The Facts about Contemporary Aviation

Sometimes it seems as if business and industry rush into the future-world with so much energy and eagerness that those who we rely on to keep watch over high-risk/high-reliability endeavors are barely managing to keep abreast of developments. For those of us in aviation, the entities that provide this oversight function (primarily the FAA in …

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The Human/Machine Team: Part 2

In our first post of the year, we discussed one part of the human-machine team, the inherently flexible, adaptable, and powerful human operator. Ignoring the popular media and its leanings towards science fiction – and the views of many in our own industry – we hope to have reinforced the prominence of the human over …

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The Human/Machine Team: Part 1

One of our previous posts, entitled “Contemporary Cockpits: No Place for Luggage or Dogs,” was an introduction to a multi-part series that discusses what we know about the human-machine relationship, and what others from outside aviation have learned and applied in the last decade. Recent accidents and the media attention they’ve attracted has brought this …

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A Look Back, a Look Ahead

Depending on where you sit in this industry, 2013 was a year of great change and great drama, some of it tragic. Though you might be reading this during a rest break while on a long trip over the Christmas holidays, this is still a time to “slow down the conveyor belt” just a little …

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Contemporary Cockpits: No Place for Luggage or Dogs

If you’re like me, you’ve grown tired in recent months of mass media reports of automation creating a generation of pilots who don’t know how to operate without it, and when forced to, come up short in performing the job of flying the airplane. Don’t get me wrong, what we believe to be the most …

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It’s Not Just the Airplane and the Operator…

There’s never been more focus on cockpit automation and those who rely on it than there has been over the past couple of years. At Convergent Performance we have the privilege to work with organizations and crews from diverse backgrounds, and all of them operating fleets whose special applications and missions are equally diverse. From …

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A Smooth Hand-Off

There are many models we could use in this short piece to describe the importance of a smooth transition from one mode of aircraft control to another – namely, the transition between manual flight (that characterized by no support from the autopilot, autothrottles or both) and coupled flight (that in which physical control of the …

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Are You “A Hundred Percent In the Loop,” or “Just Along for the Ride?”

We are all, like every aviator since the dawn of powered flight, living in a technologically exciting time. Some might even call it, “unprecedented.” The wide array of technology that combines to make up contemporary aviation were, just a few years ago, in the earliest stages of development; and no one was sure of the …

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Attention is a River

You can’t go far in today’s modern world, brimming with screens and input devices (known in the human factors world as “attention attractors”) without witnessing an individual or group engaged in what many of us would call inappropriate use of attention resources. Involving distracted driving alone, the National Safety Council in 2010 reported over a …

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