What aircraft accident investigators really think about flying

By Antonia Molloy
June 19, 2018

Aircraft accident investigators play a pivotal role in improving safety and furthering advancement in the aviation industry. And yet, in the course of their jobs, they witness some of the most catastrophic and devastating examples of what can and does go wrong.

While the statistics tells us that flying is safe (2017 was the safest year on record for commercial passenger air travel), it seems arguable that being subjected to the worst-case scenario on a frequent basis might have the potential...

Read More

How can we develop women leaders in aviation?

By Antonia Molloy
June 5, 2018

Across the board, women in leadership are underrepresented. While the number of women in leadership positions has increased, there still remains a long way to go. According to research by Grant Thornton, the percentage of businesses around the world with at least one woman in senior management has increased significantly, rising from 66 per cent in 2017 to 75 per cent in 2018. However, at the same time the proportion of senior roles held by women has marginally declined. Grant Thornton...

Read More

How eye tracking technology could improve safety on the flight deck 

By Wen-Chin Li
May 22, 2018

Analysing eye scan patterns is one of the most powerful methods for assessing a pilot’s cognitive processes in the cockpit. The visual information captured by eye trackers provides the opportunity to investigate the relationship between visual scan patterns and attention shifts while performing tasks. The application of eye tracking technology in the study of head-up display (HUD) design in a military cockpit is promising, as it provides direct feedback on human-computer interactions (HCI),...

Read More

5 aircraft accidents that transformed aviation in the 20th century

By Antonia Molloy
May 8, 2018

Aircraft accidents, when they happen, are high-profile events, often involving a large-scale loss of life and widespread devastation. And while they can’t be undone, the accident investigation process can help to ensure that the same things never happen again.

Today, flying is safer than it has ever been – 2017 was the safest year on record for commercial aviation, with zero deaths, while the fatal accident rate for large commercial passenger flights is 0.06 per million flights, or one fatal...

Read More

How do pilots prepare for complex flight safety events? 

By Richard Clewley
April 24, 2018

What animal is pictured above? Top marks. It’s a shark.

Read More

Can virtual teaching help to train accident investigators?

By Rebecca Charles
April 10, 2018

I had the opportunity to teach on one of our Masterships in January. Masterships are a new Cranfield qualification - a Master’s-level degree apprenticeship, which blends on-the-job learning with academic teaching. The module I was teaching on was delivered entirely remotely, via a live video feed through the Networked Learning group. This is essentially a TV studio that is able to live stream content in real time to students all over the country. In this particular case, some students were...

Read More

Managing airworthiness in a complex world

By Simon Place
March 27, 2018

Airworthiness is a key aspect of aviation safety and requires constant attention in order to retain the designed-in levels of safety and reliability. Although the worldwide accident rate for transport aircraft has reduced steadily over the years, the fraction of losses due to airworthiness issues has remained the same. The UK CAA study of aircraft accidents for 2002 - 2011 [1] shows the proportion of fatal accidents where aircraft design, engine and systems were a primary causal factor was...

Read More

Aircraft accident investigation: what does good look like?

By Jim Nixon
March 13, 2018

Most of us want to come into work and do a good job and the stakes are high when it comes to aircraft accident investigation. Any sensible recruitment process matches a person to a job and a job to a person. If I found myself being asked to prepare a meal for 400, I would be deeply worried. The source of my worry could derive from a number of different places. I have never been trained to cook. My own efforts are pleasing enough at home but in a professional context? I have no experience of...

Read More