Captain Pierre Wannaz

Captain, A330/A340, Swiss International Airlines

Even before having a driver’s license, Pierre could fly… Fascinated by aviation, the 16-year-old Pierre was cycling to the airport for his flight lessons. 10 years later, he was instructor himself.

After one year at the Swiss Air Force Academy in 1980, Pierre got his starter pilot wings and for 30 years flew combat jets and high performance trainers in the Swiss Air Force until his 50th birthday, in parallel to his civil job. In 1983, Pierre started at the Swiss Aviation School and got hired thereafter by Swissair (now Swiss International Airlines), where he is still Captain on the A330/A340. Pierre is also a Senior Advisor for CEFA Aviation.

In addition, he conducted computer consultancy on several projects until 1998, among others for the Swiss Army, specializing in relational database and networking.

Pierre likes to share his experience and know-how since the very beginnings: in 1991 he became a copilot instructor, firstly on the A310, then as part of the core team responsible for the introduction of the A320 for Swissair. He is a Type Rating Instructor / Synthetic Flight Examiner (TRI/SFE) and also a co-designer & trainer of the four Modules Crew Resource Management Course dedicated to the introduction of the A320.

Pierre is also keen on new challenges and chooses to continuously improve his knowledge, being an acceptance pilot for flight simulators, delivery flights, tests after HMV, initial acceptance and phase out flights.

Pierre Wannaz definitely wears several hats as he also collaborated with the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) as an external auditor and examiner for MétéoSuisse Swiss weather forecasters and meteorological advisers, but also teaches about the risks of automation of the aircraft. He is a reckoned legal expert as well in incident and accident investigations, amongst others, he was named aeronautical expert for the accident of Air France 447 (Rio-Paris). He is also the co-writer of “Escadrille 2”, a book about squadron 2. During his leisure time, Pierre is an amateur photographer. He likes to go on treks and discover new countries and new cultures, besides his “on-duty” trips!


How Could We Turn Each Flight into a Training Opportunity?

Simulator training has improved a lot in the last decades, and tools exist to debrief in a professional and objective manner.

But a large part of training is done during line training, so why should we not try to learn from each line flight? 

It is sometimes difficult to recall exactly what happened since we are in a very dynamic mode during line flying. So the solution is to ask for the FOQA data.

But when the pilots ask the FOQA team to review their own flights when they have a doubt:
a) They get a report with figures, statistics and tables that non-experts have difficulties to interpret;
b) They receive it days/weeks after the flight, when the crew has already split;
c) They worry that such a request may raise questions and doubts within the FOQA department: why do they ask for their flight data, did they have trouble? Did they make mistakes?

What if they could get immediate access to their own flights – in an easy and objective way? What would be the impact on training?

Today the technology exists to visualize, immediately after engine shutdown, the last flight. The data can be made available as a flight animation on tablets.

To what extent can this technology change flight safety and pilot training?