Based upon the successful completion of a 2016 interview study exploring non-technical skills in helicopter flight teams, in 2017, Oliver Hamlet, Dr Irwin, and Prof Flin, in collaboration with the ESRC and Bristow Helicopters, initiated the PhD project “It’s all in the mission: An investigation of offshore transport and search and rescue helicopter flight teams”.
The PhD research has now been completed (2021). The project encompassed four key studies:
- A focus group study comparing Search And Rescue (SAR) and Offshore Transport (OT) pilot perspectives on the key non-technical skills for their roles, along with the factors that might influence non-technical skill performance.
- An online survey designed to investigate the potential relationship between non-technical skills, conflict, stress and fatigue across pilot groups (SAR & OT).
- An interview study designed to explore SAR technical crew (e.g. winch operators) non-technical skills.
- A series of discussion groups and reviews to develop the HeliNOTS behavioural marker systems for non-technical skill training and assessment with SAR and OT helicopter crews.
In May of 2019, Oliver presented the results of the first study, entitled ‘A focus group study of helicopter pilots’ non-technical skills’, to the Ergonomics and Human Factors conference in Stratford-Upon-Avon in England and travelled to the United States to talk at the 20th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology in Dayton, Ohio. Oliver competed his PhD research in 2021.