Are crews empowered with all the resources needed to successfully address an inflight emergency? Checklists, a necessary but insufficient tool
Although safety in aviation has increased exponentially in recent decades, sadly, plane crashes will always be associated with the operation of the aviation world. The efforts should be directed towards the pursuit of “zero accidents”, providing aircrews with the necessary resources to minimize risks. One of the most important flight operation resources used in aviation is the checklist. However, when faced with an emergency, the crew cannot always make use of them, either because the huge diversity of potential emergencies does not allow to collect all of them in these manuals, or because the time available to react is so short that it makes it impossible to utilize them. This paper shows how aircraft checklists are a necessary but insufficient tool to solve complex, unpredictable, and novel emergencies. Furthermore, based on successfully solved critical events, the authors suggest the implementation of specific techniques for the learning and development of problem-solving programs focused on innovation and divergent thinking to decision making, as part of flight training, in order to increase the crews’ capability to face such emergencies.
Keyword : aviation psychology, aviation safety, checklist, creativity, crew resource management (CRM), divergent thinking, flight crew training, military aviation, teamwork
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