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Ritchie De Montalk

Doctor of Philosophy, (Aviation)
Study Completed: 2008
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
Developing proficiency in air transport pilots: The case for the introduction of non-technical skills in basic pilot training programmes

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Mr de Montalk examined the differences between the skills and competencies of New Zealand flight school graduates and the types of skills and competencies believed to define a proficient air transport pilot. In a four stage study, Mr de Montalk explored the importance that pilots of differing levels of experience attach to technical and non-technical skills, their perception of the training effectiveness in these skills, and the contribution of skills deficiencies to aircraft accidents. The results indicated that throughout the spectrum of experience and qualifications, from student pilot to airline pilot, the technical skill of aircraft handling was highly valued, and training in this skill was perceived to be satisfactory. In contrast, while non-technical skill deficiencies were found to be factors in many aircraft accidents, the pilot groups considered some of the non-technical skills to be less important than technical skills and the training of non-technical skills to be less effective. Mr de Montalk’s research has implications for future pilot licensing curriculum design.

Associate Professor Lynn Jeffrey
Associate Professor Andrew Gilbey

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