“Peer pressure”, Stress, Indiscipline



[…]
A second case study of willful noncompliance also shows the impact of peer pressure, external stressor, and the situation on flight discipline. In this example it is clear that every level of an organization have a direct or indirect impact on regulatory discipline. Although this is a military fighter case study, see how many of the stresses and personality factors might apply your own brand of flying.
The mishap sortie was a scheduled two-ship fighter training formation mission. The Instructor Pilot briefed the student on aircraft handling extensively and included a thorough discussion about aircraft handling during a hazardous condition known as a “scissors”. The IP then mentioned to the student that he would see a scissors on the mission as a part of his training profile. Towards the end, the student informed the instructor he was running low on fuel. The instructor directed the student to hold 350 KIAS and start a climb so that they could do a scissors exercise from this point. The scissors exercise progressed rapidly to a nose-high slow-speed fight with both aircraft falling uncontrollably towards each other. A midair collision resulted. The impact killed the instructor instantly and rendered the student’s aircraft uncontrollable, from which he ejected, receiving minor ejection injuries.
The  IP was a 32 year-old F-15 pilot with 2769 total flying hours, 987 F-15 hours with 389 hours as an instructor. The student was a 38 year-old former F-15 pilot undergoing recurrency training with over 1000 F-15 flying hours, 479 as a former instructor, described as one of the best student seen to date. What could cause two highly experienced pilots to lose control of a situation so negligently? A look at other human factors provides some insights. The instructor pilot was heavily tasked in his daily duties. He was a fight commander, standardization and evaluation flight examiner, squadron phase briefing monitor and project officer for an upcoming higher headquarters evaluation visit. During his off time he was pursuing a master degree, was an instructor for a bible study group, and participated in a church basketball league. In addition, he had flu symptoms the day before and had taken himself off the flying schedule. The investigation board determined the IP had less than 13 hours sleep during the previous 48 hours.
Both pilots violated known directives. The instructor exceeded guidance in the syllabus by using more power than called for in the maneuvers and flying a scissor maneuver in violation of the syllabus and without first briefing the maneuver. This caused great confusion on the student’s part, who did not know what to expect from the instructor, and consequently what he himself was expected to do. Finally, both pilots failed to comply with numerous rules of engagement by not stopping the scissors when the maneuver became dangerous, and when the 1000-foot “safety bubble” was broken. A total breakdown of discipline occurred when the IP abandoned his role as an instructor, lost self-control, and fought the student as equal pilot. This was most likely compounded by fatigue and an underlying competitive personality. Accident board findings indicated that organizational supervision was faulted for loading down the instructor with duties that detracted from his duties as a flight commander and flight examiner. The student was also faulted for judgement in that he also had a responsibility for stopping the final engagement but allowed the scissors to progress below controllable airspeed.
Once again, the rules are in the book for a reason. There are usually a lot more reasons to follow the rules than to break them.
(to be continued)


[…]
Un secondo caso riguarda una premeditata inosservanza delle regole dovuta a “peer pressure“, fattori di stress esterni e indisciplina in volo. In questo caso è chiaro come ad ogni livello delle organizzazioni ci può essere un impatto diretto o indiretto sulle regole disciplinari. Anche se si tratta di un caso in ambito militare vedi come i fattori personali possano applicarsi in generale.
Il volo in questione riguarda due caccia militari in formazione in missione addestrativa. Il leader (istruttore) aveva effettuato un briefing all’allievo di una missione che riguardava un volo tattico di intercettamento. Verso la conclusione, l’allievo comunicò all’istruttore che stava esaurendo il carburante. L’istruttore lo invitò a mantenere 350 nodi e iniziare una salita per esercitarsi in una manovra a forbice. La manovra andò avanti rapidamente con entrambi gli aerei a bassa velocità superandosi l’un l’altro. Durante la manovra si verificò un impatto, uccidendo l’istruttore e permettendo all’allievo di eiettarsi con lievi danni.
L’istruttore 32enne aveva all’attivo 2769 ore di cui 987 sul tipo e 389 come istruttore. L’allievo 38enne in addestramento per currency con 1000 sul tipo e 459 come istruttore veniva descritto come un ottimo allievo. Cosa poté causare la perdita di controllo da parte di due piloti così esperti? Il Fattore Umano può fornirci delle indicazioni. Il pilota istruttore aveva ruoli di rilievo nell’organizzazione e durante il tempo libero stava studiando per un master, e si dilettava a giocare a basket. Inoltre era convalescente dopo una settimana di influenza. Nelle precedenti ore aveva dormito solo 13 ore nelle precedenti 48 ore.
Entrambi i piloti aveva violato le regole, l’istruttore volando una manovra senza che questa venisse chiarita durante il briefing causando confusione nell’allievo, inconsapevole delle richieste dell’istruttore, ed entrambi fallendo nel rispetto delle regole di ingaggio non arrestando la manovra quando questa diventava pericolosa perché sotto la quota minima di sicurezza. Una rottura totale delle competenze di istruttore, perdendo il self control e considerando l’allievo come un pari pilota. Questo il risultato di una personalità competitiva ma affaticata. Dalla commissione incaricata emerse che l’organizzazione aveva fallito sovraccaricando l’istruttore di troppe mansioni e nel far rispettare molte regolamentazioni. L’allievo responsabile di non essere stato capace di fermare la manovra quando questa ormai eseguita a una velocità troppo bassa.
Ancora una volta le regole esistono per un motivo, e ci sono molte più ragioni per seguirle che per disattenderle.

In discesa, per un finale pista 23

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