HeliOffshore Unexpected Events Pilot Monitoring Research

Michel Masson • 14 September 2022
in community Rotorcraft
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HeliOffshore Releases Unexpected Events Pilot Monitoring Research Report — HeliOffshore

Today (14 September 2022), HeliOffshore released a paper from its Pilot Monitoring Research work titled ‘Summary of Research and Applied Training Tools’. The paper explores new deep-dive research into patterns of pilots’ attentional focus in cockpit monitoring following unexpected events. The report aims to enhance the industry’s understanding of these issues and inform mitigations.

Using flight simulators and eye tracking technology, the HeliOffshore research observed pilots flying a range of scenarios with unexpected events of varying criticality and ambiguity to measure the impact on the crews’ focus of attention. The eye-trackers showed exactly where pilots were looking, and whether they were monitoring the ‘aviate’ (aircraft orientation), ‘navigate’ (flightpath management), or ‘systems management tasks.

Any loss in pilots’ focus on the flight path is not visible to safety management systems, safety data, or reporting, and does not lend itself well to pilot recall. As a result, the impact of unexpected events on pilots’ attention and flightpath monitoring has remained a hidden issue and may have been a factor in previous accidents.

The report identifies a range of training elements that can be integrated into technical training briefings and simulator training for front-line crews to help prevent offshore aviation accidents. HeliOffshore will be working with Operators and Training Providers to incorporate these findings into everyday practice.

Jim Evans, Operations Director, HeliOffshore, commented: “Industry analysis by HeliOffshore has found that loss of control inflight and controlled flight into terrain still account for half of all fatal offshore helicopter accidents, so this insightful new research will be pivotal in increasing pilots’ knowledge and awareness of their focus during unexpected events.

Download the full report here: 
Unexpected Events Pilot Monitoring Research Report — HeliOffshore

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