Flight Test Safety Fact 19-07

It has been almost two months since the Flight Test Safety Workshop, and you can now find video presentations from the workshop posted on the website: http://www.flighttestsafety.org/2019-charleston-sc.  As you may recall, the Workshop provided our community with a chance to discuss "Data to Assure Success."  As I began to watch the videos, I encountered an amusing interchange:

Person A: "Your slide said SMS requires no oversight..."

You could almost hear the confusion in his voice.

Person B: "Excuse me...my apologies. I speak Australian. What I meant was when you skip a step, you say it must have been an oversight, and we don't want any oversights.  With SMS, because we use methodical procedures, we won't overlook specific things."

As we can see, miscommunication happens even in the most mundane settings.  When we begin to discuss complexity and uncertainty, the risk of miscommunication increases.

To address this challenge, we reach back into the archive to revisit an old idea that we can apply to new problems.  The story contained herein illustrates a scenario where traditional statistical methods failed, and it lays the foundation for a future, more in-depth, discussion on "communicating uncertainty in flight test," an attempt to define heuristics for our community, to discuss both uncertainty and complexity in the days and years ahead.

Mark Jones Jr.

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