Thursday, 21 May 2015

Social and Organisational Psychology Research Group Seminar

Please come and join us for a research presentation by Kirstie Carrick

WHEN: Tuesday 26th May, 12-1pm

WHERE: Keats Reading Room, Aviation Building, Callaghan (Video link to Ourimbah Humanities Meeting Room HO1.73)

WHAT: Research presentation by Kirstie Carrick (School of Psychology, the University of Newcastle) entitled “Australian aviators’ conception of airmanship"


ABSTRACT: Airmanship is important for safe operations in aviation, but the concept is not well defined and is loosely interpreted. This project aimed to explore any differences in the conceptions of airmanship between military and civilian aviators in Australia and to compare their views with Kern’s (1996) model of airmanship with a view to developing a more comprehensive model. An on-line survey was piloted with 40 participants, mostly from the general aviation sector. A revised and expanded survey was later completed by 83 aviators; 40 from a civilian background and 43 from a military background. Analysis of responses to open ended questions about the definition of airmanship indicated broad agreement with Kern’s model, but with some additional concepts mentioned. Participants were also asked to rate the importance of 26 airmanship-related concepts, selected from comments made in the pilot survey. The ratings and rankings indicated a broad view of airmanship, including both technical and non-technical skills, with examples of non-technical skills considered most important.Interviews with a cross-section of flight instructors were conducted to explore the concepts further and to examine how airmanship is included in the training of aviators in Australia. Participants were 39 flight instructors drawn from civilian and military training establishments, and were training either novice pilots or more experienced pilots with established careers. Again, non-technical skills were emphasised, but general definitions of airmanship also included technical flying skills. In terms of training, the most interesting finding was that just over half of the advanced civilian and advanced military instructors stated that at that level, airmanship is assumed to be adequate and so little additional attention to airmanship is required at that level of training. A revised model of airmanship is presented as an alternative to the Kern model, including knowledge, preparation, personal qualities, non-technical and technical skills and taking into account the context in which airmanship is displayed.

BIOGRAPHY: Professionally, Kirstie has worked as an Aviation Psychologist since 1983 when she joined the Commonwealth Department of Aviation (now, CASA) in the area of specialist staff selection and validation of Licensing Examinations.
Kirstie has also worked as a Principal Research Officer (Human Factors) with the Federal Office of Road Safety, before taking up a Post-Graduate Research Fellowship (Human Factors) with the Department of Defence. This Fellowship involved working on cognitive aspects of visual displays for command and control systems, at the ANU in Canberra.
Kirstie joined the Aviation Department at the University of Newcastle in 1993. Now in the School of Psychology, Kirstie is the Program Convenor for the Master of Aviation Management while also teaching into the Psychology undergraduate program.
Kirstie is currently carrying out research towards a PhD under the supervision of Dr Kerry Chalmers and is a member of the Australian Association for Aviation Psychology, the Australian Psychological Society and the Ergonomics Society of Australia.