The C-130J is an advanced automation aircraft flown with a smaller crew than its tactical airlift predecessors. It is seeing increased action in theater. The Air Mobility Command sponsored a multi-prong project to improve C-130J aircrew training for operations in high threat environments: (1) analyze C-130J and related platform (C-130 E/H, C-17) mishap reports, (2) survey C-130J crew real world experiences regarding threats to safety, and (3) observe C-130J crews as they plan and execute a challenging, tactically relevant simulator scenario. The Air Force C-130J safety record is enviable—no crew-caused Class A mishaps and low rates across all mishap categories relative to other airlift platforms. Human factors frequently cited in Class B and C reports included checklist errors, distraction, task prioritization, and decision making. Incident and mishap reports both frequently mention problems arising from events external to the crew. In the real-world experience survey, several crews described events that closely paralleled events in the simulator scenario. During the challenging simulator scenario, crews generally accomplished the mission but quality of performance varied considerably. Lower performing crews often struggled with risk management during planning and mission evaluation during execution. They also tended to underutilize their loadmasters and had difficulty choosing the most appropriate levels of automation during mission execution. Recommendations included an increased emphasis on threat and error management during training and addressing specific skills at particular points in the syllabus.
& Deen, G.
(2011). Mishap Reduction Training for C-130J Crews. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 74-79.