Two ends of pilot training

Flying in the ‘cosiness’ of automation poses new challenges to pilots. Where once a pilot was exactly that – a pilot – being a “manager of complex systems” is today an essential part of the job description. This led lately to a strong plea to the industry for more emphasis on manual-flying skills and a revamp of pilot training. Different voices echoed this during this year’s Flight Safety Forum (2-3 June, Brussels), where ECA was present to discuss “Aviation & Automation”.

Despite the broad spectrum of the topic, this event conveyed a meaningful message by giving the floor to key industry stakeholders from across the world. While experts agree that in future the level of automation will grow,basic flying skills are still the key to safely handling such situations. Hence, those skills must be trained to build a strong fundament that every pilot can fall back to when necessary. This is why encouraging more manual flying as a way to fine-tune such skills is crucial. In the end, it comes down to a “Back to the future” scenario.