current training methods. flight directors, autothrottle/autothrust Administration (FAA) released a roadmap
The 267-page report includes 28 systems, FMS, etc, and their associated for integrating as many as 7,500 commer-
findings and 18 recommendations flight crew interfaces. These systems have cial unmanned aircraft into American air-
regarding skills and training for pilots, contributed significantly to the impressive space by 2015. The first step will be half a
instructors, air traffic controllers, and safety record of the air transportation sys- dozen drone test sites around the country;
regulators, as well as future aircraft and tem. However, more recent incident and the FAA revealed it has received 25 applica-
airspace design. accident reports suggested that flight tions for such sites.
Titled Operational Use of Flight Path crews continue to have problems using Speaking at an Aerospace Industries
Management Systems, the report is the these flight path management systems.” Association forum on unmanned aircraft,
effort of a joint working group from Among the findings cited in the report: FAA administrator Michael Huerta said
the FAA’s Performance-Based Aviation l “Vulnerabilities were identified in ensuring safety in the skies was his agency’s
Rulemaking Committee (PARC) and the pilot knowledge and skills for manual top priority. “As the provider of air traffic
Commercial Aviation Safety Team (CAST). flight operations ...” services, we must ensure the safety and effi-
The working group was co-chaired by l “Pilots sometimes rely too much on ciency of the entire airspace, including all
Dr Kathy Abbott, chief scientific and tech automated systems and may be reluc- aircraft, people, and property – both
advisor at the FAA; IFALPA Human tant to intervene.” manned and unmanned – in the air and on
Performance Committee vice-chairman l “Flight deck task/workload manage- the ground.”
David McKenney, who is director of ment continues to be an important fac-
pilot training for the Air Line Pilots tor affecting flight path.”
Association, International (ALPA); and l “Current training methods, training
Airlines for America (A4A) director Paul devices, the time allotted for training,
Railsback. The group included represent- and content may not provide the flight
atives from aircraft and avionics manu- crews with the knowledge, skills, and
facturers, airlines, regulators, industry judgment to successfully manage flight
associations, and academia. path management systems.”
Using a 1996 FAA study on Interfaces Among the report’s recommendations:
between Flightcrews and Modern Flight l “Develop and implement standards and
Deck Systems as a baseline, the group guidance for maintaining and improving
Boeing’s scanEagle unmanned aircraft system.
reviewed the US Aviation Safety Reporting knowledge and skills for manual flight
System (ASRS) and other incident reports, operations …” Among the concerns are whether
worldwide accident and major incident l “Develop guidance for flight crew remotely controlled drones will be able to
reports, and Line Operations Safety Audit strategies and procedures to address detect and avoid other aircraft. There are
(LOSA) data, and conducted interviews malfunctions for which there is no also security concerns, including whether
with aircraft operators, manufacturers, specific procedure.” drone navigation controls can be hacked
and training organizations. l “Revise initial and recurrent pilot or disrupted.
The report notes, “Managing the training … improve the oversight of air Outlining the benefits of unmanned air-
flight path of the aircraft is a basic pilot carriers and Part 142 training centers.” craft, Michael Toscano, president and CEO
of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle
Systems International (AUVSI), said, “From
LIKE IFALPA FOLLOW IFALPA advancing scientific research and respond-
ON FACEBOOK ON TWITTER ing to natural disasters to locating missing
persons and helping to fight wildfires,
search IFALPA or search @IFALPA unmanned aircraft systems can save
International Federation of or #IFALPA time, save money, and, most importantly,
Air Line Pilots’ Associations
save lives.”
Vol 1 | No 4 | December 2013 InterPilot | The Safety and Technical Journal of IFALPA
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