“Today the Threats Are…”

By Karlene Pettit

Threat And Error Management: The next level of safety, above and beyond CRM (Crew Resource Management) Threat and Error Management is a systems approach to safety and risk management.

Threats: The events and situations that increase operational complexities. Errors: The actions or inactions that lead to deviations from expected operational behaviors. Management: Mitigating the potential damage.

In 1994 Delta Airlines and the University of Texas joined forces in a human factors research project. Their intent was to evaluate CRM behavior in the flight deck, taking CRM to the next level. They utilized Line Oriented Safety Audits, LOSA, and observers in the jumpseat, on revenue flights, to identify errors. The origin of, the response to, who detected them, and the ultimate outcome of those errors were recorded. The LOSA form was later transformed, taking into account the management of the error, as well as the type of error.

The bottom line is that everyone is going to make errors. The significance of Threat and Error Management is that we as crewmembers identify, and mitigate, those errors before they impact the safety of the flight.

Accidents never happen because of ‘one’ event. Multiple events occur and they fall into place, the moon aligns with the stars, and one thing builds upon another, and the accident follows. Be aware of the kink in the chain, the potential for it breaking, and stop the accident.

Threat and Error Management takes into account the principles of CRM and the interrelationship of human performance with the complexities of the environment in a dynamic platform. English: We work in an imperfect, dynamic world, and we all have the capability to make human errors. Threat and Error Management’s goal is to be aware of the environment that presents the threats, watch for and identify the potential errors, and stop them before they multiply into an accident.

Awareness to the potential threats, and communication, is the first step. 

“Today the threats are… I am new to the A330 and have less than 200 hundred hours on it. I’ve never flown out of Paris before. It’s night, and I’m fatigued… I didn’t sleep well in the hotel because of the noise. The runway is wet and we have thunderstorms to the East. We have a couple maintenance items that shouldn’t impact the takeoff, but if we had to abort they could impact our stopping distance…”

The next step: Acknowledge that errors can happen, and be forthright in speaking up when an error does occur. Stop the chain. Utilizing exceptional CRM skills in the dynamic world we operate may not completely eliminate errors, but will stop them before they grow and compound, ultimately improving safety.

Threat and Error management is something that all pilots, both commercial and private, should utilize anytime they approach a plane with the intent to fly. Utilize all resources, assess the environment… external and internal, be aware that anyone can make a mistake, and have a safe flight.

Who's Karlene?
I'm the mother of three daughters, the grandmother of two granddaughters and a grandson. I've been married for 29 years. Hold a masters in counseling and a MBA. I've worked for 8 airlines… Coastal, Evergreen, Braniff, America West (training department), Guyana, Tower, Northwest, and now Delta.  

I have 7 Type ratings.  727, 737, 757, 767, 747-200, 747-400, A330

I've instructed in the classroom, in the simulator, and on the line for 21 years
I put Guyana's 757 in service… designed and implemented their training program. Wrote their curriculum… training manuals, procedures, emergency manual..etc., taught the ground school and simulator, and was their FAA/CAA designee.
America West… 737 and 757 simulator instructor. 
Northwest, 747-200 Second Officer/ Check Airman… and then 747-400 First Officer
For the previous 20 years, I have also worked for Premair.. my second job, instructing in the classroom and in the simulator on the 737 and 757 aircraft. 

I'm currently flying the A330 for Delta. Final airline home. I just wrote my first novel, an Aviation Thriller…and I'm in the editing phase. Many more to come

Follow Karlene Pettit on her
 personal blog 
and at http://www.flightpodcast.com/!


The Multitasking Myth – Handling Complexity in Real-World Operations

by Loukia D. Loukopoulos, R. Key Dismukes & Immanuel Barshi.

The way people multitask, or better, switch tasks, and the problems associated with this gained much interest in recent years. “The Multitasking Myth” focuses on the process of task-switching in real work situations, the adverse effects it has, and strategies to mitigate these. Multitasking is a form of concurrent task management. Although most work cannot go without it, it bears considerable risks: Tasks can be done incomplete, incorrect, or not at all.

The authors focus on one particular type of work, flying aircraft. Aircraft safety largely depends on the use of operational procedures, and some of these are in the form of checklists. The proper execution of procedures and use of checklists is considered essential for aircraft safety. The use of these procedures and checklists in actual daily operations is the central element of this book. Processing the checklists correctly is hampered by the complexity of working on a commercial airport with tight schedules. The captain and co-pilot each have their own tasks and responsibilities, interwoven with the collective processing of checklists. In addition to this, the crew must co-ordinate with the services, such as gate agents, fuelers, and ground control. These services will intervene the tasks in the cockpit with their own procedures, so complicating task management. Good coordination between the captain and co-pilot is essential, and in this book much attention has been given to this teamwork in the cockpit.

