June 17, 2016

A video component of NBAA’s newly developed online resources for single-pilot operations, Alone in the Cockpit, shows how easily a single pilot can become task saturated, and then overwhelmed, by the fluid ATC environment when flying into a high-traffic terminal area in IFR weather. The 10-minute video – which debuted at the 2015 Single-Pilot Safety Standdown at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas, NV – is one of six shortlist finalists in the Best Digital Media category of the 2016 Aerospace Media Awards, which will be presented in London on July 10 during the Farnborough International Airshow.

Funded in part by NBAA, the Safety Committee’s Single-Pilot Workgroup developed and produced the video to help improve single-pilot safety. Its goal was “not to preach, lecture or scare pilots away from single-pilot operations,” said NBAA member Rob Mark, the workgroup member who directed and was featured in the effort, “but to present a scenario in which viewers could easily see themselves.” Given the debut audience’s comments of resulting nervousness and anxiety, the production team felt a measure of success, as they promoted the online tools that would help single pilots avoid and mitigate similar situations.

Alone in the Cockpit still shot of pilot
Watch the Alone in the Cockpit video.

A 12-slide PowerPoint presentation accompanies the video; it identifies the risks presented in the scenario, listing the threats and errors that led to an unstable approach, as well as recommended practices that would mitigate them. Equally important are NBAA’s other single-pilot resources, such as the NBAA Training Guidelines for Single-Pilot Operations, the Light Business Aircraft Operations Manual Template and NBAA’s Flight Risk Assessment Tool (FRAT).

Single-pilot safety requires a unique set of risk-mitigation practices and strategies for operating complex aircraft in our busy airspace system, said Peter Korns, NBAA manager of operations, which is why NBAA’s Single-Pilot Safety Standdown should be a part of every single pilot’s recurrent training program. The NBAA Safety Committee is finalizing the agenda for this year’s event, which is scheduled to take place Oct. 31 in Orlando, FL, the day before the NBAA convention opens in that city. The standdown will examine NTSB case studies, offer a discussion (including audience feedback) on FRAT tools and feature a panel discussion with training providers.

Alone in the Cockpit was a collaborative production, said Mark, citing fellow Single-Pilot Workgroup members Jim Lara, Bob Wright, Tom Turner, Mike Graham, B.J. Ransbury, Dan Ramirez, Tom Huff at Gulfstream, Textron, CommAvia and the Phenom team at Embraer/CAE, which provided the simulator in which the video was filmed.