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The new Miss Humphrey Appleby of the UK CAA

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The new Miss Humphrey Appleby of the UK CAA

Old 24th May 2010, 05:43
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The new Miss Humphrey Appleby of the UK CAA

Sir Humphrey in female form at UK CAA.

See latest Flight International (18-24 May 2010) - last page meaning page 47 under heading "Working Week"

Interview by Flight on Ms Gretchen Burrett, now UK CAA's group director, safety regulation. Mind you the lady is very good looking and this automatically excuses her obtuse and mangled reply to the question:


Flight Int: "Randy Babbitt at the US FAA is worried that high levels of automation are causing the loss of traditional pilot skills, and believes pilot training should be reviewed to take this into account. Do you have views on this?"

Ms Burnett's reply:

"Firstly, the design of automated systems needs to take into account how best to support effective human performance. Secondly, training needs to ensure appropriate skills are maintained. Training has evolved with technological developments and of course it must continue to keep pace".

Interviewer's unspoken thought on this erudite reply: "Wot the stuff is she going on about?'

Do you?
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Old 24th May 2010, 05:50
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http://www.pprune.org/atc-issues/401...eave-nats.html

BD
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Old 24th May 2010, 05:53
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I should have thought that statement is quite significant, if a bit oblique.
'Support effective human performance': that is, NOT replace human pilots, and it looks like a rejection of radical notions of humans as purely monitors of the machines.
'Training has evolved with technological developments and of course it must continue to keep pace': in bureaucratese, that is a way of saying that we might have a problem here.
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Old 24th May 2010, 05:54
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Woops

She made sense to me. Should I worry about that?
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Old 24th May 2010, 06:01
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Comprehensibly Incomprehensible

Having considerably delved upon the information conveyed by you in minute detail and with great interest,the fact of the matter is that I would have replied in the affirmative ;had her objective summary of her understanding of the usage of human skills (in the background of a complex man-machine interface)not totally obscured my faculties of comprehension and reasoning.

In plain English ?

"NO.Prime Minister "
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Old 24th May 2010, 12:56
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Mind you the lady is very good looking and this automatically excuses her...
That caught my eye, but I have to say was pretty disappointed once Google delivered me a pic or two... that said, the question was simply put, and the answer obtusely vague, so much so that I suspect anyone reading this can make their own interpretation of an answer fit her words!

Unfortunately that seems to be the only way for anyone working in the public eye these days - speaking in plain English inevitably results in whoever getting it in the rear from some minority interest group or other. That does NOT seem like a particularly relevant or sensible idea when discussing safety.

-GY
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Old 24th May 2010, 14:10
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Originally Posted by GarageYears View Post
Unfortunately that seems to be the only way for anyone working in the public eye these days - speaking in plain English inevitably results in whoever getting it in the rear from some minority interest group or other.
The question was loaded with the premise/assumption (FAA guy "worried"), that (1) automation is bad for pilot skills and (2) current training is not good enough. Me thinks she didn't really want to react to these premises in that particular interview situation and (rather skillfully) resorted to state overall objectives. A classic PR move if you don't like a question. You can't nail her one way or the other.
 
Old 24th May 2010, 14:38
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resorted to state overall objectives
I can't make out ANY objectives from her reply.

Sentence by sentence:
"Firstly, the design of automated systems needs to take into account how best to support effective human performance."

So we open with a bland statement of the bleeding obvious and nothing to do with training. Not an objective.

"Secondly, training needs to ensure appropriate skills are maintained."

Er, hello... that is what (recurrent) training is all about. We still haven't learned anything.

"Training has evolved with technological developments and of course it must continue to keep pace"

This is nearly an objective but you'd have to change a couple of words:
"Training must evolve with technological developments and of course it must continue to keep pace"

Still none of the above addresses the point of the question which was whether current training is maintaining "traditional pilot skills" or not.

We are all asked questions we'd rather not answer at some point - the problem today is that no one ever seems brave enough to say that, so some meaningless babble is substituted - often confusing enough that the interviewer is left wondering if he/she is smart enough to understand what was just thrown at them.

- GY
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Old 24th May 2010, 14:55
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speaking in plain English
Will it make a difference then that she is American?
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Old 24th May 2010, 15:17
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Will it make a difference then that she is American?
And she's a Zoomie...

