Psychology collaboration set for take off

Psychology collaboration set for take off

The department of Industrial Psychology and CHC Helicopter has been awarded £54,000 to fund PhD research projects in Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Human Factors training.

The department of Industrial Psychology and CHC Helicopter has been awarded £54,000 to fund PhD research projects in Crew Resource Management (CRM) and Human Factors training.

The award from Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSS) and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), will see Dr Amy Irwin and her team work with the CHC Flight Training Department in Aberdeen to study and develop the latest helicopter operations training methods and scientific evaluation techniques.

Dr Amy Irwin explained: “Helicopters provide pilots with a great deal of flexibility, allowing crews to fly low, land on varied terrain and access remote locations. This flexibility means that helicopters are utilised for a variety of high-risk missions, both military and civilian, such as search and rescue, offshore transport and medical support.  Due to the nature of these missions, and the technological complexity of the helicopter cockpit, helicopter flight is acknowledged as high risk. 

“A key element of continuing to improve flight safety is crew resource management (CRM) training.  CHC is currently leading development by extending their CRM training to all staff currently within UK operations and aims to produce a standard, recognised, method of CRM training provision at a global level.

“We hope this research will not only produce practical outcomes that can be implemented within helicopter pilot training, but will also enable us to conduct high level research within this applied setting and enable a variety of students to gain insight into this important aspect of aviation safety.”

Mark Abbey, CHC Regional Director for EMEA added: “I am delighted that my team can collaborate with Dr Amy Irwin on this cutting-edge research, which will raise standards within CRM, ensuring practical application of a science which has already improved aviation safety.”