The main focus of this book is on task-switching in relation to prospective memory. When a procedure is interrupted, the user must remember to continue the procedure when arriving at a specifi c location, event, or time. This type of memory gained more interest in recent years, and knowledge about the limitations of prospective memory is applied in this book. Other well-known forms of human error, in particularly memory-related, are briefly discussed when appropriate. The book consists of six chapters and four appendices. After a gentle introduction of the problem using everyday examples, chapter 2 provides a detailed introduction into multitasking with references to current research. Chapter 3 explains how checklists and procedures are intended to be used in ideal flights, after which real-life use is described in chapter 4. It will not come as a surprise that there can be large discrepancies between the ideal situation and reality. Four prototypical problems are selected in chapter 5, after which in the last chapter a strategy is provided on how to improve procedures and checklists to make them more resilient. The appendices provide details about the methods used, all actors in the day-to-day operations, perturbations observed, and official incidents reported.

This book has a very practical, hands-on approach. The theoretical background is limited; the examples are taken from everyday experience. References to recent and standard literature are given for those who want to have detailed information.  What I personally miss are the actual modifications in the procedures and checklists: the situation before and after, together with an explanation of the various choices made. In the introduction some problems are presented in detail. Unfortunately, the improved situation is not shown. Task-switching problems can be found in many other domains, such as the chemical industry, hospitals, and in all forms of traffic control. Although this book can be very useful for professionals outside aviation, knowledge of aviations procedures is desirable to fully understand and appreciate all examples. These are detailed and specifi c, including the solution strategy presented. If you work in aviation and want to know more about task-switching, this book will be of interest to you.

About the authors

The authors are human factors researchers with the Human System Integration Devision at NASA Ames Research Center and have extensive experience with the aviation operational environment.

About the reviewer

Fulko van Westrenen holds a Ph.D. on human-machine interaction, and is the owner of Umantec. Umantec focusses on human-factors work in technical environments. Part of this work is the development of
userfriendly interfaces for complex systems, systems design and humanfactors support.

ISBN 978-0-7546-7382-8 188 pages Ashgate Publishing Limited Ashgate studies in human factors for flight operations

Come on, Sesar, Release Control

By Bart Klein Obbink

The Single European Sky is an ambitious initiative launched by the European Commission in 2004 to reform the architecture of European air traffic management (ATM). It proposes a legislative approach to meet future capacity and safety needs at a European rather than a local level. SESAR (Single European Sky ATM Research) is the technological dimension of the Single European Sky. It will help create a ‘paradigm shift’, supported by state-of-the-art and innovative technology. SESAR aims to eliminate the fragmented approach to European ATM, transform the ATM system, synchronise all stakeholders and federate resources. The SESAR Joint Undertaking (SJU) was created under European Community law on 27 February 2007, with Eurocontrol and the European Community as founding members, in order to manage the SESAR Development Phase.

The World Needs a Succesful 787 Dreamliner

by Respicio A. Espirito Santo Jr. This past Tuesday, December 15, 2009, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner made its first flight. As widely reported in the last 2 years, the development of the aircraft was quite turbulent, in part largely due to the complexity in dealing with several new technologies in materials (surely one of the greatest advances of the 787), new systems, new concepts, and also due to the management and logistics of design/production between Boeing and hundreds of new partners and suppliers. Even with all these setbacks, but owing to its promised extraordinary efficiency and performance, the aircraft is the most successful in terms of orders “before-first-flight” in Boeing’s commercial aircraft history. For all of this and much more the 787 has everything to become a milestone in the history of commercial aviation. From its introduction into airline service, all other large/medium commercial aircraft must incorporate new design philosophies and concepts, since only speaking of “new technologies” is totally redundant. Therefore, sets of paradigms will be broken and new ones will be created. I foresee that in 40, 50 years the airline industry, the press, regulators, legislators and the worldwide society will be referring to something like “… before the 787, the general view was that …” or maybe “… the aircraft imposed a vast new range of parameters in terms of efficiency and comfort to passengers and airlines…”. However, for all of this to happen in the most positive and constructive ways for the airline industry and, most of all, to passengers and would-be-passengers in the world, it is essential that the 787 becomes an absolute success. And I write these words because not only Boeing’s Commercial Aircraft Division depends on a fully successful 787; the Dreamliner success will also spur a continuous and an indispensable search for the highest-possible safety added to efficient and environmentally friendly designs on Airbus, Embraer, Bombardier, ATR and in all other commercial aircraft manufacturers, especially those that seek to (re)enter the market, such as Sukhoi, Mitsubishi and the new companies in China, Russia and, probably, India and Korea. In other words: the success of all other aircraft manufacturers also depend on the 787 being extremely successful. Whether only on the ‘politically correct’ side or on a sincere appreciation, the official statement from Airbus on the first flight of the 787 expresses a great truth: the constant advances in commercial aviation are a direct and positive result of competition. For this and much more, all of us citizens of the World must hope and cheer so that the 787 Dreamliner may become a complete success and a great milestone in the history of commercial aviation.

