A New 'Attitude' in the Cockpit

Boeing and NASA are working to change flight training

October 25, 2017 in Technology, Commercial

NASA and Boeing recently signed a Space Act Agreement and their work could lead to better flight training and aviation safety around the world.

It involves new technology NASA developed called Synthetic Vision and research into pilots’ awareness of airplane conditions and resulting reactions to unplanned situations.

“What’s exciting about that is that it actually opens the door to a whole plethora of new research and ideas that we have,” said Kyle Ellis, NASA’s research technical lead. “We’re looking at training for attention management. We’re looking at advanced upset recovery technologies and we’re also looking at combined vision technologies as well. What’s really exciting about that is that this is just the first of many potential experiments that we can conduct using this collaborative environment.”

Typically, seasoned pilots with thousands of flights hours are used for these studies, but the work at Boeing’s training facility in Miami will involve 24 junior pilots from Avianca Airlines in Colombia, beginning later this year.

“The international pilot community is getting younger, so the idea is to get them accustomed to what’s possible in an airplane sooner, and this training does that,” said Capt. Jim Wilkerson, Boeing Associate Technical Fellow and flight crew training instructor.

The Space Act Agreement was developed in support of initiatives of the Commercial Aviation Safety Team, a U.S. government-aviation industry partnership developed to reduce the commercial aviation fatality rate in the United States, of which Boeing and NASA are members.

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