Video 323 added on 2007-03-07: Video Type: Informational Aircraft: Various US Fighters Views: 2168 Uploaded by: ATFS_Crash
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Edited documentary to demonstrate the phenomena of information overload.
Sound is out of sync
Though the demo is on fighter pilots, the same phenomena can happen to everyone in their everyday lives, fighter pilot, airline pilots, bus driver, in your personal car ect...
This can happen landing a passenger jet, or driving your car. Something as simple as driving a car can be made more dangerous with too many distractions. The radio, cell phone, passengers (nagging woman/kids hehe) can attribute to information overload.
It's an FAA rule to keep conversations and actions professional during landing and take off, because that is typically when commercial pilots are under highest workload and have the least margin for error. It is often referred to as a sterile environment. Part of the reason is to reduce distractions and keep your mind on landing or taking off.
Since this documentary was made, aircraft have become more complex and the skies have become more crowded, newer avionics have helped offset the complexity. Some of the newer avionics can make things easier and safer even though the skies are much more crowded.
It is interesting to see the experimental things in the documentary that have come to fruition and what has not. I think things like speech recognition can be handy to aid a pilot, but it is only a crutch, and I think pilots should be trained to function with and without these aides. I am skeptical if voice recognition technology would ever be practical in a fighter in the fir ball of a dogfight. During the fir ball of a dogfight, your speech changes, due to Gs (grunting/breathing), altitude, oxygen mask pressurization changes. However in normal flight conditions speech-recognition can be handy. The eye reading technology was in the field to a limited extent at the time of this documentary, but is improving vastly and quickly.
Some people think just because an investigation comes up a ruling of pilot error, that there is reason to blame the pilot morally or legally. In many cases there is, but in many cases there isn't. Investigators are encouraged to label/categorize crashes as either mechanical failure or pilot error. So if the crash is not a result of a mechanical failure, it is most often ruled a pilot error. Often there are reasons/circumstances that it is understandable that pilots make errors. Pilots are humans, they make errors like everyone else.
If you are driving your car at night and there is a bright flash of light that temporarily blinds you and you run off the road, that would not be mechanical error, it would be driver error. In that case the drivers insurance would be responsible for any damages, but there would be no grounds moral criticism or criminality.
Sometimes flight can be so complicated that even computers can screw things up.
It is mandatory for pilots to be honest in their job, particularly in an accident investigation. Most pilots seem more honest than the GP, professional pilots are usually more honest. Investigators are more willing to forgive if a pilot is honest.
The human memory is a funny thing, it uses a kind of fuzzy logic. People's perception shape their memory, so it is not always accurate, and often becomes less accurate with time. That's why there are often flight recorders, video cameras, and why investigators prefer to do their questioning as soon as possible.
One should be forgiving and understanding. Like Jesus allegedly said, whom is without sin, cast the first stone. I can be forgiving in most cases, but I am much less forgiving if there is dishonesty, gross neglect or rules/laws broken.
Part two demonstrates that pilots have brain waves, despite some people's claims.