Book Review: Managing the Skies – Public Policy, Organization and Financing of Air Traffic Management

A book review by Ruwantissa Abeyratne

managing_the_skiesThis book, authored by two distinguished experts on the subject of air traffic management and finance and economics respectively, reflects a balanced blend of professional experience and academic research. This fusion serves the reader well in obtaining a thorough understanding of air traffic management in the introduction to the book, which acts as an enabler towards understanding a wide spectrum of air traffic systems and their complex technical aspects, which are explained in clear, unpretentious and eminently comprehensible language.

Course: Air Transport & Logistics Management @ University of Huddersfield

Air Transport and Logistics Management BSc(Hons)

School of Applied Sciences
Ucas Code BSc/Air T & Log
Course Length
3 Years Full Time
4 Years Sandwich

Number of Places 20

Nick Hubbard
Telephone: 01484 472293
Fax: 01484 473019
E-mail: n.j.hubbard

Entry Requirements

Typical points score for entry 200 pts

General minimum entry requirements

In addition, applicants for this course should normally have GCSE Mathematics at grade C or above, or equivalent.

The demand for air transport of both passengers and goods continues to increase. People wish to travel more often and further for both leisure and business pursuits. The globalisation of supply chains challenges land-based transport infrastructure, resulting in the enormous growth of air freight. This innovative course is the first to link the general principles of airline and airport management to the discipline of logistics management and recognises the need for graduates who have a full understanding of the role of the aviation sector in supply chain management. It will equip students with the knowledge and skills required for exciting and challenging careers in airlines, air freight, freight forwarders, express couriers and general logistics and supply chain management. The rewards are good and the career prospects excellent in a sector which has massive growth potential.

Course Structure
Year 1

Economics for Business
Professional Skills and Air Transport Studies
Information Technology and Statistics
Principles of Logistics and Marketing
Accounting for Managers
One option from:

Legal Environment of Business and Employment
Geography and Business of Tourism and Leisure

Year 2

Logistics Management
Airline and Airport Operations Management
European Business
Logistics and the Workplace
Logistics Techniques and Applications
One option from:

European Freight Management
Marketing and the Travel and Tourism Industry
Buying and Merchandising
Operations Management
Year 3

Supervised Work Experience (optional)
You will spend the third year in a business or organisation involved in air transport and logistics operations. Through our excellent industrial contacts we ensure that you will obtain salaried placements of the highest calibre, providing competitive advantage in the graduate employment marketplace.

Year 4

Strategic Management for Airlines and Airports
Strategic Supply Chain Management
Airport Planning and Development
One option from:

Retail Logistics
Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Tourism Planning and Development
Supply Chain Modelling
Transport Economics and Policy
Teaching and Assessment
Teaching methods include lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, role play, case studies, case projects and site visits. Assessment includes reports, essays, presentations, exams and case study analysis.

Career Opportunities
Graduates from our other programmes in Transport and Logistics have recently secured jobs in the air transport and air freight sector including: Jet2, Malaysia Airlines, Cathay Pacific, British Airways, Lufthansa Sky Chef, TNT, DHL. Career opportunities in general logistics and supply chain management enterprises remain extremely buoyant.

Special Features

Professional Body Accreditation
As with our other programmes, it is expected that this specialist course will meet the full educational requirements for membership of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT).

International Links
Exchange and placement opportunities exist in Australia, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway and Hong Kong. Currently we have students from 14 countries and four continents studying transport and logistics in the University.

More info

European Air Traffic Management: Principles, Practice and Research

Book Review by Rodney Fewings


The book is designed to offer the reader a single source of reference on the key subject areas of air traffic management (ATM) in Europe. The book brings together material from a number of contributors representing both industry and academia, and examines the key issues in current and future European Air Traffic Management.

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