CAE is testing a simulator operational quality assurance (SOQA) system that mirrors the successful flight operational quality assurance (FOQA) programme for the flight segment.
Developed originally as a demonstration project for the US military on the Boeing 737NG, SOQA keeps track of operator-selected performance parameters, flagging up exceedances and other potential accident precursors.
SOQA is an extension of CAE's Flightscape programme, which captures and replays data from simulator sessions, including cockpit video and audio, flight control movements and avionics displays. With SOQA, an operator would set limits or envelopes on certain parameters to measure a pilot's performance in the simulator.
Jan van Engelen, CAE vice president of Europe and Africa, does not envisage there any privacy issues for SOQA as the data is held by CAE and is erased after review sessions are complete.
Privacy issues were a key stumbling block for the US Federal Aviation Administration's FOQA programme initially, because participants were concerned that the government, which provides certain violations protection in return for sharing the flight data, could be forced to provide the data in court cases or Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.