Human Factors Affecting Safe Operation dissertation

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This is significant, because it is showing how the best pilots will use the various tools on the aircraft to gain a greater understanding of the situation. (Drury, 2008)

Types of UAVs

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (2010), discusses the different kinds of UAVs that the military has been using. The most notable include: the Pioneer, the Tactical UAV, Global Hawk, Predator and Dragon just to name a few. These different aircraft are significant, because they are highlighting some of the various kinds of surveillance purposes that this used for. ("Unmanned Aerial Vehicles," 2010)

As a result, the information from this source is helpful, because it identifies some of the different kinds of aircraft that are being used. When you put these elements together, they are highlighting how this could contribute to pilot error by: illustrating how they may not have the experience in conducting various kinds of surveillance missions. ("Unmanned Aerial Vehicles," 2010)

Becoming a UAV Pilot

How to Become an Army UAV Pilot (2011), talks about how someone can enlist in the Army and go through specialized training to become a UAV pilot. This is considerably less extensive in comparison with learning to fly traditional aircraft. As students will complete Army UAV training and UAV pilot training. UAV training is when you will learn basic skills such as: gathering intelligence, map preparation and aerial intelligence interpretation. UAV pilot training is when you will learn the five basic skills of flying the aircraft to include: takeoffs, landings and how to effectively operate the UAV. For those individuals that want to become even more specialized, they can learn command and communication skills to supervise other UAV pilots. This information is important, because it shows how the training is considerably less to become a UAV pilot in comparison with traditional aircraft. ("How to Become an Army UAV Pilot," 2011)

As a result, this can be used to show how this could contribute to: the various safety issues and accidents that have occurred. This is because the pilots have less amounts of training in: comparison with the more traditional forms of aircraft. Over the course of time, these lower standards will mean that human errors will increase, due to the fact that pilots have less experience. ("How to Become an Army UAV Pilot," 2011)

Dillow (2010), talks about how the Air Force has made becoming a UAV pilot more specialized (as this requires tremendous amounts of training). What was happening is the Air Force command has quickly realized: the strategic importance of UAVs and the need for having highly qualified pilots that can fly effective missions. This has forced them to re examine their standards for pilot qualification. As a result, the Air Force has raised the overall qualifications that someone must have to become a UAV pilot to include: an undergraduate degree, various psychological tests and two different types of flight / instrument training. This is important, because it is showing how the qualifications for becoming a UAV pilots are changing. as, the standards are strict due to: the increasingly significant role that UAV pilots are playing in the future. (Dillow, 2010)

The information from this source is useful, because it provides some basic background as to how the overall standards for becoming a UAV pilot have changes. This helps to provide a basic foundation, as to what qualifications are necessary for becoming a pilot in the Air Force UAV program and why this is occurring. (Dillow, 2010)

Mularine (2009), talks about how the Air Force has been waiving the different standards they have in place for UAV pilots. This is because they are using this aircraft to conduct larger amounts of surveillance over wide areas. Over the course of time, this increasing demand has meant that the Air Force is facing a shortage of trained pilots to be able to meet the various demands they are facing. (Mularine, 2009)

As a result, they have engaged in a strategy to increase the number of pilots they are using. Evidence of this can be seen with information that was provided by the Air Force's Staff Directorate of Operations. They are showing how the focus of the military has changed over the last several years. as, the number of UAV pilots have grown exponentially since that time. The below table illustrates the expected increase in Air Force UAV pilots by 2012 (as it is comparing the total number since 2006). (Mularine, 2009)

Air Force UAV Pilots 2006 to 2012


Total Number of Pilots





(Mularine, 2009)

This information is important, because it showing how this increasing demand is pushing for them to accept candidates who might not normally qualify. This is problematic, because it can mean that UAV pilots are less trained in various techniques and they have less flight time. Once this takes place, it increases the chance that pilot error will occur. (Mularine, 2009)

This source is useful, because it provide specific insights about how the Air Force has been changing their focus over the last several years. as, they want to have professionally trained UAV pilots, yet they are experiencing a shortage (which increases the number of safety incidents). These factors are important, because they are showing how there are various standards of minimum flying hours and the years of flying service are often being overlooked. (Mularine, 2009)

Security Industry (2011), discusses how the Air Force Academy is going to be conducting UAV pilot training for their cadets. This will involve training them in two different elements: operator training and UAV pilot training. Operator training serves as a basic foundation for understanding how work the various instruments function. Pilot training is when the student is learning how to fly the aircraft and conduct a variety of activities they learned in operator training. These different elements are important, because together they are helping to highlight how both types of training are used to identify the right UAV pilots. This is because, the program requires selecting the best operator course students, to find those individuals who are most suited to fly the aircraft. ("Security Industry," 2011)

The information from this source is useful because, it identifies how the best UAV pilots are: those people who have mastered the beginning course and are motivated to learn how to fly the aircraft. As a result, this addresses what factors are present in: those individuals, who will make the least amount of errors of UAV pilots. This helps to corroborate the earlier information, by illustrating how these shifting standards are having an impact upon the overall qualification standards. ("Security Industry," 2011)

UAV Pilots Stay Clean (2009), talks about how the Air Force has been going after a variety of pilots that are currently flying various aircraft including: the F -- 16, and the KC-130. What has been happening is that the Air Force has realized; that many of the different UAVs can address the aircraft shortages that they are facing. This has been problem for many years due to: the severe budget cuts facing the DOD and some of the more expensive programs in the budget. UAVs are considered to be a cost effective alternative that reduces: the underlying costs and possible risks to the individual pilot. This is important because, it is showing how the military has been going through their ranks of experienced pilots by: encouraging them to begin flying UAVs. ("UAV Pilots Stay Clean," 2009)

As a result, the information from this source is useful, because it addresses the different backgrounds that UAV pilots are coming from. With, many leaving their traditional roles as pilots, to be able fly this new aircraft as a part of their mission objectives. This is significant, because it is showing how military is attempting to address these needs (based upon the experience that the pilots have to offer). ("UAV Pilots Stay Clean," 2009)

Causes of the Shift

Moreover, Kreishner (2010) discusses how the Air Force has lost of 160 aircraft since September 11th 2001. While, most of the planes (118) were human operated, the fact that such a large number were lost can affect the operational readiness of the Air Force. as, they could be facing the possibility of: seeing some kind of aircraft shortage in the future. To address these issues, they have been increasingly using various UAVs. This is because they cost less and they can train a variety of pilots to be able to: effectively achieve the various mission objectives of the Air Force. This is important, because it shows how the Air Force has been pushing many of their more experienced pilots to become UAV pilots (due to shortages in some traditional aircraft). (Kreishner, 2010)

The information from this source is useful, as it identifies one of the major reasons why various safety standards have been increasing surrounding human error. This is because they are selecting a wide variety of…[continue]

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