The use of operational and training data in pilot training which grew out of the airline industry. Independent and airline-affiliated training houses years ago began using Flight Operational Quality Assurance (FOQA) data for training commercial airline pilots operating under Part 121 Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs).
Lately, the use of operational and simulator telemetry data (deidentified) is being considered for training pilots flying Part 135 aircraft. FlightSafety International and other training companies are using or considering the use of various forms of data to validate assumptions made in aircraft certification and training regulations and as a way to enhance safety and evolve pilot training.
FlightSafety’s FlightSmart, an advanced automated tool that employs artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze a “student’s performance, predict success for better training management and discover trends in training,” states a company document. “Most importantly, it will help to determine a training path designed to address any areas of deficiency and to increase proficiency.”
Data from advanced simulators helps determine a student’s performance against a mean, said Scott Goodwin, FlightSafety Vice President Simulation. When a deviation occurs, the data-driven tool provides root-cause analysis why and what remedy is required to improve the student’s performance.
FlightSmart is able to find causal factors that contribute to a student’s success or failure. The tool provides the instructor with “insights previously unavailable, which enhances their instructional capabilities” and reduces time to re-train a student. The device also promotes instructive standardization through evaluation of student performance, helps training efficiency and reduces student attrition and additional training.
With the use of a tablet or computer, FlightSmart users interact using a dashboard that can be accessed from a web-browser and is platform agnostic. FlightSmart algorithms can identity the training tasks automatically, preventing training interruptions. Which reduces the instructor’s burden and serves as a “baseline for instructor standardization.”
Instructional feedback can be accessed on the Student Dashboard, which presents a pilot’s performance and the Training Manager Dashboard, which gives both instructors and training managers insights and increase pilot throughput and reduce time-to-train.
CAE’s Rise data-driven pilot training system was introduced in November 2018. The system is geared mainly toward training military pilots and instructors, but AirAsia was one of the first airlines to try the tool. Rise gives instructors the ability to deliver standardized training as well as assess pilot competencies using live data during training sessions. CAE Rise grades student performance of various maneuvers and tracks them over time. Like FlightSmart it reduces the administrative burden of training and facilitates student and instructor interaction. The technology is another example of how training companies are willing to invest in digital technologies.
Simon Azar, VP of Strategy and Marketing, CAE, told CAT: “The Rise system has evolved quite a bit since its introduction, mostly based on customer focus groups and feedback and on new capabilities coming from our investments in digital intelligence.”
There are two main areas of improvement, according to Azar: “One improvement is with the tablet grading application that the instructor uses. We shifted away from real-time scoring of pilot performance to providing the instructor Metric Based Insights (MBI). Instructors now receive pilot performance metrics derived from simulator data which includes pilot response times, flight parameter exceedances, procedural deviations and errors. These insights help instructors to assess overall pilot performance, Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) adherence and improves grading standardization. The information is displayed in an intuitive and quick-to-interpret manner which supports instructor’s decision making and minimizes additional workload.
“The second improvement is from the point of view of the training and safety management team. We have developed a web portal which allows the operator’s (business or commercial aviation) training and safety management team to see a consolidated wholistic view of all pilots’ performance in training. Beyond being used as a reporting tool, this allows for an operator to track areas where the pilot population needs improvement and as a result tailor the training curriculum to be most effective.”
“CAE also offers consultancy services to be able to make these insights as actionable as possible,” he added.