Importance Of Proficiency In Flying Airplanes

Continued Success through AQP
The skill involved in flying airplanes safely and efficiently is a perishable skill. Aviators judge themselves by using terms such as currency and proficiency. Just because a pilot is legally current to fly an airplane does not necessarily mean that they are proficient in operating it. Proficiency is maintained through practice and training. The same holds true with regards to maintaining proficiency in CRM skills. The concept of proficiency is fully understood by the FAA and commercial air carriers; therefore, the Federal Aviation Administration introduced a major change in the training and qualification of flight crews in 1990 with the introduction of the Advanced Qualification Program (AQP: Birnbach & Longridge,
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The flight simulators of today are amazing machines that can replicate almost any emergency. The feel and the environment created can cause real and measurable stress in the crew members. Flight instructors are also very good at creating situations where the crew must work together and use all available resources to achieve a safe outcome. Even as good as simulators and instructors are they still cannot fully create every possible emergency or situation a crew may experience flying the line. Additionally, crew members have an anticipation and a higher level of preparedness when in a training environment. Many of the emergencies experienced during annual training are required events a pilot must experience and in which he/she must show proficiency. Furthermore, in many of commercial air carriers training programs most maneuvers are train to proficiency. Train to proficiency maneuvers basically give crew members multiple chances to pass. The basis behind this concept is that pilots don’t get a chance to practice maneuvers such as the loss of an engine on takeoff except once a year in the simulator. This is an example of being current but not proficient. By allowing a pilot multiple attempts to perfect this skill in the simulator the instructor not only helps build proficiency but also helps builds confidence as well. Practicing loss of engine emergencies is an easily measurable skill for instructors. Grading and evaluating crewmembers is not. The difference in individual human factors differ greatly from person to person. The human factors demonstrated in a simulator event with a specific crew will be very different when one of the pilots flies with a different crewmember on his or her next actual line flight. Are the pilots practicing effective CRM during daily operations or just during evaluated training simulators? To evaluate and measure how CRM training is working in

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