Human performance includes actions that increase safety, as well as actions that can reduce safety. Ensuring safety in complex dynamic operations like commercial aviation depends on the ability to institute appropriate responses based on what is learned from flightcrew performance and the contexts in which it occurs. To do this systemically at the organization level requires collecting data on flightcrew performance, developing effective approaches to analyzing those data, and understanding how to translate what has been learned into policies, procedures, and practice. Systematic observation of front-line operators is a vital source of human performance data. Much has been learned from such observations, including methodological principles. Most observations have been based on a framework focused on managing safety challenges and the ensuing unsafe events. A complementary perspective focuses on flexibility and actions that promote continued safe and effective operation. We consider lessons learned about observational methods from an established framework focused on undesired actions and how these might be extended for a framework focused on desired actions.
Mumaw, R. J.,
& Holbrook, J.
(2021). How Do Different Knowledge Frameworks Help Us Learn From Aviation Line Observations?. 71st International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 116-121.