Anybody know how much flying she did in the Air Force?
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Old 24th May 2010, 15:43
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All I know is "flew jets & pistons" was mentioned in her resume.
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Old 25th May 2010, 09:03
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"Randy Babbitt at the US FAA is worried that high levels of automation are causing the loss of traditional pilot skills, and believes pilot training should be reviewed to take this into account. Do you have views on this?"
"His name is Randy Babbitt? Really? Oh well - current pilot training is very similar to the training that took place before automation came into prevalence. You don't lose "traditional pilot skills" (and by this I assume you mean hand-flying competence as opposed to, say, knowledge of astro-navigation) through training. You lose these skills through lack of on-line practice and that is the provision of company SOPs, not training programs - so Randy Babbitt doesn't know what he is talking about."

Well, that would have been my answer. Perhaps I should apply for the job?
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Old 25th May 2010, 09:37
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A spokesperson for the FAA at a conference recently (I can dig out the reference if anyone really wants chapter and verse) stated that there are CAT pilots approaching retirement who have never exceeded 30 degrees of bank in the last 20 years of flying.

I guess this is relevant to the question asked (but not answered).

Should anyone be worried?
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:28
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Oh well - current pilot training is very similar to the training that took place before automation came into prevalence.
Wow.

I once took an MD11 type ride, and in the entire session the autopilot was on, except for an engine-out ILS.

Furthermore, I bet we hand-flew a total of 30 minutes in that entire one-month course.

Which is to say - I don't agree with you.
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Old 25th May 2010, 13:25
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You don't lose "traditional pilot skills" (and by this I assume you mean hand-flying competence as opposed to, say, knowledge of astro-navigation) through training.
He didn't say you lost traditional pilot skills through training, did he? Read it again. His concern is that "high levels of automation are causing the loss of traditional pilot skills", which I think is the point you are trying to make!

- GY

P.S. J. Randolph Babbitt - Administrator
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Old 26th May 2010, 10:00
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You all agree.

All or most posters in this forum seem to agree with her.

IE, Keep pilots in the loop while on automatics.

And, training needs plenty of hands on practise.

And, training needs plenty of practise on what the automation is up to.

And she's good looking too??
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Old 26th May 2010, 18:48
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Gretchen will be damned if she does, damned if..... etc

With less than 100 days under her belt could anything but a generalised answer be expected?

Looking at her cv, I note she went from Missile Defense systems to Human Machine Interface Engineering on the F-16 and from there into ATC.

Yes, she is drop dead gorgeous, charismatic and savvy - so lets cut her a teeny weeny bit of slack, eh? I've seen evidence of a razor sharp intellect and the ability to take on new info extremely quickly, so I'm in favour of taking the long view.

Actually a long lingering view

Sir George Cayley
 
Old 27th May 2010, 12:42
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Giver her a break will you- at least she did not use the meaningless cliche of the moment- "going forwards" or worse, its newer derivative "moving forwards"...

She is an American - she speaks CNN - that is her culture- where the word 'mirror' is pronounced 'mere' - to me a mere is a man made ancient pond on a hill top, to an American it is a glass, reflecting device...

As a former insider in the dark arts of Pr gobbledegook and non-speak, I find her words as bland and as non-commital as they were intended and designed to be - just like all corproate - speak robot output.

Gordon Brown once told he was "Progressing the economy going forwards". One is forced to ask what other direction could or would progress create for its self....

You lot really ought not to be surprised at this Sir Humphery-esque speak the woman is spewing- its her job! Training that evovles- wow what a scorcher...

Frankly, we Brits invented it you know, don't blame anyone else...
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Old 27th May 2010, 13:30
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I think some people have a different definition of the word gorgeous than I do...

Mind you, what that has to do with her competency in her new job I have no idea.

A woman in a powerful aviation position and people automatically start blathering on about her looks? We've still got a long way to go in this industry...
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Old 27th May 2010, 15:08
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And there, I think, one has hit the nail fairly and squarely on the head sassy!

Setting aside what she actually said, (which I thought made perfect sense, albeit it not very informative, but then again after such a short time in the job what else can we expect?) we have to wonder if it would have been worthy of comment had the person uttering it been of the male persuasion?

I admire a pretty face as much as the next man, but in no way do I take the presence, or lack, thereof as any kind of indicator to the abilities and intelligence of the bearer! Some of the best pilots I know (male AND female) are ugly as sin!
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