Embedding Resilience Attributes in Flight Deck Crews Using a Resilient Growth Model: A Dialogue with Chinese Airlines Pilots

Yingqun Pang, James Blundell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


Pilots play a vital role in the safety of assets and airline passengers. However, accidents such as Air France 447 and United States Airways 1549 have shown that the reactions of flight deck crews under pressure can vary greatly, highlighting the different levels of resilience among flight deck crews. For example, the Air France 447 flight deck crew failed to deliver an acceptable performance, causing the aircraft to crash from 38,000 feet, resulting in the loss of all souls on board. In contrast, the crew of United States Airways 1549, led by Captain Sullenberger, demonstrated excellent teamwork in rescuing all passengers. Hence, it is valuable to study how pilots exhibit resilience during regular operations.Kiernan et al. developed a classification system for pilots’ positive behaviors; They further recommended a sizable sample size of pilots from international airlines, including those with less experience and from other domains, to determine if the concept applies across different experience levels. In the current study, 32 pilot interviews were conducted to explore how Chinese pilots comprehend, embrace, and utilize flight deck crew resilience concepts and techniques. The research found that Chinese pilots possess the four essential abilities of resilience: anticipating, monitoring, responding, and learning.A resilience growth path for flight deck crews utilizing a dumbbell model is proposed, incorporating CRM and TEM techniques, as a comprehensive approach to improving the latest competency-based training and assessment. Its implementation enables anticipating, monitoring, responding, and learning capabilities, ultimately driving flight deck crew resilience growth. While the model will allow newly certified crews to develop resilience, flexibility, and adaptability, it is critical that cultivating a resilient flight deck crew should start during training and be maintained through “Pilot Lifelong Management”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th International Conference on Transport Information and Safety (ICTIS)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)979-8-3503-0853-2
ISBN (Print)979-8-3503-0854-9
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sept 2023
Event7th International Conference on Transportation Information and Safety - Xi'an, China
Duration: 4 Aug 20236 Aug 2023

Publication series

ISSN (Print)2832-8981
ISSN (Electronic)2832-899X


Conference7th International Conference on Transportation Information and Safety
Abbreviated titleICTIS 2023


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