When we wrote Automation Airmanship® in the years from 2008 to 2013, we were constantly reminded of the rapid pace of change associated with contemporary aviation, as well as every high-risk/high-reliability endeavor. The book we began writing in 2008 was not the book we published in 2013: too much had changed since 2008 involving advanced aircraft, including a particularly dangerous period of 6 months in 2009 which saw four high-profile fatal accidents involving advanced aircraft (each made by a separate manufacturer, operated by separate companies) on three different continents and over the North Atlantic. Keeping up with the pace of change while writing what we intended to be a timeless reference was, as it turned out, impossible. And with the crash landing of Asiana 214 this summer, it has been proven once again that the relationship between the flight deck crew and the automation is still resisting decades of design, training and other performance multipliers.
So, in keeping with our commitment to keeping those who have followed the progress of Automation Airmanship® as a discipline from the beginning, and those new to this way of looking at contemporary flight operations, we contemplated a forum like this blog. Years later now and following the successful publication of our book by McGraw-Hill Professional in May 2013, the Automation Airmanship® Blog serves not only to keep our readership engaged in constantly moving forward on the platform of a concise, solid foundation of discipline, but ensures that we will not flag in our commitment to reporting the best and latest knowledge surrounding high-stakes human endeavors, of which contemporary aviation is just one domain.
We pledge to cover not just the latest developments in the aviation industry, but findings across the vast frontier of high-risk/high-reliability occupations, developing knowledge in cognitive neuroscience and human factors, advances surrounding expertise and expert performance, and other related fields that we feel inform us all. Our goal in doing so is singular: to widen our safety margins and improve operational performance across every type of aviation operation, fixed and rotary wing, civil and military, large operators as well as the single-pilot operator.
We hope you gain individually from what you learn through this forum, and encourage you to share your interest with your colleagues. Because we are constantly engaged in our own improvement, we encourage feedback and have provided a link on this site to contact us directly with your own stories, observations, or simply to provide constructive critique to the authors.
Until our next report, fly safe and fly first.