Mixed-fleet Flying in Commercial Aviation: A Joint Cognitive Systems Perspective

Previous research investigating work activities and cognition in multi-crew airline flight decks has used a joint cognitive systems approach. However, is this approach suitable when some components—such as pilots—physically shift between differing aircraft, or joint cognitive systems? A current practice within the airline industry, known as mixed-fleet flying (MFF), allows pilots to fly aircraft of slightly differing configurations within the same working roster. The assumption held by aviation authorities is that pilots are permitted to fly in MFF configurations as long as relevant training occurs. Based on a cognitive anthropological study on pilots flying the same aircraft type—with differing flight deck configurations—we demonstrate that there are two different joint cognitive systems at work as each system involves different functional systems. The aim of this paper is to extend certain aspects of the joint cognitive systems approach to enable an analysis of real-world issues like MFF.

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    • Copyright © 2016, Springer-Verlag London. The contents of this paper reflect the views of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Transportation Research Board or the National Academy of Sciences.
  • Authors:
    • Soo, Kassandra
    • Mavin, Timothy J
    • Roth, Wolff-Michael
  • Publication Date: 2016-8


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01606234
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 15 2016 3:44PM