chapter  22
16 Pages

Pilots’ emotions in the cockpit

ByVERGARD NERGÅRD, BENGT SVENDSEN

How do pilots learn from experience through post-flight debriefing? As a case study of pilots flying air ambulances, this chapter examines the importance of learning from direct experience rather than from instruction, study, etc. In this chapter, we report on a study that we carried out which focused on how pilots ‘work through’ or ‘emotionally process’ their professional experiences. Our study examined how a pilot of an air ambulance processes difficult and conflicted emotions. We argue that the evolvement of good airmanship in general and in air ambulance operations, in particular, is intimately related to the ability to learn to cope with emotions.