Karlene Petitt published a new article titled “Structural Redesign of Pilot Training for Aviation Safety in Automated Aircraft“.

In her article, Karlene Petitt argues that pilots are losing flight skills due to overuse of automation and that it has has become an increasing industry concern.

Recent aircraft accidents have been attributed to pilots’ inability to manage their aircraft in manual flight. While experts have associated these accidents to diminished stick and rudder skills due to overuse of automation, the problem may be attributed to how pilots are trained in automated aircraft. Lack of understanding, more than flight skill loss, could be the problem.

Furthermore, she argues that while the Federal Aviation Administration has encouraged pilots to hand fly to improve skills, limited opportunities exist in the current international environment, potentially diminishing in the future due to NextGen compliance.

To prevent future catastrophic events, this critical view of pilot training identifies how airlines could train pilots to maximize safety. Redesigning training programs to improve pilots’ understanding, including the benefit of computer based training to teach operating procedures and simulator training are being discussed.

The article puts emphasis on the difference between level 6 fixed base simulators (FBS) versus level D full flight simulators (FFS). With regards to training practices for an airbus A330, a fixed base simulator is more useful due to reduced costs and upset recovery training which can only be performed on an FBS.