As a classically trained musician who studied with the Boston Symphony and worked for the Opera Company of Boston, the author was able to directly apply the skills used in the high pressure world of professional music performance to become a Navy fighter pilot with 10 years of service and 321 carrier landings. Later, after flying for a major airline and completing his certificate in Aviation Safety at USC, the author worked with the NTSB on major accident investigations and started to observe the link between aviation human factors, safety analysis, and the similarities between accident investigation skills and the skill needed for professional musicians. This presentation will discuss topics including how data in both music and in safety management systems can be heavily influenced by training and talent, and the striking similarities in the skills used. Other topics include human performance and how music auditions and carrier landings share identical mental modeling, how error management and non normal operations are treated in both fields and how the functioning of a chamber orchestra can serve as a model for cockpit situational awareness and CRM. The presentation shows how classical music and aviation safety relate in unique and fascinating ways.
(2011). Mahler to Mach 1. 16th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 148-153.