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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Airplanes and Automation

“Amateurs practice until they get it right.  
Professionals practice until it can’t go wrong.”
From Sound of Music 

Why do experts make errors 
when they should be the best? 

This is the challenge I'm looking into with my PhD.

How we train pilots to fly automated aircraft requires a simple shift in training practices. Not only will we get a better product to reduce potential accidents, but airlines will save millions too. More to come on that. And... next month I am headed to Brussels to speak on this topic. 

Join me in Brussels at the:

Safety and Automation Safety Forum
2-3 June 2015

Become a registered guest and join the discussions on how to improve safety!

Enjoy the Journey!
XO Karlene 


  1. We were asked by a very senior officer why we need to fly old aircraft like a T-6 Texan or a Mig-15 or even a more recent F-4. After all, it costs a lot of money to create the opportunities for us to fly those legacy aircraft. We've round our students do not have a familiarity with aircraft that don't fly well. They're brought up in a day and age where everything is right at their finger-tips and it's just a matter of knowing where that information is located. We also found they aren't very good at doing simple things like looking out the window and staying within an area defined by spots on the ground.

    I've found these youngsters are not lost causes. When you challenge them with minimal automation and set a high bar you can get them at a fairly competent level operating those vintage aircraft. And, at the end of all this, I've found they've become pretty good vintage aircraft pilots along with being extremely comfortable with the new systems--i.e. good in both worlds.



    1. Tom, Thank you so much for this comment!! This is a powerful statement and the truth lies in the reality of demonstrations.Track the data on these events, if possible. You might use it one day. Or I will borrow it. :)
      Thank you!!

  2. Just recently, I viewed some GLIDER videos. COCKPIT VIEWS. Are there such things as DUAL CONTROL
    gliders? Commercial airline pilots could get a feel for
    "natural" flying, even if some would be reluctant to go
    for a GLIDER license.

    Maybe time in gliders could reduce insurance premiums?

    1. Paul, that's a great idea. My friend and I are trying to reduce the 1500 hour requirement with gliders. I'm wondering if the insurance identified it, then FAA might follow suit.
      Thanks for the comment!


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