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New capabilities to modernize the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) include support of real-time information streams derived from many data sources across the NAS. This provision allows for system risk prognostics originating from sets of diagnostic health information. The current exploratory paper presents how to model human performance with the larger purpose of developing NAS risk prognostics. We explore ways in which human performance relates to communication and coordination among controllers and pilots in the context of their objectives, technologies, and environment. A literature review shows communication is often associated with controller performance in both experimental simulations and safety reviews. We gathered controller and pilot verbal communication data from two incidents and one accident and examined them using a dynamical systems method—discrete recurrence quantification analysis—to visualize and identify stability and flexibility between controller and pilot during the failures. From our findings, we conclude that controller-pilot need effective and timely interaction in order to overcome fatal incidents.