31 Mar 10 Aviation Human Factors and Safety Management Systems Wings Seminar, Dallas TX

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dallas.jpg
Hey, what are you looking at? You should be at the seminar!
We'll kick it off at 8 o'clock and have 2 great days of speakers lined up. I'd like to thank our sponsors for helping arrange the lowest cost possible. We have two lunches, provided by ISASI on day 1 and co-sponsored by Advanced Aircrew Academy on day 2. Southwest Airlines is bringing the coffee and the CAP will sell water and sodas for a fundraiser.
The staff at the Museum is rolling out the red carpet and we also have some great door prizes, so let's get going.

See you there,
Kent


23 Mar 10 NTSB Chairman Highlights Runway Safety and Human Fatigue in Address to Air Traffic Controllers

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NTSB_logo
Washington, DC - "In an address to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) in Orlando today, NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman lauded controllers for their role in keeping the number of runway incursions low while challenging the Federal Aviation Administration to hasten the pace of its efforts to improve runway safety. Attributing the decline in runway related incidents and accidents in part to "robust procedures, safe designs, and well-trained and alert controllers and pilots," Hersman said that "we still have a lot of work to do," and that the FAA needs to move more aggressively to lower the risk of runway accidents.
Hersman chaired the NTSB's February meeting in which runway safety was again voted onto its Most Wanted List of Safety Improvements where it has been since its inception in 1990. The Safety Board's recommendations to the FAA includes providing immediate warnings of probable collisions and incursions directly to flight crews in the cockpit; requiring specific ATC clearance for each runway crossing; requiring operators to install cockpit moving map displays or an automatic system that alerts pilots when a takeoff is attempted on a taxiway or a runway other than the one intended; and requiring a landing distance assessment with an adequate safety margin for every landing.
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Citing an ongoing investigation of an incident in which a 767 landed on a taxiway in Atlanta in October, Hersman said that the NTSB took a strong interest in the event "because we want to know what led a professional flight crew to mistake a taxiway for a runway, whether the controllers could have detected the misaligned final approach to landing and intervened, and whether there are technological tools that can be used to prevent such incidents from ever occurring in the first place." Although no one was injured in the incident, Hersman said that "if this event had resulted in a fatal collision, there would be - far and wide - immediate and understandable calls for changes."

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Hersman also cited human fatigue as an area that the Safety Board has become particularly focused on, saying that "We are seeing fatigue as a causal or contributing factor in numerous accidents across all transportation modes." The NTSB has made recommendations to the FAA to set working hour limits for flight crews, aviation mechanics, and air traffic controllers, and has asked the FAA develop a fatigue awareness and countermeasures training program for controllers and those who schedule them for duty. Recently, NATCA and the FAA established a working group to collaboratively address the human fatigue issues that the NTSB has identified. Hersman noted the significance of this positive step by the leadership of both organizations and called it a very encouraging development.
Concluding with an invitation for air traffic controllers to participate in a three-day forum on pilot and controller excellence that the NTSB will be holding in Washington in May, Hersman emphasized the value of learning from the numerous examples of superior job performance by controllers. "Through our work we are very good at finding out what went wrong, but frankly, it is just as important to know what is going right, because we want to replicate that throughout the entire national airspace system," she said."
The complete text of Chairman Hersman's speech may be obtained on the NTSB website.
Fly Smart,
Kent


20 Mar 10 On Organization of Information: Approach and Early Work Technical Memo from NASA

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NASA has released a report on organizing information for future integrated displays. "In this report we describe an approach for organizing information for presentation and display.The approach stems from the observation that there is a stepwise progression in the way signals (from the environment and the system under consideration) are extracted and transformed into data, and then analyzed and abstracted to form representations (e.g., indications and icons) on the user interface. In physical environments such as aerospace and process control, many system components and their corresponding data and information are interrelated (e.g., an increase in a chamber’s temperature results in an increase in its pressure). These interrelationships, when presented clearly, allow users to understand linkages among system components and how they may affect one another. Organization of these interrelationships on a coordinate system, or grid, provides for the so called “big picture” that pilots, astronauts, and operators strive for.

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Mondrian.jpg
This report begins with an analysis of an aviation incident involving a modern airliner, where the flight crew had difficulties understanding the physical interrelationships that existed among several engine and fuel system indications provided on the cockpit display. Analysis of the incident highlights some of the limitations in the design of information systems with respect to organization of information and user understanding of automation processes. We then analyze the map of the London Underground to understand successful examples of simplification and abstraction, integration of information, and nonlinear organization of the display to help viewers better understand the system as a whole. The next section describes the application of these concepts to the design of a graphical display for a statistical analysis of pilot-automation interaction. The last section describes the design of an experimental engine display for a research helicopter that integrates information from engine parameters and organizes them in the context of other subsystems."

FMI: external image pdf.png NASA TM 2009 Info Organization.pdf

Fly Smart,
Kent


05 Mar 10 Gunfighter Reunion

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Kent_and_Carl.jpg
I got to catch up with my squadron mate Carl "Mooch" Reynoso, Lt Col USMC (Ret), who just retired after 34 years of military service to our country. Carl is getting some good training at CAE Simuflite and is looking forward to getting some more stick time.

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Carl_and_Link.jpg
We managed to find some time for some good Texas BBQ aand then Carl gave me a tour of the simulator he will be flying.

Congratulations Carl on your retirement and enjoy your newest adventure. Maybe we'll get to fly together again soon!

Semper Fi,
"Clark"



04 Mar 10 Tom Turner Named 2010 National FAASTeam Representative of the Year

I was honored last year to be chosen as the National FAASTeam Rep of the Year, and the honor just grew immensely as I learned Tom Turner was chosen for 2010. Tom is truly deserving of this recognition.
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Tom Turner

Tom Turner
Tom is a Master Instructor and puts out a great FREE e-newsletter, among the many other things that he does. "FLYING LESSONS uses the past week’s aircraft mishap reports to consider what might have contributed to accidents, so you can make better decisions if you face similar circumstances."

Check it out: Flying Lessons

Congratulations Tom!





02 Mar 10 New Name for FAA's General Aviation Safety Publication

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"Starting with the March/April 2010 issue, FAA Aviation News is changing its name to FAA Safety Briefing. “We’re changing the name to more accurately
reflect the magazine’s mission: safety,” said John Allen, Director, FAA Flight Standards Service. “As for the word briefing,” Allen added, “briefings are used in health care, in the military, and in aviation, and are essential to get crucial information before the flight. That’s the point of FAA Safety Briefing: Providing pilots, aviation maintenance technicians, and more across the general aviation community with valuable safety information.”

FAA Aviation News started in 1961 as a newsletter and expanded to a magazine format in 1962. In 1976, it sharpened its focus on general aviation. “Through this bimonthly print and online publication we strive to make the GA community aware of FAA resources, help readers understand safety and regulatory issues, and encourage continued training,” said Editor Susan Parson. FAA Safety Briefing is available free of charge on the FAA Web site at: www.faa.gov/news/safety_ briefing. Check out the March/April 2010 issue, which features the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) and its role promoting safer skies through outreach, training, and education."

Editor: I was honored to be interviewed for this edition, check out page 7. I would like to add my thanks to all of the great team members who work every day to improve the aerospace safety. It is very rewarding to meet, work and play with such a fantastic group!

Fly Smart,
Kent