3 Interviews on Black Swans, Resilience & Oshkosh “Theater in the Woods”

“Knowledge”  Painting by Coplu (Coplu.Com)

Report on Resilience

“Resilience – Recovering pilots’ lost flying skills”

The Royal Aeronautical Society, London has published the report that I produced after I opened the Flight Simulation Conference at the RAeS in London in November 2014.

(Data FSF)

(Data FSF)

My report studies the flight safety statistics from 1942 until 2014 and the implications for flight simulation industry.

The future trend for Aviation flight safety (hull losses/year) can take three paths:

  1. extrapolates to zero by 2025, or
  2. levels at the incidence of Black Swan Events, or
  3. increases as a result of many factors.

My report then analyses three methods to mitigate for senario 3 (an increase in the aviation accidents):

  1. (ODG http://www.osterhoutgroup.com)

    (ODG osterhoutgroup.com)

    more hands on flying time, and

  2. Stress Proof Deliberate Practice, and
  3. cloud hosted high fidelity low cost personal simulation anywhere anytime.   Note:   ODG and Oculus Rift have key technologies that form the basis for hosted VR simulators.
RAeS Airspace, June 2015 p32

RAeS Airspace, June 2015 p32

Captain Chesley (Sully) Sullenberger  (US Airways Flight 1549)  and Commander Jim Lovell (NASA Apollo 13) kindly contributed to the report.

My report was published in the June edition of “Aerospace” (pp 32-37).

Click here to download the report

Click here to view video interview with Ralph Osterhout of ODG about Augmented Reality.

Head Up Display (Painting by Coplu (Coplu.Com))

Optimism (Painting by Coplu (Coplu.Com))

Three Video Interviews

Black Swan Events: Interview with Richard de Crespigny

Captain Eric Auxier has a very good aviation web site Adventures of CAP’N Aux

Captain Eric Auxier with Coral and me as an Oshkosh 2015 sunset.

Captain Eric Auxier with Coral and me as an Oshkosh 2015 sunset.

Eric recently conducted a long interview with me about values and beliefs, leadership, teamwork, training, resilience, decision making, crisis management, open disclosure and personal guarantees.   Eric then edited the interview to make three separate videos.

Links to Eric’s three interviews are below:

  • Interview 1(13 minutes)
    • CAPN Aux
  • Interview 2   Discussing Responsibility, Corporate & Personal Culture, Teamwork, Challenging Authority (managing upwards / STOP!) and Control Checks. (13 minutes)


  • Interview 3 – on Swiss cheese, advice fo aspiring pirates and flying lawnmowers


(Erix Auxier)

(Eric Auxier)

The interviews are also being printed in the July, August and September 2015 editions of the Airways Magazine.

Keep Calm and Aviate! (Painting by Coplu Coplu.com)

Meaning of Life  (Painting by Coplu (Coplu.com))

Presentation in the Woods at Oshkosh

Oshkosh 2015

The EAA AirVenture Oshkosh is the World’s premier fly-in airshow in the USA.  The airshow ran from 20-26 July 2015.   The air traffic control is the busiest air traffic control in the world.

EAA chairman Jack Pelton said that:

  • more than 16,200 airplanes landed at Oshkosh, a ten year high,
  • more than 3,000 aircraft arrived on some days, and
  • about 550,000 visitors attended the event, most of whom arrived in automobiles rather than light airplanes.

I presented twice at Oshkosh:

Commander Jim Lovell, Fred Haise presented to a packed audience at the Theatre on Wednesday night 22 July.

Commander Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Bill Reeves (Apollo 13 Flight Controller) and Milt Windler (one of the four Apollo 13 Flight Directors)

Commander Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, Bill Reeves (Apollo program flight controller) and Milt Windler (one of the four Apollo 13 Flight Directors)

I had the pleasure to fly many Australians who had attended Oshkosh, home from Dallas to Sydney.  We all agreed that the EAA (Oshkosh) airshow is the best fly-in airshow in the world.


