CAT Leader Forum - Bringing Airlines, ATOs, OEMs & Industry together

Industry Webinar Topic 4 - Big Data - 1 July 2021

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This expert panel will share their knowledge and expertise on this subject, and take part in a live Q&A session at the end of the webinar. 

Dr. Patrizia Knabl-Schmitz, Human Factors Specialist, Emirates Airline Flight Training

Dr. Patrizia Knabl-Schmitz is the Human Factors Specialist for Emirates Airline Flight Training. She holds a PhD in psychology from the Technical University of Brunswick, Germany. Before joining Emirates in 2016, Patrizia worked as a scientist for the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Institute of Flight Guidance. Thereby, her research mainly focused on human factors aspects with helmet-mounted displays and synthetic vision systems for civil and military helicopter operations. At Emirates, she primarily focuses on the development of CRM, integrating human factors in pilot training, pilot coaching, as well as conducting research. Her latest project focuses on the implementation of eye tracking technology in pilot training. Besides human factors, Patrizia is also responsible for Flight Training’s digital transformation with regard to data analytics in the scope of EBT.

Captain Andy Mitchell, FRAeS, Chair, EASA Aircrew Training Policy Group (ATPG)

Andy’s background & passion spans both technology and aviation training. He has over 16 years and 10,000 flying hours on the A320 family aircraft culminating in a variety of pilot training & management roles. In technology, he’s a strong industry advocate of agile software best-practices and how they can be applied effectively to aviation. And, as an expert in CBTA and ABLE, he sits as a member of the IATA EBT Core Group and as an advisor to EASA RMT.0599 and the EASA ABLE concept paper. He is currently the Chair of the EASA Aircrew Training Policy Group (ATPG).

Chris Ranganathan, Chief Learning Officer, CAE

An experienced pilot, Chris has been involved in pilot training and training management for over 20 years, in an aviation career spanning more than 30 years. During his career, he has been instrumental in the introduction of innovative training concepts and programs at several airlines. Immediately prior to joining CAE, Chris was Vice President Operations Training at Etihad Airways, where he was responsible for the introduction of EBT on all types and the implementation of MPL cadet pilot training that used the Embraer Phenom in the Basic phase of the program. In his current role, he is responsible for leading CAE’s Civil Aviation Learning Strategy and Services team, including Regulatory Affairs, Training Standards, Aviation Safety and MPL training programs. A CAT Magazine Pioneer award winner in 2018, Chris holds a Masters Degree in Aviation Management and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Stephen Mercer, Standards Training Manager at Emirates

Studied aero and production engineering and then had flying licenses sponsored by a small charter company serving the oil industry in Scotland. Later progressed to Air 2000 Ltd and flew the Boeing 757 and Airbus 320.

In 1996, Stephen joined Emirates Airlines, based in Dubai, initially flying the Airbus 310 and 300 on which qualified as a trainer and later moving to the B777 as a TRE and Senior Examiner. In 2013, he progressed to Standards Training Manager for Emirates Flight Training, managing the ATQP programme and project managed the recurrent training programme through mixed EBT to full implementation in 2020.


It is clear there is a lot of training data available, but using data comes with some strings. Culture is one of them: data needs to be culturally normalised. In international training, the interpretation of a western instructor vs. a non-western trainee might create doubtful data.

Accurate analysis of this large dataset is another issue: interpreting data costs money.

Training of good instructors to ensure quality of reports is also time and money consuming. Not spending enough on instructor training or data analysis could create false insights with unintended consequences. We also need to consider how we measure the effectiveness of training by looking to connect operations data with that from training.

What have we learned from all this data, and what have we changed because of it? This webinar will try to bring you answers to this question and many more. Join us on Thursday 1st July where our experts will present the working group summary on Big Data, corresponding regulatory guidance, key insights and recommendations, and conclude with an open Q&A session. Register for free now.