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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

Pilot is a Pilot is a Pilot?: Exploration of Effects of Professional Culture in Helicopter Pilots

Authors : Anna Kaminska, Amy Irwin, Devin Ray, Rhona Flin

Published in: Proceedings of the 21st Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2021)

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Culture has been identified as a factor influencing the way people communicate and behave. Though often imperceptible by its members, cross-cultural interactions can lead to misunderstandings and conflicts. Despite ex-military and civilian trained pilots frequently flying together, there has been a lack of research describing each professional sub-culture. The current study aims to bridge that gap by exploring how professional culture interacts in the cockpit and how it affects pilots’ safety behaviours. The study used in-depth semi-structured interviews with 15 participants (14 helicopter pilots) to collect data on effects of professional culture. The data were analysed using conventional content analysis. Content analysis indicated five separate categories relevant to perceptions of professional culture. The findings indicate that pilots acknowledge the cultural differences present between themselves and others, and that culture can have an effect on their and other’s safety behaviours. The participants suggested that various sub-culture types can have impact on flight safety through their effects on communication and the way people interact, but not through technical skills of flying the aircraft. The differences between military and civilian training and flying were discussed in depth. This research highlights the various ways in which culture affects pilots’ safety behaviours and interactions with one another. It also provides an in-depth look at the way pilots perceive and experience cross-cultural interactions in the cockpit.

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Footnotes
1
The effects of organisational and national culture were also explored but are not reported here due to space constraints. National culture findings are reported elsewhere.
 
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Metadata
Title
Pilot is a Pilot is a Pilot?: Exploration of Effects of Professional Culture in Helicopter Pilots
Authors
Anna Kaminska
Amy Irwin
Devin Ray
Rhona Flin
Copyright Year
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-74608-7_83