Rort Air (Painting by Jaak de Koninck www.jaakdekoninck.be)

Rort Air (Painting by Jaak de Koninck http://www.jaakdekoninck.be)


  1. […] Link zu seinen Gedanken, zur Fähigkeit, schwierige Lebensituationen für Piloten möglichst gut zu […]

  2. Good whatever time of the day it is for you, Captain.

    I see that Oshkosh is a great air show that is about so much more than a flying display. But what about Farnborough (or anything else in the UK)?

    Have you been to those? Are they educationally meaningful? I suppose Futures Day it is in some ways. I was told at RAeS that this year they are completely separating trade part and public part, which is unfortunate. May I ask for your opinion?


    1. Hi Valeriya.

      I attended Oshkosh last year. Oshkosh is an aviation smorgasburg for all kinds of aviators, from kit builders to military and general aviation. The A380 attended the Oshkosh airshow in August 2009.

      Oshkosh though is not an airshow where large commercial aviation vendors and airlines queue up to deliver press releases for billions of dollars of aircraft purchases. These high value press releases are saved for the Dubai, Farnborough, Paris and Singapore airshows.

      I plan to attend Farnborough in July and have the highest expectations for a great show.



      1. Thank you for your reply, Richard.
        I certainly hope we are going to experience a great show. It’s been 13 years since I attended an airshow for the first and so far last time (it was Maks 2003), and I look forward to attending Farnborough next month.

      2. Just back from Farnborough, and it didn’t disappoint (though, of course, it would have been good to see the Red Arrows perform their aerobatic display which I have never seen). Exhausted both all that was left on the SD card (more than 2GB) and a fully-charged battery in my camera. I also exhausted my legs, but that’s exactly what we dancers call a good day. Good thing I am going there again tomorrow (at first I wasn’t sure whether to get a weekend ticket or only go on one day), because there wasn’t enough time to explore everything in one day. Hopefully tomorrow morning I’ll finally set foot on an A380.

        Also, Airbus was demonstrating their VR simulation. Is that progress towards the sort of thing you talk about in your report last year in “Aerospace”? Have you tried this VR simulation by Airbus? Take care, Valeriya

  3. […] training to include Stress Free Deliberate Practice  […]

  4. Charles Tari-Head · · Reply


    Just finished reading your book on a 747-400…

    I thought it was significant, what a machine! I used to fly on the Qantas 747’s often on the Kangaroo route as I lived in France and would spend time in Australia in my younger days. It was my first jumbo ride and I may have even had you as a Captain!

    This was the first jumbo ride since my last Qantas flight years ago and it was fitting to read your book on it. I am headed back on a 747 to OSH (well DTW) this year, sadly I will not be there till the Tuesday and will miss your speech but if you are around maybe I will have the luck and good fortune to run into you.

    I am now 17 (18 in two weeks) with 250 hours and finishing up my Commercial multi training in August.

    Your book has inspired me and reminded me, ‘Why I fly.”

    Happy Landings,

  5. Matthew Squair · · Reply

    For me it turns on the question of why we have pilots in the aircraft, or in fact operating any high consequence system? To answer that question I think that we need to recognise that what’s missing from the general discussion of resilience is the role of human creativity.

    Once you recognise that creativity is ‘the’ critical thing that humans bring to the mix, then you start to see that our current design, training and certification regimes need to change significantly.

    What encourages creativity, and perhaps more importantly what encourages creativity under stress? How do you design the interface between system and operator to encourage and enhance creative solutioneering?

    Without this we will I’m afraid plateau out as you identified in one of your future scenarios.

    1. Thanks Matthew,

      We are a long way from being able to have pilot-less passenger aircraft. The latest generation passenger aircraft are currently automated to a similar functional level that we see in modern cars that have speed and lane keeping controls.

      Please also read “Technology Cannot Replace Pilots” by Captain Sully Sullenberger.

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