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Plain English in incident reports, please

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Plain English in incident reports, please

Old 15th Mar 2019, 12:15
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Plain English in incident reports, please

Officialese is creeping more and more into aviation vocabulary. It is stilted and frequently annoying. Read the waffle below. "Threats Errors and Undesired aircraft states and Outcomes", for example.
TEM is an attempt to develop a mind-set which enhances the identification of threats, minimizes the opportunities for error, and resolves those errors when they do occur. The TEM model has three basic components: Threats Errors, and Undesired aircraft states If threats, errors and undesired aircraft states are not recognised and managed in time, an accident or incident may result. In the TEM model this final event is called an outcome.

Instead of expressing themselves in plain English language, we see pilots aping officialese terminology when writing incident reports. For example on NASA's ASR site there was a report submitted by the captain of a Boeing 737MAX that talked about "an autopilot anomaly in which led to an undesired brief nose down situation."
In a self congratulatory report, the captain wrote: 'Systems and Procedures coupled with CRM trapped and mitigated the issue."
All I can say is WTF?.
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Old 15th Mar 2019, 12:29
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Originally Posted by Judd
Instead of expressing themselves in plain English language, we see pilots aping officialese terminology when writing incident reports. For example on NASA's ASR site there was a report submitted by the captain of a Boeing 737MAX that talked about "an autopilot anomaly in which led to an undesired brief nose down situation."
In a self congratulatory report, the captain wrote: 'Systems and Procedures coupled with CRM trapped and mitigated the issue."
All I can say is WTF?.
The proof of the pudding would be if other pilots and safety professionals are having problems understanding reports on ASRS.

Do you have any non-anecdotal evidence for that ?

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Old 15th Mar 2019, 13:22
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No evidence at all. There could be a confusion aspect if non-English speaking flight crew tried to interpret incident reports.
My comment was meant as tongue in cheek because I have no time for political correctness and officialese is often nothing much more than that.
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Old 15th Mar 2019, 15:35
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Judd, thus communication has been a problem throughout history.
Pruners might find this helpful, https://www.skepticalscience.com/doc...g_Handbook.pdf. Although this is directed at myths or importantly in modern times - misinformation, the examples of ‘poor language’ given could be approached similarly. After all, many reports reflect the myth that the author understands the issue or that others will, or have an identical understanding to that intended.
Conversely, acronyms identify investigators’ inability to establish, understand, or relate the generally unknown (unknowable) human interactions, thoughts, reasons, and decisions.

So for CRM, a response is to enquire which part of CRM applies to the incident. This in turn opens opportunity for definition (‘The use of … resources etc’), which rarely has value without the context of the accident. Similarly meaningless, phrases such as ‘lost situation awareness’ - but what was known before ‘it’ was lost; or how that which was lost, was first acquired.

A particular point about ASRS is the implication that reporting avoids retribution - playing the ‘Just Culture’ card (an unattainable ideal). Furthermore, reporters are encourage to state ‘cause’ - self investigate, biased views, where the outcome - like error is ill defined. This focuses on a self-view; ‘I made a mistake’, whereas external investigation of equipment interaction or the situational circumstance (context) hold the important safety aspects.

These points are of increasing concern in the age of ‘Big Data’, particularly with the collation of safety ‘data’ from many sources is to be be used for risk assessment; see EASA ‘Data for Safety’ (D4S).
Many ‘self analysis’ reports could generate a false image of ‘error’, but without explanation, this is of little or no value in identifying risk and safety improvement. Similarly for buzz words or officialese.

Then there is culture; ‘Dominant Culture’, do we Assimilateor Integrate https://www.dropbox.com/s/7425e8yykg...20%2B.pdf?dl=0

And for info: ‘The role of the Expert’. https://www.skybrary.aero/bookshelf/books/3927.pdf


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