Friday, February 24, 2012

The pilot decision making process

While surfing the web to find something,  through the wonders of Google search, I reached the site of the Langley flying school and came across the illustration above under the title "the pilot decision making process". 
The cycle starts with a situation, which is defined as a critical situation which requires action.   The detection and identification of such a situation is what starts the process, thus the decision process is inherently event driven, then the pilot needs to assess the options,  sometimes the options are very obvious, and sometimes there is a creativity in that process,  then there is a need to chose among the options, act according to the selected action and assess whether the situation has been resolved.   Note that this may be either reactive (situation already happened) or proactive (situation is expected to happen).  Of course, when possible it is better to be proactive, it is much better to eliminate crash of the aircraft then try to rescue the crew and passengers when the crash already happened, both from economic point of view and from safety to human life point of view.     Note that the pilot needs to react to critical situations, for the process-driven business as usual case, an autonomic pilot is sufficient.    Can we extend the autonomic pilot also to deal with critical situations?  

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