Are we there yet?

One of the most interesting aspects of my professional life in aviation is following developments in technology across our industry (and others related to it), and tracking the most promising advances into widespread operational use. I consider myself to be among the lucky few in our industry who not only help in adapting technology into …

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Modes of Modern Airmanship, Part II: “Now that I know what a mode is, how do I apply that to Airmanship?”

A few weeks ago we began a discussion on the meaning of the word mode as it applies to the contemporary flight deck. Our intention was to bring some personal focus to our readers with respect to this often misunderstood yet ubiquitous concept. With this posting, we aim to complete the conversation and offer a …

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Modes of Modern Airmanship, Part I: “If that was a mode, then I sure missed it.”

 So much of the way we discuss contemporary flight deck automation and how pilots use technology to “get things done” is centered on mode and situational awareness, we thought it would be a good topic for this forum. In fact, it seems that in surveying some recent accident reports the concept of what a mode …

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Going Beyond “Minimum” Requirements: Four Easy Steps to Creating an Automation Culture that Lasts

A couple of weeks ago we started a discussion here about the upcoming “minimum standards” for “manual flying” and “monitoring” that the FAA’s recent IG report (see the last post) has recommended for implementation. Though we don’t know just what the FAA will put in place for standards that their enforcement arm (individual flight inspectors) …

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Automation Under Scrutiny: More Oversight is Coming, But Why Wait?

We are barely into the new year and already it looks as if we have one of the prime drivers of this year’s safety agenda (well, actually, it’s going to be longer than that). On January 7, 2016 the FAA’s Office of Inspector General issued its Audit Report on the “…hazards associated with increased use of …

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The Next Big Thing in Automation – SVGS, Part 2

In our last posting we introduced what we think will be one of the most enabling aviation technologies of the coming decade, SVGS, which is short for Synthetic Vision Guidance System. With the fusion of enabling technology that already exists on many flight decks, it could enter every kind of aircraft cockpit faster than any …

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The Next Big Thing in Automation – SVGS, Part 1

Instead of starting the new year with some lofty goals for improving overall airmanship in advanced aircraft, or looking back at what positive trends we can bring forward from last year, we decided to get out in front of what we think will become one of the hottest aviation technology topics of the next decade. …

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The Quiet March of Technology

An oft-used idiom to describe how quietly Progress changes the way we do things is that it does so one day at a time. Gradually we find ourselves wondering how it is that we have come so far while noticing so little about how our working environment has changed down the years. Recently, partly in …

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