The Risk of Startle Reflex

A startle reflex may arise during flight as a result of a sudden and unexpected development which, especially if it affects the ‘Pilot Flying’, can trigger an instantaneous and potentially inappropriate response in relation to the control of an aircraft. Its occurrence, and the resultant risk which may follow, is suspected to have its origins…… Continue Reading →

Controlled Rest On the Flight Deck

The Flight Safety Foundation has published a guide developed with an industry ‘fatigue countermeasures’ working group that details the ‘best practices for implementation of a policy allowing for controlled rest (CR) on the flight deck.’ In other words, napping in the cockpit while the pilot in the other seat keeps and eye on things…. Continue Reading →

Visual illusions

Visual illusions result from many factors and appear in many different forms. Illusions occur when conditions modify the pilot’s perception of the environment relative to his or her expectations, possibly resulting in spatial disorientation or landing errors (e.g., landing short or landing long)…. Continue Reading →

Cockpit Control Confusion

Inadvertent use of the wrong cockpit control instead of the intended control is a potential situation that pilots may encounter on any aircraft type. This kind of error can occur with even the most experienced pilots and this Airbus article explores what factors can influence and lead to this type of occurrence…. Continue Reading →

Interruptions and distractions

Interruptions and distractions often result in omitting an action and/or deviating from standard operating procedures (SOPs). Interruptions (e.g., because of an ATC communication) and distractions (e.g., because of a cabin crew member entering the flight deck) occur frequently. Some cannot be avoided, some can be minimized or eliminated…. Continue Reading →

Accumulated Stress

Although small amounts of stress can yield benefits such as increased alertness and an improved ability to concentrate, an accumulation of stress caused by daily frustration and major life events has been associated with numerous health problems. In studies of flight crewmembers, stress has been associated with pilot error…. Continue Reading →