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Line Oriented Flight Training


As part of basic or recurrent flight crew training, line oriented flight training (LOFT) is conducted in a flight simulator. It entails a real-time detail that is reflective of line operations, with a focus on anomalous events that require communications, management, and leadership. The anomalies that will be experienced will not be disclosed ahead of time.

In 1989, ICAO Circular 217 AN/132 ‘Human Factors Digest No 2’ was issued, and it has subsequently been reprinted in its original form as UK CAA Publication CAP 720. (Crew Resource Management and LOFT).

In the preface of Chapter 5, CAP 720 states:

“By improving training and validating operating processes, LOFT can have a substantial influence on aviation safety.” To give training and evaluation of effective flight deck management procedures, LOFT exposes aircrews with scenarios of normal everyday operations in their airline, with plausible and realistic obstacles and crises added. As a consequence, the air carrier recognizes operational weaknesses on the part of line crews and assesses the appropriateness of flight deck procedures and instruments, as well as the efficacy of overall crew training.

Accident reports give a realistic and acceptable starting point for LOFT scenarios, which may be derived from a variety of sources. For the following reasons, a well-run LOFT program may give valuable insight into the inner workings of an airline’s operations and training program:

  • If pilots make the same mistakes over and over, it might signal a significant problem caused by faulty procedures, contradictory or erroneous manuals, or other operational issues.
  • It may indicate areas in aircrew training programs that are lacking or need to be strengthened.
  • It might indicate issues with instrument placement, information presentation to pilots, or other physical layout issues with a specific flight deck.
  • It may be used by airlines to test and validate flight deck processes.
  • Individual performance should not be evaluated using LOFT. Rather, it is a verification of training and operating methods. Individuals or crews that require extra training following a LOFT session should be given that chance right away, with no shame or repercussions.

Except in the most extreme and rare situations, a LOFT session should not be stopped. The ideas of LOFT are incompatible with repositioning the simulator and repeating difficulties. One of the advantages of LOFT is that a person or crew may instantly assess the outcomes of operational actions, whether favorable or bad. After such a session, a full debriefing of all elements should be conducted. This can be performed by a self-debriefing by the crew, followed by a debriefing by the LOFT coordinator (check pilot, instructor). The use of voice and video recorders, as well as written notes, should be included in this critique.”

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