Edzard Boland

Edzard Boland, Training & Operator Performance Specialist, NLR – Netherlands Aerospace Centre

Edzard Boland earned an MSc in Aviation Human Factors at Cranfield University in 2003. After working for the university as a research assistant he started working with the Royal Netherlands Air Force in 2005 as a Human Factors Specialist. Main working areas included CRM training design and delivery, pilot and air traffic controller selection and fatigue research. In 2008 he moved to the NLR where he is a training specialist in the department of Training, Simulation and Operator Performance. Research areas include performance-based training, instructor competencies, team training and decision making in complex situations. Since 2016 he has supported several airlines with the introduction of Startle and Surprise training.

Electrifying Training: Is Electric Flying Changing Education and Training Requirements?

Wide body, long haul electric aircraft are a thing of the future and might even prove to be technologically unfeasible or impossible. Currently electric flights are taking place in 2- and 4-seater, single-engine aircraft, suitable for a range of general aviation applications. However, due to the currently limited range of 1 to 1.5 hours, the most feasible near-future application seems to be (initial) flying training.

Replacing the piston engine that drives the propeller by an electric one and replacing the fuel tanks by batteries seems pretty straightforward and mostly a technological feat. But once this is accomplished, what does the competency set of the single electric engine aircraft pilot look like? Is it exactly the same as that of the single engine piston aircraft or are there some, possibly important, differences? And how about the experienced single engine piston pilot? What is required to change her/him into an electric pilot? Finally, if single electric engine training in an integrated ATPL or a MPL course is used, what happens to transfer of training to piston and turbine engine aircraft in the more advanced stages of training?

In the ICAO and EASA Evidence-Based Training (EBT) framework, the backbone of the training programme is the set of nine competencies (EASA added ‘Application of Knowledge’ to the eight from ICAO). From this set we identified four competencies that will somehow be affected by the introduction of electric training aircraft:

• Flight path management, manual;
• Flight path management, automated;
Situation Awareness;
Application of Knowledge.

In this presentation we will answer the questions about the competency skill set for the different scenarios, focussing on these four competencies. These answers will assist the development of effective training programmes, facilitating a successful introduction of electric flying and preventing potential safety issues.